DON'T PANIC.... well, maybe a little bit.

Puspawarna

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I don't think it is irrational to have reservations about being quick to line up.
But the reservations should be based on knowledge and understanding, not unsubstantiated feelings. The approach being taken is not scattershot. To characterize vaccine trials as stuff being "thrown against the wall and seeing if it sticks" demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding about the science being employed.

It's one thing to say, "I have reservations about the vaccine because the population studied involved 40,000 Caucasian people, half of whom were given a placebo and none of whom were over age 60, whereas I'm a 72-year-old Asian and I have a potentially complicating immune disorder that affects fewer than 1 in 30,000 people" but it's completely different to say, "gosh, I just feel this all happened too fast, I don't trust it" with no deeper inspection of the facts and procedures involved.
 

harryopal

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Puspawarna, as usual your argument is well developed and sensible but I generally tend to be sceptical about science and perceived medical wisdoms of any particular period. And I confess that my scepticism somewhat developed as a teenage reader of George Bernard Shaw who tore into the arrogance and assumptions of medical and scientific practitioners of his day.

As it seems with all areas of science there are conventions which take on a sense of immutability only to become unstuck later on. Here are some interesting examples which make the point.


With that I guess it may take some time for this whole muddled and untidy era of Covid 19 to begin to clarify as to what is best in treatment and management.
 

Puspawarna

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Skepticism is healthy - bring it on! But there is a huge difference between applying critical thinking skills and simply using "gut feelings" to guide behavior.

The history of scientific advancement shows how much human biases and preconceptions influence our beliefs about what's objectively true (phrenology, anyone?). But a clear-eyed assessment of the fact that science is imperfect in no way excuses any of us from doing our best to make informed decisions.
 

ChrisTex

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The science behind the development of the COVID vaccines is extremely rigorous and depends on an advanced understanding of the proteins that make up the exterior of the virus. Your characterization is absolutely incorrect.

It worries me that people (not you, necessarily) are willing to go with their feelings on matters like these. There are other choices: best of all, educate yourself. If that's not an option, think about whether the experts seem credible. Have you read the profiles of the BioNTech people? Do you think they are untrustworthy for some reason? Would you trust someone like Jenny McCarthy (not saying you do) over them?

I should preface my comment 'thrown against the wall and seeing if it sticks' is based on we are almost at the 1 year mark of covid(maybe it is longer depending on who you talk to) and based on some of the other posts, there have been/were some questions about about the trials and variables involved. I am just going on how quickly everything seems to be rushed and I am going on just my opinion on it. I am not an anti vaxxer, but just someone who is concerned with how they can have a vaccine for covid, but nothing for cancer or aids/hiv(this could be another rant/topic for a later time)/still insist on having studies for cannibis.

If the Jenny McCarthy is the same one I am thinking of(MTV's Singled Out/Vjay), chances are I am going to take her opinion like I do with most celebrities, less than a pinch of salt. To answer your question though, in terms of who I trust more(BioNTech/Jenny McCarthy per who you mentioned), I try and listen(or read) to both side of the argument. Just like I have some friends who don't take covid seriously and then some who go to the extreme, I will respect their opinions, find a solution that works for me, and go from there.

Now I will probably get the vaccine. I just won't be one of the first in line and will will allow others to go first,
 

Puspawarna

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I am not an anti vaxxer, but just someone who is concerned with how they can have a vaccine for covid, but nothing for cancer or aids/hiv
A perfectly reasonable question for a layperson to ask - and, I might add, a related question would be: the common cold is caused by a corona virus, so why the hell can't we have a vaccine against that?

The thing is, there are answers out there and all you have to do is spend a little time reading in order to find them. You shouldn't get the answers from me, because I'll mangle them. But just to demonstrate: I done my best to read and absorb trustworthy sources geared to laypeople. So here goes, the Puspa awkwardly-worded 101 course on Why Some Stuff Has Vaccines and Some Stuff Doesn't:

First thing you have to know (and I assume you do, but just in case): vaccines work on viruses. They don't work on bacteria, genetic disorders, injuries, or any of the other myriad causes of illness and disorders. Just viruses!

As to cancer, there is no "cancer virus." While some cancers are suspected to have a viral component, all kinds of things, like exposure to certain chemicals - to the best of our imperfect but ever-improving knowledge - start the cancerous process of cell replication running amok. You can't vaccinate against, for example, cyclamate consumption, or lack of exercise, or stress - all of which can contribute to getting certain forms of cancer.

HIV is caused by a virus, but for reasons I don't understand well because I'm not an immunologist, its mechanisms are atypical. Because of its unusual features, we don't know how to create a vaccine.

