Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 27, 2020

The Vaccine Competition Will Be Ruthless

Debs is dead writes:

[T]he pushback against AstraZeneca including the latest link which is all speculation mixed with the same trash talk wall st analysts have been making, is a blatant move by big pharma to edge AstraZeneca out of the market.

There is more testing to be done on the AstraZeneca vaccine. Yes the discovery of a half dose followed by a full dose seeming to be more efficacious was the result of a distribution accident in one particular cohort comprised of Englanders under 55, AstraZeneca have realised that and have undertaken to extend the 50/100 trial across all age groups and ethnicities in the next testing round.

Also despite the fact that the big pharma mRNA vaccines have published no peer reviewed results, AstraZeneca report that they have sent a peer reviewed study of their complete test results thus far, to the Lancet and they expect these to be published in the next edition of the journal - likely within the next few days.

However many people whine, bitch about all others, then salute the results of Russian & Chinese vaccines the simple fact is a great many communities will be denied access to Russian or Chinese vaccines - that is a reality. Some of these states are in no shape to subscribe to the mRNA vaccines without 'aid' (i.e. ripoff loans) because their health budgets are still having to cover the double Tamiflu scam (they had to sign contracts to replace 'expired' Tamiflu stocks used or not after 3 years) and the more recent Remdesivir scam, all perpetrated by Gilead.

In the real world that means if the AstraZeneca vaccine is more than 60% efficacious (which is better than any flu vaccine - 95% is new big pharma BS IMO) and has no major side effects (one case of MS tells us nothing for the reason I outlined above), then it will be that or nothing for a sizeable slab of the world's population.

If everyone falls for big pharma's transparent attempt to stop this possible vaccine in its tracks, prior to testing completion, then that will mean no vaccine for billions of our fellow humans, so rather than joining in the big pharma sabotage, it makes better sense to consider that vaccine more objectively than de Noli, that Harvard minion of corporations seems to do.

Of course for some theoretical Marxist whose crazed ramblings remind me of the immature garbage one could hear around any Lisbon praça, circa 1975, that will mean little. As the humans of Mozambique, Angola and in particular since I lost friends there , Timor Leste, discovered to their cost.

I agree with the above.

Sure, AstraZeneca has not communicated well. They should have published their trial protocols. They should have been more explicit about their dosing 'mistake'. But the results of their trials are encouraging and the explanation for the higher efficacy with a lower first dose, see below, makes sense.

The AstraZeneca vaccine uses an adenovirus as 'vector' to deliver a DNA sequence that human cells then use to create one specific (but harmless) SARS-CoV-2 protein. The immune system will then learn to attack that protein. Afterwards it should be able to protect against SARS-CoV-2 infections.

There are 57 different adenovirusus that usually occur in humans. Most of us have been infected by some of them, likely in our youth, and have developed some grade of immunity against them. An adenovirus that has been modified to become a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 may therefore be attacked by our immune system before it can achieve its purpose. We may have some 'vector immunity' against some of the adenovirus based vaccines.

In order to safeguard against cases where an already existing immunity to human adenoviruses may impede inoculation AstraZeneca is using a chimpanzee-originated version of an adenovirus as a vector. The Russian Sputnik V vaccine, hyped by Prof. de Noli on RT,  uses two doses with different human adenoviruses (Ad-26, Ad-5) as vectors to increase the chance of inoculation. Other vaccine developers, CanSino Biologics and Johnson & Johnson, are also using adenovirus vectors. Sinopharm's vaccine uses an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus.

AstraZeneca found by chance that its vaccine works best when the first dose is smaller than the second one. Vector immunity can explain why this is the case. A first high dose will create some immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus but also some immunity against the vector virus, the chimpanzee-originated adenovirus. When a first high dose has trained the immune system to fight the vector virus the second 'booster' vaccine dose using the same vector will become inefficient. A lower first dose can make sure that the second higher dose is not prematurely defeated by vector immunity but can still do its work.

The AstraZeneka vaccine was developed by Oxford University. It will be a no-profit vaccine as its development was financed by public money. The cost per dose will be below $3-4.

Both of the mRNA vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer are for-profit vaccines. They seem to be quite good (and no, they do not modify your DNA) but they will cost between $25 and $35 per shot. They also require an elaborate and expensive distribution chain as they can only be stored at very low temperatures. The adenovirus based vaccines can be stored in a normal refrigerator.

The mRNA vaccines hyped in the U.S. media are simply too expensive to be used around the world. If we want to limit the global effects of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic we will have to use the cheaper vector based vaccines.

That the AstraZeneka vaccine was immediately attacked in U.S. media by an unqualified writer quoting an investment bank and the U.S. pharma promoting (Remdesivir!) Antony Fauci is quite suspicious. Pfizer and Moderna expect to make billions of dollars with their vaccines. They will use all possible ways and means to defeat any potential competition.

None of the results of the ongoing trials under discussion have so far been published in a peer reviewed format. We will have to wait until the end of the trials and the reviewed publication of the results to judge about their real efficacy and potential side effects.

Until then we should be careful not to fall for misinformation from big pharma interests. Nor should we fall for the nonsense from the anti-vaccine crowd.

So far all of the vaccines under discussion seem to be safe and efficient enough to defeat the pandemic. I for one see no reason to reject any of them.

Posted by b on November 27, 2020 at 11:18 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Just wondering ——- do you have any financial interests you feel you should declare b ?

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 27 2020 11:55 utc | 1

Capitalist Swine Flu hoax exposes itself again. It never ceases to amaze me how many people don't even need a ring in their nose to be led around.

Posted by: par4 | Nov 27 2020 12:03 utc | 2

What we are seeing is almost a sort of vaccine nationalism. There is point of pride at stake here.

The not for profit vaccines will be subject to intense vilification and therefore, in order to combat said vilification they will have to prove their metal in vaccine trials.

This is a very good thing.

Posted by: Down South | Nov 27 2020 12:11 utc | 3

Some of the Chinease vaccines have been tested by the tens of thousands in Brasil and Arab countries. They have been reportedly used on a million Chinease at high risk or that have travelled outside China.

The US hit job on AstraZeneca is obvious. But the AstraZeneca botched, likely in response to early PR from Moderna and Pfizer, PR job, with later assurances in AFP articles that anyway whatever the results it won't affect European approval, is also obvious. Probably it needs more work. Probably the US supported ones too, the number of people tested seems still small.

Outside the empire and some empire controlled satrapy the vaccines that will be used first will be Chinease, because they have the production capability and don't need them for now for their own population. Probably then the Russian, as it seems already signed a production agreement with India, and whatever is left from the empire vaccines, which will be in extremely high demand for their own population through the whole 2021. At this moment no one knows what will happen by 2022.

Posted by: ThePaper | Nov 27 2020 12:18 utc | 4

@1 Mark2

🤣 Nice.

Let me see, who am I going to trust when it comes to my health? -The guy who keeps telling me Trump ain't so bad even though he had Soleimani, a general who helped get rid of ISIS, murdered, amongst a litany of other crimes; and that Trump's just the guileless, unwitting captive of Neocon Pompeo and Ziofascist, Elliott Abrahms who means well?

Um🤔...I think not b, for sure.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 27 2020 12:33 utc | 5

@ par4 | Nov 27 2020 12:03 utc | 2

Spot on.

From (Federal Bureau of Statistics Germany)

Mortalities 2016-2020
2016 / Jan 1 - Oct 25: 734,480
2017 / Jan 1 - Oct 25: 761,287
2018 / Jan 1 - Oct 25: 784,727
2019 / Jan 1 - Oct 25: 763,202
2020 / Jan 1 - Oct 25: 772,252

Another week of data been added today, not much difference.

Destatis Numbers

Be afraid! Be very afraid!

What a sad joke.

Posted by: Hmpf | Nov 27 2020 12:48 utc | 6

Of course that, as long as the trials are not peer-reviewed a published, we won't be able to reach any 100% definite conclusion.

I'm not a bio-scientist, all I can do is analyze the available evidence through the prism of historical investigation.

With the evidence available so far, I'll repost my recently Open Thread comment here and add some new opinion (which was in response to Debsisdead @ 69, the original content for this post):

1) Western Big Pharma "forgot" how to develop new vaccines over these last decades because they're not profitable. That opened the gates for Gamaleya to occupy the sector, therefore dominating the main technology used today, human adenovirus; (see Dmitriev's "forbidden op-ed").
Proof of this is J&J's difficulty in developing a simple human adenovirus vaccine (by the time they finish theirs, we'll already have billions of Sputnik V and Sinovac doses produced). The reason we still don't have an effective cold vaccine is because we don't have enough investment, not because it is impossible;

2) Sputnik V and Sinovac (and other Chinese variants) use a known, tested and tried technology for their vaccines - human adenovirus -, while Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca use untested and untried technologies (mRNA and chimpanzee adenovirus). It is the difference between the known and the unknown, except that this time hundreds of millions of human lives are at the table. We suspect the Western pharmaceuticals are resorting to these exotic technologies because they want something they can patent and sell at monopolistic prices to national governments; (see Dmitriev's "forbidden op-ed" and his "questions")

3) mRNA technology is only effective theoretically. In the real world, it potentially has devastating effects on the human body. It is already known it can potentially cause infertility. It very likely has carcinogenic properties; (see Dmitriev's "questions")

4) chimpanzee adenovirus technology doesn't make any sense when you already have a viable human adenovirus option. Besides the fact that it can cause more adverse effects on a human (because the virus is strange to the human organism), the doctor I linked raised the question of contamination when extracting the adenovirus from the chimpanzees (contamination rate of 10%, or one in ten). It also cause sever spinal cord inflammation - contrary to the official version in much more than one patient. It also probably killed a healthy 28-year old subject in the Brazilian trials (the Brazilian MSM initially "leaked" he was on the placebo group; later even this version was put into doubt)

5) silver bullet vaccines are very rare (e.g. polio). Most likely scenario, these vaccines will just shield you from a severe case of COVID-19, thus relieving the pressure over the national healthcare systems. Deaths of COVID-19 only begin to pile up exponentially after the limit of the healthcare system is surpassed (Italy). That's the "line of death", after which COVID-19 really begins to ravage entire populations. In this scenario, it doesn't make any sense not to go with the tried and tested technology of human adenovirus, over which Gamaleya has primacy, or, second best, the Chinese vaccines, which will be produced the most because China has manufacture supremacy. In the Russian and Chinese options, you have the choice between the best and the most available - a common decision any working class family takes daily in the free market for the purchase of their goods;

6) AstraZeneca will still have privileges in the British market. Evidence of this is the British MSM being the first to publish the fake news that it had 90% efficacy, while the American MSM went with the 70% figure. Make no mistakes: the AstraZeneca will be the only option in the NHS for the British people, with or without transverse myelitis;

7) The "half dose" mistake simply doesn't happen in the Big Pharma. It is simply not believable. The story is clearly a pathetic attempt of the British to create a comparison with the story of the penicillin discovery (by a British scientist), which also happened by accident. There wasn't half dose and, even if that really happened (the doctors involved should be immediately fired), you would be giving credence to the homeopathy thesis, which states the lower the dose, the stronger the effect. Doesn't make any sense.

AstraZeneca, by the way, is already feeling the heat. It will have to redo its trials because nobody was born yesterday:

AstraZeneca considers extra global vaccine trial as questions mount

Let me just reiterate: in theory, both technologies (mRNA and chimpanzee adenovirus) are sound. But there's a chasm between what works theoretically and what works in practice. The real world is dependent on manufacturing precision and domination of the technique (art). A badly manufactured (because of technological restrictions) mRNA vaccine can damage the human body, with theoretically carcinogenic potential. This is not me talking, this is Kiril Dmitriev.

Also, the British MSM and AstraZeneca clearly tried to hide the extent of the number of "transverse myelitis" cases. We can infer that from The Guardian's interview with the discovered subject, where it accidentally reveals the subject knew "more cases" (like his) were found. From the point of view of a historian, this indicates corporate cover-up, which indicates the collateral effects are more likely real than not.

As of the "half dose serendipity" episode, see my point #7. Those kind of accidents happened until the beginning of the 20th Century. I find it hard to believe it to happen in Big Pharma - even if in an European one with university support. When I first read this story in The Guardian, it immediately came to my mind Alexander Fleming's discovery of the penicillin. In my view (as a historian), this was a clear attempt of the British press to evoke this episode in the British imaginary, thus opening a psychological flank for AstraZeneca to the British market.

Either way, this Alexander Fleming-like story doesn't seem to be fooling the financial markets: its shares fell 2% the day it was announced, and:

AstraZeneca vaccine trial mishap may dent SK Bioscience IPO

Such blatant error of dosage rises the question: if they were unable to get even the dosage correctly, why wouldn't the screw up the research per se? A valid question.

