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CDN/US Covid-related political discussion

Altair

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Altair, I too will acknowledge that aside from Ontario getting into a groove and exceeding their own target, the Feds have been assuring a solid supply of vaccines, more specifically Pfizer and Moderna. Not quite sure what’s going on with A-Z, but it will hopefully get sorted.
This is why one needs to hedge their bets and get a large assortment of vaccines from every manufacturer.

Some vaccines perform better than others, some manufacturers do better than others.

Feds needed to figure that part out, and the provinces needed to figure out how to get those into arms.

In typical Canadian fashion, it took a while to get going on those fronts, but now that both are in sync and the finger pointing has stopped we are reaping the results.
 

Altair

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Altair,

I doubted your assertions that Canada would be able to get where we are as of now. My bad. We are close. My two eldest kids will be vaccinated in two weeks, there is still no campaign or approach for my two youngest kids. Until that time, I am still on the other side of the fence.
To be honest, I would rather skip the kids and double dose the seniors to really drive down the hospitalization and death rates across the country.

Kids have been doing okay and would be the smallest overall risk group. Seeing as one dose only provides 70-80 percent protection, that leaves 1 out of 5 seniors vulnerable, especially with B.1.617 looking to take over from b117.

As we saw in winter to spring, with the original Covid 19 strain starting to die down, and b117 starting to pick up steam before eventually turning into the third wave that forced the country into another lockdown, we have a small window to get things right, so protecting the most vulnerable should be the priority.
 

brihard

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To be honest, I would rather skip the kids and double dose the seniors to really drive down the hospitalization and death rates across the country.

Kids have been doing okay and would be the smallest overall risk group. Seeing as one dose only provides 70-80 percent protection, that leaves 1 out of 5 seniors vulnerable, especially with B.1.617 looking to take over from b117.

As we saw in winter to spring, with the original Covid 19 strain starting to die down, and b117 starting to pick up steam before eventually turning into the third wave that forced the country into another lockdown, we have a small window to get things right, so protecting the most vulnerable should be the priority.

Yup. B1617.2 seems to have only about 33% efficacy with one dose of Pfizer and a couple weeks elapsed... Fully vaxed is up around 75%, which should do the trick but will be slower. The trends in Britain are concerning. We want to really start pumping those second doses so we don't get a breakout of new variant vs partially vaxed.
 

Altair

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Yup. B1617.2 seems to have only about 33% efficacy with one dose of Pfizer and a couple weeks elapsed... Fully vaxed is up around 75%, which should do the trick but will be slower. The trends in Britain are concerning. We want to really start pumping those second doses so we don't get a breakout of new variant vs partially vaxed.
Yeah, B1617.2 seems to be infecting children more ( or we are noticing it more) but still not leading to kids getting seriously ill. Kids will be vectors of transmission more than cases in hospital, so the priority should be protecting the elderly.

I mean, if we have learned anything as a country, it should be that we have left LTC homes and the elderly woefully unprotected, and I have doubts anything has significantly changed in that regard, so lets do it right. Kids can ride out B1617.2, the elderly cannot.
 

Altair

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Oh, and in a another tidbit, USA has passed Canada in cases per capita today.

Both countries are trending downwards, its just that Canada is trending downwards faster.
 

brihard

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Yeah, B1617.2 seems to be infecting children more ( or we are noticing it more) but still not leading to kids getting seriously ill. Kids will be vectors of transmission more than cases in hospital, so the priority should be protecting the elderly.

I mean, if we have learned anything as a country, it should be that we have left LTC homes and the elderly woefully unprotected, and I have doubts anything has significantly changed in that regard, so lets do it right. Kids can ride out B1617.2, the elderly cannot.

Apparently Ontario is about to shorten the dose interval starting with 80+. Given the rise of B1617.2, that will save lives.
 

Altair

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I gave Ontario heat (deserved I think) for how they were handling things since the vaccine rollout began, but I have to give them a lot of credit, they are nailing it recently.
 

Altair

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Why not focus on reducing vectors?
Because if given the choice of

A)Reducing vectors

B)Reducing hospitalization and death

I'll choose B all day, every day.

Canada has sucked at protecting LTC homes and I don't have a lick of confidence that Canada has improved in this regard. So B1617.2 will be hitting LTC homes in the not too distant future, so we should be ensuring the elderly in there are protected, quickly followed by those 60+ in the general population.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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I think all patients/residents
in Ontario LTC's have had both doses already.........I couldn't verify online, but that's what I've heard from the workers at my Mothers LTC
 

Brad Sallows

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Reducing vectors reduces opportunities for transmission, which reduces infections, which reduces hospitalizations and deaths.

