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Thread: Disease and pandemics thread (because it's science)

  1. #2791
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    ... Many more unvaccinated people are in the hospital than unvaccinated. ...
    Huh?
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  2. #2792
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Huh?
    Yeah, I noticed that too. But in the last sentence of the post, they wrote, "The vaccinated ones tend to be very old most of the time." So I'm sure they meant "many more unvaccinated than vaccinated."
    As above, so below

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    I have recently become aware of the term "leaky vaccine"
    In a blog post by a journalist I have a great deal of respect for on other issues, he is arguing for the theory that Covid-19 is being forced to evolve into more serious incarnations by the vaccine not being 100% effective.

    This tingles my spidey senses on several levels, not least being that evolution is random not directed, the virus is not sentient - desperate to get past our defences, and without the vaccine things would be much worse.

    He doesn't come down directly on the anti vaccine side of the argument but he does seem to be having trouble finding relevant and reliable research on the subject. Anyone know of a good place to start? Does the concept have merit?

    His blog post is at https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2...eaky-vaccines/

  4. #2794
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    As he says, it's been a thing in the medical community for a few years.
    He gives a link to the core paper about leaky vaccines: Imperfect Vaccination Can Enhance the Transmission of Highly Virulent Pathogens
    The abstract gives a decent summary of the problem:
    Could some vaccines drive the evolution of more virulent pathogens? Conventional wisdom is that natural selection will remove highly lethal pathogens if host death greatly reduces transmission. Vaccines that keep hosts alive but still allow transmission could thus allow very virulent strains to circulate in a population. Here we show experimentally that immunization of chickens against Marek's disease virus enhances the fitness of more virulent strains, making it possible for hyperpathogenic strains to transmit. Immunity elicited by direct vaccination or by maternal vaccination prolongs host survival but does not prevent infection, viral replication or transmission, thus extending the infectious periods of strains otherwise too lethal to persist. Our data show that anti-disease vaccines that do not prevent transmission can create conditions that promote the emergence of pathogen strains that cause more severe disease in unvaccinated hosts.
    So the concern is not some teleological drive for the virus to become more virulent, but that the leaky vaccines increase the fitness of virulent variants, by allowing them to transmit more easily. A virus that knocks someone off their feet and kills them quickly is transmitted less effectively than one that causes mild symptoms and allows the infected person to wander around interacting with others. Hence the observation that novel viruses tend to evolve towards reduced virulence. But a vaccinated population that experiences reduced or no symptoms will cope with the otherwise extremely virulent virus, and will transmit it more effectively, allowing it to circulate while it picks off unvaccinated individuals.

    Grant Hutchison
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  5. #2795
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    A vaccine for a different disease, but it looks like another profound advance, despite limitations: An effective vaccine for malaria. Discussed here:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/health-58810551

    Itís only about 40% effective and specific to the key African varieties, but malaria is so good at evading the immune system and this is such a nasty disease, this appears to be a very big deal. Nice to see more good medical advances.

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  6. #2796
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    As he says, it's been a thing in the medical community for a few years.
    He gives a link to the core paper about leaky vaccines: Imperfect Vaccination Can Enhance the Transmission of Highly Virulent Pathogens
    The abstract gives a decent summary of the problem:So the concern is not some teleological drive for the virus to become more virulent, but that the leaky vaccines increase the fitness of virulent variants, by allowing them to transmit more easily. A virus that knocks someone off their feet and kills them quickly is transmitted less effectively than one that causes mild symptoms and allows the infected person to wander around interacting with others. Hence the observation that novel viruses tend to evolve towards reduced virulence. But a vaccinated population that experiences reduced or no symptoms will cope with the otherwise extremely virulent virus, and will transmit it more effectively, allowing it to circulate while it picks off unvaccinated individuals.

    Grant Hutchison
    Thanks Grant. Would I be correct to think that while the epidemiology for a virus subject to a leaky vaccine is correct, the situation would be worse for the (vaccinated) majority if there were no vaccine?
    Jonathan Cook appears to be displaying vaccine hesitancy over the fact that being vaccinated possibly affects the unvaccinated in worse ways, but surely this demonstrates an even greater need to get vaccinated. For one thing, the vaccine is already out there so it's probably too late to avoid those consequences.