A big pharmaceutical doesn't need to produce a vaccine for profit to profit. As I mentioned, AstraZeneca is a public company that can profit through the stock market. To say they won't profit with the vaccine is social-democratic/center-left nonsense.

Besides, there's the issue of timing: mRNA technology was going nowhere until the pandemic. Same for the chimpanzee adenovirus one. Then, all of a sudden, just because some Western governments shook their central banks' money tree, those technologies suddenly became viable? Suddenly, breakthroughs (even by accident!) begun to happen? As a historian, I tend not to believe in such patterns - unless they happen in moments where a given economic system is on the rise (e.g. Second Industrial Revolution, WWII). Wouldn't it make more sense, in moments of societal desperation when time is too short, to resort to the things you know and dominate instead of trying to jump into the unknown? After all, it's human nature to try to go back - and not forward - when it's afraid of the path it's taking.

Posted by: vk | Nov 27 2020 12:51 utc | 7

b seems to hold a degree in immunology and molecular biology, considering his fundamental knowledge in this matter and authority to dismiss any critical view. I hope Big Pharmacy will reward him accordingly

Posted by: E | Nov 27 2020 13:08 utc | 8

This "Debs is dead" guy quite likely knows what he is talking about except for the ranting about Marxists in the last paragraph. He quite likely knows jack about that :)

Posted by: nyolci | Nov 27 2020 13:15 utc | 9

b, wrote (emphasis is mine)

"Both of the mRNA vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer are for-profit vaccines. They seem to be quite good (and no, they do not modify your DNA)"

mRNA vaccines do not modify your DNA? This is news to me. I just read all the comments thus far expecting someone to challenge b on this.
It is contrary to what I have read. You would have to drag me kicking and screaming to take one of those mRNA vaccines.
Guess I will have to go back and double-double-double-check, but I will have to be better than 99% comfortable before I become one of Pfizer's guinea pigs. As to the other can find me at the far, far end of the line waiting for a vaccine. Good luck to everyone. May the force be with you.

Posted by: librul | Nov 27 2020 13:30 utc | 10

Astra-Zeneca is "Big Pharma" just like Pfizer and Moderna!!!!

All these vaccines have not been adequately tested and are being pushed on to the market far too soon.

b.'s endorsement of an insult towards a long-standing commentator reveals more about Debsisdead and b. than anything insightful about the target of their spite.

This blog post is nothing more than a sales job for vaccines.

I have differences with VK but his response @9 towers above this post!

Posted by: ADKC | Nov 27 2020 13:30 utc | 11


Pforce not force

Posted by: librul | Nov 27 2020 13:33 utc | 12

librul @12

In the comments to a Skwawkbox article, “Breaking: trials suggest new vaccine 90% effective, WHO calls for caution” a commentator “M”, who described himself as a geneticist, was asked a question about mRNA vaccines (includes minor edits to improve readability):

SteveH: “M – I would be interested to hear your explanation in layman’s terms of how this vaccine genetically alters the recipients DNA.”

M: “Well I have no idea if it will alter the DNA, nor does Pfizer. But that’s not really the point so I’ll try to explain simply anyway: DNA is transcribed in the cell to produce RNA. There are different kinds of RNA but for our purposes, you can just think of mRNA which is a reverse copy of a piece of your DNA that is necessary to produce proteins.

“Almost every part of your entire body – except water and minerals – is made of proteins and all is made from RNA. This vaccine very cleverly uses the cells equipment (ribosomes, enzymes organelles – all also made of proteins) to translate this RNA into new proteins as if it was the cells own RNA. The problem is that there is an almost infinite number of different and complex proteins and RNAs in the body – each with a very specific task (or not). Any slight alterations or error in translation of DNA>RNA>protein can create a protein that’s either harmless, deleterious or lethal. We are skipping the DNA part but the problem is that RNA and proteins can and do alter and affect DNA>RNA>protein pathways naturally.

“The human body is extremely complex, there are 20,000 protein-making genes and about the same number that doesn’t make protein but still have a function in translation of those other proteins. And each gene has many variants and functions. BUT (don’t fall asleep yet) it gets even more complex when it comes to immunity – there is a lot more genetic variation with immune-related genes between people than any other genes. For good reason – good immune requires maximum variation. Interfering with the immune response by injecting attenuated viruses really just mimics what our body would do naturally if it came across a virus – the immune response as you described is induced by AP Cells. But many viruses are wise to this in evolutionary terms – and is why there is no vaccine for the common cold or HIV – they have their own immunity.

“Back to Pfizer: Their vaccine (as I understand it) is using your own cells to produce the proteins found on the surface of the virus. This could have unknown effects because it’s hard to know exactly how the protein>RNA interactions will interfere with other ones naturally occurring in the cell. Its the endless quest of geneticists to understand these complex and often subtle and often undetectable interactions for all genes in the body.

“Now it could be that nothing harmful happens, but the only way to know that is to test it, and test it and test it again. My opinion is that this should require WAY more testing than using the traditional attenuated virus type vaccine for all the reasons I just explained. In the same way that brain surgery is riskier than fixing a broken leg one requires much more caution.

“If you are still with me we can now also get back to the politics: It would be a major breakthrough if it works (and I hope it does) but that’s also the reason to be sceptical for me. My original comment was that it won’t see the light of day for some time. I think this is more likely than them pushing through a poorly tested vaccine. As with most coronavirus and flu vaccines, the efficacy is likely to be much poorer than they claim. so, the results of the trial would have to be spectacular and long term to justify any serious risk of distributing it nationwide by the end of the year with such short trials (but who knows, this is Pfizer and the Tory government we are talking about here).

“Finally, I will leave you with a question: – how do you test a vaccine for long term effects if it’s only been in your possession for 6 months? You don’t need a virologist or any scientist to answer that.”

Posted by: ADKC | Nov 27 2020 13:45 utc | 13

Just two days ago, one of my cousins finally realized that he is being served a load of BS by the MSM. Since he has known my opinion on this issue for almost two decades, he requested me to give suggestions for a few reliable alternative media. I have three suggestions; MoA was one of them. However, for MoA I added this qualifier: “great for both domestic and international issues WITH THE EXCEPTION OF COVID”.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Nov 27 2020 13:51 utc | 14

Thanks CIRCE @ 7
That’s a really important point about trumps cold blooded murder of Soleimani a peace keeper actually on a peace keeping mission. And it’s on topic !
Here’s why ——-
B has lifted this post from a comment made by debsisdead, right well here is another comment of hers. From b’s Another look at at Biden post —- @94
“You advocate or voted for a particular pol you carry the can”
So by her suggestion Trump needs to be prosecuted not only for the hundreds of thousands of needless covid deaths but also for murder of Soleimani.
Both b and debsisdead have lost their credabilty it’s a shame.
If they tell us the vaccine is safe you can be sure it isn’t.

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 27 2020 13:57 utc | 15

One last point I forgot to raise in my comment:

8) it may be possible the process of secular imbecilization of the West to have reached the "STEM"/"Hard Sciences", too.

Consider this:

Oxford and AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine to be trialed AGAIN amid mounting questions over dosage issues

The Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca will be tested again, the drug maker's CEO said on Thursday, following growing doubts over the jab, due to dosing and data-handling errors.

So, it seems the error wasn't just in the dosing; it also involved "data-handling".

What if the AstraZeneca scientists really screwed up? What if the quality of the Western scientist simply decayed in absolute terms? That's a very creepy scenario, but a possible one. Let me explain.

In History, we have a little concept called "Mutazione dello Stato" (Mutation of the State), from historian Moniz Bandeira.

Mutazione dello Stato is a process where a not initially foreseen, negative, international scenario imposes itself on the studied State, forcing it to act unnaturally in relation to its initial goals, for a longer than foreseen period of time.

For example: the USA became a military State because circumstances of the geopolitical arena of the time of its foundation forced it to. After Vietnam, the USG realized it didn't need to win the war in order to profit from it; in fact, it could even wage wars against imaginary enemies/without any clear objective in order to profit from it. Necessity became the rule. Vice became virtue. The exception became the rule. The USA "mutated".

What if decades of for-profit pharmaceutical research finally made the newer generation of Western scientists literally dumber? What if the concept of profit and immunity from legal and societal consequences (above Good and Evil) became so ingrained in the Western scientists' minds since college that they honestly think (even unconsciously) profits=good science (or the only possible science)? What if, after decades and decades with such ideological approach, they became literally incapable of doing real science, even if their lives depended on it?

Maybe Western bio-science suffered a "Mutazione dellos Stato", too. We have a precedent for this in the West: the degeneration and fall of its Humanities ("soft science") since the post-war era.

All of this may be a moot point. AstraZeneca's CEO has already stated he will cook the books either way, if needed:

The British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant is to run a fresh trial of its candidate vaccine at a lower dosage, which the company earlier claimed had performed better than a full dosage. "Now that we've found what looks like a better efficacy we have to validate this, so we need to do an additional study," AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot told Bloomberg.

He added that it would likely be an "international study, but this one could be faster because we know the efficacy is high so we need a smaller number of patients."

So, because he already knows the "efficacy is high", he will design a new trial that will produce a high efficacy result!

Posted by: vk | Nov 27 2020 14:01 utc | 16

Good news, you can have mine. Since I'm a deplorable, it's the least I can do. Not until the pharmaceutical companies assume liability costs will they ever approach what I would consider safe. They currently have no risks with either good or bad vaccines. Thank you GOP and more importantly the Reagan administration for that tax payer plunder.

Also not one reporter or politician anywhere is asking the obvious "who paid for this, and why?" Be a helluva note if some player like Big Pharma underwrote Wuhan Lab's Covid 19 costs. Would all of you be so trusting of a vaccine if that were the case? I know, I am anti science til I talk about the Bell Curve or gender specific internal plumbing.

Posted by: Old and Grumpy | Nov 27 2020 14:02 utc | 17

I'll wait 6 months or so when they are released to see what one works best with no side effects.

Posted by: jo6pac | Nov 27 2020 14:16 utc | 18

"(and no, they do not modify your DNA)"

This sounds like a very definitive statement - of opinion, as you site no peer review studies.

Like librul noted above, this cannot be accepted as a simple non-important "fact".

You do a good job of citing sources for your take on most things, so I would suggest you do more homework on this important issue before passing this "view" off as a known "fact".

Posted by: James | Nov 27 2020 14:17 utc | 19

I really don't see the point of all the arguing about the vaccines. Opinions seem to have polarised and I doubt that any of the disputants are likely to change their minds. Clearly there are risks either way and the potential risk/benefit calculation is going to vary wildly between individuals. An ageing, obese, diabetic for example would probably decide that the vaccine was the least risk, while a young healthy person might decide it was safer to take their chances with the virus, for most people the decision is probably less obvious. The only thing that I care about is whether people have a choice in the matter.

Posted by: MarkU | Nov 27 2020 14:19 utc | 20

b, I gather you do not have much regard for the Sputnik V vaccine, either?

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Nov 27 2020 14:20 utc | 21

@Posted by: ADKC | Nov 27 2020 13:45 utc | 15

Thanks ADKC for your post and the quote from the geneticist.

I read it twice as it is complex. But the most salient part was the very first sentence:
"Well I have no idea if it will alter the DNA, nor does Pfizer."

After posting I went searching for answers about whether mRNA alters DNA and there
are tons of articles debunking the idea. Many appear to be from expert sources.

I am old enough to remember when "experts" thought DNA was fixed and static in one's body.
What you got at birth was it and that was that. Heck I am old enough to remember reading about
someone who was laughed off stage when they suggested that some diseases come from man-induced
environmental factors. I remember when emotions didn't affect physical health - per the experts.
Light therapy was total quackery.
I could continue but you get the point.

When experts say that mRNA doesn't alter DNA they may be issuing an honest opinion - or rather,
mimicking the prevailing dogma.
But the cynic in me tells me not to trust even "experts" when money is in the loop.

Posted by: librul | Nov 27 2020 14:41 utc | 22

(and no, they do not modify your DNA)
B, how do you know ?

Posted by: Marc | Nov 27 2020 14:44 utc | 23

mRNA vaccines were strictly experimental only 6 months ago and have never been tested for long term effects.

They work (allegedly) by introducing snippets of a virus's genetic material into a subject's cells, which then churn out copies of the snippet in order to get the immune system to react to them in order to establish a long-lasting immune response. In other words, your cells are reprogrammed to produce bits of virus RNA.

Nobody knows how this is going to affect your body in the long run, but there simply can be no doubt that the reprogramming of cells and the production of virus RNA within your body comes with an extremely high potential for stuff to go wrong.

Anyone under 80 who choses an mRNA vaccine over (possibly) getting infected by a virus with a 0,2% IFR simply didn't think long enough.

