Herd immunity by April?

Discussion in 'Coronavirus (COVID-19) News' started by Bluesguy, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. mentor59

    mentor59 Well-Known Member

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    It seems the rural areas and the inner cities are receiving VIP treatment in the distribution.
     
  2. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    I'm getting a bit more optimistic that we'll be able to avoid a huge B.1.1.7 surge. There are a few factors that may help us. Let's remember, the B.1.1.7 is entirely susceptible to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines we are using, is fairly susceptible to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine that is about to be approved, and is also susceptible to natural immunity from the current dominant variant.

    1. We likely have more natural immunity than most countries, since our outbreak was worse than most. We have about 29 million confirmed cases. We must have missed some cases, so this number is likely to be bigger, but not by as much as people think (I find the idea that we're missing 9 out of 10 cases laughable), now that we've performed 351 million tests for a population of 322 million people. Sure, many of these tests are overlaps, that is, people who were tested more than once, or positive people who got tested several times to follow the progression of their illness. It is hard to know how many unique individuals got tested and also there are false negatives or people tested not when they were actually infected especially asymptomatic cases: may have been tested before or after the window of time during which they were positive. Let's say we missed two cases for each diagnosed case: we'll be sitting at approximately 90 million people already naturally immune (at least for a few months).

    2. We are the country with the largest number of vaccines already administered, in absolute numbers (not in proportion). As of today, 66.5 million doses were given in the US. We're currently at 1.5 million daily doses and this will grow (see #4).

    3. Vaccine stocks are about to get a huge upgrade. The approval of the J&J shot which should come as early as this Sunday will add the ability to fully vaccinate 100 million Americans by the end of June (since it's a one-shot vaccine), starting already with 20 million in March. Moderna and Pfizer are increasing weekly shipments to almost 15 million per week. They are saying that by the end of July they will have delivered the full allocation purchased by the US, of 300 million doses each. This, plus the J&J, is sufficient to vaccinate a lot more than all the eligible Americans (remember, 20% are children so we have only about 260 million eligible people and enough vaccine for 400 million people; not to forget, many decline the vaccine; so, soon, everybody who wants one will be able to get one).

    4. News that the Pfizer shot can withstand regular freezer temperatures which is already the case of Moderna, coupled with the J&J shot not needing ultra cold temps either, will make it much easier to simply distribute vaccines to CVS, Walgreens, Publix, Walmart pharmacies, etc. Speed of vaccination will grow.

    5. Finally, the idea that the B.1.1.7 is doubling every ten days is a bit misleading and needs to be better understood. It's not the absolute number of people infected with the B.1.1.7 that is doubling every 10 days. It's the percentage of new cases that are due to the B.1.1.7 that is doubling every ten days. So, this means that the proportion is growing, but also, the absolute number of new cases is dropping significantly. From the peak on January 7, we are now showing 29% of that peak, in new cases (about 75,000 daily new cases, now). So a larger proportion of a smaller number (and falling) is not as scary as if the absolute numbers were climbing that fast. So, the doubling of the absolute number of new B.1.1.7 is actually happening less often than every ten days, giving us more time to continue to expedite vaccination.

    So we have two forces. The more contagious B.1.1.7 will push numbers up, but the growing number of people with natural immunity or vaccine-induced immunity will bring the numbers down.

    What could happen is that instead of a huge surge like we saw in other countries, the factors bringing the numbers down may result in a plateau around March/April/May instead of huge surge, and if we pass that B.1.1.7 peak we may be going into solid downward trend in June. With the vaccines reaching peak stock in June and July, it is actually very feasible that by the end of the summer or early fall (given a couple more months to get those doses into people's arms and a few weeks for the vaccinated to develop immunity) and way before late fall and early winter make things worse regarding more indoor gatherings, we'll have this virus under good control.

    Now, of course, the above will only be true if the B.1.351 and the P.1 variants don't get a foothold, because these two variants seem to be able to re-infect people who had already had Covid-19 from previous variants. So, I can say that now I'm cautiously optimistic but not 100% sure that we'll be out of the woods that soon.

