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Thursday, December 10, 2020

COVID-19 Vaccines: Not A Panacea

[Caveat: this post is not an argument for refusing to take COVID-19 vaccines. For such an argument, see Tammy Swofford's Why this Registered Nurse will Opt out for the Covid 19 Vaccine]

China has ruined the world!  

Hyperbole?  Maybe, maybe not.  But China surely has changed the world for the foreseeable future.

Please be informed as to what these COVID-19 vaccines actually provide.  What they provide is not in line with what we have been led to believe — that is, that these vaccines will return us to normal.

Try not to get lost in the weeds here (emphases mine)....

From Time Magazine:
[E]ven after more people get the shots, we’ll still have to wear masks and stay a respectful six feet apart from each other. [...] 

First, there’s the question of efficacy. Yes, Moderna and Pfizer reported that their shots are 94.5% and 95% effective, respectively. But that efficacy refers to the vaccines’ ability to protect against COVID-19 disease—and not necessarily against infection with the virus. Both of the rigorous trials to test the vaccines were designed to measure COVID-19 illness—trial volunteers were randomly given either the vaccine or a placebo, and then asked to report any symptoms of COVID-19 they experienced, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or muscle aches. The study researchers then determined whether or not to test them. If people tested positive, they were logged as a confirmed COVID-19 case, and the researchers then looked at the group of COVID-19 cases and compared how many people had been vaccinated versus how many had gotten placebo. The effectiveness measured whether these people went on to develop more symptoms of COVID-19. 

That means that people who are vaccinated are not necessarily immune to getting infected; but they are more likely to experience fewer symptoms and not get as sick as those who aren’t vaccinated. 


[B]ecause the vaccines do not necessarily protect against infection, that means that public health measures such as wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding indoor gatherings are still critical to containing the virus. 


[T]he ultimate goal in controlling the pandemic, herd immunity, likely won’t happen until well into next year, when enough people are vaccinated and can ward off serious illness. “Not until a substantial proportion of the population is vaccinated, and the caseload has dropped to very low levels, will we be able to breathe (without a mask) a sigh of relief,” says Emanuel Goldman, professor of microbiology at Rutgers University. And even then, he points out, researchers will have to remain vigilant about tracking any changes in the virus as it finds fewer and fewer welcoming hosts. “The virus might have other ideas and try to change in a way that makes the vaccine less effective.” 

Only by vaccinating millions of people, and monitoring how their immune systems react, will experts get a better handle on what it takes to extinguish COVID-19 or at least make it much more difficult for it to spread....
Whether or not these first-generation vaccines prevent transmission of the virus remains unknown.  Therefore, masking and social distancing will likely remain the order of the day for a long time.  **sigh**

The best news is that, so far, a very small percentage of our population has caught this damn virus.  We shall see what we shall see when the Thanksgiving and Christmas surges have weighed in.

If you're inclined to read a medically-technical article in The Lancet, please see: What can we expect from first-generation COVID-19 vaccines?   This article also makes it brutally clear that these first-generation vaccines are not a panacea!


  1. Not a panacea, and not as fully tested as I'd like, but still no question that it's better to have a vaccine(s) available than not.

    Even if a vaccinated person can be as infectious as he otherwise would be (I find that doubtful a priori), it's still fewer people needing ICU treatment so less of a system-level fubar than it was last spring.

  2. “Imagine, if you will, a virus so dangerous, you have to be tested to even know that you had it…”

  3. Legitimate crises bring out the worst in people, and those who want to "help" are no exception. Imagine being an elected official or a pubic health policy bureaucrat and enjoying the giddy frisson of lecturing and threatening people, and delivering the bad news that Christmas is cancelled.

    We'll know how effective the shots are, and we'll know when this is largely over. When illnesses and hospitalizations go down, people will react by throwing down the masks, ignoring the "experts" and getting on with life.

  4. Yes! Let's use our veteran population as the guinea pigs!


    I believe all members of Congress, all duly elected officials should be the first to take the vaccine. All... of them. wink

    1. Tammy,
      As one who had terrible side effects from two vaccines (DPT as an infant and the chickenpox vaccine as an adult in my 60s) and, very recently, severe reactions to two statins), I try to track what the severe reactions to the COVID vaccines.

