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Tags Coronavirus , vaccination , vaccines

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Old 15th January 2023, 06:49 PM   #2681
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I've just signed up for clinical trials for combined covid & 'flu vaccines.

It seems pretty redundant when the covid vaccine is Novavax, which is under-performing against the mRNA vaccines and more so against the bivalent.

I'm only doing it because the timing works to get a proper 'flu jab and bivalent vaccine before winter.

I'll post details of anything interesting to come out of of it.
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Old 15th January 2023, 07:55 PM   #2682
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
I've just signed up for clinical trials for combined covid & 'flu vaccines.

It seems pretty redundant when the covid vaccine is Novavax, which is under-performing against the mRNA vaccines and more so against the bivalent.

I'm only doing it because the timing works to get a proper 'flu jab and bivalent vaccine before winter.

I'll post details of anything interesting to come out of of it.
Or at least a 50-50 chance of getting one anyway.

But thank you for your service.
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Old 16th January 2023, 01:39 AM   #2683
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Or at least a 50-50 chance of getting one anyway.

But thank you for your service.
I asked if they'll tell you whether or not it was placebo at the end of the trial, and apparently they will, for the obvious reasons.
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Old 16th January 2023, 02:11 AM   #2684
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Or at least a 50-50 chance of getting one anyway.

But thank you for your service.
Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
I asked if they'll tell you whether or not it was placebo at the end of the trial, and apparently they will, for the obvious reasons.
But there is a 50% chance you will have had neither a covid booster nor a flu shot for the duration of the trial. That's not a trial I would volunteer for. So, yeah, thanks for your service.

Last edited by jt512; 16th January 2023 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 16th January 2023, 10:42 AM   #2685
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Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
But there is a 50% chance you will have had neither a covid booster nor a flu shot for the duration of the trial. That's not a trial I would volunteer for. So, yeah, thanks for your service.
It's well before 'flu season will start, and covid doesn't concern me at all after having had an asymptomatic dose of it in November.
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Old 16th January 2023, 11:10 AM   #2686
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
It's well before 'flu season will start, and covid doesn't concern me at all after having had an asymptomatic dose of it in November.
I don't see how you could test effectiveness of a flu vaccine outside of the flu season, so I take it this is a Phase II trial?

And I don't understand why you are not concerned "at all" about corona virus. How much protection against a future severe case do you think your asymptomatic case gives you, and for how long? In the absence of good data showing otherwise, I would assume not a whole lot of protection and for not very long.
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Old 16th January 2023, 06:25 PM   #2687
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
Yes, rate for the whole population.
Then the comparison is meaningless*, because the risk of stroke increases with age.
Quote:
The older you are, the more likely you are to have a stroke. The chance of having a stroke about doubles every 10 years after age 55.
*At least not without accounting for that. And if we double** 63/550k during 3 weeks that's 126 which would be essentially equal to 130.

**I don't know if doubling is the right correction here, but it sounds about right if we are talking about people over 65 and the risk doubles every 10 years after 55.

Another question: why did the CDC official who spoke to CNN have to remain anonymous? Yes, the are says "because they weren’t authorized to share the data". But at the same time they claim that this is "transparency"? Transparency would be sharing the data (anonymized of course, we don't need to know private information about the patients). Why is the underlying data a secret?
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Old 16th January 2023, 07:05 PM   #2688
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Then the comparison is meaningless*, because the risk of stroke increases with age.


*At least not without accounting for that. And if we double** 63/550k during 3 weeks that's 126 which would be essentially equal to 130.
Yep.

Quote:
Another question: why did the CDC official who spoke to CNN have to remain anonymous? Yes, the are says "because they weren’t authorized to share the data". But at the same time they claim that this is "transparency"? Transparency would be sharing the data (anonymized of course, we don't need to know private information about the patients). Why is the underlying data a secret?
Agree. Meaningless number without the subsquent 3 weeks number which would have meaning as it was the same vax age distribution..

What gets me is the CDC's comment about a "signal" without any data whatsoever. They shouldn't put out stuff like that. Especially claiming they want to be transparent. Nothing transparent about it at all.
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Old 17th January 2023, 01:53 AM   #2689
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Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
I don't see how you could test effectiveness of a flu vaccine outside of the flu season, so I take it this is a Phase II trial?
Correct - testing for antibody production and safety.

Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
And I don't understand why you are not concerned "at all" about corona virus.
Because it's just not dangerous to people under 85 who have had vaccines and aren't immuno-compromised, or very sick before getting it.

Check the numbers around the world.

Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
How much protection against a future severe case do you think your asymptomatic case gives you, and for how long? In the absence of good data showing otherwise, I would assume not a whole lot of protection and for not very long.
It's now very clear that keeping up with boosters - and bivalent vaccines - reduces the chance of serious injury to levels that just aren't a concern outside of the above groups. Infections also increase the body's immune response, so after 4 vaccines and one or two infections and a bivalent vaccine in a couple of months time, my personal concern level about covid is so close to zero that it really doesn't matter.