    But it's undeniable that things are now looking a lot better than a month and a half ago. Fingers crossed. We can win this "new variants vs. speed of vaccination" battle, and if we do, we may very well win the war. The one thing that makes it less certain that we will win the war, is the excruciatingly slow pace of vaccination in the Third World. This will keep huge populations as susceptible reservoirs for the virus to replicate more and mutate more, which may eventually further evade the vaccines, and come back to bite us.

    This is why once we get all of our people vaccinated, we need to help other countries, or else we might get hit in the future with a more aggressive variant that will be able to re-infect and won't be affected by the vaccines, pushing us back to square zero - or almost. Sure, the mRNA vaccines can be tweaked, but the process takes some time (remaking the vaccine, getting at least a phase 1 trial completed, applying again for authorization for the updated product, manufacturing, distributing, administering).
     
  3. signalmankenneth

    signalmankenneth Well-Known Member

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  4. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    OK, see post #152?

    I hadn't noticed, but looking at the last ten days, there is ALREADY signs of the plateau I was talking about or actually things picking up again. Our number of daily new cases has now had 10 full days of it no longer dropping, actually going a bit up. This is likely to be already the effect of the B.1.1.7. (and maybe a little bit of effect of Super Bowl parties).

    You can see the graph in this article. It may be behind a paywall for some (but you will be able to get it by switching to an incognito window):

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive...te=1&user_id=2f3ad75895928d53e10b62cada27fcc7

    Scroll down and get to the graph called New Reported Cases By Day. It's a compact graph that starts at the beginning of the pandemic so one week is not very easily visible, but it is interactive so if you place your cursor on it, you'll see that on Feb 15 we had 55,372 cases, on Feb 18 we had 71,874 cases and yesterday Feb 24 we had 74,130.

    After the lowest point reached after the end of the holidays surge, that is, Feb 15, up we go again.

    All right so maybe my cautious optimism in post #152 was a bit premature.

    Sure, conclusions out of only 10 days are to be confirmed, but of course we much prefer to see the numbers go down, and when they start going up again, it's unsettling.

    From January 7, the peak with 280,278, we wend down down down to February 15, 55,372. But now the constant drop has stopped and we're seeing a bit of an uptick.

    This, together with the recent emergency of America's second domestic variant of concern, the B.1.562 out of New York City, which does have the concerning mutation E484K, is a double reason for concern, because New York is again one of the states showing more of a surge, and this new variant is already occupying 25% of the new cases there.

    Sure, there are two pieces of great news too, a steep decline in nursing home deaths throughout the entire nation, which is the first real sign of a real dent made by vaccination, and the imminent approval of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine (the FDA advisory committe meets tomorrow; the vaccine is likely to receive an EUA on Saturday and likely, the CDC nod in another couple of days). Remember, while this vaccine has stopped all infections at a lower rate than Pfizer's and Moderna's, NOT A SINGLE PERSON who has received the J&J vaccine anywhere, after 4 weeks, was hospitalized or died.

    But these two pieces of bad news - another domestic variant of concern, and a 10-day period of number of new cases going up again, kind of puts a wrench on the good news.
     
  5. Jazz

    Jazz Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Thank you for your kind concern. I know how serious it is and am somewhat relieved right no, because Ontario aims to vaccinate 80+ starting third week of March,
    https://ca.news.yahoo.com/ontario-reports-1-054-cases-154418306.html

    So, I still have some grace time to make up my mind.
    My doctor is perfectly alright. She knows how finicky I am with pills and injections.
    Stress could do me in, as it is the number One killer.
    Lately I've been a bit in a crisis with an A-Fib that won't stop, had a kidney stone, edema, UTI, severe iron deficiency besides being on oxygen 24/7 for PH since over a decade already.
    At 86 I don't want to tinker around and rather continue avoiding contact with the public instead of subjecting my body to some poisonous substance.
    I hope you understand.
     
  6. nopartisanbull

    nopartisanbull Well-Known Member

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    I already know the ''partisan/mentally sick people'' will deny CDC's 2020 death count, and that's the reason why I've been posting/updating several State's Department of Health death counts, and causes of death. However, said state's death counts are currently provisional, and will be finalized by mid year.

