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The Covid-19 Pandemic 
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Post Re: The Covid-19 Pandemic

Efficacy Confusion

I'm sure you will have noticed from the video clip above, when the question was asked about virus transmissibility for vaccinated people, Prime Minister Boris said he thought it was about 67% reduction in transmission, or something like that. In other words, he thought there was a 33% chance of a vaccinated person having it, a 33% chance of them giving it to you, and you having a 33% chance of catching it. So statistically speaking, there's a 33% of 33% chance of transmission overall, which is 11%. Then the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor said it was only a 50% reduction in transmission, not 67%, so statistically speaking, there's 25% chance of transmission (50% of 50%). Am I missing something here? Has the efficacy of the AstraZeneca just plummeted, or do the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor not know what they are talking about?

Earlier (around 6 posts up) I said;

Quote:
My understanding is that the 76% efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine means that you only have 24% chance of catching it. If you don’t catch it, you can’t pass it on, so it really impacts transmission, which really affects the transmission factor (r number), which lowers the % needed to achieve herd immunity. If you are unlucky and do catch it, bearing in mind 75% of infected people you bump into won’t give you it, then it will be either asymptomatic and you may not even know you’ve been infected, or no worse that a cold. So far no one that has been vaccinated has been hospitalised or died from Covid-19, of it has an efficacy rate of 100% in thing that matter


I didn't make the 76% efficacy figure up, that was the percentage being banded around in the newspapers and press conferences at the time. I've just done an internet search, and by all means try this for yourself; and I am getting figures of 74% efficacy against the Alpha variant and 64% against the Delta from the AstraZeneca site, 66% against the Alpha variant and 60% against the Delta from the GOV.UK site.

What is going on here? 3 of the top players in the UK management of the pandemic, two of which are top of their scientific professions and the efficacy figures don't tie up. Are they just talking about the Indian Delta variant? But AstraZeneca are saying it's 64% and the UK government site is saying 60% Have they done a new trial and revised the efficacy down? Where did the 50% efficacy figure come from? No wonder Bosis is confused; not as much as I am.

Case Numbers Confusion

Testing has gotten out of control. I heard yesterday from a doctor on YouTube that UK is testing 3 to 4 times more than any other country by population. It's testing so much that it's identifying asymptomatic cases and the track and trace app is pinging so many people, instructing them to self isolate because they've come into proximity with someone who is infected, that trains are being cancelled, shops and factories are having to close, even the central line of the underground in London was shut down due to staff shortages. Supply deliveries to supermarkets are being cancelled, staff shortages in supermarkets means shelves are not being restocked as quickly. It is a right mess, they are calling it a Pingdemic. The testing has unearthed huge numbers of cases, much more than other countries have identified, which has caused some panic in the government, the media, and in the general public.

If we look at the daily cases from the World-o-meters site, it looks like daily cases peaked on 17 July at 54,205 per day, and are now coming down from 47,646 on 18 July, to 36,389 on 23 July https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/uk/

Recorded deaths update for July

Bear in mind the methodoligy of recording cases and deaths has changed, so check when comparing data, particularly between countries, that you are comparing like with like. Recording deaths in the UK has changed from 'Deaths with COVID-19 on the death certificate', to 'Deaths within 28 days of positive test'.

Here are the deaths from 1st to 23rd July; 22,27,18,15,9,37,33,35,29,34,26,6,50,49,63,49,41,25,19,96,73,84,64

Data taken from the GOV.UK site; https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/deaths#card-deaths_within_28_days_of_positive_test_by_date_reported

I was hoping the 50 deaths recorded on 13 Jul was a blip in the data, but it looks like it was the start of a rather chaotic pattern of up and down and up again. Deaths on 20-22nd Jul were worryingly high, or at least relatively so, at 96, 73 and 84, but they may be dropping again. I think we still have the problem of people with comorbidities dying with Covid-19, not from Covid-19, and the hot spell we had in the UK on these dates may have contributed to it.

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Sat Jul 24, 2021 10:51 am
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Post Re: The Covid-19 Pandemic

In the post above I said;

Quote:
Then the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor said it was only a 50% reduction in transmission, not 67%, so statistically speaking, there's 25% chance of transmission (50% of 50%). Am I missing something here? Has the efficacy of the AstraZeneca just plummeted, or do the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor not know what they are talking about?


Working on the assumption that the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor know what they are talking about, I did a bit of digging yesterday, and I think I know what they are talking about. We know the vaccine efficacy (how transmissible the virus becomes in a group of vaccinated people when compared with a group of unvaccinated people), varies according to the variant. You'd expect this because the purpose of virus mutating is to evade the immune system. The virus must either get around the antibodies or die out, that is its goal, and the goal of the immune system is to stop it by responding with new effective antibodies.

The goal of the vaccine is first and foremost to protect against severe symptoms, and death; if it can protect against medium and mild symptoms as well, then great. We all get to walk around with the virus and not know and not care that we have it, i.e. we become asymptomatic. The problem with this is there is always a chance it might mutate and become symptomatic again, which will require a vaccine upgrade. It wouldn't be the end of the world, it just means we might have to had a jab each year or whenever; a bit of a pain, and there is a cost involved to always have to keep on top of it. So living with a virus is not quite the same as living with a bacteria, which we are quite happily do, on our skin and inside our bodies. So the secondary role of vaccine is to reduce the amount of virus in circulation. The less virus there is in the population, the less likely it is to mutate, and the more likely it is to die out.

