MERS Coronavirus warning

Our region in Spain has stopped giving the AZ vaccine as a first dose. Nothing to do with blood clots or anything like that, just that AZ deliveries are haphazard, not guaranteed and have again failed to meet the promised amount for delivery.

They have 118,000 AZ vaccines left and will use them for those in the 60 to 69 age group who have received it as a first dose which is about 100,000. The promised 120,000 for this week was, once again, reduced to 12,000. There are still about 230,000 in that age group to be done so they'd need 460,000 to give both doses and that is proving impossible. They will now use the Pfizer vaccine, which is meeting its deliveries, so that they can ensure everyone gets both jabs in the recommended time frame of 3 weeks.
Due to how irregular deliveries from AstraZeneca are, Canada is looking at giving people who had AZ for the first shot a different vaccine for the second shot. We are looking at UK and possibly other studies on this. The preferred course of action is to give people two doses of the same thing, but if that isn't possible then we will likely give them a dose of whatever else is available. We are using up doses as they arrive and have not been holding any back for second doses, at least not so far.

There have been news reports which have said there is reason to believe that two different shots may actually work better than two of the same thing, so this is not necessarily a second best option. The UK studies will be looked at very carefully in this regards.
Outbreaks in India are spreading beyond the main centres which have been affected so far. Assam in northeastern India are seeing rapidly rising case counts. Things are not as bad there as in some other parts of the country, but they are taking the time now to prepare for the worst.

India scrambles to scale up care for COVID-19 patients amid fear of surge in northeast

Infections have also started showing up in remote Himalayan villages where people have been behaving like COVID-19 didn't exist. In these remote villages health care facilities are limited to non-existent, so they will find the situation difficult to handle.
The following article talks about how vaccines developed in China, Russia, India, Cuba, and elsewhere will be important to dealing with the pandemic in much of the world.
How COVID-19 vaccines developed in China, Russia and elsewhere could impact the pandemic

I don't know if there is anything in this story which I haven't read already, but it does provide a good summary of what these vaccine are and and any issues connected with them. The story is probably good for someone who wants to familiarise himself with these other vaccines.
The above story had a link to the following scientific paper.
Target Product Profile Analysis of COVID-19 Vaccines in Phase III Clinical Trials and Beyond: An Early 2021 Perspective

The paper was written by researchers at Queen's University in Canada and gives a broad overview of of a representative sample of the major vaccines available at this time, and what the pros and cons of each are.

I haven't had a chance to read the whole paper yet, but it looks interesting. I've taken a few of the charts out of it so show here which I think are quite illuminating.

This first chart shows a dozen of the major vaccines grouped by their technology type. It also shows the "efficacy" figures (Medicago is still in trials). I will warn to take the numbers with a degree of caution, as the trials were not all conducted the same way and so may not be exactly comparable. The "efficacy" number is with respect to minor symptoms, and different groups had different ideas as to what was serious enough to be considered "minor" and how to check for it.


In the above chart, "Gamaleya" represents Sputnik V (it's the name of the lab which developed it).

Here's the different groups ranked according to various criteria on a scale of 1 to 5 and then an overall weighted score given. When looked at this way there isn't a huge difference between the different vaccines. Applying a different weighting could shift the score up or down. The "COGS" factor in the chart is basically economic factors such as cost and availability of production facilities. Overall though it gives you a good idea of what the pros and cons of each are. Personally I would have given a higher weighting to logistics than they used (10%), as that will become increasingly important as you try to vaccine the ever more difficult to reach segments of your population. Getting maximum coverage of the population will be important to deriving the maximum public health benefit from a vaccination campaign.

Here's a chart showing the various production steps for the various technologies. Personally I suspect that someone not familiar with vaccine production will have a hard time deriving meaning from it as you won't know what each step involves or what the real bottlenecks are. I've included the chart here anyway.
Lack of wood, crem oil, etc and the Indiaan resorting to dumping the remains in the Ganges.


India’s sewage system has a lot to desire so for decades there were stories of how much crap was washed up on the Ganges including half burnt corpses etc

Nothing has changed but with the Covid …whole goddamn country can be ecological disaster.

China Dindu Nuffin.


and Tedros is a tad shady himself.
I see 38 and 39 year olds will be able to book a jab from tomorrow.

Not that it will mean much to many on here...
I disagree. Many will be happy to see their children/grandchildren being vaccinated.
I see the senseofhumourectomy worked then.