    ''partisan/mentally sick people'' in quotation, meaning; IMO, the most common mental illness in America is partisan politics, therefore, if the State's DOH database aren't admissible/reliable, what other sources would please the mentally sick people?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  7. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    I would understand if the vaccine were a poisonous substance. It is not. This is a very effective and very safe vaccine. It's not that I don't understand that you are afraid of the vaccine. I just think it's not justified, and with all these medical conditions you've just described and your age, you absolutely need it. Sorry, but if I were your doctor, I'd be detailing all the arguments for it and wouldn't relent until you agreed to take it. Ultimately it is your decision but your doctor needs to try very hard to convince you because this vaccine for you is very likely to be the difference between life and death. With the new variants coming up, even minimal contact with the public such as a caregiver, might do you in.
     
  8. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    No source would please them. The only sources they consider is OANN, Newsmax, and the nutjob who unfortunately occupied the Oval Office for the last 4 years and thankfully has been kicked out.
     
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  9. Eleuthera

    Eleuthera Well-Known Member Donor

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    "It's a very safe and effective vaccine". Yeah sure, that's why it was released as Emergency Use Only. That's why they did no animal tests on it. That's why they call it a vaccine when it's not one.

    Goodness CF, the Emperor's New Clothes are stunning, eh? :roflol:
     
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  10. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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  11. ronv

    ronv Well-Known Member

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    For some reason we have never been able to get below 5% positives.
    It's probably because we open up as soon as the numbers start down.
    upload_2021-2-26_15-49-36.png

    The one I keep watching is the hospitalization / death rate. I would expect this to drop really fast from the vaccine. But maybe it's to soon.
    upload_2021-2-26_15-52-3.png

    upload_2021-2-26_15-52-44.png
    The one
     
  12. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    Well, we'll see. The really decisive factor is how fast we can vaccinate versus how fast the three new imported variants - UK Kent, South Africa, and Brazil take hold (not to forget the two even newer domestic ones now growing in California and New York). This pandemic is clearly now a race between vaccines and new variants. We now have not one, not two, but at least five variants of concern growing in the United States (likely, more than that, considering undetected ones). They have a potential for being game changers for the worse, while the vaccines are game changers for the better. Which side predominates, the good or the bad one, is what will determine the destiny of the pandemic for the next three months.

    If the new variants grow very fast, all these graphs we are currently looking at with these reassuring drops will mean nothing, as the numbers will then go dramatically up again. We need to do all we can in the next 30 days to vaccinate as fast as possible. I'd say we should aim at 2 million jabs per day, at least. Adding 60 million doses to the almost 70 million we've given already could make a real dent, considering that it is relatively likely that we have another 90 million people with immunity from the natural infection (although I'm not totally positive about this number; first, because we don't know precisely how many infections we are missing as opposed to the diagnosed ones and now that we've performed more than 350 million tests, it may be fewer than people estimate; second, because some of these natural infections have happened one year ago and who knows if the natural immunity will hold for that long, and third, at least two of the new variants, the B.1.351 and the P.1, seem to be able to re-infect people who have had Covid-19 already from the ancestral strain).

    It greatly helps that the Janssen vaccine was unanimously approved today by a whooping 22x0 by the FDA advisory committee. It should earn the EUA tomorrow and in a couple of days the CDC should recommend it too. People may be able to start getting it as early as midweek this coming week.

    So, this adds 20 million people in March, fully vaccinated since the Janssen is a one-shot vaccine (followed by 80 million additional doses by the end of June). And it can be deployed very rapidly because it doesn't require stringent cold chain. This the ideal vaccine for distribution to commercial pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS.

    Now another big concern of mine is vaccine acceptance.

    We may get the low hanging fruit relatively fast, the people who really want the vaccine. But then, we have a HUGE percentage of people saying they don't trust it or want it. It will be really, really hard to get more than 60% of our population vaccinated. Already, 20% are not eligible (children). So to get to 60% we'd need to see only 20% of the eligible ones declining it, when the rate of declination has been a lot closer to 40%.

    I think we may end up with something like 50% of the population vaccinating, plus 20% not eligible (children) plus 30% declining it.

    Given that the vaccines are not 100% effective, and even the 95% of efficacy for Moderna and Pfizer may not hold due to the new variants, this seems a bit meager for the herd immunity threshold.