Posted by: Protagonist | Nov 27 2020 14:51 utc | 24

The safety of these vaccines ?
It’s a trick question.
Do we trust the vaccine. Maybe, maybe not.
But do we trust ‘big pharmaceutical companies ?
Think profit motive.
Think general track record.
Lack of compassion to third world country’s.
Here in the U.K. they are going to try them out on the elderly first !
After how the govenment deliberately ‘seeded’ the care homes with virus that dose not inspirer confidence.

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 27 2020 15:16 utc | 25

vk @18: " may be possible the process of secular imbecilization of the West to have reached the "STEM"/"Hard Sciences", too."


Sadly, this is the case. This is actually partially a consequence of the "Dunning-Kruger effect". Students of STEM fields and hard sciences tend to frequently run up against the limits of their comprehension in their studies. It is uncontroversial to them that there are whole realms of knowledge that are outside their experience, and perhaps even outside their ability to comprehend. They are basically smart enough to recognize that they don't know everything, so they are comfortable deferring to experts in other fields.

Now keep in mind that the vast majority of students and faculty at American universities are not engaged in STEM or hard science studies. Rather they are studying flaccid pop sciences and post-secondary Special Education (business, journalism, etc.). These programs of study (we use the term "study" loosely here) can be completed while remaining intoxicated nearly to coma throughout the entire program. Strictly by their numbers this mindless mass of morons marginalizes the STEM and hard sciences schools and departments at university. To make this more damaging, these university Special Ed students are never confronted with rigorous studies that introduce them to the limits of their understanding. They remain forever on the moron side of the "Dunning-Kruger effect", confident that their innate understanding encompasses everything of any significance in the world.

This environment in which the STEM/hard sciences students fully expect to interact with individuals possessing expertise beyond their own but are surrounded by morons who are certain that they know everything results in an intellectual "bullying" condition. The morons happily employ logical fallacy, with "ad populum" being a favorite because or their larger numbers, in this bullying. While the STEM/hard sciences type are hesitant to use those techniques themselves, they still fall victim to them when employed by others due to their tendency to take the open-mindedness and intellectual challenge ethos of university to heart.

"What this psych major is claiming isn't rationally argued, but maybe he is right. It's not my field of study after all, and though I don't know much about the psych program at this uni, I am sure it has just as much rigor as my physics program."

And so the real students get boxed in by the morons.

It is frequently argued in the US by delusional activists and even university faculty that math requirements should be relaxed or even eliminated in some, or even all, STEM/hard sciences programs in order to make those fields more approachable to Black Americans and women. This is despite the fact that Chinese students (half of whom are conspicuously female) and Nigerian students (who look Black to me) don't seem to find Calculus and DiffEq to be the academic roadblocks that so many American students do. Thus the very principle of academic rigor is under attack.

Worse: In the private sector "diversity" has become a vastly more important criterion for employment than is demonstrated competence. Why do Boeing engineers or Pfizer biochemists or Microsoft programmers suck so badly these days? Because when management recruits for say five positions, and out of the two hundred applications they receive the only five who are Black and/or female happen to be the least competent, then those five are the ones to be hired. Any complaints about their performance by colleagues will result in disciplinary action or even termination of those colleagues for racism/sexism.

Naturally the above isn't the sole cause for the precipitous decline in competence in America and Europe, but it is one that often leads to colorful debate so it is worth mentioning.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 27 2020 15:32 utc | 26

Having multiple members in my family in the medical field, this is a common topic of discussion in our family and neighborhood. Understandably, I have been forced into a spectator/empericist role. My daughter, fresh out of residency and quite idealistic, of course, explained the mRNA vaccines thusly:

"Essentially, these vaccines are synthetic viruses that are similar to Covid19, but less deadly". (At least I hope). "They, as a man-made virus, trigger an immune response. So theoretically, they're no different than getting a cold, or some other such ailment." From her perspective, as someone who has to deal with this day in and day out, these provide a possible relief from an absolute hell hole life that she currently inhabits. Many of her collegues have become infected, and the ICUs are filling fast, and we haven't even started flu season. That should start in force after Christmas.

The good news/bad news is that perhaps the current lockdown in the US will moderate the upcoming flu season. I'm not that hopeful, as many of the locals I encounter do not understand mathematics, and have been thoroughly politicized about herd immunity, but do not comprehend the amount familial suffering that will occur going from point A to point B.

A neighbor commented to me, "this reaction is very similar to the Nebraska Flu of 1918".

Posted by: Michael | Nov 27 2020 15:37 utc | 27

Protagonist @Nov27 14:51 #27

Anyone under 80 who choses an mRNA vaccine over (possibly) getting infected by a virus with a 0,2% IFR simply didn't think long enough.

This is exactly right (though I might've set the age at 70 instead of 80) and highlights what's really going on here.

If they were true to the science and their responsibilities, they would only allow older people to get the mRNA virus. But USA likely wants to accelerate mRNA technology. To do so, they only need speed bumps that delay the other vaccines.

Thus what b highlights as "vaccine competition" is a red-herring. "Vaccine competition" is really mRNA vs the others.


Moderna failed to disclose federal funding for vaccine patent applications, advocates say

n advocacy group has asked the Department of Defense to investigate what it called “an apparent failure” by Moderna (MRNA) to disclose millions of dollars in awards received from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in patent applications the company filed for vaccines.

In a letter to the agency, Knowledge Ecology International explained that a review of dozens of patent applications found the company received approximately $20 million from the federal government in grants several years ago and the funds “likely” led to the creation of its vaccine technology. This was used to develop vaccines to combat different viruses, such as Zika and, later, the virus that causes Covid-19.

One particular patent assigned to Moderna concerns methods and compositions that can be used specifically against coronaviruses, including COVID-19. The patent names a Moderna scientist and a former Moderna scientist as inventors, both of which acknowledged performing work under the DARPA awards in two academic papers, according to the report by the advocacy group.

The group examined the 126 patents assigned to Moderna or ModernaTx as well as 154 patent applications. “Despite the evidence that multiple inventions were conceived in the course of research supported by the DARPA awards, not a single one of the patents or applications assigned to Moderna disclose U.S. federal government funding,” the report stated.

DARPA Awards Moderna up to $56 Million to Enable Small-Scale, Rapid Mobile Manufacturing of Nucleic Acid Vaccines and Therapeutics

“We are pleased to continue our collaboration with DARPA with a new award and we look forward to building on our experience rapidly designing and manufacturing vaccines as demonstrated with mRNA-1273, our COVID-19 vaccine currently in a Phase 3 study ...


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 27 2020 15:40 utc | 28

ADKC @Nov27 13:45 #15

how do you test a vaccine for long term effects if it’s only been in your possession for 6 months?

Also, few are considering the attenuation of vaccine protection. AFAIK it is expected that people will need to get additional shots/jabs over time.

It seems likely that such re-application dramatically increases an already high(!)(*) risk wrt mRNA vaccines.

<> <> <> <>

(*) I liked M's analogy of brain surgery (mRNA) vs broken leg (other vaccines).


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 27 2020 15:53 utc | 29

For all of those who think mRNA can change your DNA, what would the mechanism be to take single stranded mRNA, turn it into double stranded DNA, and then integrate that into your genome? It seems like there are a lot of molecular biology experts in the comments, so it shouldn’t be hard to propose a plausible mechanism.

Posted by: What’s the mechanism | Nov 27 2020 16:00 utc | 30

Will b make my comment @Nov27 15:40 #31 highlighting moderna's DARPA funding into a post?

I expect he won't.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 27 2020 16:00 utc | 31

Off topic
Top Iran nucular scientist assanated.
Trumps legacy God safe us all

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 27 2020 16:03 utc | 32

Posted by: alan2102 | Nov 27 2020 12:18 utc | 5

Nice video. The way these lockdowns have mishandled from the beginning are criminal. Time to reconsider Henery david Thoreau, "Civil Disobedience". But, do wear masks. They are useful, and as far as I know, no one has died from using them, unlike from the deaths and impoverishment caused by ill considered, lockdowns.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Nov 27 2020 16:04 utc | 33

Ask Bill Gates, I bet he knows !

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 27 2020 16:14 utc | 34

Another point: I never said mRNA technology is potentially carcinogenic because it "modifies your DNA". You don't need to "modify" your DNA to have cancer, you just need to damage it (albeit it is, on a molecular level, also a modification).

The human body is a very complex organism/mechanism. There are a lot of proteins involved. There are a lot of potential epigenetic interactions that we don't know of.

And that's the thing: we don't know. As of the present time, mRNA is an unknown unknown. It's ok to resort to unknown unknowns when humanity doesn't have any other options. But we do have an option that we already know works: human adenovirus. Why trade certainty for doubt when hundreds of millions of lives are on the table?

Yellow Fever vaccine (which is not human adenovirus; it's a "live vaccine") kills one in each 100,000 patients. That's why it is restricted only to those who are going to travel to a risk area (yellow fever is a very dangerous disease, which can easily kill healthy adults on a coin flip ratio, so the 1/100,000 risk here is justified). Even if the AstraZeneca only caused transverse myelitis in one patient (of, allegedly, 50,000), it is still too dangerous - even more so because the company wants to produce billions of those to inoculate in billions of human beings.

Posted by: vk | Nov 27 2020 16:49 utc | 35

i think "vk" expressed most of my reservations but i'll just add:

1. vaccines affect every person differently

2. the flu vaccines we're nagged to inject every year have been around for a long time and yet it's a roll of the dice when it comes to actual effectiveness. this year's lower flu numbers (in canada at least) are probably due to increase hand washing and mask wearing which should always be the preferred tactics.

3. china and many other countries have been able to contain the virus without a vaccine simply by not acting like assholes. that's a hard sell in the west but if we get enough willing guinea pigs for the various vaccines combined with nonassholic behavior from everyone else it might turn out okay...?

4. indemnity. that one word is enough to make me wait and see if not avoid this barely tested cack altogether. these are the same companies who have produced antidepressants that induce suicide and diet pills that cause your heart to go tits up so you hardly have to be an "anti-vaxxxxxxer" to view them and their motives (and overall competence) with a healthy suspicion. that's putting aside the "90%" hype and other "fish tales".

Posted by: the pair | Nov 27 2020 16:55 utc | 36

Here's China's extraofficial point of view:

Western public opinion war on vaccines is wicked: Global Times editorial

I hope it helps: it's not about being antivaxxer or not, but to give a realistic assessment of the situation.

Posted by: vk | Nov 27 2020 17:21 utc | 37

@15 ADKC

Is Rabbit right when he turns M's warning about brain surgery being more complex than treating a broken leg into this analogy?:

(*) I liked M's analogy of brain surgery (mRNA) vs broken leg (other vaccines)

So I know that prior to November 2020 no mRNA vaccine or other drug was ever approved for use in humans.

So what do experiments on animals show and how long was mRNA testing done on animals? And how do these vaccines affect the millions of people who suffer from autoimmune disorders? There are so many questions people deserve answers to, because most people mistakenly think these vaccines are like the regular flu shot!

Posted by: Circe | Nov 27 2020 17:26 utc | 38

b wrote: They seem to be quite good (and no, they do not modify your DNA)

Well then.
b said so so it must be so.

My brother in law spent the last 4 months in and out of hospitals and clinics attempting to diagnose and remedy symptoms of anemia, most recently attributed to interaction of blood thinners and other medications he takes.

His sister recently had cancer, treated with ~60 gys of radiation. The intention of radiating cancer cells is precisely to "modify your DNA," more specifically, the DNA of the cancer cells. However,

"Radiation is not selective to tumor cells and targets any cells that are in the process of replication when the therapy is applied"

Can b assure us that the vaccine entrepreneurs at Astra Zeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, etc. have included in their test groups individuals whose DNA has already been impacted by radiation?

How about interactions with other drugs -- did test groups include individuals like my brother in law who already had drug interaction difficulties?

Posted by: ChasMark | Nov 27 2020 17:30 utc | 39

Two small points.

One, the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. This is in regard to others in big pharma attacking AstraZeneca, and big pharma is bad so AstraZeneca must be good, right? AstraZeneca's testing looks extremely dodgy and just because others are attacking their PR'd "results" doesn't mean the critics are wrong in this case (even as we shouldn't accept the results touted by other pharma companies for the purpose of stock market gains).

Second, anyone who is not an expert in the subject with relevant experience in this narrow field and states opinions as facts should be regarded with skepticism.

Posted by: worldblee | Nov 27 2020 17:38 utc | 40

Even the Spanish flu, which was a doozy, was not ended by a vaccine.

Spanish Flu (SF) was also a very different deal. It had the worst effect on younger, healther part of the population vs Covid-19 which is the opposite, it effects older and unhealthy people.

