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One year on from first Covid-19 vaccination - taking stock

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Unhappy One year on from first Covid-19 vaccination - taking stock

    https://www.scmp.com/news/world/europe/article/3158946/best-thing-ever-says-uk-woman-who-received-worlds-first-covid-19

    https://ccdd.hsph.harvard.edu/2020/1...herd-immunity/

    1 year has elapsed since the first vaccination, and I’m pretty sure everyone has been disappointed by the lack of progress out of the pandemic.

    Looking back, I remember how we looked at vaccination back then, being seen as
    i) a way to protect ourselves
    ii) protect loved ones
    iii) potentially, if enough people got voluntarily vaccinated, protect others that couldn’t or wouldn’t get vaccinated
    Quite the blessing, with anybody unconvinced by i) having the chance to be persuaded all the way up to iii) to change their minds.

    In the present, I look around and see the idea of “vaccine passports” and coercing vaccination normalised, with people not on board demonised and/or scapegoated all the more easily due to the vocally ignorant (antivaxxers).
    [For the nth time, allow me to reiterate I think getting vaccinated is a good thing]

    From my perspective, I don’t know how we have fallen so far. Some of the reasons I have seen seem to me a gross distortion or downright perversion of the original promise of vaccination.
    (i) we need to protect the vaccinated from the unvaccinated - this does not seem to be said as a joke
    (ii) we need to protect the unvaccinated from themselves - and yet smoking, skydiving etc. are not prohibited
    (iii) we need to protect hospitals from use - yet a wide range of risk-seeking activities ranging from high-risk sports to overdosing on alcohol are not prevented behaviours. You might cleverly point out there aren’t spikes, I might reply I wouldn’t be sure about that, and in any case vaccination hasn’t prevented the apparent cyclical nature of these. Contagious? So could the results of promiscuity be.

    Ultimately what is unsaid is people want a return to normality, but honestly how is constantly demanding people evidence their “approved” status at every meal or doorway “normal” or desirable. Considering many establishments are unable or unwilling to enforce restrictions on smoking, which probably have more of an effect on health of the culprits, as well as others, and longer-term usage of hospitals, it just seems both hopeless as well as hypocritical. What actually do people want, in their pursuit of better policy? Perhaps logically the next step down this road would be forcibly isolating immunocompromised people, the people “herd immunity” was supposed to protect, to prevent more variants popping up?

    if R0 were upwards of 3 in many parts of the world (also uncertain), it is quite possible that achievable levels of coverage might not be enough, on their own, to prevent sustained transmission, though they might be close.
    Importantly, sustained herd immunity is not the only value of a vaccine or the only way it could help us return to a more normal life. If high coverage can be achieved in those most at risk of severe outcomes, we could achieve a state where virus continues to circulate (at a level reduced by partial herd immunity) but the toll on the health system and the mortality toll is dramatically reduced because fewer highly vulnerable people are infected, and even fewer of those experience symptoms, thanks to direct protection by the vaccine. In my personal opinion, this is the most likely path to a more normal life in many countries.


    Excerpt from link 2 written almost a year ago. Seems touchingly naive now referring to “achievable” levels of coverage, as though vaccination was a choice.

    TLDR - 1 year of vaccinations and it doesn’t feel any closer to an end to the pandemic policywise. “Vaccination passports” are anything but normal, and a radical rethink rather than doubling down is overdue when underlying assumptions like “herd immunity” don’t seem to be delivering.

  2. #2

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    1 year has elapsed since the first vaccination, and I’m pretty sure everyone has been disappointed by the lack of progress out of the pandemic.
    Disappointed but not consumed enough to post about it at 2AM. Assuming that you are still in HK...

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsianXpat0:
    https://www.scmp.com/news/world/europe/article/3158946/best-thing-ever-says-uk-woman-who-received-worlds-first-covid-19

    https://ccdd.hsph.harvard.edu/2020/1...herd-immunity/

    1 year has elapsed since the first vaccination, and I’m pretty sure everyone has been disappointed by the lack of progress out of the pandemic.