      I will have to consult with my primary care physician before I seek the COVID vaccines. Cost-benefits analysis, I suppose.

  5. From Tammy's link above:

    [Fauci] also opened up about his family's personal experience with coronavirus after watching his youngest daughter's boyfriend lose his brother, 32, to coronavirus after the 'healthy, athletic' young man developed a rare and fatal heart complication of COVID-19.

    IF true, that excerpt is some cause for concern.

    We are reading more and more about young people contracting severe cases of the China Virus -- although most except the very elderly and those otherwise severely compromised tend to have mild cases.

  6. Hmmmm..Poll: Americans Unsure Whether To Take COVID Vaccine.

    Brief excerpt:

    ..On Wednesday, an Associated Press NORC poll revealed that about a quarter of Americans said they are unsure if they will get vaccinated, while another quarter said they will not...


    Only about 30 percent of respondents said they are ‘extremely’ or ‘very confident’ the vaccine will have been properly safety tested. Another 30 percent said they are not confident...

  7. It has yet to be tested on seniors...the very population that this vaccine is supposedly geared for.The trials only included healthy individuals as I understand. So put me down as yet to be determined.

    I live in a retirement community. We chose some months ago to isolate from the world as best we could. Eventually it made its way into our community. Contact tracing is fairly easy to do.
    There is no rhyme or reason as to who it strikes. Four people contact traced to a dinner table. 2 caught it. Supposedly Healthy individuals die, older more fragile live. Outside of dining which is now curtailed, all wear masks. 6 dead, 40 have it so far and the count is climbing. So go figure.

  8. Florida has no restrictions. Obviously no big problems down there or the puke stains in the media would be screaming about it.

  9. Okay, lets say that it does do the "least case" as admitted secretly by the manufacturer. It does not prevent infection, but does prevent the most severe disease. Does that justify "masking and social distancing" after the vaccine has been distributed? Only if you're a complete idiot.

    Do you "mask and social distance" every year for the annual seasonal flu? Because that is what "it prevents the most sever form of the disease" means. It reduces Covid-19 to a fairly severe flu-like disease. We don't shut down our economy annually for the seasonal flu, and only a moron would suggest that we shut down the economy for a virus that, at worst, keeps you uncomfortable for a couple of weeks.

  10. We will not know the true efficacy of the trump vaccine for six months after it is applied. It will still be recommended that you mask up and avoid people.

    The thing we should all feel good about is joey has a plan. No one knows what that plan is because he won't share all of it but it is a plan. Botox nan is holding up a relief package because trump is still president and fortunately she got caught saying just that. Somehow her statement received little or no attention in the media as did obiden acknowledging china as the responsible party for the start and spread of the disease.

  11. The “mandatory” aspect confuses me. How does the government intend to do that? How will government bureaucrats know for certain that everyone has received the jab? Tattooed foreheads? Now I’m guessing that after that initial 90-120 period, government will restrict air travel to those who can prove they’ve had the inoculation, and I also suspect that employers will make the jab a condition of employment — which should quickly fill up our courts with lawsuits. Everyone is a man or woman of principle until their income is affected ... then, not so much.

    I think the first place award goes to China, of course, because now they know how to dominate the world. You can bet that Chinese biologists are working on that right this minute. Anyone ever hear of binary poison? It comes in two parts. Part one doesn’t kill you; it only programs one’s enzymes to prepare for part two. Part two kills you. So, if China is able to inflict Part one is less than a year, it never needs to actually provide part two ... it only needs to say that it will unless ....

    Meanwhile American/British bureaucrats are in bean-counter heaven because “public safety” always trumps individual rights. Always has, always will. It’s one of those caveats your teacher never told you about in government class. So if anyone thinks they have the right to refuse inoculation, remember what happened to Mary Mallon.

    1. Mandatory response to a fraudulent crisis.
      I'm getting irritable.
      Some things don't need to be elaborated on in a public forum.

    2. It astounds me how many dead-enders for Trump are upset that his pandemic "response" only killed a quarter-million Americans. The dumbass himself even caught Covid19 and yet still push a narrative that the coronavirus is a hoax.

