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Omicron, the science only, please

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  • #46
    Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
    Both Drs. Harvey Risch and Marty Makary reported that a recent study suggests omicron actually has an R0 about 1/3 of delta, similar to the original strain. They were on two separate on-air programs, so I didn't catch any identifying details for locating the study.
    Omicron has displaced Delta in South Africa. That could not happen if it had a smaller R0. Hence, Drs. Risch and Makary are demonstrably wrong.

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by Juvenal View Post
      Sparko

      Pfizer could have new vaccine targeted at omicron in March, CEO says
      .
      Pfizer could have a new vaccine targeted at the omicron variant of the coronavirus in March, the company’s CEO said Tuesday, adding that it is not yet clear that it will be necessary.

      Speaking at a Wall Street Journal conference of business leaders, CEO Albert Bourla emphasized that scientists are still gathering information on the variant, which experts worry could be more transmissible and more resistant to vaccines. The coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech was the first to get full authorization in the United States.

      A new laboratory study in South Africa shows that the omicron variant has significant, but not total, ability to evade virus-fighting antibodies generated by the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The findings have not been peer reviewed. With omicron, researchers found a 41-fold drop in antibodies’ ability to block the virus compared to an early strain.
      I have been advised to get Moderna from now on since it is shown to work better for people with my conditions. I hope they update their vaccine too. Wonder why it hasn't gotten FDA approval yet?

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Sparko View Post

        I have been advised to get Moderna from now on since it is shown to work better for people with my conditions. I hope they update their vaccine too. Wonder why it hasn't gotten FDA approval yet?
        Moderna exec says company could have Omicron booster ready in March


        Comment


        • #49
          It makes sense that they should both be available around the same time duplicating the new spike is going to be trivial (because they know how, now) and after that it’s just a question of growing the vaccine. The real race is going to be in the production lines to see who can get more of theirs out faster.

          If you get another booster in February, will you still be able to get an Omicron specific booster in March? For me, March is close to around the five month mark since my booster, so the timing looks good.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

            It makes sense that they should both be available around the same time duplicating the new spike is going to be trivial (because they know how, now) and after that it’s just a question of growing the vaccine. The real race is going to be in the production lines to see who can get more of theirs out faster.

            If you get another booster in February, will you still be able to get an Omicron specific booster in March? For me, March is close to around the five month mark since my booster, so the timing looks good.
            When February rolls around, If they are close to releasing it, I might just wait a month till it is released.

            Yeah I think the production is what will take the most time, and the red tape to get it approved by the FDA.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

              Omicron has displaced Delta in South Africa. That could not happen if it had a smaller R0. Hence, Drs. Risch and Makary are demonstrably wrong.
              I hope you are correct, much as I like Dr. Risch. A more transmissible but less virulent variant would be a relative good.

              FWIW, here is the quote from Dr. Risch: "The fact is that the transmissibility index has been studied by a very smart professor in France, Jacques Fantini, who calculated that its transmissibility is comparable to the alpha and beta variants. And it's about a third of what Delta is. So it's less transmissible than delta."

              From the transcript here.

              This seems to be a presentation of the Fantini work he cited.
              Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

              Beige Federalist.

              Nationalist Christian.

              "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

              Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

              Proud member of the LGBFJB community.

              Would-be Grand Vizier of the Padishah Maxi-Super-Ultra-Hyper-Mega-MAGA King Trumpius Rex.

              Justice for Ashli Babbitt!

              Justice for Matthew Perna!

              Arrest Ray Epps and his Fed bosses!

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post

                I hope you are correct, much as I like Dr. Risch. A more transmissible but less virulent variant would be a relative good.
                That’s the possibility I’m hoping for, but it requires an overmatching drop in virulence to match its increase in transmissibility. If it’s 4/3 as transmissable and 3/4 as virulent, the net lethality will stay the same. Better for the average individual who becomes infected isn’t ‘necessarily better for the human population as a whole.

                The only thing we can conclude with certainty at this point is that Delta is on its last legs due to Omicron like Homo neanderthalis after the introduction of Homo sapiens.

                But we should note that Delta is not gone yet, and a Delta surge is currently underway in the US.

                FWIW, here is the quote from Dr. Risch: "The fact is that the transmissibility index has been studied by a very smart professor in France, Jacques Fantini, who calculated that its transmissibility is comparable to the alpha and beta variants. And it's about a third of what Delta is. So it's less transmissible than delta."

