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Covid-19

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Online Roger

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In the rush for a CV-19 vaccine - it's important to get it right - if a vaccine program fails, it will add power to the growing anti-vax movement. This article really is worth the whole read IMO.

"Misplaced focus on antibodies ' Hellerstein points out that antibodies are not the primary protective response to infection by coronaviruses, the family of viruses that includes SARS-CoV-2. Indeed, high antibody levels to these viruses are associated with worse disease symptoms, and antibodies to coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, don’t appear to last very long.

Most vaccines under development are aiming for a robust antibody response to neutralize the coronavirus, as depicted in this cartoon. A UC Berkeley scientist argues that a robust T-cell response should be the goal of a good, long-lasting vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. This was noted in people infected by the first SARS virus, SARS-CoV-1, in 2003. SARS patients who subsequently died had higher antibody levels during acute infection and worse clinical lung injury compared to SARS patients who went on to recover. In MERS, which is also a coronavirus infection, survivors with higher antibody levels experienced longer intensive care unit stays and required more ventilator support, compared to subjects with no detectable antibodies. In contrast, strong T-cell levels in SARS and MERS patients correlated with better outcomes. The same has also played out, so far, in COVID-19 patients
."

https://news.berkeley.edu/2020/09/09/for-an-effective-covid-vaccine-look-beyond-antibodies-to-t-cells/
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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I noticed recently that Inovio's (USA) vaccine project has been held up by an FDA request for more information - probably to do with their 'electroporation' device, 'Selectra'. Scancell's melanoma trial was delayed by 18 months in similar circumstances. Inovio - one to forget.

Some comment I borrowed from elsewhere about the 'front running' Oxford / Astra Zeneca project - "Senior NHS staff have been briefed on the rollout plans for the first Covid19 vaccine.....two shots, not within 28 days of a flu jab, needs to be kept at minus 70 degrees and delivered within two hours of being unfrozen. Not a viable global solution, IMO....and not a solution that is going to entice those who don't consider themselves at particular risk."

Fair comment. Generally and IMO, a workable vaccine is at least 6 months away. 

''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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TW I'm replying here to your wide ranging reply to Teess' question about Thai football - you made interesting comments about CV-19 generally. 

Your post - "Tees, the whole virus strategy in Thailand is an absolute mystery to me. Thailand has "seemingly" beaten it without too much action. My other half (thai) insists that the reason that thailand has no cases is because there is no testing...and she is usually right. My take is that the thai government is witholding information to protect the tourist industry in the long term. There must be some reason for the continuing restrictions. As an aside only four teams have used their 25% allocation for recent matches, suggesting that the thai public is still concerned."

IMO Thailand's 'triumph' is very far from a mystery. Thailand's approach to the Pandemic has been strong and very clear - quickly entering into a comprehensive range of measures such as curfew, lockdown, quarantines, alcohol ban, closure of beaches, parks, pools, pubs, clubs, hairdressers, gyms etc., travel restrictions, closed borders etc. followed by a well controlled 'reopenings' with hand sanitiser, tracing aps, temperature checks in shops etc.. All reinforced by the popular enthusiastic adherence to mask wearing and social distancing.

The suggestion about 'lack of testing' infers that CV-19 is actually 'around but not found' - it is possible that unfound CV-19 deaths are being attributed to pneumonia or something else but if there was a significant 'unfound' rate of infection, IMO we'd be staring the fact right in the face by now.

You say - "My take is that the Thai government is witholding information to protect the tourist industry in the long term". The 'international' Tourist industry has already been smashed dead ! As I posted before, a friend just returned from 4 weeks in Phuket and the place is depressed and in 'penury'. Requirements for the new STV are so wide and stringent it seems unlikely to me there will be much take up of the idea at all - the original 150 Chinese arriving, (if they get 150), by the end of the month is not even a drop in this ocean. I don't think info is being withheld and if it was, that wouldn't help protect tourism in the long term, IMO.

I agree, the Thai public are still concerned and that's understandable. But Thailand's CV-19 record, by a mix of good luck and hard work, has been a genuine triumph IMHO.

All good fun. ATB
« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 07:03:41 AM by Roger »
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Thaiwolf

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Explain this one Roger.

"Three more travellers from Thailand test positive in Japan
Disease control officials now tracing people who had been in contact with trio.

The Department of Disease Control has been tracking down people who had close contact with three men who tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival in Japan from Thailand.