SF would not have kill nearly as many people today because we have really good treatments. The main treatment for SF was high dose aspirin which ended up killing many.

There is way too much bad information, disinformation, lack of information, and lack of willingness to learn and discuss new information to even discuss vaccines.

Posted by: jef | Nov 27 2020 17:42 utc | 41

b, I gather you do not have much regard for the Sputnik V vaccine, either?

Posted by: Paul Damascene

No. It is certainly a good vaccine and I would prefer it over the AstraZenka one. I would mostly prefer the Chinese attenuated virus vaccine but it is unlikely that I will get access to it.

Posted by: b | Nov 27 2020 17:45 utc | 42

Trump can get his grandchildren injected with his warp-speed<>/i vaccines first, and I think I'll just wait and see.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 27 2020 17:46 utc | 43

Important story to watch. Most of them will probably get approved "on an expedited basis", i.e. details can be swept under the rug because of the emergency situation. How well will they really work? Probably well enough. How long will they work? Good question. Side effects? Good question.

General comments:
(1) At the high corporate level, big pharma is astonishingly unscrupulous and entirely amoral. Those whose standard position is zero trust have the correct view.
(2) All the vaccine candidates are coming from a big pharma company, looking to cash in on the crisis.
(3) All of them receive major support from governments, in both research and the accelerated commercialization and development of manufacturing capacity. This is the case anyway but is even more pronounced in a crisis.

So what is one to do? Well depending on which part of the world one lives in, the choices will in fact be reduced. I would definitely go with whichever technology has been around the longest.

In terms of competition, the race is now in manufacturing. Some previous statements by a Chinese official suggested ~300mm/year production capacity in existence estimated in early Nov, ~600mm/year expected by end of year (this was planned/estimated back in Sept however), and expected production of at least 1000mm next year (probably much more). Several US manufacturers are targeting a manufacturing capacity on that order for next year also. One had a figure of 3000mm thrown around. Prices range from
$30 on the high end to ~$10 for the Chinese and Russian ones, to even less. In many cases subsidized for the public.

In terms of policy, the question is who to give it to first. Giving it to the rich would make money, obviously. Giving it to the elderly would make sense, and might make just as much money if national governments get involved and pay full price.

Then, after the initial wave in which the wealthy get vaccinated and move on with life, the big question will be how long the effect of the vaccine lasts. No point asking about that now, but that might be where the big differences in effectiveness lie among the technologies.

Posted by: ptb | Nov 27 2020 17:53 utc | 44

@Posted by: jef | Nov 27 2020 17:42 utc | 42

The Spanish Flu, as you pointed out, affected younger, healthier people more than the elderly, which seems counter intuitive.

The explanation for this is interesting.

Firstly, we all have two-level immune systems. There is the innate immune system and then there is an adaptive one.
It is believed that a milder version of the Spanish Flu came through the general population months before
the more dangerous mutation was born. Healthier people thwarted the milder version with their first line of defense
the innate immune system. The adaptive immune system - ****the one with memory**** - was never activated in
healthier people. Elderly people, with weaker immune systems, did not have strong enough innate immune systems so
the adaptive immune system, the second line of defense **was** activated. The second line of defense in the elderly
created memory of the virus and thus were more able to deal with the dangerous mutated form when it came through
months later.

Posted by: librul | Nov 27 2020 18:05 utc | 45

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are custom built for the privileged classes; and Big Pharma has a powerful seat in the councils of government. The power of the lobby industry and the propaganda that pushes flawed solutions, expensive supply chains, and support equipment, is not for the meek or anyone not connected to affluence. This is not for the greatest good for the greater number of folks.

Posted by: Copeland | Nov 27 2020 18:10 utc | 46

@ Posted by: librul | Nov 27 2020 18:05 utc | 45

The Black Plague also killed mostly young adults. That's why a huge chunk of medieval Europe was mowed down. It also came in many waves.

Posted by: vk | Nov 27 2020 18:13 utc | 47

I agree with B. Just a small correction. Modernas vaccine can be stored for half a year in a normal refrigerator and is therefore easier to handle than the German-u.s. product.

Posted by: pnyx | Nov 27 2020 18:15 utc | 48

Vaccines cannot "defeat" a "pandemic" (ie., eliminate an infectious disease). they can protect a population through herd immunity, which should be enough.
The Chinese live-attenuated vaccines are best, along with herd immunity for the very frail and elderly. Adenovirus vaccines are a poor choice to give to an entire planet because the prior immunity concerns will destroy its future effectiveness for other purposes such as health workers containing ebola.

It is also worth mentioning that antigenic epitopes are comprised of more than just a single external protein on a capsid or membrane and conformations are affected by interactions between multiple proteins, pH, temperature, etc. Along with a lifetime of prior exposures to pathogens, the individual immune response to a specific virus is its own best vaccine, and investors and politicians don't even know what they don't even know but will never admit that.

Posted by: k | Nov 27 2020 18:23 utc | 49

Man I love your site. But as New Yorker who seen this plandemic up close ....... I will have to disagree with you and I will pass on all vaccines. I guess I will get a bullet soon by the appropriate authority so be it.... Give me Liberty or give me Death!!

Posted by: anthony scott | Nov 27 2020 18:34 utc | 50

regarding people's comments on mRNA and DNA: the point of using mRNA is to translate proteins in the cytoplasm. This does not involve the nucleus where the cell's chromosomal DNA is. This does require the ability to enter the cell's membrane (no guarantee), but an mRNA that codes for a single structure protein is not likely to affect anyone's DNA.
(also not fully understood to be effective at all and will require stringent storage and delivery methods)

Posted by: k | Nov 27 2020 18:40 utc | 51


Everyone is radioactive so every test subject has had their DNA exposed to radiation. Especially cat lovers with their radioactive cat litter.

I think cancer from a mRNA vaccine would be more of a feature than a bug since most mRNA vaccine research has been cancer related. Creating a new vaccine for a cancer the old vaccine created should be easy.

Posted by: Randy | Nov 27 2020 18:57 utc | 52

This is to elaborate on my post #14…... There are so many things going on with Covid that do not pass the sniff test, vaccination being one of them. Unfortunately, b is not helpful here.

Let’s look at vaccines. A decision to get vaccinated is a matter of risk analysis. On the left-hand side is the risk of Covid and the right side is the risks posed by a vaccine.

Every risk has two components – an (objective) risk profile and a (subjective) perception of risk. My objective risk from Covid depends on my age, comorbidities, lifestyle, etc. I am not young but I am healthy and have a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, my objective risk from Covid is not the highest. This will be different for different peoplw. Then there is the (subjective) perception of risk. Even if two people have similar objective risk profiles, their decisions will be different based on their perception of risk. My perception of risk from Covid is significantly lower than most other people, and that’s because the risk from Covid is being fantastically overblown in the media, including by b. Here are the reasons why.

Every headline you see about “xyz new Covid cases” is overblown because

a. PCR test is not an approved diagnostic test. Not only does it not diagnose a disease called “Covid-19”, it does not diagnose any disease whatsoever. Instead, it looks at fragments of a virus called “SARS Cov-2”, that can (but must not) cause the disease. The virus and the disease are two different things. From those who get a positive PCR reading, a minute fraction will get the infection (depending on the dose and the strength of the immune system) – from which again, a minute fraction will get sick – from which a minute fraction will have a serious case – from which a minute fraction will die. (If you are asking why so many people are dying, then see below).

b. A positive identification is NOT a “case”. In epidemiology, a case is defined as an event when medical intervention is needed (or when the patient dies). That’s why epidemiology deals with Case Fatality Rate CFR and Infection Fatality Rate IFR. Not every positive PCR identification is an “infection”, let alone a “case”.

c. The essence of a PCR test (Polymerase Chain Reaction) is that with every cycle it multiples the target molecule. By running many cycles, it can rapidly identify minute quantities of the molecule. Unfortunately, there is no single standardized PCR test – there are hundreds of them being used.

d. PCR is a very sensitive test. Depending on how many cycles are run, it can detect extremely minute quantities of fragments of the target virus - even levels that will never cause an infection. See a recent ruling in Portugal A simple presence of a virus does not mean that it will cause infection – it depends on the dose. Even an infection does not mean that there will be a “case” – it depends on the strength of the immune system. Remember, there is no standardized PCR test. Also remember that each of us carries several trillion of viruses and bacteria (in our microbiome), many of which are useful, but some are harmful. If a simple presence of virus/bacteria were diseases, then we should all be declared sick. Also remember that about 30% world population carry the TB bacterium, but I have never seen a headline proclaiming that we have 2+ billion TB cases.

e. The (cumulative) number of PCR test positives can only go up. That by itself means nothing.

f. I am told that WHO’s definition of a pandemic used to include mortality as one of several conditions. That condition was removed several years ago without any explanation. If this is true (I haven’t checked the validly myself) then Covid-19 wouldn’t even be a pandemic spreading fear and panic.

g. Every projection of Covid death was higher by several orders of magnitude. Just a coincidence?

As a result of all the above, many people are panicked beyond justification. They also equate the reported number of PCR positives as severely ill COvid-19 patients! No wonder, their perception of danger from Covid is much, much higher than mine. This is not a failure to communicate by the media but the objective.

Here I should point out that I do think Covid to be a serious disease that I do not want to get. I take practical measures to avoid getting Covid. But it is nowhere as dangerous as it is being portrayed.

Since my objective risk profile, as well as my perception of its risk from Covid are not high, any vaccine I might take has to have a low risk. None of the vaccines pass that test.

Now to vaccines. It has taken 8-10 years to develop most traditional vaccines – I think there is one exception with 4.5 years. The primarily reason is the time needed to understand long-term effects. Strangely, multiple governments are on record having said at the beginning of the pandemic that we’ll get back to normal only after there will be an effective vaccine. Did they really mean after 8-10 years, which would be the logical conclusion from past history? What did they know that we did not?

Equally stunningly, are we to believe that all of a sudden, the long term effects of vaccines that are based on new technologies (m-RNA or DNA or Virus Vector), whose mechanisms of action and long-term effects are not fully understood, can be assessed in 1-2 years? I understand that vaccines based on such technologies have been limited to livestock only (they are not expected to live long, are they?). See, why Covid needs to be portrayed as sooooo dangerous?

I have professional experience in developing medical devices at a multinational corporation. Those devices could equally fall in the drug category. We had decided to stay on the device side – for strategic reasons. (That is sometimes possible by not using new molecules, by limiting the claims, and by choosing how to describe the mechanism of action). Bottom line, I have a reasonable understanding of FDA drug approval process and have worked on projects all the way from in-vitro, to in-vivo, to animal study, to human clinical study. The entire development process, through approval, is FDA regulated, with very specific deliverables at different gates. In the end, it comes down to three main deliverables: safety, efficacy and risk assessment. From what I can see, if the old regulatory guidelines were used, then all these new vaccines would get a failing grade in safety and risk assessment. Efficacy is uncertain because even after reading Pfizer’s clinical study protocol, I was not able to clearly understand how they define efficacy – it is all a matter of definition.

So how is it possible that the decades-old regulatory process for drug development, that have served us well, have been thrown out the window? OH, Covid is sooooo dangerous!

And finally, let’s think about an analogy. Imagine that the likelihood of a person to die from a gunshot wound in Country A is 4,000 times higher than in Country B. What would you expect from your government to do? Mandate that everyone in Country A must wear full body armor, made from depleted Uranium, without knowing if there will be long term damages, including ergonomic and skeletal problems? Or would you expect the authorities to first explore what causes a 4,000-fold difference in mortality. Well, we are being told to wear a full body armor as the first and the best measure! I will neither be wearing the full body armor made from depleted Uranium, nor will be taking any Covid vaccine (without waiting for several years to see its side effects.) BTW, I take my flu shot every year, keep al my regular vaccines u to date, and even took the shingles vaccine regularly. I am not fundamentally opposed to vaccination.

- - - - -

We need to realize that a virus does not kill people – it initiates a cascade of events that can (but must not) ultimately kill a person. For example, the AIDS virus compromises the immune system of the host. But the host ultimately dies from other causes. If you look at the difference in Covid-19 mortality rate by country, (caused by the virus SARS Cov-2), as measured by “death per million inhabitants”, then you’ll find that there is a 4,656-fold difference between the best and the worst country (Taiwan and Belgium; US falls somewhere on the upper end. See and NOTE below).

That means, it is probably not the inherent lethality of the virus that is killing such high number of people (unless mutations are playing a role). It is very likely that there are other parameters (completely unrelated to the lethality of the virus) that impact subsequent events in the cascade of events that are much more important. Some of them, in no particular order, could be – access to healthcare, quality of public health, population demography, prevailing comorbidities, societal and political norms and structures, etc. Why are there no discussion about these issues. Instead we have a mad rush to vaccines from the get go. Hmmm...