Oi, get a lonely chamber in a secluded B&B you two!
I got my first jab of moderna today and the only side effect is l feel like l spent all day drinking a crate of Tennents, doesn't feel bad at all really....
I got my first jab of moderna today and the only side effect is l feel like l spent all day drinking a crate of Tennents, doesn't feel bad at all really....
Without getting into too much detail, what sort of location did you get it in? Was it a mass vac centre, a pharmacy, or a doctor's office? I understand the latter two have started doing Moderna shots and was curious as to how quickly they are getting things rolling with that vaccine.
Without getting into too much detail, what sort of location did you get it in? Was it a mass vac centre, a pharmacy, or a doctor's office? I understand the latter two have started doing Moderna shots and was curious as to how quickly they are getting things rolling with that vaccine.
It was one put on by the county health unit and was at a community center, it was for the older crowd and disabled. It's a tossup whether you get Pfizer or Moderna depending on time of day you go it seems. People from the morning recieved the Pfizer jab and afternoon got Moderna.
Here's the COVID-19 summary for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on May 11
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Wednesday

In Canada, Ontario and Alberta announced on Wednesday that they had stopped giving Oxford-AstraZeneca as first doses. Alberta said it was because they were almost out and didn't know when or if more were coming and were reserving the few left for second shots. Ontario said it was due to blood clots, but they were also almost out. However, more shots arrived on Wednesday (250,000 for Ontario). It's not clear what the plans are. They seem to be more concerned at this point about what to do for second shots as the supply of AZ is very limited and erratic. I suspect they will use whatever they received now for second shots while waiting for results from the UK study on mixed vaccine doses.
Ontario will be pausing the rollout and administration of first doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, effective Tuesday, due to concerns over rare but potentially fatal blood clots.

Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, made the announcement at a news conference on Tuesday. He said the decision was made out of an abundance of caution because of increased instances of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).
Pfizer-Biontech and Moderna are starting to arrive realiably in large quantities. A total of about 2 million AZ doses were obtained from various sources (India, South Korea, on loan from the US) but Canada has no reliable source for a continuing supply, as the EU haven't been delivering it. When it was available it was made available to people who were younger than would have qualified for other vaccines and so people line up for hours to get a chance at it. Most of the major politicians (PM, cabinet ministers, provincial premiers, etc.) made a big show of getting it to encourage other people, but that may be the end of it for now.

In India, the crisis continues with new highs set for infections and deaths. On Tuesday they reported 329,942 new case and 3,876 deaths.
India's coronavirus crisis showed scant signs of easing on Tuesday, with a seven-day average of new cases at a new high and international health authorities warning that the country's variant of the virus poses a global concern.

India's daily COVID-19 cases rose by 329,942, while deaths from the disease rose by 3,876, according to the Health Ministry.

Malaysia started a new lockdown. One of the stories shows a police checkpoint being used to restrict travel.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Malaysia imposed a new nationwide lockdown as the country grapples with a surge in coronavirus cases and highly infectious variants.

Sudan are short of hospital beds, drugs, and medical oxygen.
In Africa, Sudan is struggling to provide hospital beds, drugs and medical oxygen to COVID-19 patients hit by a third wave of infections.

Belgium plan to remove nearly all lockdown measures on the 9th of June, provided vaccination and other targets are met.
Belgium, for example, plans to ease nearly all lockdown measures beginning June 9, provided the country's vaccination campaign keeps up its momentum and the number of people in intensive care units remains under 500, the government said on Tuesday.

People will be able to travel between the UAE and Bahrain without quarantine provided they have adequate proof of vaccination.
In the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have established a travel corridor for tourists who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The Gulf sheikhdoms jointly announced Monday that fully vaccinated travellers will be able to fly between the countries without having to undergo mandatory quarantines. The deal starts with Eid al-Fitr, one of Islam's biggest holidays, at the end of this week. Travellers must demonstrate their vaccine status with approved COVID-19 health pass apps.

Deaths in the US have fallen to an average of 600 a day, which is the lowest in 10 months. Infections per day have fallen to 38,000, which is the lowest since mid-September.
COVID-19 deaths in the United States have tumbled to an average of about 600 per day — the lowest level in 10 months — with the number of lives lost dropping to single digits in well over half the states and hitting zero on some days.

Confirmed infections, meanwhile, have fallen to about 38,000 per day on average, their lowest mark since mid-September. While that is still cause for concern, they have plummeted 85 per cent from a peak of more than a quarter-million cases per day in early January.

45 per cent of adults in the US have had both shots, and 58 per cent have had at least one.
Nearly 45 per cent of adults in the U.S. are fully vaccinated, and more than 58 per cent have received at least one dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A review of the WHO said that the world needs a global surveillance and alert system to respond to disease outbreaks faster.
A new global system should be set up to respond faster to disease outbreaks, which could ensure that no future virus causes a pandemic as devastating as COVID-19, an independent World Health Organization review panel said on Wednesday.

I'm not sure that will help however. Canada has operated a global surveillance and alert system for many years and it alerted Canada and allies about the coming pandemic. However, everyone chose to ignore it because they chose not to believe it and were afraid to take action that might cause disruption to their economies until they actually saw it arrive on their own countries.

Mexico plan to start trials soon of an mRNA vaccine (same technology as Pfizer-Biontech and Moderna) developed in China.
In the Americas, Mexico plans to start a late-stage clinical trial this month for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by China using similar technology to shots from Moderna and Pfizer, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said.