                From the transcript here.

                This seems to be a presentation of the Fantini work he cited.
                Thanks for the sourcing. But any paper that says Omicon can’t overwhelm Delta in South Africa isn’t worth reading, because it already has.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

                  That’s the possibility I’m hoping for, but it requires an overmatching drop in virulence to match its increase in transmissibility. If it’s 4/3 as transmissable and 3/4 as virulent, the net lethality will stay the same. Better for the average individual who becomes infected isn’t ‘necessarily better for the human population as a whole.

                  The only thing we can conclude with certainty at this point is that Delta is on its last legs due to Omicron like Homo neanderthalis after the introduction of Homo sapiens.

                  But we should note that Delta is not gone yet, and a Delta surge is currently underway in the US.



                  Thanks for the sourcing. But any paper that says Omicon can’t overwhelm Delta in South Africa isn’t worth reading, because it already has.
                  I heard one medical guy say that because Omicron has milder symptoms, it could be that people are going out while sick, and spreading it, thus increasing transmission, where in Delta they would be too sick to go out.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Sparko View Post

                    I heard one medical guy say that because Omicron has milder symptoms, it could be that people are going out while sick, and spreading it, thus increasing transmission, where in Delta they would be too sick to go out.
                    Not sure the math would hold up on that, but the transmissibility doesn’t care how it’s spread, just that it’s spread. Folks are contagious well before they show symptoms if they show symptoms at all. There’s been a lot of discussion of asymptomatic spread even with Delta. In any case, all of the (preprint) studies of Omicron in a test tube are coming up showing it evades immune responses from previous infections by factors of 7 to 40, depending on who’s measuring it, and how.

                    The impatience is real on this one. I’m hearing reports that researchers aren’t even waiting for the preprints to be prepared before publicizing on their blogs and websites.

                    I got my booster a couple weeks ago.

                    *crossing fingers*

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Juvenal View Post
                      In any case, all of the (preprint) studies of Omicron in a test tube are coming up showing it evades immune responses from previous infections by factors of 7 to 40, depending on who’s measuring it, and how.
                      Early studies suggest omicron is formidable — but not unstoppable
                      .
                      The laboratory experiments offer an early glimpse of how omicron behaves. But such research has limitations. Scientists are exposing the virus, or in some cases a “pseudovirus” that has the superficial features of the virus, to blood samples from people with different levels of vaccination and antibodies. That does not predict, necessarily, how the virus will spread in the general population.

                      Differences in the experiments and the blood samples being tested mean the public is on the cusp of being deluged with a host of confusing data points.

                      A South African study of people fully vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech shots, for example, showed a fairly consistent 40-fold drop in the ability of antibodies to block omicron. Murrell’s study showed a wide variability, with on average a sevenfold drop in the ability of antibodies to neutralize omicron in samples from 17 blood donors. Pfizer and BioNTech reported a 25-fold drop in their research.


                      While scientists try to parse the factors that could account for differences, the general takeaway is that antibodies are definitely less adept at blocking omicron than other variants in a laboratory dish.

                      Too busy to look up where I’d seen those results yesterday.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Heard on the news that Omicron has been found in half the country now.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                          Heard on the news that Omicron has been found in half the country now.
                          And just in time Pfizer has published its study, announcing good results. Looks like Paxlovid, Pfizer's therapy pill, is going to make a difference, so it's time to learn its name.

                          Pfizer says its Covid pill will protect against severe disease, even from Omicron.
                          .
                          A highly anticipated study of Pfizer’s Covid pill confirmed that it helps stave off severe disease, the company announced on Tuesday.

                          Pfizer also said its antiviral pill worked in laboratory studies against the Omicron variant, which is surging in South Africa and Europe and is expected to dominate U.S. cases in the weeks ahead.

                          “We are confident that, if authorized or approved, this potential treatment could be a critical tool to help quell the pandemic,” Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chief executive, said in a statement.

                          Last month, Pfizer asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize the pill, known as Paxlovid, based on a preliminary batch of data. The new results will undoubtedly strengthen the company’s application, which could mean that Americans infected with the virus may have access to the pill within weeks.