    So, the Janssen vaccine is about 66% effective. It was tested already with two new variants (South Africa and Brazil) thus the lower efficacy. So let's assume the Pfizer and Moderna are, say, 80% effective instead of 95%, due to the new variants.

    Based on purchase orders, our population will get 25% of the vaccines coming from Janssen, and 75% from Moderna or Pfizer.

    So let's calculate the immunity achieved by vaccines if we only get 50% of the population vaccinated.

    12.5% of the population will be immunized to a 66% degree, while 37.5% will be immunized to an 80% degree.

    This gives us 8.25% of the population achieving immunity through Janssen, and 30% through either Moderna or Pfizer (these are very similar so no point in calculating separately).

    Total, 38.25% of immunization achieved by vaccines. Way below the likely overall Herd Immunity Threshold. It leaves out 61.75% of the population still susceptible to the natural disease. Now, the thing is, not all of them will be susceptible because a good chunk of them have contracted or will contract the natural disease. But there will be some overlap between these and the vaccinated people too, given that the vaccines are indicated even for those who had the natural infection (not to forget those asymptomatic cases that had it and don't know it). So let's say we're missing one in 3 so grossly we'll have 30% of the population with natural immunity. Say, one third of these will overlap with vaccinees.

    We'd be looking at 20% with natural immunity, added to the 38.25%, we get to 58.25%.

    Is this sufficient to extinguish the pandemic? Probably not, if the new and more infectious variants become dominant. These new variants are more infectious to proportions that are as low as 20% more (the California strain) and potentially as much as 200% (the Brazilian strain), with the others being about 50% more infectious. Before the new variants, R naught numbers oscillated between 2 and 5.7. Let's get an average of 3.85. OK, so, let's say that overall the new strains get 110% more infectious. This would result in an R naught number of approximately 8.4.

    For an R naught number of 8.4, the theoretical Herd Immunity Threshold would be approximately 88%! (Trust me on this; I've explained in other posts how we calculate it, but I won't repeat this information here).

    That is, 30% more than what we'd be able to achieve with vaccines + natural infection.

    Say, the R naught doesn't more than double with the new variants, but increases by, say, only 50%. We'd be looking at an average R naught of 5.8. For this, the HIT would be 83%. Still way above the 58.25% we calculated before.

    This situation would result in the pandemic becoming endemic with the HIT never being reached. I think it is actually likely to be the case.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  13. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    OK folks, it does seem like the pandemic is picking up again... most likely thanks to the B.1.1.7 variant.

    On Feb 15 we had 55,372 cases (lowest point of the decline we had been seeing since the peak on January 7), on Feb 18 we had 71,874 cases and on Feb 24 we had 74,130.

    Today... 80,615.
     
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  14. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    @Bluesguy you seem to have disappeared from this thread since post #41 (this one above) despite all the subsequent discussions.

    So, how are you feeling now about your Herd Immunity claim, now that predictably, the contagion is picking up again (most likely thanks to the B.1.1.7 variant)?

    Lowest point since the peak on January 7 was on February 15, 55,000 new daily cases. Then 66,000... then 71,000... then 74,000... and today 80,600.

    So, come again?

    Care to read this again, from my very first participation in this thread?

    "Now, brace for the B.1.1.7. Everywhere where it took over, cases increased again, dramatically. The way it is doubling every 10 days, it will be the dominant variant by the end of March. So, we'll see what will happen to the good doctor's prediction for April. This is the kind of article that potentially won't age well."

    I hate to tell you "I told you so" but... I told you so.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  15. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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  16. ronv

    ronv Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure we will ever get herd immunity, but it is much easier to reduce the impact on society.
    For example we are already close to having 1 shot in the 1a and 1b group.
    24 million for nursing homes and healthcare workers.
    19 million for those over 75 and 30 million for essential workers.
    This alone should lower the hospitalization and death rate (at 100% participation) by about 59%.
    If we stay smart on who we do first, I am optimistic.
    But it is also why I am concerned we haven't seen the hospitalization and death rate fall even faster when we compare it to percent positive tests.