      Hopefully Biden will not be too timid to waterboard the Trump family into exposing all of the traitors.

    3. TC,
      What should Trump's response have been? Specifically.

    4. It occurs to me that there might well be no "appropriate response." This is a deadly virus, albeit deadly mostly only for the elderly decrepit.

    5. AOW, When you see a poisonous toad excreting poison, best to just move on.

    6. There are two valid theories to explain Trump's pandemic response. He's either the most imbecilic person to ever become President, or the most evil, insidious America-hating psychopath out to kill as many Americans as possible. I don't think he's dumb.

      Everything Trump has done to either deny the existence or severity of the virus, shout down and contradict science and medical advisors, defund and hamper disease control and response efforts, and sat on his hands politicizing the response to any and all requests for federal assistance... all of this points to a cruel and meticulously crafted intentional effort to kill as many Americans as possible. A sinister plan now to be continued by his brigades of followers who even now still plot to carry and spread the virus further by not wearing masks and overrunning social distancing guidelines by forming mobile super-spreader events wherever they go.

      What could Trump have done is answered by who he could have been - not an America-hating psychopath.

  12. Mustang said speaking of ppl getting the vaccine... "How does the government intend to do that? How will government bureaucrats know for certain that everyone has received the jab?"

    Perhaps showing my age, at least for kids, years ago it went like this... no vaccine, no entry into school. Some have proposed a simple "passport card" that shows you've been vaccinated. Then businesses will have a simple way to be free to decide who they desire in their stores.

    I'm struggling to understand why conservatives would have problems allowing businesses the freedom to set their own policies at their businesses regarding both employee and customer safety?

    I agree that approach will make it difficult for some to access services, schools, jobs, etc., but that will be their choice... for themselves and their families.

    I'm assuming that countries will close their borders to non vaccinated ppl, as they routinely do today to counter the spread. That will impact the travel industry and choice also for people, but just like today, if you don't want to get certain vaccines for entry into many countries, we just go elsewhere.

    It's gonna be difficult, that's for sure.

  13. Is there a definitive article on the purpose of the Covid-19 vaccine?

    As you say "That means that people who are vaccinated are not necessarily immune to getting infected; but they are more likely to experience fewer symptoms and not get as sick as those who aren’t vaccinated.

  14. Rev, So it is fine to have everyone have an ID that shows you received the trump vaccine but you don't need anything to vote. Seems to be confusing or should the poor who cannot get an ID to present to vote not get the trump vaccine.
    Malcom, Much like the flu shot diminishes the severity of the flu it does not prevent you from getting it.

    1. Nice try Skud... I've written my thoughts numerous times on voting ID and it includes an ID. Also, I don't think I advocated any position perse, rather I was speculating on how it might shake out.

      However, for years we've had cards proving our having had vaccinations, so that's not a stretch for us.

      BTW, we usually give credit for a vaccine, at least in name, to the scientist who got us there. But AOW will conform that I've already acknowledged and called the quick development of a vaccine as one of Trump's best accomplishments.

    2. In the end though, no pun intended, when it's available, I'll be getting the vaccine. For better or worse. I've grown up around the medical world, have generally trusted that circle and see no reason to change now.

  15. The vaccines are an unnecessary response to a fraudulent crisis.
    over 10 years ago medical thinking was that existing drugs, like HCQ, were thought to be all the response we needed to a SAARS like virus. But they don't generate profits.
    Z at Geez points out her former student, now in China again, writes that they are not masking, are dining out, and I presume laughing their butts off at us.
    We are complicit in our own destruction because of fear and stupidity.

    1. Ed, our level of corruption, to say nothing of fear and stupidity, leaves me...aghast. I'm being polite.

  16. But the virus did accomplish one thing. It got trump out of office and as bill maher said, we need a recession so trump will be thrown out of office, he got his wish.

  17. Yesterday, I read, perhaps in Time Magazine that the mRNA technology used to make this vaccine is based on the coronavirus genome. The genome map used was the genome map provided to us by China. Should we be trusting that genome map?

    1. The above appears to be true! See THIS!

      Perhaps, however, the genome map was confirmed by a Western power:

      Whole genome of novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, sequenced.


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