Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
with the UK leading the way on vaccinations.

You mean: leading the way in the number of people having received a first jab.

If you look at the number of fully vaccinated people, who have received their two shots, the picture is quite different. The UK is even lagging behind France (which is arguably among the EU's laggards). This because the UK authorities have chosen to maximize the number of people receiving a first dose, while delaying the second dose up to 12 weeks after, against the recommendations of the vaccine manufacturers.

by Bernard on Tue Feb 16th, 2021 at 07:22:48 PM EST
I'm aware of those figures. My reference to vaccinations was somewhat sarcastic as it becomes more difficult to explain why the UK is doing so badly economically post Covid than most other countries when it has boasted so much about its vaccination success. People are bound to point out that other countries also had the pandemic and recovered much more quickly afterwards despite being slower to vaccinate.

The issue of delaying a second jab is an interesting one. AFAIK there is little hard evidence  to support an "optimum" time lag. But if one jab can give 80% immunity and 2 jabs give 95% immunity in one person, it might be better, from a heard immunity perspective, to give the two jabs to two different people. In 12 weeks time, the current production bottlenecks may have been overcome in any case, and the interval can be reduced again.

Also, a lot of people have already had covid - do they still need two jabs, or is one enough?

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 16th, 2021 at 08:36:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, a lot of people have already had covid - do they still need two jabs, or is one enough?

France public health authorities are now recommending one  jab, but waiting for at least three months after the infection (that would include one Emmanuel Macron who was sick before Christmas).

France's health authority recommends one vaccine dose for recovered COVID-19 patients

France on Friday recommended that people who have already recovered from Covid-19 infection receive a single vaccine dose, becoming the first country to issue such advice.

Its public health authority said that people who had previously been infected with Covid-19 develop an immune response similar to that bestowed by a vaccine dose, and that a single dose after infection would likely suffice.

And yes, the health authorities are definitely pushing for people to have the two jabs within 3 to 4 weeks of each other, despite the current shortages. According to the figures, these past days there has been more second jabs (76,012 today) than first ones (33,202 today) - source: covidtracker.fr

by Bernard on Tue Feb 16th, 2021 at 08:58:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Two-shot vaccinations aim for maximum benefit: the first dose primes immunological memory, and the second dose solidifies it, says Thomas Denny, chief operating officer of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute. "You can think of it like a gradient," he adds. One dose of the Pfizer vaccine can reduce the average person's risk of getting a symptomatic infection by about 50 percent, and one dose of the Moderna shot can do so by about 80 percent. Two doses of either vaccine lowers the risk by about 95 percent."


"If people are only partially immunized with one dose, could that fuel more dangerous coronavirus variants?

That is a real concern, according to Paul Bieniasz, a retrovirologist at the Rockefeller University. Early in the pandemic, there was little pressure on the novel coronavirus to evolve because nobody's immune system was primed against infection, and the microbe had easy pickings. But now millions of people have become infected and have developed antibodies, so mutations that give the virus a way to evade those defenses are rising to prominence. "The virus is going to evolve in response to antibodies, irrespective of how we administer vaccines," Bieniasz says. "The question is: Would we be accelerating that evolution by creating country-sized populations of individuals with partial immunity?"

Given SARS-CoV-2 is already mutating in the UK not completing the vaccination per clinical trial protocol is absolutely freaking stupid.  


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Feb 17th, 2021 at 05:54:51 AM EST
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Covid-19 Bill Would Scale Up Ability to Spot Virus Mutations
from 0.3%-0.5% of pos #SARSCoV2 samples to 15%!
"We don't understand the prevalence of mutations "
by Cat on Fri Feb 19th, 2021 at 11:10:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
COVID-19 variant found in UK spreads 'like wildfire.' British experts fear what will happen if US won't lock down
Trevor Bedford, an epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, said in a Twitter thread on Thursday that a steady decline in U.S. coronavirus cases that has brought levels back to where they were in late October could be threatened by the "rapid take-off of B.1.1.7." He said there is evidence that the B.1.1.7 variant "will reach 50% frequency in the U.S. perhaps by late March."
"I'm not sure at this point how much of a spring B.1.1.7 wave to expect," he said.  

In the U.S., there were 1,523  cases of B.1.1.7 reported across 42 states as of Feb. 18, according to CDC data.
In Britain, new daily coronavirus case counts have been hovering at about 12,000 for the last week. Christina Pagel, who leads a team of researchers at University College London who apply mathematics to problems in health care, said the B.1.1.7 variant now makes up about 90% of new cases in Britain.
Simon Clarke, a professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, said that in addition to the B.1.1.7 variant being more contagious there is an emerging body of evidence suggesting it could be more lethal, a possibility that was initially raised by British scientists before being downplayed. He said there is anecdotal evidence from hospitals, not confirmed by studies, that the B.1.1.7 variant could be harming more younger people. However, he cautioned it was too early to drawn firm conclusions.

by Cat on Sat Feb 20th, 2021 at 09:15:44 PM EST
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Viruses as Complex Adaptive Systems

New viruses continue to emerge that threaten people, crops, and farm animals. Viruses constantly evade our immune systems, and antiviral therapies and vaccination campaigns can be powerless against them. These unique characteristics of virus biology are a consequence of their tremendous evolutionary potential, which enables viruses to quickly adapt to any environmental challenge.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Feb 22nd, 2021 at 01:16:13 AM EST
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