    Edit:
    But having said that, I think it's to early to see the effect of the vaccine in the general population.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
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  17. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    The commentators from your page say that there would be no vaccine without Trump and the Warp Speed initiative. This couldn't be more inaccurate.

    There are 13 vaccines in the world today, either already approved and in use, or about to be approved. Of these 13, only 4 had something to do with Operation Warp Speed, one of them being only partially linked to Warp Speed. Of the other 3, one is kind of lousy and is being rejected in many places. So, yes, there were 2 success stories linked to Warp Speed... but 9 others that were 100% independent from it, 1 only partially linked to it, and 1 that isn't that great.

    Here is the full list:

    Pfizer/BioNTech (German-American) - not Warp Speed
    Sputinik V (Russian) - not Warp Speed
    CoronaVac Sinovac/Butantan (Chinese-Brazilian) - not Warp Speed
    Sinopharm Beijing (Chinese) - not Warp Speed
    Cansino (Chinese) - not Warp Speed
    Vector (Russian) - not Warp Speed
    Covaxin Bharat Biotech (Indian) - not Warp Speed
    Moderna/NIH (American) - Warp Speed
    Oxford/AstraZeneca (British) - Warp Speed (and lousy) - also with other sources of funding, too.
    Johnson and Johnson/Janssen (American) - Warp Speed
    Novavax (American) - only partially propped up by Warp Speed, *after* the R&D phase, and also with other funding
    Curevac/GSK (German/British) - not Warp Speed
    Sinopharm Wuhan (Chinese) - not Warp Speek

    ----------

    There are many others in development but we don't know if they will suffer from the competition with the above (it's harder to recruit for placebo-controlled trials when approved vaccines are already in a pharmacy near you).

    Regardless, of the 13 that actually did make it, only 4 were linked to Warp Speed.

    The two fastest ones to get approved and start distribution, Sputinik V and Pfizer/BioNTech had strictly NOTHING to do with Warp Speed.

    So, why in the hell are you guys saying that without Trump and Warp Speed we wouldn't have had these vaccines timely? The very frontrunners were independent of it, dammit!

    This said, I do approve of the Warp Speed initiative and I have thanked the former president for it, but it's only two success stories are the Moderna and the Janssen (a division of Johnson and Johnson) shots. I do approve of it but I don't like to see people falsely attributing to it, stuff that it didn't do.

    The very best vaccine of them all, the Pfizer/BioNTech, the first one to be approved in the United States, did not use a single dollar from Warp Speed, did not accept any help from Warp Speed for research, development or distribution. Even distribution, they used their own network, declining any help (unlike Moderna).

    So come again?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
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  18. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    Typo above, editing window is gone. I meant "its only two success stories" not "it's"

    Anyway, typos are not important, there are probably more. But what I really wanted to add after the 15 minutes for editing were gone, is this:

    @Zorro

    Let's also look at quality - high efficacy, stability.

    The three vaccines with the highest quality, the only three with thoroughly proven above 90% efficacy, are the Pfizer/BioNTech (which now has been shown to survive regular freezer temperatures), the Moderna/NIH, and the Gamaleya/Sputinik V. My guess is that there is a fourth one, actually with the potential to be the best of them all in early testing. It is one of the vaccines that are finishing up phase III and already submitting an application to the European Medicines Agency: the Curevac/GSK. Why do I expect it to be among the four best if not the best? Because it is also an mRNA vaccine and it has the advantage of only requiring refrigerator temperatures. Also, it's associated maker has a lot of experience and infra-structure. Well, the Sputinik V is not an mRNA vaccine... but almost. It is cDNA inside two different strains of adenovirus vector (the variants 5 and 26). The use of the vectors is very smart because it makes the vaccine stable and not in need of freezing, and the use of two different ones for the first and second doses is also very smart because the second dose doesn't get hindered by immunity developed against the vector. So, these seem to be the world's best four Covid-19 vaccines.

    So, of this group of 4 best, how many are linked to Warp Speed?

    Only one.

    Therefore, the claim that without Warp Speed we wouldn't have timely, safe, and efficacious Covid-19 vaccines, is simply false.

    Let's look a bit more at one of the two approved Russian vaccines, Gamaleya Institute's Sputinik V (the Russians also have another one approved, developed by totally different folks, called Vector).