As a rough example, if USA had the same mortality as in Taiwan then the USA would have barely 100 deaths in total instead of 269,692!!. If that is an extreme case, then we can use the world average value. That would mean 61,400 total deaths in the USA. Just 100 or 61k total deaths in the USA doesn't seem that scary, does it?

I calculated mortality values based on the data from the Worldometer website. I understand that the date is not clean. But that alone cannot explain a spread of three orders of magnitude.

The values I used are as follows (total population / total death / death per million):

USA: 331,790,984 / 269,802 / 813
Taiwan: 23,834,350 / 7 / 0.3
Belgium: 11,610,138 / 16,219 / 1,397

Average value for the world is 185.2 deaths per million population

Posted by: nathan Mulcahy | Nov 27 2020 18:57 utc | 53

@ Posted by: k | Nov 27 2020 18:40 utc | 51

As I stated in my first comment, no one's contesting the theory behind mRNA vaccines. It definitely can work in theory without altering one's DNA.

The problem is to translate this theory to practice. Practice depends on many factors, including the finesse/precision of the technology used to produce the vaccine. Kirill Dmitriev has already stated that there is evidence mRNA vaccines can cause infertility; furthermore, he raised the question of why the Americans don't investigate the potential carcinogenic side effects of their mRNA vaccines (which, given the imperfection of the technology and even the incompleteness of the theory, is possible, even if only in the long term).

Posted by: vk | Nov 27 2020 18:58 utc | 54

If I am getting the gist of this following article, *some* individual guinea pigs (the human kind)
might have a problem with the mRNA-type vaccines as their body may already contain proteins
that have similarities to the *new* protein(s) created by the mRNA-type vaccines.
The body is being taught by the mRNA-type vaccines to attack Covid-19 related proteins but
a side effect (and possibly long term side effect) is that naturally occurring proteins
in an individual might also be attacked.

If you go with these mRNA-type vaccines let me know how it works out for you.


Could COVID-19 mRNA vaccines cause autoimmune diseases?

Dear Editor,

Mass vaccination offers the best exit strategy from the COVID-19 pandemic. Pfizer/BioNTech's recent announcement, therefore, is encouraging.[1] Their vaccine candidate was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 infection in participants without prior infection. Being an mRNA vaccine, mass production is cheaper and more straightforward than with other vaccine formulations.

mRNA vaccines effect coded protein production in the recipient’s body. In the case of COVID-19, inert spike (S) antigen proteins are produced. Normally, these enable SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus particles to enter host cells, but therapeutically, inoculation triggers humoral (antibody-mediated) acquired immunity.

Severe/fatal cases of COVID-19 are associated with immune hyperactivation and excessive cytokine release, leading to multiorgan failure. A broad range of mechanisms (with a final common pathway) appear to be involved. However, it has been suggested that molecular mimicry may contribute to this problem, with antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoproteins cross-reacting with structurally similar host heptapeptide protein sequences (for example, in interleukin 7 and alveolar surfactant proteins), and raising an acute (auto)immune response against them.[2] Autoinflammatory dysregulation in genetically susceptible individuals, and other autoimmune mechanisms such as epitope spreading and bystander activation, might also contribute to acute but also chronic autoimmunity during and after COVID-19. [3]

In the understandable socioeconomic rush towards mass vaccination without longer-term safety testing, it would seem that an essential stage in any vaccine licensing process should involve careful analysis of the human proteome against vaccine peptide sequences. This should minimize the risks both of acute autoimmune reactions to inoculation and future chronic autoimmune pathology.

Posted by: librul | Nov 27 2020 19:39 utc | 55

I am 80. Shall I rush to be vaccinated? No. But that's not a 'one person's choice/everyone should follow' statement. The conflicting arguments above are most useful, thanks to everyone. I'm not an expert. I only try to know what's right for me. It will sound silly, but in doing that, I listen to my body first.

As an 80 year old, I can be classed with those who are expendable. I've had my 'triple twenty plus ten' allowance plus an additional ten. Well, not to boast but lots was really helpful in my upbringing. I was privileged, not in riches but in environment. Pre-war (by two weeks) birth, healthy outdoor entertainment, no tv, no internet, no video games, islandic ocean-exposed existence in formative years; non smoker, no psychodelic drugs, not much alcohol, great education through college in the liberal arts (which promoted independent thinking - you had to or you didn't survive the program) etc. etc. That all came to me; it was not my doing. I simply lucked into it.

I'm not superhuman, not hugely athletic -- but there was nothing nuclear fusion related in my environment for my first five years. The only vaccination I can remember having as a child was for diptheria. There's a photo of me and my mum standing in line with my sister in a pram, so I figure I was about five when that happened. I got mumps, measles, and later on chicken pox. As a teen in the US now, had the oral polio vaccination and got small pox shot to come over to the US. Was tested for TB and got a positive on that, the assumption being I had been exposed to cowpox on my uncle's dairy farm. And that's it. No 'flu shots period. I'd had the 'Asian' 'flu pretty badly in high school here - my body tells me that has helped, but who knows for sure? Okay, body. Been there, done that.

I mask. I stay away from people, even loved ones, since this epidemic began. I remember the polio epidemic in New Zealand as a child. It was scary, and it lasted a long time. We stayed away from beaches, crowds, school - had correspondence classes that were in the newspaper. Children in our community died; it was a hot spot for the disease. I didn't get it. There was still no vaccine, and the contagion went away after two years. Still no vaccine, but we went back to normal.

Am I an 'anti-vaxxer'? No, I don't think so. But I think vk was right when he said that the US (and other countries of similar experience) has mutated. I don't trust government's many departments that have the task of keeping people safe and allowing them a say with verifiable voting procedures the way I used to. The goals have changed. We have been documenting that here. Most particularly, the ability of individuals to think for themselves, and make right choices, is being infringed upon. It is not considered important by the ptb. But I'm one who believes that is critical - I do strongly believe that. We ought to make our own choices, now more than ever. So many wrong ones are being offered us.

Above all, everyone: you yourself are an unique person with an unique background of health exposures and experiences. I can't judge for you; the task is for you to think for yourself. Listen to all sides, but do not be persuaded, if your own body says no.

Thanks, b, for this important subject.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 27 2020 20:14 utc | 56

Debsisdead raises an important issue when he states that for some communities, the Sputnik V vaccine and the Chinese vaccines will not be available and the only choice will be between the least desirable AZ and Pfizer-Biotech vaccines. Here in Australia the Morrison govt claims to have inked deals with those corporations to purchase their vaccines. Australians will probably be subjected to a blizzard of propaganda to accept either one of those and to distrust the Russian and Chinese vaccines. Some individuals and organisations no doubt will buy the Russian and Chinese vaccines at considerable cost to themselves. The poorest communities - in particular indigenous communities in remote regions where infrastructure is poor and refrigeration facilities are inadequate or non-existent - may not have any choice but to accept whatever Canberra foists on them.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 27 2020 20:26 utc | 57

It appears that Mark2, par4, Circe, and Hmpf are trolls who disgrace themselves by attacking this website without fact or argument. Who pays you? That is all we need to know.

Those who instead assert that they know better, should respectfully differ with fact and argument.

Posted by: Joe | Nov 27 2020 20:38 utc | 58

@ Posted by: librul | Nov 27 2020 19:39 utc | 55

editorials that reference papers that say things like, "it has been suggested that molecular mimicry may contribute to this problem", and "might also contribute", are intentionally misleading.

it is very unlikely that antibodies to epitopes on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein cross-react with presumed structurally similar proteins - regardless of who "suggested" that it "might". the assumption that this only happens in the lungs is only one of many things wrong with this theory. it's far more likely that people with weaker immune systems (and worse infections) progress to lung damage from the virus itself. (and, of course, organ failure is a common step from fatal events to death.)
furthermore, cytokine storms resulting from cancer T-cell therapies are a result of an unnatural pathway of cell death that is more characteristic of severe tissue injury and is not tolerated well by the body under normal circumstances, let alone cancer victims. (this doesn't mean it wasn't progress in cancer research)

Posted by: k | Nov 27 2020 20:55 utc | 59

Testing whether now you need to post here with a real email

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Nov 27 2020 20:55 utc | 60

Good that both, Debsisdead and b are willing to take the shot first, especially if they are willing to do so with the mRNA vaccines.
That way we could be able to read here a daily SitRep on the collateral effects to make our own idea and have more data to choose.

I will continue waiting for around two to five years to take it, anyway, it will not be a mRNA vaccine, vk has documented quite throriughly what these vaccines are about, something new, unexperienced before and ethically problematic to be applied to human beings after such short perdiod of research.

But, well, anyone is free of taking part in this "live exercise"...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Nov 27 2020 21:05 utc | 61

@ 30

I can't think of one, unless the recipient is already infected with HIV or some other retrovirus. In that case in principle the reverse transcriptase and integrase from the retrovirus might achieve it.

Posted by: irf520 | Nov 27 2020 21:06 utc | 62

Thank you, Nathan Mulcahy @53 for your valuable contribution to this discussion. Not being an expert, with the experience you demonstrate, I couldn't follow some of your points but I could see many that echoed my somewhat lamebrained explanation of personal details. That is what makes these forums so valuable, this being one of the very few places where the bartender is tolerant of diverging viewpoints as long as they do not ignore the core assumptions. And though I single you out in this post, there are many others I could mention that are helpful as well. As far as I understand it, I agree with your post.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 27 2020 21:10 utc | 63

B, I'm wondering, where did you get that price tag of $3-$4 from (for the AstraZeneca vaccine)? I sincerely doubt the manufacturing cost will be that low. It's an absurd price to put out, even taking into account that research has been paid for by taxpayers and that companies will forego any profits.

On the contrary, I have reason to believe that adenovirus vaccines are by their very nature more expensive to produce than any mRNA vaccine ever will be. mRNA you put in the range of §25-$35, which seems much more realistic.

For the adenovirus vaccine, like with any other vaccine except the mRNA type, you still need to produce the actual antigen in sufficient numbers. That's a costly process, in terms of raw material, energy consumption, and process monitoring. Viruses don't grow on trees to be harvested. They also don't grow just by tossing some specimens into a nutrient solution, like bacteria do. For a virus to replicate, you need a live host cell from a cell culture. Those are very, very expensive and take a lot of time and care to grow. They also block their slot in the growing facility while they're growing. What's more, the host cells get consumed in the process of antigen production, so you need a constant feed of ever more expensive live cells.

As if that weren't enough in terms of cost boosting, the cheapest available way to use host cells, chicken eggs, is simply out of the question for the adenovirus vaccines we're talking about. They're adenoviruses from mammals, and they need mammalian host cells. So we're still stuck with some long-dead guy's liver or the kidneys of Green Monkeys, whose cell lines scientists have used for decades.

It's hard to find actual and reliable pricing information for vaccines. It was impossible for me in the case of the US. For Germany, it's possible to use the search function of online pharmacies.

Like so (prices in Euros). The cheapest vaccine is €15.69, and it's a dual vaccine against diphtheria and tetanus. But it's for children, so it has a reduced amount of antigen material. The cheapest flu shot is €11.30, made from eggs. I don't know, can we get from that example to the future adenovirus vaccine? Maybe 1/3 of €11.30 is actual cost of manufacturing. This amount I think we'd then have to double to cover the mammalian cell lines. Then convert into $$.

In the UK, it seems vaccination is more expensive than in Germany. Getting a chickenpox shot at a drug store will cost you £75. That's including the service of administering the shot. In Germany, getting a chickenpox vaccine from your family doctor amounts to less than £65, but your mandatory health insurance will pay for that anyway.

So, no way our caring governments will only have to pay $3-$4 for each shot. No way.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Nov 27 2020 21:13 utc | 64

@10 "mRNA vaccines do not modify your DNA? This is news to me."

Hard to see how mRNA can modify your DNA, since the former is the product of the latter and not vice versa.

You have DNA, which contains the instructions for making the proteins that make up, well, you.
The DNA replicates a portion of itself as mRNA ("messenger" RNA) which contains the instructions for making a single protein.
That mRNA floats around and tRNA ("transfer" RNA) then reads off those instructions and, viola!, you have that protein.

So there is mRNA floating around in your cells all the time. Introducing a foreign mRNA strands leads to the introduction of a novel protein, it does not lead to an alteration of your DNA.

Basic high school biology. It is much more complex than that, of course, but in essence there is no reason to think that an mRNA vaccine must be outlawed because it will rewrite your DNA.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 27 2020 21:25 utc | 65

@Posted by: k | Nov 27 2020 20:55 utc | 59

Thx for the input.