    Looking back, I remember how we looked at vaccination back then, being seen as
    i) a way to protect ourselves
    ii) protect loved ones
    iii) potentially, if enough people got voluntarily vaccinated, protect others that couldn’t or wouldn’t get vaccinated
    Quite the blessing, with anybody unconvinced by i) having the chance to be persuaded all the way up to iii) to change their minds.

    In the present, I look around and see the idea of “vaccine passports” and coercing vaccination normalised, with people not on board demonised and/or scapegoated all the more easily due to the vocally ignorant (antivaxxers).
    [For the nth time, allow me to reiterate I think getting vaccinated is a good thing]

    From my perspective, I don’t know how we have fallen so far. Some of the reasons I have seen seem to me a gross distortion or downright perversion of the original promise of vaccination.
    (i) we need to protect the vaccinated from the unvaccinated - this does not seem to be said as a joke
    (ii) we need to protect the unvaccinated from themselves - and yet smoking, skydiving etc. are not prohibited
    (iii) we need to protect hospitals from use - yet a wide range of risk-seeking activities ranging from high-risk sports to overdosing on alcohol are not prevented behaviours. You might cleverly point out there aren’t spikes, I might reply I wouldn’t be sure about that, and in any case vaccination hasn’t prevented the apparent cyclical nature of these. Contagious? So could the results of promiscuity be.

    Ultimately what is unsaid is people want a return to normality, but honestly how is constantly demanding people evidence their “approved” status at every meal or doorway “normal” or desirable. Considering many establishments are unable or unwilling to enforce restrictions on smoking, which probably have more of an effect on health of the culprits, as well as others, and longer-term usage of hospitals, it just seems both hopeless as well as hypocritical. What actually do people want, in their pursuit of better policy? Perhaps logically the next step down this road would be forcibly isolating immunocompromised people, the people “herd immunity” was supposed to protect, to prevent more variants popping up?



    Excerpt from link 2 written almost a year ago. Seems touchingly naive now referring to “achievable” levels of coverage, as though vaccination was a choice.

    TLDR - 1 year of vaccinations and it doesn’t feel any closer to an end to the pandemic policywise. “Vaccination passports” are anything but normal, and a radical rethink rather than doubling down is overdue when underlying assumptions like “herd immunity” don’t seem to be delivering.
    It may not seem it but I do think the world is in a better place. The vaccines (all of them) are effective as can be seen by the reduced death rate. Treatments are getting better. Vaccination rates are slowly increasing and even slowly getting to the poor countries.

    My disappointment is because this was a chance for humanity to come together to fight a common enemy but instead politics and money were much more important. Not to mention crazy conspiracy theories.
    shri, Cornmeal, blandy62 and 3 others like this.

  4. #4

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    Sep 2019
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    It may not seem it but I do think the world is in a better place. The vaccines (all of them) are effective as can be seen by the reduced death rate. Treatments are getting better. Vaccination rates are slowly increasing and even slowly getting to the poor countries.
    Don’t think there’s any dispute we are better off versus Covid-19. Where we do seem worse off is in the demands for control over daily activities, let alone travel.

    • It is possible that the virus could evolve to be more transmissible (selection pressure makes it unlikely that it would evolve to be less), increasing R0 and thus f*.
    • It is possible that the virus could evolve to partially or fully escape immunity from the vaccine, reducing x and thus increasing f*.
    Again from the second link. All foreseeable a year ago, but now we seem to be pursuing full immunisation and passports, that’s perplexing.

    My disappointment is because this was a chance for humanity to come together to fight a common enemy but instead politics and money were much more important. Not to mention crazy conspiracy theories.
    Hope is the killer. I guess we should not expect otherwise by now.

  5. #5

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    Aug 2017
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    (ii) we need to protect the unvaccinated from themselves - and yet smoking, skydiving etc. are not prohibited
    You can do better than that.