Did you come across a numerical/statistical analysis which proves that (B) is superior to (A), or is it just a feeling?
 

Altair

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I think all patients/residents
in Ontario LTC's have had both doses already.........I couldn't verify online, but that's what I've heard from the workers at my Mothers LTC
If that's the case, amazing, just hit the general population now and we should be golden.
 

Altair

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Reducing vectors reduces opportunities for transmission, which reduces infections, which reduces hospitalizations and deaths.

Did you come across a numerical/statistical analysis which proves that (B) is superior to (A), or is it just a feeling?
The data coming out of the UK is troubling.


And remember that the UK is way ahead of us and used lockdowns to drive cases down before reopening.

B1617.2 is going to be spreading like crazy whether we vac kids or not, so let's protect the most vulnerable and keep people out of hospitals or on their deathbed.
 

Brad Sallows

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So one possible conclusion is that they've failed to reduce vectors enough. Is this the alternate strategy in which everyone else develops herd immunity naturally (ie. enough people get [COVID] and acquire immunity) while we protect the elderly?

It's not clear to me which strategy - protect the elderly, versus vaccinate the most likely spreaders - is superior, and I haven't come across anything yet which tackles the question with anything more than assumptions and handwaving. I'd prefer if "they" adopted the strategy most likely to reduce deaths.
 

Altair

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So one possible conclusion is that they've failed to reduce vectors enough. Is this the alternate strategy in which everyone else develops herd immunity naturally (ie. enough people get [COVID] and acquire immunity) while we protect the elderly?
Very very unlikely. the UK has been vaccinating the hell out of people with their first doses. They are focusing on second doses right now.

The key here is that the part of the population getting hit with B1617.2 is the under 60s, and their death rate from Covid is a lot lower. Despite the spike in cases due to B1617.2 becoming the dominant variant, there has not been a large increase in deaths. There is a lag time to this however.
It's not clear to me which strategy - protect the elderly, versus vaccinate the most likely spreaders - is superior, and I haven't come across anything yet which tackles the question with anything more than assumptions and handwaving. I'd prefer if "they" adopted the strategy most likely to reduce deaths.
This damn thing is mutating on us as quickly as we figure it out. So everything is a population level experiment. Once the new variant takes hold, toss out everything we know about the last variant.

The only thing we have to go off of right now is data from the UK, which will likely be us in 6-8 weeks.

If the data out of the UK shows that we are facing a spike despite high first dose numbers, we have 4-5 weeks to fortify the 60+ age bracket factoring in the it takes 2 weeks after the second dose to get the higher immunity.

Keep the 60+ out of the hospitals and the grave, let the kids weather the storm since they don't tend to get sick, and we can avoid a summer lockdown I think. May be touch and go, but we have enough vaccines right now to have options going forward.
 

Mick

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Bit of a gamble hoping a variant will/would not arise that hits kids harder.
Bit of a gamble prioritizing kids based on an as-yet hypothetical threat, at the expense of a demographic that we know is more at risk right now.
 

Brad Sallows

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Yes. But I remember back to early last year, when lots of people thought the entire threat was hypothetical.
 

Mick

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Yes. But I remember back to early last year, when lots of people thought the entire threat was hypothetical.
Yes, and we now have more than a year's worth of research and experience to inform decisions and priorities.

Is it unreasonable to prioritize vaccinations based on current information (and modelling)?

Does prioritizing a group that is not at risk - at the expense of a group that is - make sense?
 

Brad Sallows

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Does prioritizing a group that is not at risk - at the expense of a group that is - make sense?

Yes, depending (as usual) on "the numbers". "At risk" and "most effective spreaders" are not the same things, depending on what "at risk" means. ("At risk of infection", then approximately same; "At risk of death", then not - for COVID - same.)

It makes sense to vaccinate the most effective spreaders first (nonlinear/exponential growths are best attacked at the source), and it also makes sense to vaccinate the most vulnerable to deadly infection first. Vaccinating the second group doesn't help with the first group; vaccinating the first group does help with the second group.

Most people are aware of the general problem that children are handy vectors, and families with children and people who work with children tend to experience more routine illnesses than others. That at least is the conventional wisdom; I don't know whether analytical study supports it. Young adults who socialize in large groups might be the next in line after sub-adults.

So were priorities set based on some kind of deterministic and validated models, or were they just set using a decision-making process that was inflected by emotions and political correctness? Not a lot of transparency was offered and/or reported.
 
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