AstraZeneca vaccine efficacy against the variants

Here are the variants

Image

It is remarkably difficult to hang an efficacy on each of these; which is ridiculous. Efficacy for these variants should be formally established and published so we all know what we are dealing with and can interpret the case numbers being generated. When you do an internet search for the efficacies, you get different figures established from different sized groups, at different stages of the infection spread; nothing is standardised. You'll note that there are now two Brazilian and two Indian variants, and it is not clear if what little data we have on them has been combined or kept separate.

Original and Alpha

Piecing this 'carry on data collecting' together, and roughly speaking; against the original virus AstraZeneca has an efficacy of 82%, and 70% against the Alpha, which I think was the figure that Boris quoted.

Beta

Stunningly, we don't appear to have an efficacy for the Beta variant. In March 2021 it was tested in South Africa and found to have only 10.4% efficacy, It was however 82% effective in protecting against severe illness and death. AstraZeneca have since upgraded it and re-trialled it on 24 June. It's too soon for any published results on the modified vaccine efficacy, and it will be some time before it is rolled out as it will have to be approved by the regulator, so any upgrade will come a bit late for the UK, as the Beta has already done its worse, and that is reflected in the case numbers we have seen.

Delta

Someone over at Forbes pieced together data from a dozen sources including the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, Public Health England, and from various AstraZeneca papers; he stresses the variability of the trials the efficacy was measured from, and that some papers were still unpublished. He says "all figures are approximate, so treat them as such". The AstraZeneca efficacy he came up with for the Delta variant was 60%

Gamma

The next big one coming our way is the Gamma P1 variant, it has already established itself in the UK, US, and Russia and looks like spreading across the world after a period of being confined to South America. Fortunately the AstraZeneca vaccine has been shown to be 87% effective in protecting against severe illness and death, but no one appears to know how transmissible it is; rumours are 'very'. Indeed, if the pattern continues of each variant being more infectious, but less dangerous, then we should brace ourselves for a greater transmission than the Delta. I did find one site that quoted a 50% efficacy, but it wasn't from a reputable medical website and most likely was just passing on the rumours I was talking about.

What I can say is the minimum efficacy set by regulators for use of vaccines is 50% and that's where I think the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor got that figure from. In the light of ever decreasing efficacy against the varients, 50% being the regulator minimum, they're calling AstraZeneca 50% against all the variants whether it is or not.

Cases

When the Gamma variant hits the UK, cases could go through the roof if it even partially gets around the immune defences and reinfects, but I think historical patterns indicate very few people are going to get sick. If we don't confront the reality of the situation, and starting living with this virus, we will be wearing face masks, socially distancing, and locking down business until there is nothing left of our economy, our standard of living, or our quality of life.

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Last edited by Beerman on Mon Jul 26, 2021 9:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Sun Jul 25, 2021 10:38 am
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Post Re: The Covid-19 Pandemic

Here's a World Health Organisation definition of vaccine efficacy and effectiveness.

Quote:
Vaccine efficacy- % reduction in disease incidence in a vaccinated group compared to an unvaccinated group under optimal
conditions (eg RCT)

Vaccine effectiveness- ability of vaccine to prevent outcomes of interest in the “real world”


Here's the link https://www.who.int/influenza_vaccines_ ... veness.PDF

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Mon Jul 26, 2021 11:49 am
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Post Re: The Covid-19 Pandemic

It has just been revealed that UK Office of National Statistics (ONS), are reporting numbers of daily cases approx. 2 to 3 times greater that being reported by the UK government using data from the Test and Trace NHS App. Governemnt figures relating to the daily number covid-19 cases for 2 Aug 21 are 21,952, down from 24,381 on 1 Aug 21, The OS figure stands at around 60,000 daily cases., nearly 3 times more. This is ridiculous.

It also shows that vaccination has made the continuing publishing of daily cases pretty pointless. Whatever the daily case numbers were from the peak on 17 Jul to today, the daily deaths, which typically occur 14 days later, have shown consistent daily decreases (with the exception of the increase of 3 deaths on 31 Jul). Daily deaths ar enow down to j24.

27 Jul = 131 daeths, 28 Jul = 91, 29 Jul = 85, 30 July = 68, 31 July = 71, 1 Aug = 65, 2 Aug = 24

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Tue Aug 03, 2021 1:43 pm
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Post Re: The Covid-19 Pandemic

An Important Announcement

Has the increasingly apparent low efficacy of vaccines against the Delta variant resulted in a new way of looking at this pandemic amongst the medical establishment? I don’t know what the efficacy of the various vaccines actually are against the Delta variant, and I get the impression neither does the government or its medical advisers, but when official figures of 80% get revised down to 70%, 60% and then 50%, and you see the high rates of infections and re-infections in vaccinated people, natural sceptics like me start thinking efficacies are more in the region of 10% to 20%

Little or no efficacy means little or no chance of herd immunity, which means we‘ve got to live with it, which providing future variants don’t reduce vaccine effectiveness in protecting us against serious illness and death, it's not a scary thing to do. After all, we live with the flu and other such like nasties and inconveniences. I hope this important announcement video below really is an important announcement and is not suppressed by Big Pharma who are currently pushing for lucrative booster shots.


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Thu Sep 02, 2021 8:44 am
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