    Smoking and second hand smoke are recognized determents to health and that's why it's banned in most public areas and everywhere indoors in civil societies. Skydiving? Never heard of someone "catching it" and passing it on to their grandmother who is then forced to jump out of a plane!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlo...eb7_story.html

  6. #6

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    Smoking and second hand smoke are recognized determents to health and that's why it's banned in most public areas and everywhere indoors in civil societies. Skydiving? Never heard of someone "catching it" and passing it on to their grandmother who is then forced to jump out of a plane!
    If you actually read my post, you might see I mentioned both enforcement and contagiousness, not whether it’s banned in such and such places. Furthermore the risk to health comes from being exposed to infection, not whether somebody is vaccinated, so that’s more akin to requiring certifications of being non-smokers (that you demand of everyone entering) when you would demand tests not conformity if that was the real concern.

    Maybe you can do better than reflexively reaching for arguments I already responded to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cornmeal:
    All about timing now isn't it?

    If all eligible folks abroad had gotten the shot perhaps delta wouldn't have gotten a foothold? This was widely discussed, and the idea of getting as many vaccinated as possible before another mutation made its mark.

    If all eligible HK folks had gotten the shot perhaps we would have seen more easing of QT and border restrictions. This was signaled (although shortlived) with reduced QT for vaxed to 7days. But like I said we'll never know.

    Government = bad (well except for procuring the world's best vax ahead of almost any western country)

    Vaccines =pointless ( or pro vax people are an "extreme" end of a spectrum and staunch contratianism is the answer)
    I find it difficult to imagine a scenario whereby 7+ billion people got simultaneously vaccinated, or 0 vaccinated people get infected.

    You claim we would never know about shortened quarantine measures because they “signaled” it. The withdrawal seems more evidence of the opposite. With the higher current vaccination rates, are we seeing easing of measures or the opposite?

    I fail to see where there was a suggestion of “government = bad” by me in the thread you posted, but I think the policies have certainly been widely questioned.

    As for vaccines being pointless or other senseless “straw man” positions being attributed to me, I certainly said none of that. I’m pro-vaccination, but if I’m a zealot about anything it might be personal choice, and at least I recognise that about myself. Not everyone trying to shove their personal idea of how the way the world should work seems to see the same.

    I didn’t previously reply in the thread not because I thought your arguments were convincing, but only to respect the users that weren’t interested. Doubt I’m any less stubborn.
    Last edited by AsianXpat0; 09-12-2021 at 02:36 PM. Reason: Added postscript
    UniqueUserName likes this.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
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    360
    Quote Originally Posted by AsianXpat0:
    1 year has elapsed since the first vaccination, and I’m pretty sure everyone has been disappointed by the lack of progress out of the pandemic.
    Looking at HK in a vacuum will leave one miserable and hopeless (and I am a shining example of that). But if you look at the death rates outside of HK, the vaccines have been tremendously successful. My friends in the US are all commenting that life is more or less back to normal for the vaccinated (just need to wear masks indoors).

    It's a stark contrast to life here in HK. I had lunch in a park where my wife pointed at a sign and asked if it was still relevant. The sign reminded people the limit to group gatherings is 4. I told her the answer was yet which she then asked if you can seat 12 in a restaurant, why is there a limit on group gatherings? I think we all know the answer to this question is NOT rooted in science (nor logic).

    It's hard to separate politics from life and it's nearly impossible to separate politics from a pandemic. Sadly, I think this just points to the idea the pandemic will never end in HK until the so-called political issues are resolved to the CCP's satisfaction.
    AsianXpat0 likes this.

  8. #8

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    While we are on the topic of banning smoking:
    https://www.thestandard.com.hk/break...-smoking%C2%A0

    This is outrageous. Smoking and the consequences are clear. No adult with normal cognitive thinking should be restricted for making own personal health choices.

    If anything, ban religion. Religion sells you BS and misleads you to believe something that isnt true. Cigarettes are cigarettes. No cigarette manufacture has ever said "smoking will give you eternal life after death".

    AsianXpat0 likes this.