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Vaccine efficacity

Vaccines have a level of usefulness, it's called "efficacity", as in how effective they are.
Everybody is really happy to point out that the mRMA vaccines are "about 95% efficace", with AstraZeneca trailing just a little bit behind, and not enough data yet for J&J.
They'll tell you that with just one shot of Moderna, the vaccine is about 50% efficace in the first two weeks (or so), rising to around 90% or so. The second shot seals the deal and makes you Covid-proof with a mid-90s score. Pfizer, much the same story.

All these numbers are great. 95% is damn close to 100%, it's pretty solid right?

Let's try reducing this to manageable numbers.

If the vaccine is 90% effective, then 90% of every 100% will be protected. Since these are easy whole numbers, we can directly simplify this to nine out of every ten. As in nine out of every ten people.
If the vaccination is 95% efficient, then this simply bumps the figure slightly. 9.5 out of every ten, or nineteen out of every twenty.

Which means, if you walk around a shop and you pass twenty people, if all of them have had their full vaccination, then one of them will still get the virus.
A hundred people at work? That's five of them coughing and sneezing their biological waste into the air that you're then expected to breathe. Eww.

For sure, this is not arguing against vaccination. All I'm doing is converting the sexy big numbers into reality. And this reality is that vaccinations aren't perfect. Some people will, still, catch the virus. Expect this number to rise sharply in countries with good vaccination rollouts (like the UK), simply because the more people that are vaccinated, the more visible will be the effects of the virus on people who have been vaccinated.

That said, whilst there's about a one in twenty chance that the vaccination will be useless, there's equally a nineteen in twenty chance that it will help my body to protect itself.
Those are better odds than "mmm, dunno". I may be asymptomatic. My current hayfever may actually be Covid (though, I note, that Cow Parsley is plentiful right now and that stuff really does me in). It may be that I've never had the virus and if I do, it'll blow up my heart and my lungs, leaving me to die alone and in agony coughing up internal organs. Or, in the case of one person at work, get it and spend two weeks wheezing and ever since feel tired and heavy (and it seems as if merely walking takes it out of her).
Until I get Covid, I don't know which option will happen. I'd like asymptomatic. But I'd also like to win EuroMillions.
At least with a vaccination, I can help nudge things in my favour. Not sure what to nudge for the lottery though, so I guess one thing at a time, right?



The red top gutter press in England (those are papers so full of crap that they aren't even suitable for wiping your arse on) is proclaiming the great liberation, the day of the ritual tossing of soggy used face masks in the air, as "Freedom Day". I think it's something like the 19th of July?
The thing is, having a fixed date set likely to make people complacent (if restrictions are ending in two weeks, why bother now?). Not only that, but the Delta version of Covid is doing the rounds. While there is a newer more virulent strain, is it really wise to throw caution to the wind and open everything up too early?
Oh, wait, my bad. For a moment there I imagined we were talking about a real government, not the Boris Johnson sh*tshow.

As for calling it "Freedom Day", I have no (polite) comment.


Everybody dies... and...?

If what the Australians have observed is correct, the Delta variant appears to be highly transmissible to the point of if you happen to breath in air that an asymptomatic person has recently breathed out... which is about as close as Covid has come to a Hollywood movie pandemic plague. The one that will wipe us out nearly overnight. Everybody dies.

Seven million years from now, the dominant lifeform will be sentient cats. They will find plenty of evidence of human life on earth, but they won't understand why we built these huge edifices and then just one day ceased being. They will surmise that the main problem with our species is that we have four legs but seemed to only want to walk on two of them. The other two just sort of dangled, which is weird and inefficient. Furthermore, we appear to be lacking a tail. Analysis of skeletal remains suggests that there should have been a tail, but that it would appear that there was some sort of ritual removal of the tail, perhaps around childbirth. It's clear our species could never prosper as this is a huge insult to the Great (Cat) God Meiwa, who is really not happy about important parts of catness being removed. And, anyway, what the hell did these odd looking creatures do with their fur? They left it on top, turned it weird colours, and shaved off all the rest, to instead wrap themselves in something soft and flexible to replace the fur that they removed. Utterly bizarre.

So, if you don't want to die and have the next dominant species be cats who will mock us for utterly failing at being cat... go get vaccinated!



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David Pilling, 1st July 2021, 16:06
Seemingly cats and dogs can catch covid, and in places like Russia they have been vaccinated (source BBC website). 
There does seem to have been a shift of opinion in the UK recently - lots more people want this to be over. On social media Covid figures are now routinely greeted with "boring". 
Most convincing argument is that whilst case figures are now as high as ever - worse now in Blackpool than in the January peak - testing is several times higher. There is a chart which shows cases against testing around Europe, not surprisingly UK is close to the top on both. Other countries with high testing rates are Austria and Denmark. 
Delta has different symptoms, more like a cold. 
Cats inherit the earth was done in Red Dwarf. 
Lots of effort to get everyone the flu jab in 2020 - but very few cases - not for the first time - a waste of effort. Flu jabs typically have much lower efficacy - 50% in a good year. 

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