The Coronavirus/COVID-19 Thread

When facing this kind of CV fatigue, my tinfoil and cynicism start to peak — especially with statements designed to delight shareholders and ensnare the global population

Pfizer and BioNTech said they expect to be able to ship a new vaccine to tackle the emerging variant in around 100 days. BioNTech said in a statement it had “immediately initiated investigations on variant B.1.1.529,” the other name for Omicron, Reuters reported.

Emphasis mine naturally.
Not that I’m not grateful for the remarkable work that’s been done but there’s definitely some “never let a good crisis go to waste” going on.

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And this is why sample size really matters:

The efficacy estimate dropped from 50% to 30% when the sample size was increased from 762 to 1408 people. More data obviously needed. One thing worth considering is that there may be a common factor amongst the initial group that results in an intrinsically better outcome. IOW it may be possible to predict to some extent who is more likely to benefit from the drug, and target administration accordingly. But, again, that will only be known with more data.

I guess Missouri is the “show me but don’t tell anyone” state?

There really needs to be a legal reckoning over things like this.


I’ve been following the side effects of the vaccines for awhile now and it seems that it’s how the jab is administered that is the problem.

Aspiration in injections has changed over the years where the CDC says that it’s not necessary. But doctors and scientists are finally realizing that they may be wrong about that.

Blood clots:


If you are receiving a 3rd shot (or a 4th if it comes to that) make sure you ask for aspiration. Bad things could happen if you receive a shot into a blood vein.

This is absolutely true, and I was under the very distinct impression that using the shoulder/upper arm was exactly to minimize the risk of this while getting the vaccine spread out so it could be absorbed into the bloodstream across a wider area. You’ll obviously get some bleeding from small capillaries, but it should be absolultely minimal.

(The alternative, which I remember from an episode of MASH of all things, is to give the shot directly into the gluteus maximus. Not really a good idea for mass vaccination clinics!)

Edit: looks like it was being debated right up until quite recently. This is just one article from around 2014, but there seems to be quite a few ranging from 2012 up to 2018.

My take-away from this is that there are likely situations where it is not warranted, but each new substance should probably be treated with caution unless/until that can be established. When you think about it, the current vaccination campaigns have probably generated a massive amount of data on this very subject for, what, 3 or 4 main vaccines? It would normally take 10+ years to amass data on that many subjects by conventional research studies.

Omicron update:

The findings are from the epicenter of the Omicron outbreak.

From article:
There has been a significant rise in new SARS-CoV-2 infections in the Gauteng Province in the last four weeks which has been attributed to the new Omicron variant announced on 24 November 2021. The first cases of Omicron were detected in the Tshwane District and coincided with the sharp rise in new infections, heralding the onset of the fourth wave in Gauteng.

Tshwane has been the global epicentre of the Omicron Outbreak and the Gauteng Province Fourth Wave with the weekly number of cases rising exponentially over several weeks, reaching just over 8569 cases in Epi Week 47 (21 November -November 27 and 41 921 by 3 December before the end of Epi Week 48 (28 November to 4 December). The exponential rise in cases has continued with 9929 new cases reported in Tshwane in the last 5 days from 29 November to 3 December 2021

One of the positives from the findings:

A significant early finding in this analysis is the much shorter average length of stay of 2.8 days for SARS-CoV-2 positive patients admitted to the COVID wards over the last two weeks compared to an average length of stay of 8.5 days for the past 18 months. The NICD reports a similar shorter length of stay for all hospitals in Tshwane in its weekly report. It is also less than the Gauteng or National average length of stay reported by the NICD in previous waves.

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IIRC the vaccination rate isn’t that high there either? So we’d expect better overall outcomes in places like here with much higher vaccination coverage - we had almost 90% with at least one dose until the targets were adjusted with the inclusion of the 5-11 year olds.


Avoid Missouri like the literal plague:


This combination is fascinating:

  • Attorney General Schmitt defended DHSS in the case and has refused to appeal its outcome.

  • Schmitt is running for US Senate and has spent the pandemic suing cities and school districts in an effort to overturn mask mandates, as Ars has reported previously.

So basically the DHSS is defended in court by a guy who spends his time undermining their ability to work for the public health, surprisingly loses in court and, even more surprising, immediately enforces a verdict that fits his policies? Yay #redstatejustice!


Given the way omicron is grabbing hold, if it’s as bad (or worse than) delta, this is going to lead to a lot of needlessly dead people in Missouri. I saw yesterday in the latest Ontario update that omicron currently makes up 10% of cases, but is expected to constitute 20% within a week.

Apparently, I should be able to book my booster shot starting Monday.