  7. #2797
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    Quote Originally Posted by headrush View Post
    Thanks Grant. Would I be correct to think that while the epidemiology for a virus subject to a leaky vaccine is correct, the situation would be worse for the (vaccinated) majority if there were no vaccine?
    Yes. Even with a vaccine subject to breakthrough infections, and even if people with breakthrough infections show the same viral load in their secretions as unvaccinated infected individuals (both apparently true with the Delta variant), the Covid vaccines reduce disease prevalence by making people less likely to catch it.
    Lower circulation of virus in the community means there are fewer copies of the virus genome in existence, which reduces the rate at which the virus can throw up new mutations, which means both vaccine escape and increased virulence become less likely.

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  8. #2798
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Yes. Even with a vaccine subject to breakthrough infections, and even if people with breakthrough infections show the same viral load in their secretions as unvaccinated infected individuals (both apparently true with the Delta variant), the Covid vaccines reduce disease prevalence by making people less likely to catch it.
    Lower circulation of virus in the community means there are fewer copies of the virus genome in existence, which reduces the rate at which the virus can throw up new mutations, which means both vaccine escape and increased virulence become less likely.

    Grant Hutchison
    And here ,
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1....11.21258690v1
    …something to think about.
    Using the UK Biobank of 40000 people a sample of 785 were scanned again, 401 of whom had caught Covid since their last scan. There was a reduction in brain size and grey matter, attributed to Covid, in those versus the uninfected controls.
    I say that is a very good reason to get vaccinated. The details also explain loss of sense of smell for example.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  9. #2799
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Current version:
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1....11.21258690v3

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  10. #2800
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    Interesting article on a hypothesis about certain infections as a cause of Alzheimers disease that may provide options for prevention and treatment. I hope this leads to something, this disease has been notorious for the difficulty finding causation and for attempts at treatment that turn out to be ineffective.

    https://www.bbc.com/future/article/2...ger-alzheimers

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  11. #2801
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Thanks
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  12. #2802
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Interesting article on a hypothesis about certain infections as a cause of Alzheimers disease that may provide options for prevention and treatment. I hope this leads to something, this disease has been notorious for the difficulty finding causation and for attempts at treatment that turn out to be ineffective.

    https://www.bbc.com/future/article/2...ger-alzheimers
    Thank you for finding that. It is more than just interesting how the germ theory of disease has that history of skepticism, followed by acceptance. Also the old idea that the blood brain barrier was absolute, now it seems more permeable. I wonder if this trend leads to more antiviral and antibiotic drugs being recommended as prophylactics while we also know pathogens evolve to evade them? Maybe, like in the first half of last century, we rediscover vitamins?
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  13. #2803
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    Quote Originally Posted by headrush View Post
    I have recently become aware of the term "leaky vaccine"
    It's a topic of discussion that should raise alarms, call for caution, and make people very skeptical of the mRNA injections