Director-general Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai said on Friday that there all told, five people travelling from Thailand to Japan had been found infected with the coronavirus. Two of them had been reported earlier — a 24-year-old Thai man and a 47-year-old."

Things just don't add up for me.


Online Teessider

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If the UK had Covid numbers like Thailand and closed borders then there would be no restrictions at all and the government would be encouraging everyone to shop, work, travel, attend matches, concerts everything to kickstart the economy. However we haven't and Teesside is now designated tier 2 so no household mixing i.e. no seeing grandkids, no pub except alone or with wife. It's also cold and wet and my normal solution to that is a trip to Thailand.
Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.
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Online Thaiwolf

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Of course,  I take your points Roger.  Regarding tourism, I was thinking 3-5 years, not this or next year when of course tourism is suffering.

My previous post suggests that as soon as thais enter a regime where testing is taking place, they are testing positive.


Online Roger

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TW - thanks for that - interesting points to ponder on my bike ride now. Do you know when that Japan incident was and how many similar there have been ? Tks Guys and will reply later. ATB
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Thaiwolf

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Reported in Bangkok Post 21st sept 2020.

Enjoy your ride Roger,


Online Roger

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Thanks TW - so 5 Thai people on two flights tested positive on arrival in Japan last month. I wonder if there was any connection between them in Thailand ? It's hard to draw conclusions, without more info.

Your point brings me back to this - what explains Thailand's 58 deaths against the UK's 42K approx. ?

As the pandemic unfolded, I was certain it must be the heat - but, whilst there is research that shows UV in sunlight kills the virus, it's become apparent that climatic heat in itself does not - many places with very hot climates have had high CV-19 deaths.

IMHO, early and comprehensive intervention may be the answer. Thailand imposed curfew, travel restrictions and closed the borders. Thai people enthusiastically accepted mask wearing many many months before the UK Govt. stopped dismissing the idea.

The only other factor I can think of, (and this would apply to many Nations in this region), is that because of greater exposures to other Covid infections many years ago, (Sars, Mers etc.), there is in Thailand a better level of T-cell immunity which is known to be long lasting.

But it's a mystery as you said - any other thoughts anyone ? As a footnote, it's sobering 8 months into the pandemic, to see the UK recording in one day, many multiples of Thailand's grand total from the start.

ATB
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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Teess - very sorry to hear of your continuing predicament - it's a real bigger ain't it ? You don't have to have CV-19 to feel the disruption, for sure. You'll know also that many in Thailand would like to visit home but are prevented from doing so by the problems in getting back to Thailand later.

There's much talk of Covid becoming an ongoing fact of life, so a good vaccine may be the best hope of a return to 'normality'.

Chin up, stay safe and ATB
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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As the UK goes back to very high interventions, (recording more than 4 times more cases in ONE day than Thailand's cumulative total), it seems that the Govt. will no longer be simply, 'following the science'. Of course, Govt. will look at the science but then hopefully take balanced decisions. Why this change ? I guess because the science doesn't usually agree with itself  ;)  There are some frightening predictions from SAGE Members about the pandemic - one can only despair and carry on I suppose.

As the Govt takes back responsibility (and accountability) from the Scientists, I see Keir Starmer and Labour are going in a different direction . . . .

What a mess the UK is in. But for those in LoS, things might happen here quickly too, so stay safe is my policy, except (Ha Ha !) the Missis is just back from a 'Temple trip' to Sisaket and Yasothon - 50 on a disco bus, karaoke and dancing both ways, 2 nights at the Temple. Thinks . . . . .  ::)

As most hope for a vaccine to come along and save the day, a worrying report (no link) from Norfolk, UK - "Regional news tonight in the East reports genome research in UEA Norwich. To my surprise the UEA reports 100 different Covid19 variants IN NORFOLK ALONE. All samples tested appear to originate from the French/Italian strains, rather than Asian. I would have thought that might have implications for those working on vaccines that are highly-specific to the genome identified back in January?"

Can the leading vaccine projects target so many variants ? We'll see.
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Thaiwolf

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Roger, there is not going to be an effective vaccine in the immediate future so we may as well forget it as a way out of the corona virus problem.  Mankind's record on producing vaccines is limited.

The virus is here to stay and we will adapt to live with it. In ten year's time, covid will be viewed as common day colds and flu are viewed today,

My biggest fear for the future is another virus that is more virulent will emerge. It will happen.