    The Sputinik V was approved on August 11, 2020, only 9 months after the pandemic became evident, and four full months ahead of the second fastest, the Pfizer/BioNTech one. It's R&D were completed in May 2020.

    While initially at the time of the approval its efficacy was still unproven, by now the Sputinik V has already published phase 3 trial results in The Lancet showing 91.6% efficacy and minimum side effects.

    So at the time of approval, in my thread State of the Vaccines (pinned to the top of the Coronavirus Pandemic Discussions subforum), I said the Russian gambit was dangerous and probably unwise, since they approved it with insufficient testing (before they completed phase 3). Well, the gambit paid off royally. It turns out that the Sputnik V is excellent.

    I remember when Putin said "we have the world's first Covid-19 vaccine and it is efficacious and safe; my daughter already took it" I though (and posted here about it) "this is crazy, this gambit may very well crash and burn if this vaccine ends up being lousy and/or dangerous... or not; maybe it will pay off." Well, it did.

    The Sputinik V last I checked was approved in Russia, Belarus, Argentina, Hungary, United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Mexico, Palestine, Iran, Serbia, and ten other countries (total of 21 countries so far).

    So, the fastest vaccine was done outside of Warp Speed (Sputinik V)
    The second fastest was done outside of Warp Speed (Pfizer/BioNTech)

    Only the third fastest was within Warp Speed (Moderna).
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
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  19. nopartisanbull

    nopartisanbull Well-Known Member

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    According to a CDC chart, Florida has the highest B.1.1.7 variant cases, last update, Feb 25.......401 - 500 cases, and since Feb 19, Florida's daily cases 7 day average plateaued at near 6,000 cases.

    Next;

    Michigan, 300 - 400 B.1.1.7 variant cases
    California, 200 - 300 B.1.1.7 variant cases

    USA, 2,100 B.1.1.7 variant cases

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/transmission/variant-cases.html

    Thus, so far, at least 3 states may face a 4th surge/wave

    In addition, R naught basic calculator;

    If R0 equals 1, each existing infection causes one new infection

    If R0 is more than 1, each existing infection causes more than one new infection.

    Apparently, B.1.1.7 variant has a R naught of 1.5
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  20. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    1.5? I saw numbers as high as 6. But you do know that R naught numbers are variable, right? They depend on a very very large number of factors.
    Also the number of B.1.1.7 cases reported is likely to be very grossly undercounted, since we only sequence about 1.5% of samples, at most. If people are trying to calculate the R naught based on grossly undercounted number of cases then it won't capture all the people that get infected by one case.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  21. Eleuthera

    Eleuthera Well-Known Member Donor

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    Herd immunity has been building for months. It appears it has arrived in most parts of the country.

    Whether that is a result of the Dems having taken the government or not I do not know, likely will never know.

    Some say as virus mutates it weakens.
     
  22. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    In still another hit at the OP's "good doctor" (a surgeon with no clue regarding virology and epidemiology), the example the "good doctor" picked of how even in Brazil with the new variant things were just fine, Brazil is getting completely overwhelmed by the P.1 variant, with ICU's at 100% capacity, full hospitals, people not able to find even a regular bed, several cities going into ultra-strict lockdown (prohibiting the opening of even grocery stores and gas stations and the police issuing steep fines to people on the spot if they are found outside without written justification - such as proof of employment by an essential activity employer - for why they are out and about), and the authorities saying that the pandemic, which was already a disaster there, is getting to its worse state ever.

    Yep, herd immunity indeed... LOL what an idiot, that surgeon! Like I said from my first post here, his op-ed won't age well.

    Number of deaths in Brazil is at an all-time high (and they already had the second biggest total in the world, before the variant) and doctors are saying that they will have terrible weeks ahead; the situation is being called chaotic, and the system is in collapse in several major cities.

    I was just reading about the case of a nurse - 31 years old and healthy - who was a committed support of the idiotic Brazilian president Bolsonaro (who keeps minimizing the pandemic, speaking against vaccines - can you believe it??? - and masks, and recommending chloroquine), who caught Covid-19 from the ancestral variant, then refused to wear masks saying that she was already immune. Well, she caught Covid-19 again, from the P.1 variant and... died. Darwin Award at its best.