Regarding the common cold, that is caused by a corona virus - or rather zillions of them, and they mutate. So a single vaccine couldn't possibly protect you. It's not practical to have 3500 different vaccines (number pulled out of one of my orifices, ahem, I don't know the real number we'd need).

On a related front, consider the flu vaccine (though flu is not caused by a corona virus) and why people need to get it every year and it varies in its effectiveness: it is because the virus mutates and every year vaccine makers have to predict in what direction it is going to go, and come up with a vaccine that defends against that predicted strain. It's like H5N1 ("bird flu") - the name relates to the number and types of spikes on the surface of the virus. That can mutate and it changes both the potential severity of the disease and the specific make-up of the vaccine that's effective against it.

NOTE - some viruses are more stable than others, which is why a measles vaccine will last you indefinitely but a flu vaccine won't. At the beginning, scientists weren't sure about SARS Corona Virus 19, the one that we're dealing with. They were scared that it would mutate too quickly and extremely to make a vaccine practical. Thankfully that is apparently not the case.

So there you go. I'm not trying to give you a science lesson. You need a much better source than I am. But my point is that there are answers to your questions and even a layperson can find them and understand them reasonably well.

Sure, there is a lot of junk on the internet, but generally speaking sources like Mayo Clinic, NIH, and others are reputable. Just use your critical thinking skills.

I try and listen(or read) to both side of the argument.

That's fine up to a point, but don't fall into the trap of false equivalency. Borrowing the way I recently read someone else put it: "If there are two sides to an argument and one is arguing that 2+2=4 and one is arguing that 2=2=5, I don't have to give them equal time."

'Kay, I'll shut up now :)
 
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Puspawarna

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"There is still a lot of work to be done before mRNA vaccines can become standard treatments, in the meantime, we need a better understanding of their potential side effects, and more evidence of their long term efficacy."

In general the study indicates exciting and promising possibilities with this approach to developing new vaccines. However, at the moment with this rush to get things moving I don't think it is irrational to have reservations about being quick to line up.

All fair. But risk is relative, and no aspect of life is free of risk. Imagine that you are a benevolent, totalitarian ruler with perfect scientific knowledge/predictive ability and also the ability to force everyone in your kingdom to do what you want. You know that a virus is ravaging your population and that while it doesn't kill everyone, it is highly contagious and it causes so much severe illness that if left unchecked it will overwhelm your hospitals. So not only will people die of this disease, but your entire health care infrastructure will be badly damaged - health care professionals will be stressed beyond the breaking point. Routine and emergency surgeries will have to be delayed/carried out under suboptimal conditions. People will die and have bad outcomes beyond what the virus itself causes because of the excess resources consumed by treating people sick with the virus.

Now, knowledgeable scientist that you are, you have a vaccine. Assume that you KNOW that a tiny fraction of people will be harmed by it (not the case in real life, that is still unknown).

If you vaccinate no one, two million of your subjects will die this year, of either the virus or its secondary impacts. Ongoing quality of life will be negatively impacted for a million more, and of those million 250,000 will die prematurely - not immediately, but on average 5 years sooner than they would have otherwise.

If you vaccinate EVERYONE, 100 people will die of the vaccine, 1000 will experience extremely bad short-term effects that they'll get fully over (but meanwhile they run out their sick leave on their job, their kid flunks out of school because the parent didn't help with homework, etc. - so there will be consequences), and 2000 will be permanently affected in some way - paralyzed on one side, let's say.

So, do you command your subjects to be vaccinated? I certainly would.

Real life is messier than that, of course, but life is all about making decisions under uncertainty. We don't know, when we get into the car, that we won't be killed by a speeding truck at the next intersection. But we're pretty sure the benefits of driving to the grocery store outweigh the risks even if we can't put a precise number to them.

And if you are the truck driver in this scenario, YOU may not be injured by your unsafe driving, but one hopes that you have the decency and sense of community to drive safely because you care about something larger than yourself. By the same token, I will take the vaccine because I know it is not just about protecting me personally, it is about the entire community acting together in a way that will ultimately protect us all.
 

Helpful Herbert

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I will wear my Sinovac vaccine as a mark of pride. I will not under any circumstances fly back to my home country so I can get the Pfizer vaccine. Definitely not. I also do not expect, after being vaccinated, to develop a fondness for chow mein, or an inability to say the word Taiwan.
 

dafluff

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Indonesia will offer the Covid-19 vaccine free of charge for all citizens. President Jokowi also said he will be the first to take it to prove its safety. Previously, Indonesia would have required over 75 million people to pay out-of-pocket.