Mankind's sole hope is to prohibit inter continental and even international travel. This will not happen of course therefore mankind will have to live with the consequences.



Online Thaiwolf

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We mustn't forget that big pharma will tend to "talkup" vaccine progress in the hope of a massive potential sales to governments.

Still waiting for aids vaccine I believe!!


Online Roger

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Thanks RDRO - encouraging news from Moderna atm but from a very small trial. Nevertheless, as you say, good news. J&J, Eli Lilly and Inovio have hold ups with their vaccine progress. Talk of a vaccine before Xmas has been pie in the sky from the start.

Obviously I have hopes for little Scancell's DNA vaccine, generating T-cell immunity rather than antibody immunity - we'll see. Interesting contrast - the BBC spent GBP 74 million on the new EastEnders set - the Govt. gave Scancell GBP 2.7 million towards their innovative CV-19 vaccine  8)

TW - there's lotsa talk about CV-19 vaccines being 'not for profit' - but we'll see LOL Don't be too hard on vaccines - Yellow Fever, Smallpox, Polio are all but eradicated and Tuberculosis, Mumps, Measles and Rubella under control. So I say, let's have more.  :)
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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The many months that BJ and others were stylishy dissing the value of masks has contributed to this self-righteous sub-culture. One also wonder why Folks are flitting around Europe now as the pandemic rages on again. Isn't there a responsibility to other citizens in this matter ? It's the virus that has taken a freedom away. FGS one person's 'freedom' to not wear a mask is another persons OPPRESSION by the risk of CV-19.

AND wearing a mask is known to lower the viral intake for yourself . . .

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8851065/British-anti-maskers-behaved-like-spoilt-brats-refused-wear-masks.html

A balanced discussion about the need for masks : http://nautil.us/issue/90/something-green/the-importance-of-face-masks-and-the-tragedy-of-downplaying-them
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 07:06:14 AM by Roger »
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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Sweden's much vaunted low intervention approach already has it's rewards in up to 10 times the death rates of it's immediate neighbours, "Sweden has had 584 deaths per million people compared with 116 in Denmark, 63 in Finland and 51 in Norway. The UK's is 635." Only the DM but this article reveals growing problems. 'Saviour' Tegnell is increasingly faced with the truth - "Scientists estimated early in the pandemic that at least 70 per cent of people would need to be immune to to coronavirus in order for the population to have 'herd immunity'. But since, the figure has ranged from 20 to 70 per cent. 'Saviour' Tegnell faces this truth - "it is not clear if herd immunity can ever be achieved, mostly on the basis that antibodies are thought to wane in just a few weeks" and this one too, " Dr Tegnell said in May he believed 'a little more than 20 per cent' had probably contracted the virus in Stockholm. The actual figure was 17 per cent . . . "

Comments defending the poor 'ole UK Govt are billhooks - blaming the Press is simply bizarre. From a two week delay in restricting public gatherings, trying to compensate every person and business without emphasising that all the borrowing would need to be paid back one day, probably with higher interest rates, shaking hands, months of mask denial, multiple management failures including PPE, Test and Trace etc. ad nauseam, leaving the borders open, failure to sack Cummings, encouraging holiday taking - it goes on and on and on. And not forgetting, the original sham attempt to shed responsibility by 'following the science'. FFS that was always rubbish - we needed Govt judgements using the scientific advice.

((( relevant but from another BB - The good but not good news is that it looks that CV-19 will still be around if Scancell's 2nd generation vaccine comes through. In the above - this sticks in a Scancell LTH mind, "antibodies are thought to wane in just a few weeks".)))

Nice day all.
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online sfs

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Roger for World leader then!
If at first you don't succeed you are clearly not cut out for it. Give up and move on.


Online Roger

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SFS Ha Ha ! Not really but I don't just swallow what's served up, (and I'm not suggesting you do). I follow this closely - it is the dominant issue in the World today and now, evenmoreso for me personally, because the cancer vaccine Company I am invested in, has a CV-19 project called 'Covidity', based on T-cell immunity which is known to be longer lasting.

Importantly, I really don't understand the reasons why Thailand has escaped the horrors elsewhere - do you have any ideas SFS ? ATB
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online sfs

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No Roger, like you I have no idea how Thailand has achieved this other than needing new batteries in their abacus. I hope that Covidity proves to be a success for the people who will recieve the vaccine and to boost your investment at the same time..........win win. Cheers for now.
If at first you don't succeed you are clearly not cut out for it. Give up and move on.