I could not help but notice you yourself said "it is very unlikely that...",
which isn't a giant leap from "it has been suggested" or "might also contribute"

The editorial's warning, I understood, applies to a minority of guinea pigs.

Forewarned is forearmed.
Are you feeling lucky, k?

Posted by: librul | Nov 27 2020 21:33 utc | 66

@Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 27 2020 21:25 utc | 65

Thx, Yeah, Right, for that,

The scientific community agrees with you, the prevailing dogma is that mRNA does not alter DNA.

However, your gut microbes might not have taken "Basic high school biology".

"Over the past 20 years, the recognition that the microbes living inside us outnumber our body’s own cells has turned our view of ourselves inside out. The gut microbiome, as it’s known, weighs about 2 kilograms—more than the 1.4-kilogram human brain—and may have just as much influence over our bodies. Thousands of species of microbes (not only bacteria but also viruses, fungi, and archaea) reside in the gut. And with as many as 20 million genes among them, those microbes pack a genomic punch that our measly 20,000 genes can’t match. Gut bacteria can make and use nutrients and other molecules in ways the human body can’t—a tantalizing source of new therapies."

I expect you are right, mRNA does not alter DNA. You go first though, the world needs guinea pigs.

The above quote is from a particularly interesting read, though it is not about Covid-19. I recommend it just because it is interesting.
Or maybe because my gut told me to say this. :-)

Headline: "Meet the ‘psychobiome’: the gut bacteria that may alter how you think, feel, and act"

"Researchers see ways in which gut microbes could influence the brain. Some may secrete messenger molecules that travel though the blood to the brain. Other bacteria may stimulate the vagus nerve, which runs from the base of the brain to the organs in the abdomen. Bacterial molecules might relay signals to the vagus through recently discovered “neuropod” cells that sit in the lining of the gut, sensing its biochemical milieu, including microbial compounds. Each cell has a long “foot” that extends outward to form a synapselike connection with nearby nerve cells, including those of the vagus.

Indirect links may also exist. Increasingly, researchers see inflammation as a key factor in disorders such as depression and autism. Gut bacteria are key to proper immune system development and maintenance, and studies show that having the wrong mix of microbes can derail that process and promote inflammation. And microbial products may influence what are known as enteroendocrine cells, which reside in the lining of the gut and release hormones and other peptides. "

Posted by: librul | Nov 27 2020 22:26 utc | 67

Quite the discussion! It seems we have a real live version of what the plot of The Fugitive was all about. Speaking of plot, this RT op/ed, "Landmark legal ruling finds that Covid tests are not fit for purpose. So what do the MSM do? They ignore it," with the following being the main crux of the essay:

"The deliberation of the Lisbon Appeal Court is comprehensive and fascinating. It ruled that the Azores Regional Health Authority had violated both Portuguese and international law by confining the Germans to the hotel. The judges also said that only a doctor can “diagnose” someone with a disease, and were critical of the fact that they were apparently never assessed by one.

"They were also scathing about the reliability of the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, the most commonly used check for Covid.

"The conclusion of their 34-page ruling included the following: 'In view of current scientific evidence, this test shows itself to be unable to determine beyond reasonable doubt that such positivity corresponds, in fact, to the infection of a person by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.'

"In the eyes of this court, then, a positive test does not correspond to a Covid case. The two most important reasons for this, said the judges, are that, 'the test’s reliability depends on the number of cycles used’’ and that 'the test’s reliability depends on the viral load present.' In other words, there are simply too many unknowns surrounding PCR testing.'" [Emphasis Original]

The verdict is here in Portuguese.

But it's what in this next bit that caught my eye such that I read it over 4 times:

"Earlier this year, data [Link at Original] from three US states – New York, Nevada and Massachusetts – showed that when the amount of the virus found in a person was taken into account, up to 90 percent of people who tested positive could actually have been negative, as they may have been carrying only tiny amounts of the virus. [My Emphasis]

How can someone having any amount of the virus be deemed to not have the virus? Yes, I understand that the severity of COVID is related to the amount of virus one ingests--the viral load--but if you have any amount, you're still capable of spreading the virus.

The key part to me is the performance of a diagnosis sans a qualified MD, which appears to be the case globally and the source of strength for the hoaxer's argument. We know the truth behind the plot for The Fugitive; we also know the immorality of Neoliberalism and that's shared by Big Pharma. We also know that the Neoliberal nations are fighting against the highly superior Chinese System to remain in power, and that they've proven time and again of their willingness to stop at absolutely nothing to keep themselves in power--their acts make ghastly serial killers look like innocent babes as we saw again today.

The air is so polluted with lies and other forms of misinformation that it's very difficult to trust anything emanating from a Neoliberal nation, which is where most of what we're reading is coming from. My wife recently had surgery for which she had to undergo a test for COVID which was negative, but according to this and other sources, could have been positive. Too bad litmus paper can't be used.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2020 23:05 utc | 68

@ Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Nov 27 2020 21:13 utc | 64

That's why mass production is key for these corporations: if you produce, say, 100 million doses at once, at the same facility and in the same production line, the unitary price (price per unity) falls sharply.

That's why they are fighting tooth and nail with each other for the big slices of the market not only in the First World, but also in the Third World (specially India).


@ Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2020 23:05 utc | 68

This Portugal imbroglio is a nothing burger. Those German tourists simply have very good lawyers who were able to exploit a technicality.

PCR tests are reliable - but not "beyond reasonable doubt", i.e. 100% not rounding up. This doesn't make a difference for a epidemiologist or a government desperate to contain the pandemic, but it makes all the difference in Law.

The second technicality is in the fact that, indeed, only doctors can give you a diagnosis. PCR tests are only used for track and tracing, not for diagnosis. Legally, those two are completely different things, but the lawyers of the German tourists were able to mix the two in their favor: the Azores government, after all, didn't send doctors to legally diagnose them with COVID-19. However, I found this part weird, as governments do have the power and right to quarantine people with positive PCR tests - specially foreigners. The fact that they were leaving and not entering, plus some EU/Schengen bullshit must have tilted the judge's decision in their favor.

The third technicality is in the fact that the judge cannot give a sentence on his personal knowledge of something that is not Law. He based his PCR judgement, probably, on the scientific "evidence" the defense presented to him/her. Props to the lawyers.

Posted by: vk | Nov 27 2020 23:49 utc | 69

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2020 23:05 utc | 68

“How can someone having any amount of the virus be deemed to not have the virus? …….--but if you have any amount, you're still capable of spreading the virus.”

You may want to reconsider the above. Any good analytical chemist will tell you that you can find almost anything if you have an appropriately sensitive test method. PCR happens to be a very, very sensitive method – depending on how many cycles you run.

Besides, as I have posted in my message #53, we all carry several trillion bacteria and viruses in our microbiome. Most of them are helpful, but not all. If just having a microbe or a virus at any level were to mean to be infected or sick, then we’d all be infected and sick from many diseases. But we are not.

I am no Covid hoaxer – whatever that means. You may find my post #53 useful.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Nov 28 2020 0:37 utc | 70

@Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 27 2020 15:32 utc | 26

"It is frequently argued in the US by delusional activists and even university faculty that math requirements should be relaxed or even eliminated in some, or even all, STEM/hard sciences programs in order to make those fields more approachable...

I was very keen on math in high school yet because math instructors at my ACM college were so retro (this was in 1970s — boys do math, girls can’t) i turned toward chemisty, biology and physics. Still did math but, with the exception of the physics instructors, the other profs were on the level, equitable in their teaching.

My world-famous scientist dad told me at a very young age, “You must learn differential calculus to understand the world. Evidently my math-tenured profs did not share his view re girls and perhaps so-called others.

Some forty some years later, I now believe one reason there is such weak support for everyday people’s needs in governance in the West is precisely because people who work for their interests do not understand, do not get, math. Instead they are lawyers or worse fighting battles over words and not material conditions.

How can a left or a social democracy exist or persist without those in charge having an understanding of mathematics?

The ruling class opines, "You don’t need to learn this" because of "identity politics" reasons, you poor idiot. That’s a pile!!!!

Posted by: suzan | Nov 28 2020 1:08 utc | 71

These mrna vaccines are shortcuts into boosting the immune system and they may or may not may have negative implications for health. We won't know until years after they are used.

While mRNA vaccines effectively hijack the cellular ribosomal protein synthesis machinery, inducing the production of select antigens which the immune system then reacts against, in the process much of the innate immune’s system processes are skipped over with unknown results. The native immune system both stimulates and depresses immune responses through various mechanisms not fully understood. By introducing a mechanical element into a system not completely known, unexpectedly results may occur.

Also, while the mrna theoretically does not interact with cellular dna, and so does not alter celluar dna, only interacting in the cellular medium and with ribosomes, if reverse transcriptase became somehow involved, this would no longer be the only outcome.

Posted by: suzan | Nov 28 2020 1:24 utc | 72

@37 vk

Thanks for the Global Times editorial. There is indeed an opinion war mounted by the west against the Chinese vaccine.

The editorial explains that because China has defeated the virus in its own country, it has to turn to other countries with raging epidemics for its Phase 3 trials. It reveals tangentially later that the US and some other other countries have declined to cooperate with China over this.

The disgust here is palpable both in the editorial and as one reads it.

I do believe that China's pledge to make its vaccines available to the world affordably as a "global public good" is more than soft-heartedness. It's the pragmatic understanding that global society is only as healthy as its weakest members - the same understanding it brings to its own population. As a win-win proponent, China knows that the rising tide of global health can lift all boats.

Not to drift too far here, but this almost strikes me as a tentative beginning of China's adoption of the whole world as its beneficiary. Dr. Sun Yat-sen himself, at the very start of China's global thought, said that he believed China's immense population (then around 400 million) could only have existed at such a scale in order to be of service to the world, to benefit the world. It was an extraordinary claim, and I have often wondered how much of that impulse has remained deep-seated in China's world view.


By the way, vk - as another said up-thread, I also don't always agree with everything you post, but as I believe I've said in the past, I'm enormously grateful for what you post. I think many of us know that feeling of coming across important information and feeling that we must rush over and share it with the commenters at MoA, just to add to the collective parsing. It's a collegial thing. You spend a lot of work sharing information and you don't seem to ego-trip over it very much, which I appreciate greatly.

I was surprised to see you attacked by Debsisdead in b's featured comment - I think it's you he refers to, but apologies to all if I got it wrong - and I was very surprised to see b agree with the attack. I'm glad it hasn't stopped your sharing information - many thanks!

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 28 2020 1:43 utc | 73

US pharmacuetical companies have immunity fropm vaccine lawsuits.

Posted by: anonymous | Nov 28 2020 4:12 utc | 74


The article is not recent, but it stated that 12 to 24 months was optimistic. We're not even at 12 months from initial research. The article also states phase I would take 14 months! So then the trials were shortened, therefore, long-term effects are unknown.

If the medical profession want to wait before getting it; who am I to argue? I'll wait for them to get it first and wait some more.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 28 2020 7:14 utc | 75

b. again out of his depth. Most of the world doesn't need a vaccine anymore, because they already had the real virus (50% in much of Latin America) or because they are not really susceptible to the virus (much of Africa and parts of East Asia). And AstraZeneca's "half-dose miracle" has nothing to do with vector immunisation, it simply was a younger cohort.

Posted by: Z. Malenkov | Nov 28 2020 8:04 utc | 76

I didn't see this thread until I came in to post about something else.
People appear to be so eager to make a pithy remark they don't really follow original posts that well it seems to me.

Firstly I know that I and from reading what b wrote, he too wouldn't recommend any vaccine that hadn't been thoroughly tested and peer reviewed showing no major side effects. Feel like a fucking lawyer wondering if there is some loophole in that statement for small minds to niggle over.

If astra zeneca is demonstrated to work and if it has no side effects, it will most likely be the one that most humans who are unable to access either russia or china vaccines will be offered. Simply because it unlike the mRNA vaccines is much less expensive to distribute because even though the moderna vaccine can be stored for a short time in a domestic type fridge, that is not recommended - the mRNA vaccines will require custom storage facilities and their unit price is considerably higher as one can read in this piece in Observer

"Pfizer: $20 per dose. Free for early recipients. "

"Moderna: $10 to $50 per dose. Free for early recipients."

"AstraZeneca: under $4 per dose. Free for early recipients."

The reason why Astra Zeneca will be much less expensive is explained in the article in some depth. As well as doing a deal with the amerikan government - which is the probable reason experts such as wall st analysts are demanding it never be licensed for use in amerika .

EG A much repeated quote taken in this instance from CNBC can be found all over the net.

"Particularly harsh criticism came from U.S.-based health care and biotech investment bank SVB Leerink, whose analysts wrote Monday: “We believe that this product will never be licensed in the U.S.”"