                          In Tuesday’s announcement, Pfizer said that if given within three days of the onset of symptoms, Paxlovid reduced the risk of hospitalization and death by 89 percent. If given within five days, the risk was reduced almost as much, to 88 percent.

                          The results, based on an analysis of 2,246 unvaccinated volunteers at high risk of severe disease, largely match the company’s initial, smaller analysis of the clinical trial, released last month.

                          Omicron has a proven ability to outcompete Delta in any country inside a month, and I still haven't seen evidence that its dominance in any country is reducing hospitalizations. So that's a big concern. It's not enough for it to be less dangerous on the individual level. If it infects enough people, and a fraction become severely ill, it can overwhelm the system anyway. That's arithmetic.

                          Another reason for promoting the new drug.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Illnesses tied to the Omicron variant may be milder, a preliminary study suggests.

                            So there's good news.
                            .
                            JOHANNESBURG — An early study of coronavirus test results in South Africa suggests that, so far, patients infected with the Omicron variant may be hospitalized less often than patients infected with earlier versions of the virus.

                            The study — which was released on Tuesday and is based on only three weeks of data — also shows that vaccines are not as effective against the variant, which poses a higher risk of breakthrough infections.

                            The takeaway being that vaccination will probably save your life if you're infected. There's also a really good chance you're going to get infected if it's been a long time since you completed your vaccination, so boosters are important. Looks like I got mine just in time.

                            But we still need to keep the grains of salt handy.
                            .
                            Epidemiologists have cautioned that data from a few more weeks will be needed to draw firmer conclusions, in part because Omicron has not yet spread widely and because only a small percentage of infected people become ill enough to be hospitalized.

                            The study, by a private health insurance company, offers a preliminary look at the course of the Omicron variant, but there are other possible explanations for the trends that were observed.

                            For example, infections may appear to be milder overall because more people in the current wave have some protection from prior infection or immunization. Moreover, the mean age of the people in the study was 34, and young people generally tend to have mild symptoms. That may also make Omicron infections appear milder than they really are.

                            "The mean age ... was 34."

                            Now I haven't read the study yet, so I don't know how they accounted for the demographic, but that's not reassuring. I want to see the same results for the age demographics that are more at risk. As of Dec. 10, says here, half of the folks in the US already identified as having come down with Omicron have no foreign travel. It's already in the community spread stage. Vaccines don't do as much good during the first couple weeks. There's no time for delays.

                            And then there's the not so good news.
                            .
                            The study also found an increased risk of reinfection with the Omicron variant, and waning immunity from previous infections. People who were infected with the Delta variant of the coronavirus had a 40 percent relative risk of contracting the Omicron variant, while those infected during the Beta-driven wave at the beginning of 2020 faced a 60 percent chance of reinfection with Omicron.

                            If ya know anyone infected with Beta, they should know this, too.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              I'm having trouble finding info on confirmed omicron deaths. As best I can tell, so far there has been only one worldwide, in the UK, in a fully vaxxed person.
                              Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                              Beige Federalist.

                              Nationalist Christian.

                              "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                              Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                              Proud member of the LGBFJB community.

                              Would-be Grand Vizier of the Padishah Maxi-Super-Ultra-Hyper-Mega-MAGA King Trumpius Rex.

                              Justice for Ashli Babbitt!

                              Justice for Matthew Perna!

                              Arrest Ray Epps and his Fed bosses!

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
                                I'm having trouble finding info on confirmed omicron deaths. As best I can tell, so far there has been only one worldwide, in the UK, in a fully vaxxed person.
                                Too soon to know, but encouraging. South Africa is being hit hard, but isn't showing a spike in deaths.

                                DEC. 12, 2021 / 4:03 PM
                                South Africa hits daily record 37,875 COVID-19 cases mostly by Omicron
                                .
                                "Having personally seen many of our patients across our Gauteng hospitals, their symptoms are far milder than anything we experienced during the first three waves," Netcare's Richard Friedland told the Daily Maverick on Wednesday.

                                "Approximately 90% of COVID-19 patients currently in our hospitals require no form of oxygen therapy and are considered incidental cases. If this trend continues, it would appear that, with a few exceptions of those requiring tertiary care, the fourth wave can be adequately treated at a primary care level."

                                In the past week, South Africa's cases increased 76% to 109,053, which is the 10th most in the world, though deaths dropped 7% to 976.

                                Comment

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