The UK plan to hold a public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic next year. This sort of thing is routine. For example Canada held one following the SARS outbreak there in the early 2000s, and the results from that played a role in the response to the current pandemic. A comprehensive inquiry will likely take several years.
In Europe, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says a public inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus pandemic will be held next year. He told lawmakers on Wednesday that the inquiry will have wide-ranging statutory powers, and the government has a responsibility to learn lessons from the pandemic.

Kuwait have stopped further arrivals from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
In the Middle East, Kuwait has suspended flights and barred entry to travellers from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka until further notice, state news agency KUNA said.
Here's more details on the situation in India.
India's COVID-19 death toll exceeds 250,000 after deadliest 24 hours of pandemic

India reported 4,205 new deaths on Wednesday, and 348,421 new infections.
Deaths grew by a record 4,205 while infections rose 348,421 in the 24 hours to Wednesday, taking the tally past 23 million, health ministry data showed. Experts believe the actual numbers could be five to 10 times higher.

Bodies are being cremated in city parking lots, and bodies are washing up along the banks of the Ganges as villages have been stripped bare of wood needed for cremation.
Funeral pyres have blazed in city parking lots, and bodies have washed up on the banks of the holy river Ganges, immersed by relatives whose villages were stripped bare of the wood needed for cremations.

Infections are now starting to show up on a large scale in rural areas, as opposed to the cities where problems were concentrated earlier.
Daily infections are shooting up in the Indian countryside in comparison to big towns, where they have slowed after last month's surge, experts say.

More than half the cases this week in the western state of Maharashtra were in rural areas, up from a third a month ago. That share is nearly two-thirds in the most populous, and mainly rural, state of Uttar Pradesh, government data showed.
Various countries are looking into whether different vaccines can be used for first and second shots.
What happens when people get two different COVID-19 vaccines?

The UK are currently running a study on this which other countries including Canada are watching. This Oxford COVID-19 Heterologous Prime Boost study, or "Com-COV" may have some preliminary results in the next week or so.

The study will compare the following combinations:
  • a first dose of Oxford-AstraZenenca and a second dose of Pfizer-Biontech,
  • a first dose of Pfizer-Biontech and a second dose of Oxford-AstraZenenca,
  • two doses of Pfizer-Biontech.
A second study, Com-COV 2, will be looking at the Moderna and Novavax vaccines as the second dose.

As well as making giving the second doses easier given uncertain vaccine supplies, there is good reason to believe that making the second shot different from the from will give better immunity than two of the same.
"I'm excited about the study because I think it's likely that the immune response will be even better if you mix and match vaccines," Fletcher said in an interview with CBC News.

"Mixing vaccines could give you a stronger immune response, or it could give a broader type of immune response — generating a wider range of antibodies, or T cells as well as antibodies. It's also possible that a mix and match regimen could strengthen our immune response against virus variants because of this stronger or broader immunity."

There are different parts to the immune system, and different vaccines affect different parts of it to different degrees.
Vaccines teach the immune system — which includes both antibodies and T-cells — to recognize part of a virus. A T cell is a type of white blood cell that responds to viral infections and boosts the immune function of other cells.

A single dose of either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer shots has been found to generate a significant antibody response to the novel coronavirus. But a recent study by the U.K. Coronavirus Immunology Consortium and the University of Birmingham found that the AstraZeneca vaccine may actually induce a stronger cellular immune response than the Pfizer shot.

So a combination of the two shots "could lead to a higher quantity of antibody, but it can also broaden the immune response," Fletcher said.

There is plenty of precedent for this. For example when infants are vaccinated for other diseases it is standard practice to give them different vaccine types over different doses.
Yes. Fletcher said people have been combining vaccine types for several decades in an effort to boost immune responses to malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and cancers.

A mixed vaccine regimen was approved for Ebola last year.

"When we give immunizations to infants, we use several different types of vaccine over a period of months and years with no safety concerns," Fletcher said.

Here's a link to the Com-COV2 study. They are looking for volunteers who have had one dose of vaccine 8 to 12 weeks before being enrolled in the study.
Comparing COVID-19 Vaccine Schedule Combinations - Com-COV2

People who have already had AstraZeneca as a first dose will be given AstraZeneca, Moderna, or Pfizer as a second dose. People who have had Pfizer as a first dose will be given Pfizer, Moderna, or Novavax as a second dose.
Lack of wood, crem oil, etc and the Indiaan resorting to dumping the remains in the Ganges.

View attachment 572616View attachment 572617View attachment 572618

India’s sewage system has a lot to desire so for decades there were stories of how much crap was washed up on the Ganges including half burnt corpses etc

Nothing has changed but with the Covid …whole goddamn country can be ecological disaster.

View attachment 572619View attachment 572620

Perhaps, finally, this will be the kick up the arrse India needs to get its hygiene admin squared away. Won't hold my breath though!

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