That was the giveaway for me on Thursday and prompted me to look further.
As Observer article says "AstraZeneca has a $1.2 billion agreement with the U.S. government to supply up to 300 million doses to Americans. That funding also included the money used in the vaccine’s phase 3 trials. So the per-dose price at which the U.S. government has agreed to purchase the vaccine is under $4."

300 million doses in amerika takes a huge chunk of the other two pharma corporation's amerikan market where top dollar is always gained. That is what is driving the push against astra zeneca on wall st.

In addition Astra Zeneca has an additional international arrangement once again from Observer.
"AstraZeneca is a member of Covax, a global initiative aiming to distribute two billion vaccine doses to 92 low- and middle-income countries at no more than $3 a dose. Neither Pfizer nor Moderna has joined the initiative."

Maybe someone will see now what b & I are trying to point out.

$3 a dose shouldn't drive any nation whose existing control by foreign finance precludes access to China or Russia vaccines, bankrupt protecting their population - most will be able to afford that without having to hawk their fork or pawn their arsehole.

If astra zeneca's vaccine works and has no bad side effects, its low cost and lack of need for expensive infrastructure makes it by far the best choice for most of our brothers & sisters out there in the real world.

For people who debate and don't soil their hands with action of course there are likely to be as many objections put out to prove their point as usual, fairly secure in the knowledge that since life is too short to get caught up in bullshit, they will get the last word, but if you actually care about other humans, this blatant takedown by greedies which will result in billions not getting vaccinated or having their nation put even deeper in hock, must be resisted.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Nov 28 2020 9:06 utc | 77

I don't expect anyone to believe me, but mRNA vaccines are probably the safest of all. The reason being, these vaccines can comprise a very low dose of just one type of molecule, an mRNA: This type of vaccine involves no living or dead organism, nor even the intact genome of one.

It probably won the race because it is so very quick and easy to generate: If you have the virus genome sequence, you can make the spike protein gene overnight, and transcribe it to mRNA the following day. Job done - now you are onto the testing phase.

Very low doses of mRNA are required because the signal is amplified: One mRNA molecule can drive the production of hundreds of protein molecules - the entities that actually stimulate the immune response.

I recall that the US developed a ballpoint pen that works in zeroG (leading to Papermate) while the Russians simply used a pencil. I am sure there is money involved, but maybe cultural issues too: The seduction of next generation technology generally does appeal to the American psyche. NASA has been gaming this psychology forever.

Regards to all, Shyaku.

Posted by: Shyaku | Nov 28 2020 9:40 utc | 78

The "modify your DNA" thing sounds to me like classical colleagial envy.

Posted by: Shyaku | Nov 28 2020 9:43 utc | 79

Entire debate framed as vaccines are the only choice, it is vaccines or nothing

If you absolutely completely believe that there is no treatment and no prophylaxis for covid, then you are waiting for a vaccine. If you believe that you are completely asleep. And the time you are spending just waiting is not doing anything to support your health.

Best post so far is Nathan Mulcahy @ 53. This is supposedly the most contagious most virulent disease ever. And we see a 4645 fold variation in how many people die in different populations by country. And Mulcahy does not even mention Vietnam which is even better, 35 deaths in a population of 100 million. What accounts for that? Would it be that there is something to be done, something that governments or people do that stops this virus? It sure does look like this virus in not that successful in killing Vietnamese. Unless you are a complete racist Vietnamese are humans just like us. They don’t die from covid. But vaccine or death.

Final sentence in top post is priceless. “Seems safe enough”. Nothing coming at you from pharma is safe. mRNA is coming at you straight from DARPA. Suddenly we all trust the military. The military is our friend, the military will protect us. Where does this sudden turnabout come from? Any who would endorse military rubbish and put it in their body or their neighbors body, that person was never anti-imperialist, never humane, never thoughtful, certainly never remotely a leftist. If the military is your daddy go take some vaccine.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 28 2020 9:58 utc | 80

The guinea pigs have been found.

Not good.

Individual Israelis should hop on a plane and get their vaccines elsewhere.
(Having a population scatter around the world is not good either. Catch-22?)


Israel to receive Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as early as December – report

Israel is expected to receive up to half a million doses of the Pfizer Inc. vaccine against the coronavirus as early as December, one month earlier than originally hoped for, Channel 12 reported Monday.

According to the unsourced report, the country would receive anywhere between 200,000 and 500,000 doses of the vaccine and will devote them primarily to those working in the medical field, while the general population would not be vaccinated this winter.

The report also quoted a senior Health Ministry official as saying that the early arrival of the vaccine would have a “positive” effect on Israel’s battle against COVID-19 this winter.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel had signed a deal with Pfizer to purchase coronavirus vaccine shots, days after the US pharmaceutical firm said data suggested its vaccine was 90 percent effective at preventing COVID-19.

As part of the agreement with Pfizer, Netanyahu said Israel would receive 8 million doses of the vaccine, enough to inoculate 4 million Israelis. Netanyahu expressed hope that Pfizer would begin supplying the vaccine in January, pending authorization from health officials in the United States and Israel.

Posted by: librul | Nov 28 2020 10:24 utc | 81

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2020 23:05 utc | 68

"Earlier this year, data [Link at Original] from three US states – New York, Nevada and Massachusetts – showed that when the amount of the virus found in a person was taken into account, up to 90 percent of people who tested positive could actually have been negative, as they may have been carrying only tiny amounts of the virus.

What's missing is precision of language. A person infected will have,
1) Live Virus
2) Dead Virus
3) Fragmented Virus Part

Only 1) will infect others.

When to worry about 1) is very well explained by Dr. Mina starting at 20 min. Hint, a window of about 10 days.
At Home COVID 19 Antigen Testing and Vaccine Update with Harvard Professor Michael Mina, MD

Posted by: Tom_12 | Nov 28 2020 13:00 utc | 82

Early this week(22/11 - 28/11) a spokesman for the World Health Organization stated words to the effect that if 95% of a population wore masks in public COVID19 would not be a problem.

I don't have a link to a source for this yet but will post one when I find it.

An unfortunate psychological overhang from the anti-mask advice seems to be preventing some governments (Australia I am talking to you) from promoting mask wearing with appropriate enthusiasm. I wonder whether some politicians fear the accusation of being flip floppers.

Masks have 2 separate beneficial effects. For an uninfected mask wearer there is a moderate 70% to 80% reduction in the probability P of catching COVID19 from 0.2P to 0.3P. But for an infected mask wearer there is a massive decrease in the probability of infecting others. Most infections are spread by small virus containing droplets of moisture emitted by infected humans when they cough, sneeze, sing or simply breathe and very few such particles get through a textile face covering. This is the major protective effect that masks have and if by magic we could make it that infected people and only infected people wore masks then it would probably be as effective as if everyone wore them. The 70% to 80% decrease is still worth having especially if one is in any of the higher risk groups and even if one is not to prevent one infecting others.

Posted by: The Evil One | Nov 28 2020 13:03 utc | 83

Adding to my comment @82 and addressing --> Posted by: nathan Mulcahy | Nov 27 2020 18:57 utc | 53

The PCR test should be run maximum to Ct at which light is first detected, signal that virus is present. That is not what is currently done. Lets say a lab uses Ct=40 then the process will cycle until it reaches Ct=40. That minimum Ct when light is first generated is stored BUT IT IS NOT GIVEN WITH THE RESULTS.

Why it should be given is explained here.
Large French Study

Posted by: Tom_12 | Nov 28 2020 13:20 utc | 84

I am not sure that I agree with everything in this piece, but it is very relevant to my comment in #53 where I point out that all projections of the number of deaths from Covid have been higher by several orders of magnitude than what really ended up being.

Whether due to incompetence (as the author suggests) or intentionality (by leaving out competent subject matter experts in committees that are given the authority to put such projections together), the fundamental assumptions of the projections have been wrong. Here the author points out two wrong assumptions:

Error 1: Assuming that 100% of the population was susceptible to the virus and that no pre-existing immunity existed.

Error 2: The belief that the percentage of the population that has been infected can be determined by surveying what fraction of the population has antibodies.

Read for yourself. SAGE stands for Scientific Advisory Group for Emergency (UK government)

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Nov 28 2020 13:34 utc | 85

b DAMN< DANN Triple DAMN. I just lost a long comment because I accidentally pressed some key and it vanished before I had copied any of it. If you know of any actions mouse or keyboard that can have such an effect please post a warning.

Posted by: The Evil One | Nov 28 2020 14:05 utc | 86

@Posted by: The Evil One | Nov 28 2020 14:05 utc | 86

That has happened to everyone here, I'll bet.

Have you tried banging your head on the wall?

(I believe I did Preview one time and then neglected to follow that up with Post)

Posted by: librul | Nov 28 2020 14:09 utc | 87

Ctrl + Backspace does a delete back to the latest punctuation mark.

Posted by: librul | Nov 28 2020 14:13 utc | 88

Alt + Backspace does undelete !

Posted by: librul | Nov 28 2020 14:16 utc | 89

nathan Mulcahy | Nov 27 2020 18:57 utc | 53 said:

We need to realize that a virus does not kill people – it initiates a cascade of events that can (but must not) ultimately kill a person. For example, the AIDS virus compromises the immune system of the host. But the host ultimately dies from other causes. If you look at the difference in Covid-19 mortality rate by country, (caused by the virus SARS Cov-2), as measured by “death per million inhabitants”, then you’ll find that there is a 4,656-fold difference between the best and the worst country (Taiwan and Belgium; US falls somewhere on the upper end. See and NOTE below).

That means, it is probably not the inherent lethality of the virus that is killing such high number of people (unless mutations are playing a role). It is very likely that there are other parameters (completely unrelated to the lethality of the virus) that impact subsequent events in the cascade of events that are much more important. Some of them, in no particular order, could be – access to healthcare, quality of public health, population demography, prevailing comorbidities, societal and political norms and structures, etc. Why are there no discussion about these issues. Instead we have a mad rush to vaccines from the get go. Hmmm...

As a rough example, if USA had the same mortality as in Taiwan then the USA would have barely 100 deaths in total instead of 269,692!!. If that is an extreme case, then we can use the world average value. That would mean 61,400 total deaths in the USA. Just 100 or 61k total deaths in the USA doesn't seem that scary, does it?

The factor that and pretty much all the others who wish to dismiss, at least in part, the danger from the virus, fail to include in your assessment is that of the "long-haulers". It seems that a certain percentage of those who contract Covid-19 are experiencing long-term and quite severe ill-health from the disease, effects such as heart and lungs no longer functioning properly. This is pretty bad, dude! I personally know a man who contracted Covid-19 in early August. He has survived, but these several months later he still can't walk to the end of his driveway. Now he was somewhat over-weight and had a couple of under-lying health issues. The group-spreading he was in, a school administration staff meeting, the others have fully recovered, as far as I know.

So, in this small sample group, it was only 20% of those contracting Covid-19 who have had their health, to date, completely wrecked. That one also had co-conditions, although not crippling ones at that time ~still working, going to meetings, etc. Well, hey, it's okay, then! It's not that big a deal. If you're reasonably healthy then it probably won't wreck you the rest of the way. Stop worrying so much, people!

Here's my point: y'all who dismiss the dangers of SarsCov-2 by mentioning only the fatality rate are either making a simple mistake or being a bit disingenuous. Fatality is not the only bad effect of the disease, at least not to date. I believe you're making the same error you accuse the promoters of the vaccines of doing. You're leaving significant issues out which might mitigate against your argument. I don't want to say you're doing so deliberately, but it amounts to the same thing. Really sounding like you know whereof you speak, you end up glossing over (at least potentially) important factors. Are these post-Covid severe health issues truly long-term or just short to medium term? IE, do they abate eventually? What percentage of those who contract Covid-19 end up with these very severe long-term health problems? Do we really even have a clear idea, yet? You advocate for all this caution with regard to promoting newly developed vaccines, then you're relatively blithely instist that Covid-19 isn't that big a deal, this while completely ignoring the "long-haul" issue. Until some stuff like that is discussed you can't really honestly suggest that Covid-19 only presents the danger of a bad flu or something like that. It ain't smallpox or bubonic plague, but it may well be something in-between. That would be pretty bad! We have to discuss that possibility.

Posted by: jonboinAR | Nov 28 2020 14:27 utc | 90

@ Posted by: Tom_12 | Nov 28 2020 13:20 utc | 84

Thanks for referring to the paper on PCR test.

“It can be observed that at Ct = 25, up to 70% of patients remain positive in culture and that at Ct = 30 this value drops to 20%. At Ct = 35, the value we used to report a positive result for PCR, <3% of cultures are positive. “

It is absolutely mind boggling that the test that is at the heart of such immensely important decisions as lockdown or not, vaccine efficacy, etc. is not standardized!!!