 

Bad_azz

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Interesting strategy to vaccinate the working population 1st :

"
Younger People Get Vaccines First in Indonesia’s Unusual Rollout
By Arys Aditya and Yudith Ho
December 16, 2020, 5:00 AM GMT+7 "

 

Helpful Herbert

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In many ways that actually makes more sense than starting with care homes and the very old. Perhaps because in Indonesia there are no care homes and few very old people.
 

Bad_azz

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In many ways that actually makes more sense than starting with care homes and the very old. Perhaps because in Indonesia there are no care homes and few very old people.
It will certainly be interesting to see the outcome in comparison to other countries.
 

R Cameron

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Interesting strategy to vaccinate the working population 1st :

"
Younger People Get Vaccines First in Indonesia’s Unusual Rollout
By Arys Aditya and Yudith Ho
December 16, 2020, 5:00 AM GMT+7 "

It seems to me that even legitimate news sources have abandoned journalistic principles in their headlines, opting for deceptive 'click-bait', then trying to maintain journalistic rigor in the article content. It's quite frustrating.

The rollout is not particularly unusual, and it is not starting with 'younger people' in the general population as the headline may imply. The rollout is starting with healthcare workers, in hotspots, aged 18-59. All the Western countries consider this same group the top priority, behind only nursing home residents and staff, which is practically non-existent in Indonesia. The one notable exception would be healthcare workers aged 60+ seem to be out of luck in Indonesia, so if anything the headline should have read, "Older healthcare workers in Indonesia excluded from vaccine rollout". I believe this limitation is simply that the Sinnovac vaccine hasn't been approved yet for 60+. I know they had a 60+ age group in their trials, so I presume those results simply haven't come back as fast as the 18-59 trial group.
 

dafluff

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Taiwan will suspend entry of Indonesian migrant workers into the country indefinitely, as Indonesia has been unable to improve the accuracy of its COVID-19 test results.

In November, 42 of the 81 Indonesians who tested positive in Taiwan had such results, which is more than half of the total. Between Dec. 1-15, 32 of the 40 positive cases from Indonesia, or 80 percent, had proof of a negative COVID-19 test result issued within three days of their flight, according to Chen.

"These test results have become more inaccurate over time," Chen said. "We are not sure what the problem is."

 

dafluff

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The below is a tweet from a young doctor in Manado.

I feel like dying. Every day I follow up on 70 patients on the same floor. My hospital is only type D (lowest rating based on capacity of under 100 beds, and available specialists) and only has 1 ventilator and 2 HCU rooms. We are supposed to only treat mild-moderate symptoms, then yesterday I bagged 6 patients !! All six patients died, as I couldn't refer them as other hospitals are full.

 

Vulgarian

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According to this article, health workers get the vaccine first (OK, makes sense), but next in line are the army and police? What's the thinking there?

 

Bad_azz

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According to this article, health workers get the vaccine first (OK, makes sense), but next in line are the army and police? What's the thinking there?

Convenience- easy to round up the uniformed workers in orderly fashion to get the jabs, less chance of them objecting to the vaccine too as their job likely will be lost without it.
& finally - they are the very definition of front line defence no?

*edit- also the vast majority of them will be between 20 & 50 years old & fit, so should there be any adverse effects they will most likely be able to fight them off more effectively.
 

Helpful Herbert

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Isn't everyone getting a bit ahead of themselves? There is actually no effectiveness data from Sinovac yet. If it turns out to have low or no effectiveness (or even worse, not be halal), then what will Jokowi do? Glaxo had a trial and they had to cancel it due to low effectiveness, and also Australia had one which they cancelled as it showed false positive results for HIV. Sinovac effectiveness data seems to be getting delayed which isn't a good sign.
 

Bad_azz

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Isn't everyone getting a bit ahead of themselves? There is actually no effectiveness data from Sinovac yet. If it turns out to have low or no effectiveness (or even worse, not be halal), then what will Jokowi do? Glaxo had a trial and they had to cancel it due to low effectiveness, and also Australia had one which they cancelled as it showed false positive results for HIV. Sinovac effectiveness data seems to be getting delayed which isn't a good sign.
When you say 'everyone"
I hope you aren't including me, I am far from ahead of myself, in point of fact I spend most of my time lagging behind at great distance :D
 

R Cameron

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The Oxford vaccine is expected to be approved by the UK and begin distribution next week, this is one that can be stored at common refrigerator temperatures. Indonesia has ordered 100 million doses for 50 million people.
 

HappyMan

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According to this article, health workers get the vaccine first (OK, makes sense), but next in line are the army and police? What's the thinking there?

Just a guess, assuming the reason is reasonable. .. the police and military will be involved in the distribution of the vaccine and should thus be among the first to be vaccinated. The vaccination team will have a very large amount of contact with the as-yet-to-be-vaccinated. You don't want your vaccination team to be the one who spreads the disease.
 

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