    Bolsonaro himself who got a mild case of the ancestral strain and recovered fine, is playing with fire. He continues to not wear a mask, refuses vaccination (which is indeed recommended for those who had the infection already, because the focused antibodies with high titers fostered by the vaccines are actually more protective than immunity acquired by the natural infection), and continues to mingle with maskless supporters. I think it's quite likely that he will catch the P.1 too, and then, beware, because there is some indication that a second infection with the P.1 tends to be more severe than a first one with the ancestral strain (like the case of the nurse above).

    The P.1 is said to be up to three times more infectious than the ancestral strain.

    Bolsonaro, believe it or not, said that the vaccines can have side effects that will turn people into alligators. No kidding. That idiot turned down an offer by Pfizer to sell them 70 million doses. He keeps saying they don't need the vaccines since they have chloroquine. Hear hear folks, there is someone even more idiotic than Trump, out there. It is not for nothing that Bolsonaro is nicknamed "The Tropical Trump" and his country has the second biggest outbreak after the United States. Leadership matters.
     
  23. Quantum Nerd

    Quantum Nerd Well-Known Member

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    I think it is a little early to tell if the B.1.1.7 variant is responsible for the recent uptick in cases.

    In my community, we were on a good downward trend, until the university students came back in early February. Students increase the local population by about 10% during the semester. Since then, the cases have started going up again. Here, it is clear that it is purely student-driven.

    I don't know why this is the case, because in the fall semester, the student population actually had a lower positivity rate than the regular population. Maybe, the students are just sick and tired of covid restrictions and think this is over because of the vaccinations. In addition, our university has drastically increased the threshold for going online.

    I wonder how much opening of colleges and schools contribute to this surge nationwide. A telling sign may be the average age of the new cases.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  24. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    Certainly the situation is heterogeneous and there are several different factors in local communities. But based on what the B.1.1.7 did in Europe and what the P.1 is doing in Brazil, it seems logical to have the hypothesis that the doubling of the B.1.1.7 every 7-10 days is one important factor in the uptick we're starting to see, and it could get dramatically worse in the next few weeks. We'll see. But yes, it is a bit premature. Like I said upstairs I don't rule out the possibility that we'll vaccinate fast enough to compensate for it (do remember that the B.1.1.7, unlike the B.1.351 and the P.1, is entirely susceptible to the existing vaccines). The next couple of weeks will be very important to observe.

    For those who can read Portuguese (or use Google Translator) this page details the chaotic situation in Brazil and the various states going into lockdown:

    https://www.em.com.br/app/noticia/n...acao-do-sistema-de-saude-de-cada-estado.shtml

    -----------

    Anyway, what I'm getting at, is that every time there was a downtrend, some idiot started celebrating victory and saying that we're getting herd immunity... and we had 3 waves already and may be approaching a fourth wave. The people who say so, like this surgeon, often have no clue about what herd immunity actually is, how it is achieved, and how it is calculated. They just run with the raw concept, which they find to be cute, but misunderstand.

    The thing is, we may never reach herd immunity for the SARS-CoV-2. Not impossible at all. Sure, maybe we will... but all these guesstimates that we are getting close to it, are usually thoroughly defeated by the virus.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
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  25. hawgsalot

    hawgsalot Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean linked? Every one that the FDA has approved was in Operation Warp Speed or it wouldn't be approved today. We all remember the lefties crying saying they wouldn't take the vaccine because the FDA takes 4 years to approve blah blah blah.

    Bottom line Operation Warp speed had several components:

    Real Time Review of the Data and trial results vs waiting for them to be submitted at the end of the trials and the FDA taking a year to review and approve.

    Funding Support for R&D

    Department of Defense logistics for help with manufacturing, delivery and tracking.

    Allowed for manufacturing during the approval process to have millions of doses ready to go in January.

    Pfizer was a part of it and so was everyone that's been approved to date.

    Why in the world would anyone not at least give credit that it was an amazing feat in American history, it took Cares act funding that was voted on by both the democratic house and republican senate. Yes it was Trumps plan but both dems and republicans played a role in the success be happy.
     

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