That was also the reason why, in my #53 post, I had mentioned that I am not able to decide how Pfizer is defining efficacy. I may have overlooked, but the published protocol doesn’t spell out the Ct to be used in the PCR test.

I am copying the link you had provided because it is so crucial

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Nov 28 2020 14:36 utc | 91

Let me get this straight. For 8 months, and counting, we've been doing everything to avoid Covid 19. We've been staying at home, social distancing, wearing masks and locking down society. Yet now, we are expected to roll up our sleeves and have Covid 19 injected directly into our body, by a total stranger. No thank you. I prefer to depend on my own natural immune system.

As pointed out above, there are serious trust issues with government and Big Pharma. Plus the longer this "Pandemic" continues the more people will lose faith in the medical community. It appears to merely be common sense to decline getting any vaccine. Naturally fear manipulates people into acting against their best interest.

That's the big red flag for me. If governments and media promoted healthy activities and diet to boost everyone's immune systems as much as they have been fearmongering then people would be taking vitamin D-3 and vitamin C, getting plenty of exercise, fresh air and sunshine. Plus not being stressed out by the endless media attacks on people's peace of mind. Stress is the worst thing for anyone's health!

Instead our authorities close play grounds and beaches, force quarantine people indoors 14 days at a time, lockdown every chance they get and even encourage(or force) people to wear masks, instead of breathing in fresh air. These people are not our friends. They could not care less about public health. Their entire agenda has been directing society towards mandatory vaccinations from the start. Do people seriously contemplate getting an experimental vaccine? Human guinea pigs indeed.

Posted by: EoinW | Nov 28 2020 15:00 utc | 92

@ Posted by: Debsisdead | Nov 28 2020 9:06 utc | 77

AstraZeneca is not the only member of COVAX. COVAX is WHO initiative that aims to produce 2 billion vaccines at USD 3.00 per dose, but it doesn't mean all of the 2 billion doses will be AstraZeneca.

What happens is COVAX's main objective is to eliminate monopoly prices around the world by trying to enforce a universal USD 3.00 for every vaccine of its members (obviously, the mRNA companies won't be part of this specific scheme, albeit it is possible it will offer generous subsidies to these too). It is a lame and desperate attempt to mitigate the barbarism of absurd prices that will happen in the Third World countries. Let's see if they're at least partially successful (because they certainly won't be 100% successful). It will also ensure destructive competition doesn't happen, as COVAX will centralized all the Western production lines available (obviously, they won't touch a Chinese one, as China is a truly independent country).

On thing is sure: AstraZeneca will never produce 2 billion doses. The UK doesn't have the manufacturing capacity for this (not even Europe, for that matter), and the only other country with such capacity not named China (which will majorly produce the Chinese vaccines) - India - seems to be very open-minded to the Russian vaccine, and certainly will be open to the other options too:

Pharma firm in India to make Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine; 100 million doses per year

Therefore, it is a myth AstraZeneca will be the only cheap option in town. COVAX itself includes other members. What will happen is the Western governments will enforce protectionism so that only their national options will be available to their subjects.

Let's not make a virtue from a vice: in all likelihood, the Western peoples will suffer from terrible side effects from subpar vaccines due exclusively to their governments and corporations' corruption. The peoples from Europe and the USA should stop protecting their governments with dishonest narratives on the internet.

Posted by: vk | Nov 28 2020 15:18 utc | 93

Further to my previous comment #83.

There are masks and there are masks. Some seal better than others, some last longer and some protect only the wearer not others.

Single use surgical masks are supposed to be single use per doctor patient interaction. The probability of disease being transmitted from one patient to the next via a doctor's mask is low but not zero. If there is a shortage doctors may wear them for multiple patient interactions.

I wear single use masks when in public until examination shows that they are visibly damaged, one of the layers (there are 3) is torn or there are tears at the sides. Single use surgical masks have a stiffening wire that can fit the mask to the face over the bony part of the nose and against the bones below the eyes. Higher up is better than low down as long as it is not getting in the way of the eyes. I suspect that many people using surgical masks do not fit them high enough on the nose to seal fully including US president-elect Biden. If the mask is sealing it should contract on inhalation and glasses should not mist up and one's eyes should not feel breath during exhalation.

Washable masks should last longer but my observation is that they have no stiffening strip just a little pocket for the tip of the nose and so will not seal fully.

Some masks have valves and so will not protect others from an infected wearer.

Far too many mask wearers are not wearing them properly. Recently The Guardian had a picture of former UK Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn wearing a mask covering only his mouth. It is my belief that most humans breathe through the nose and that all humans sneeze through the nose so failing to cover both nose and mouth is failure to get any protection from the mask. I sometimes upbraid people for this and most complain that their glasses mist up. A surgical mask properly fitted high on the bony part of the nose can be made to fit properly, I am not sure whether washable masks fit well enough to prevent glasses misting.

The proper name for some things commonly referred to as "masks" is "respirators". If you want to wear one of these get one without a valve as the strong protective effect is to protect others from an infected wearer. The heaviest duty are N95 and P2. For anyone in the Southern Hemisphere now I recommend getting P2 respirators with a stiffening strip and no valves as they can be used to protect from bushfire smoke. In December last year I had a weird heart event that paramedics and my heart specialist attribute to the bushfire smoke as it was on a day when Sydney's air quality was worse than that of Beijing and New Delhi.

If I were advising politicians and senior health officials I would tell them to make mask wearing in public mandatory except for people who are eating, drinking, smoking or swimming or have medical conditions that make mask wearing problematic until COVID has gone away world-wide and to ditch the social distancing. It is a fact that effectiveness of masks has been and is still being seriously underestimated. Also information on mask types and instructions on proper wearing when to dispose of them and how to maintain the effectiveness should be available to speakers of all languages.

Posted by: The Evil One | Nov 28 2020 15:34 utc | 94


How can someone having any amount of the virus be deemed to not have the virus? Yes, I understand that the severity of COVID is related to the amount of virus one ingests--the viral load--but if you have any amount, you're still capable of spreading the virus.

Having "any amount" of the virus and "still [being] capable of spreading the virus" are two different things. The virus must be found "active" or "alive" (in as much as a strand of RNA code can be considered "alive") in order to be qualified as a transmission agent. The experiment scientists devised to make this assertion is in-vitro cultures (in vero cells, extracted from monkeys) of the suspect biological material (nose/mouth swab, lung biopsies...), if these vero cells develop cythopathologic effects (CPE) it is presumed the foreign material is able to reproduce/multiply and these can be considered "active". There are certain minute amounts which DO NOT achieve reproducibility. Source cited within the Tribunal da Relação de Lisboa decision (see Jaafar et al - Correlation Between 3790 Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction–Positives Samples and Positive Cell Cultures, Including 1941 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Isolates link ) states:

The correlation between the scanner values and the positivity of the culture allows us to observe that the image obtained with 10 times more isolates than in our preliminary work (1941 vs 129) does not change significantly (Figure 1). It can be observed that at Ct = 25, up to 70% of patients remain positive in culture and that at Ct = 30 this value drops to 20%. At Ct = 35, the value we used to report a positive result for PCR, <3% of cultures are positive.
my emphasis

If SARS-CoV-2 can't reproduce in-vitro culture at those levels under controlled conditions, serious doubts are raised for it to be reproductive at much less controlled conditions in-vivo.



PCR tests are reliable - but not "beyond reasonable doubt", i.e. 100% not rounding up. This doesn't make a difference for a epidemiologist or a government desperate to contain the pandemic, but it makes all the difference in Law.

I am glad portuguese jurists and french epidemiologists care to disagree: from the same study cited by the tribunal (linked above):

From our cohort, we now need to try to understand and define the duration and frequency of live virus shedding in patients on a case-by-case basis in the rare cases when the PCR is positive beyond 10 days, often at a Ct >30. In any cases, these rare cases should not impact public health decisions.

my emphasis



The second technicality is in the fact that, indeed, only doctors can give you a diagnosis. PCR tests are only used for track and tracing, not for diagnosis.

PCR tests used for track and tracing alone, my *ss. I wonder why all the Constitutional trampling that goes with it does not figure in your considerations. They should! Call it a technicality all you want, this is no processual technicality these are constitutional level principles at stake!

However, I found this part weird, as governments do have the power and right to quarantine people with positive PCR tests - specially foreigners.

Under the Portuguese Constitution and outside a declared State of Emergency approved by the Parliament. NO they don't!



The third technicality is in the fact that the judge cannot give a sentence on his personal knowledge of something that is not Law. He based his PCR judgement, probably, on the scientific "evidence" the defense presented to him/her. Props to the lawyers.

Vk you are being lazy, I know you read portuguese, what part of the following portuguese judge decision did you chose to ignore?

(...)o diagnóstico da patologia que pode levar ao internamento compulsivo, é obrigatoriamente realizado por médicos especialistas e o seu juízo técnico-científico - inerente à avaliação clínico-psiquiátrica - está subtraído à livre apreciação do juiz (vide artºs 13 nº3, 16 e 17 da dita Lei).

(with yandex translation for our readers)

(...) the diagnosis of the pathology that can lead to compulsive hospitalization is necessarily carried out by medical specialists and their technical-scientific judgment-inherent in clinical-psychiatric evaluation - is subtracted from the free assessment of the judge

The judge is explaining us that, without evidence produced by a medical specialist his assessment is bound by the existing law and the Constituion... precisely he is not "free to assess" (as opposed to you) he must uphold the principles of the law. This is another way of saying that the burden of proof remains on the side which seeks to remove rights and guarantees provided by portuguese law.

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Nov 28 2020 16:22 utc | 95

@ Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Nov 28 2020 16:22 utc | 94

You just proved my point. I don't see the discord here.

1) the highlighted text explicitly tells what I told you: the few false positives "should not impact public health decisions", i.e. they are negligible;

2) that's why the German tourists won the case: the Azores local government can't decide unilaterally on quarantines;

3) that's exactly what I said before: the judge can only judge based on the evidence presented, not on his personal take - be it from the evidence presented or his personal one.

Posted by: vk | Nov 28 2020 16:41 utc | 96

complaints are being made that less than 5% of people who are recovering from covid are giving blood.[blood with high levels of antibodies]so recovering people are being guilt tripped into giving blood.1.if the vaccines work then no need of blood antibodies apart from research.2 who is getting this blood Plasma with covid antibodies instead of the vaccines?.

Posted by: slippery | Nov 28 2020 16:55 utc | 97

The Moderna and Pfizer products are not vaccines. Consult any dictionary of your choice and see if the definition matches an mRNA concoction.

Same tactic as the drumbeat of “cases” that are not cases by any definition or by any previous usage.

They are stealing our language. It is Red Queen language. Depriving us of language makes us less than human.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 28 2020 17:29 utc | 98


The discord comes from the dismissive comments towards the portuguese justice system having upheld the law (ie. "imbroglio" "nothing burger", "exploit a technicality", "[lawyers] able to mix the two in their favor", "Props to the lawyers"). You are obviously in disagreement with this judgement.

1) Yes but what exactly is stated to be rare and therefore negligible? Positive PCR beyond 10 days with Ct > 30! These are rare in context of the study with control cultures (~6% - 120/1941 positives or ~3% - 120/3790 all tests ), but these consist of ALL testing in Europe!

2) Now you know better and can be less surprised when a similar decision is made elsewhere. Whether you agree with it or not this is the letter of the portuguese law.

3) You should not be worried then because that was exactly what happened here, if you are still doubting. The burden of proof was on the authorities which suppressed the freedom of movement of an entire family without caring to seek medical expertise to justify such a constitutional right and submit them to arbitrary detention.


I think you are missing the point here vk. People refer to this study not prove that false positives exist (the 99% false positive free). If you inspect the graph and numbers published, not a single false positive in strict sense was found. There is not a single sample of biological material submitted to the PCR test turning out positive when it was negative in culture. What this study investigates is how contagious can a sample be considered in function of the Ct level used in PCR testing. They're conclusion has been quoted to death and I will refrain now.

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Nov 28 2020 17:43 utc | 99

I think once "The Vaccine" is seen as Biden's doing, a great deal of the controversy will end; just as when Obama entered the White House, the neocolonial regime-change wars immediately became acceptable, if not fashionable, for our thought-leaders*.

In sum, whether the vaccine is any good is beside the point, it's bad until Prez[D] can claim to have perfected it, then we're good !!! Therefore a safe, effective vaccine is months away...we have to wait until Biden starts throwing around some PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVES, then..and only then will we know it's safe.

And with that out of the way, God help the people of Syria/Libya/Ukraine and all the other victims of Biden's return to the Clinton/Bush/Obama neocolonial-wars, version 2.0

*what used to be referred to as a brown-nosing-suck-ups

Posted by: S Brennan | Nov 28 2020 17:44 utc | 100

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