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Hmm… Not looking so good then:

Relevant bit:

Edit to add Minnesota to the list of US states to avoid like the literal plague:

The hospitals are jointly saying they are at capacity and the staff are overwhelmed, and that’s just from delta. It’s going to be brutal there once omicron gets a foothold - it is significantly more transmissible than delta, and with so few unvaccinated it is going to be an absolute nightmare.


The focus of this investigative report centers on the 38-page document, entitled, “ Cumulative Analysis of Post-Authorization Adverse Event Reports of PF-07302048 (BNT162B2) received through 28 February 2021 .” The report was prepared by Pfizer, between the time of December 1, 2020, through February 28, 2021. The adverse events reports originate in the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, and ‘ 56 other countries.

In the short three-month period in which the data was ‘reported spontaneously to Pfizer,’ 42,086 cases were recorded with 158,893 events. According to the data, one can interpret that the average person (case) would have suffered from just under four symptoms (events). Particularly troubling, the FDA opted to protect Pfizer’s interests by redacting the total number of doses to (b) (4), hindering the ability to calculate the incidence rates and provide a meaningful analysis of the data. Another deeply concerning fact centers on important limitations cited by Pfizer: ‘the magnitude of underreporting is unknown.’ In relation to this topic, investigators leading a prominent Harvard study conducted from 2007-2010, discovered that ‘less than 0.3% of all adverse drug events and 1-13% of serious events are reported to the FDA.’ Assuming this math is correct, we can conclude that the 42,086 cases represent a staggeringly underreported amount.

How many doses of Pfizer vaccine delivered would be a reasonable estimate for " the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, and ‘ 56 other countries."

Like, 42,086 cases sounds like a lot in absolute terms. But spread across the vaccine doses administered for 63 COUNTRIES? It’s probably still a small number.

It’s unknown for every medication - tha’s the point of the Harvard study. The only thing you can be sure of is that adverse effects are likely under-reported. And adverse effects includes everything - runny nose, headache, muscle ache, all the way up to those rare blood clot events. Which, it turns out, may have been completely avoidable if a particular injection technique (see up thread) had been universally employed.

I get it. You don’t like big pharma. In Pfizer’s case, I don’t have too much sympathy for their C-suite either (as I’ve mentioned before.) But this is not necessarily a massive conspiracy. “Adverse effects” does NOT automatically mean severe or fatal adverse effects (though those are included) - some of the reported effects are also quite likely to be nothing to do with the vaccine, just coincidence. That’s just the way it is.

Nothing wrong with being well informed. :wink:


Which is why I posted that up thread. Staying informed and informing you guys if not already known. :wink:

Yes. Because of ■■■■ like this:

When you posted this info:

FDA advisory panel approval even with knowing it’s side effects and only 30% efficacy:

Hmmm…could it be about :dollar:…naaah. SMH

Omicron news:

A study led by researchers from the LKS Faculty of Medicine at The University of Hong Kong provides the first information on how the novel Variant of Concern (VOC) of SARS-CoV-2, the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 infect human respiratory tract. The researchers found that Omicron SARS-CoV-2 infects and multiplies 70 times faster than the Delta variant and original SARS-CoV-2 in human bronchus, which may explain why Omicron may transmit faster between humans than previous variants. Their study also showed that the Omicron infection in the lung is significantly lower than the original SARS-CoV-2, which may be an indicator of lower disease severity. This research is currently under peer review for publication.

Apparently, symptoms can be exactly like a mild cold (S. Africa, with 90%+ full vaccination and lower average age). The thing about it multiplying more in the airways than the tissue seems to be why it’s spreading so rapidly - it’s airborne, but not aerosol droplets.

The other side of this that even though it may not cause as severe symptoms in many people, it spreads even more. So say the individual risk of severe illness is 10% that of delta; if it infects 100x more people, you’re going to end up with bigger absolute numbers hitting the ICU where you have finite capacity.

Last Ontario update I read talked about hitting 6k/daily new cases this weekend after being around 500 last weekend, and that growth is pretty much all due to omicron. (It was at 10%, then 20%, then 30% of cases on consecutive days.)

IOW this would be a really bad time to hit a patch of ice while driving and land up in a ditch, because there may not space for you in the ER/ICU.

Edit: didn’t hit 6k but it was still a big jump:

But omicron is dominating the numbers:

What else is the American health system about?

Just to cite a well-known example:

Ms Marston was diagnosed with T1 diabetes when she was 14. She laughs when recalling how the price of insulin in 1996 - $25 for one vial - was a shock to her.

Two decades later, Ms Marston still uses the same formula of insulin - Eli Lilly’s Humalog. Even the packaging is the same.

“Nothing about it has changed, except the price has gone up from $21 a vial to $275 a vial.”


The US health system, from insurance to inability of the government to negotiate drug prices, is a joke when viewed from outside. Not so funny when one has to live in it…

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