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/s...hicken-viruses

    Of course none of that will happen, but even so, it should

  14. #2804
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    Surely it argues for widespread uptake of vaccines, even if they are leaky? The evolution of more lethal strains happens in unvaccinated hosts. If the seemingly unlikely evolution of lethal strains happens in vaccinated animals or people, those individuals are not ill but the unvaccinated are at risk. We are, by developing vaccines, reducing the lethality of pathogens whether evolving in the wild or inside our populations. There is no argument for restricting our technology, given the established testing regimes. However there is a clear strong argument for world wide adoption of working vaccines.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  15. #2805
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    Interestingly, it appears that a booster with one of the mRNA vaccines provides better protection (or at least a stronger immune response) for J&J recipients than a second J&J shot.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-...zer-works-best
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  16. #2806
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Surely it argues for widespread uptake of vaccines, even if they are leaky?
    It does indeed. All vaccines are leaky, to some extent, and the situation with Marek's disease in chickens is not remotely comparable to Covid and the current vaccines.
    The lead author of the 2015 Marek's paper, Imperfect Vaccination Can Enhance the Transmission of Highly Virulent Pathogens, has recently thoroughly debunked attempts to extrapolate from Marek's to Covid.
    It's worth reading in full, but I'll pull some quotes here:
    Read responds: “We're talking a very different virus and very different vaccines. The details in biology really matter a lot. The chicken vaccines we worked with, the first-generation vaccine, definitely reduced disease, severity and death.” But unlike the COVID mRNA vaccines, the chicken vaccine “didn't stop transmission at all.” And this is one of the key differences between what was being studied in Read’s paper and our current situation with the global pandemic. “Those [vaccinated] chickens just kept churning out the virus for weeks and weeks and weeks.” Again, this is a key difference. “It’s a very different virus from SARS-2. A key issue here is transmissibility.”
    “Think about what's happening with evolution,” offers Read. “Mutations can occur anytime the [virus] replicates. So the more replication, the more variants are generated. At the moment, the vast majority of the replication is happening in unvaccinated people. You can tell that because the majority of cases in the hospital are unvaccinated individuals. That is where the evolutionary action is happening at the moment.”
    Although we still need more data to determine how leaky they are, the rate of breakthrough infections in vaccinated people remains statistically low enough to consider the mRNA vaccines highly effective at preventing infection. “We don't know at the moment how leaky these things are. It's conceivable that they are actually close to non-leaky. I'm amazed how good these mRNA vaccines are. They're incredibly good.”
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  17. #2807
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    People seem to have largely lost interest in vaccine progress, but there are good results just in from Valneva's Phase III trial of a more traditional "inactivated virus + adjuvant" vaccine. As such, it should be storable and transportable at standard cold chain temperatures around five degrees Celsius.
    • VLA2001 successfully met both co-primary endpoints
      • Superior neutralizing antibody titer levels compared to active comparator vaccine, AstraZeneca’s AZD1222 (ChAdOx1-S)
      • Neutralizing antibody seroconversion rate above 95%

    • VLA2001 induced broad T-cell responses with antigen-specific IFN-gamma-producing T-cells against the S, M and N proteins.
    • VLA2001 was well tolerated, demonstrating a statistically significant better tolerability profile compared to active comparator vaccine
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  18. #2808
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    Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has died of covid at 84. I haven't heard if he was vaccinated.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  19. #2809
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has died of covid at 84. I haven't heard if he was vaccinated.
    Fully vaccinated, according to a Facebook statement by his family being reported by the media.

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  20. #2810
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    Powell was being treated for cancer, so he was probably immunocompromised.

    Colin Powell, who served as secretary of state during the presidency of George W. Bush and led the first Gulf War as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has died at age 84 of complications from COVID-19, his family confirmed.

    Powell, the first African American to serve in both of those senior posts, died Monday morning. They said that "he was fully vaccinated." His longtime aide, Peggy Cifrino, told The New York Times he had been treated in recent years for multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that can suppress the body's immune system.

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    I'm sure you guys will see this eventually. NIH Admits to Funding Gain-of-Function Research in Wuhan, Says EcoHealth Violated Reporting Requirements https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/...125103852.html
    The moment an instant lasted forever, we were destined for the leading edge of eternity.

  22. #2812
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Huh?
    Sorry, It is probably 5 to 10 times more unvaccinated in the hospital than vaccinated. The vaccine, from my small viewpoint, is effective for many people to prevent serious infection.
    The moment an instant lasted forever, we were destined for the leading edge of eternity.

  23. #2813
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    I'm sure you guys will see this eventually. NIH Admits to Funding Gain-of-Function Research in Wuhan, Says EcoHealth Violated Reporting Requirements https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/...125103852.html
    Any chance of seeing an objective story about this latest kerfuffel?

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Any chance of seeing an objective story about this latest kerfuffel?
    Give it five years, by which time people might have reached an agreement on what and what does not constitute "gain-of-function research". At present it shows no sign of being anything but an argument about labels, full of counterproductive sound and fury.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2021-Oct-21 at 04:05 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Powell was being treated for cancer, so he was probably immunocompromised.
    The immunocompromised are at very high risk, even with multiple vaccine boosters.
    The moment an instant lasted forever, we were destined for the leading edge of eternity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Give it five years, by which time people might have reached an agreement on [emerging data]
    In line with this observation; i.e., that the nature of knowledge is that it is partial and subject to amendment, one impossible to disagree with, I was flabbergasted and amazed to discover how many long time members were wasted by this thread and banned, and as I read through it, some seem to have been defending positions that are more sustainable in light of emerging studies (e.g., Viral Load of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) regarding "mask vs no mask". Tweet by lead author:
    Twitter: Hi, lead author of the study here. That's not really what we had in mind. Masks do block aerosols (proven) & if you read our paper carefully, you'd notice our results actually support the calls for universal masking, as well as N95, FFP3 or equivalent.)
    This comment is not intended as a critique of Grant's quoted post; rather, I wonder if moderators and board management shouldn't reconsider policy and allow for greater leeway in being "in line or not with science" when scientific insight and consensus are undergoing such rapid change, and board members are personally affected by matters of rather weighty import relating to the matter under discussion. The permanent bans of long time members resulting from this thread seem altogether excessive in light of the significant and sometimes rapid shifts in the findings and recommendations of medical science relating to covid-19. I don't suppose much can be done now, but, well, as I said, there seem to be too many bannings under excessive uncertainty and insufficient consensus. After all, people were and are dying, so some nerves are understandable.

  27. #2817
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    Well, people don't actually get banned for saying stuff that is considered wrong or contentious. They get banned for a suite of behaviours that are against the rules (like not stopping when told to stop). As you say, the problem with this thread, as Covid was kicking off, was that people were anxious and impassioned, and that led to posts that violated the rules, and behaviours that continued to violate the rules. (That was why I started a thread in Feedback asking if this thread might not actually be doing more harm than good.)
    As for "turning out to be right", I think there are two ways of being wrong in science:
    One is to say stuff that is contradicted by existing evidence. But the second, more subtle, error is to make categorical statements that are insufficiently supported by the existing evidence. In medicine, the second category of error can cause (and has caused) a great deal of harm, because it leads people to adopt interventions that turn out to be harmful. That's what's behind the old medical adage: "First, do no harm." (Let's not start doing stuff until we're confident it won't make things worse.)
    In my experience, colleagues who essentially made a risky guess and turned out to be supported by subsequent evidence are much given to claiming that they were "right all along", whereas they actually said something wrong and got away with it.

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  28. #2818
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
    <snip>

    This comment is not intended as a critique of Grant's quoted post; rather, I wonder if moderators and board management shouldn't reconsider policy and allow for greater leeway in being "in line or not with science" when scientific insight and consensus are undergoing such rapid change, and board members are personally affected by matters of rather weighty import relating to the matter under discussion. The permanent bans of long time members resulting from this thread seem altogether excessive in light of the significant and sometimes rapid shifts in the findings and recommendations of medical science relating to covid-19. I don't suppose much can be done now, but, well, as I said, there seem to be too many bannings under excessive uncertainty and insufficient consensus. After all, people were and are dying, so some nerves are understandable.
    Hlafordlaes

    I reviewed the last year of posts in this thread (back to 3 Nov 2020) and the only person I could find who was banned for their behavior in this thread was Ely, who was not banned for the subject of their posts nor the science of their opinions (nor was he a 'long time member'), but for his "Rude, disruptive, trollish behavior". He also was not banned for his behavior just in this thread; he had five infractions in his entire 3 weeks as a member of this forum, and the first 4 were for behavior in other threads.

    The only other banned member posting in this thread I found over that period of time was infracted for behavior elsewhere on the forum.

    All - now, no more meta-discussion about the moderation of this thread. If you want to discuss such things, start a thread in Feedback.
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  29. #2819
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    Thanks, Swift, I was wondering about that myself.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Regarding the statement above about masks stopping aerosols. Surely that's a blanket statement when the facts would actually be more discerning with regard to the size of the aerosols. As someone on another forum bellowed at me "if someone coughs in your face the mask stops stuff hitting you". That's fine as far as it goes, but that's not the usual method of contracting the virus.

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