And now we have paxlovid available as well. I've seen nothing that suggests covid is an issue for 99% of people in 2023.
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Old 17th January 2023, 08:49 PM   #2690
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Quote:
Because it's just not dangerous to people under 85 who have had vaccines and aren't immuno-compromised, or very sick before getting it.
I tend to agree with most of your posts however are you discounting long covid??
The numbers are horrendous even in kids.

My business associates partner is just now ( a year later ) showing some improvement ( out of the wheel chair and back to part time work.
For a while she was classified as fully disabled.....she had no comorbidities and was an active and healthy 30 year old before getting a relatively mild case ( no hospital )

The best path is never get it ....so far partner and I have avoided but barely....
Queensland Australia caseload has always been low.
We still mask for any venue with crowds....I'm much more concerned with covid now than in 2020 just because current crop is crazy infectious and it's a crap-shoot for long term consequences.
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Old 17th January 2023, 09:56 PM   #2691
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
I tend to agree with most of your posts however are you discounting long covid??
Nope. It's very low odds post-vaccination, and treatments seem to be coming out to combat it.

It's a risk, but to me, it's on par with the risk of driving to the clinic.

https://www.bmj.com/content/377/bmj-2021-069676

I see no option but to accept that risk, because people no longer mask, are reluctant to get further vaccines, and won't even take therapeutics.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ge-complacency

Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
The best path is never get it ....so far partner and I have avoided but barely....
Queensland Australia caseload has always been low.
Has it? I haven't been looking at Aussie.
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Old 17th January 2023, 10:29 PM   #2692
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
It's a risk, but to me, it's on par with the risk of driving to the clinic.
But if you have long COVID you end up with both risks, in fact you probably drive to a clinic a number of times to deal with your illness.

And don't forget to include lost work time.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 17th January 2023 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 17th January 2023, 11:28 PM   #2693
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A couple new papers on long covid

Nature: Long COVID: major findings, mechanisms and recommendations
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41579-022-00846-2

Preprint: Long-term cardiac symptoms following COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1....16.23284620v1
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Old 18th January 2023, 12:19 AM   #2694
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Not even close to comparable risk .
Quote:
What we now know about long COVID and our brains - Pursuithttps://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au › articles › what-we-now...
6 Jan 2023 — Of more than 665 million cases worldwide, nearly one in every two people with COVID-19 is at risk of developing Post-COVID-19 Neurological Syndrome (PCNS).

...long covid may end up costing more to the medical system than the original pandemic. Some of the autopsies are finding the virus pockets in areas not previously suspected.
The very uncertain prognosis is already a cost factor, what is it?, how can it be treated.?

https://aci.health.nsw.gov.au/covid-...acute-sequelae

When I arrived in Queensland from Canada in January 2021 ...there were only 7 deaths for the entire state ( 5 million pop )
That held pretty close until Dec 2021 when they skyrocketed ( comparatively ).

now for Australia

Quote:
Forty deaths a day
Countless thousands of Australians had their Christmas and New Year plans upended for the third year in a row after a year in which deaths across the country numbered 14,813. That’s 40.5 deaths per day, dramatically outstripping 909 in 2020 (3.6 per day) and 1,331 ( 2.7 per day) in 2021.
In the latest data for the week ending January 13, there were 413 deaths bringing the national total for the year already to 659, about 50% of the total deaths in 2021.
https://michaelwest.com.au/long-long...s-deaths-rise/

One of the headaches with covid is there seems no path to long term immunity whereas my bout of Hong Flu offers some protection decades later.
With covid it is a restart every year or less and given the variants you can even end up with dual infections of different variants ( rare but still there as a risk ).

Fat lady perhaps is retiring...

Last edited by macdoc; 18th January 2023 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 18th January 2023, 01:56 AM   #2695
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
A couple new papers on long covid

Nature: Long COVID: major findings, mechanisms and recommendations
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41579-022-00846-2

Preprint: Long-term cardiac symptoms following COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1....16.23284620v1
Thanks mate!

Still has many questions, and the inclusion of ME/CFS as an outcome has my skeptical radar on high alert.

I see the post-vaccine cases are much lower, but it's not specified what severity's involved.

Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
Not even close to comparable risk .

...long covid may end up costing more to the medical system than the original pandemic. Some of the autopsies are finding the virus pockets in areas not previously suspected.
It's not just long covid, either. Marting posted a study a couple of weeks ago that suggested multiple infections are likely to shorten your life. That's the key to figuring out where we go from here.

It might turn out that more life is lost from repeated infections than ever die from the first dose.

I made the comment in the Covid Roulette thread that my estimate of 60 million deaths might turn out to be low.

But we can't live in a bubble, and the wide majority of people aren't taking precautions. It's here to stay as an endemic disease, but what shape that takes we'll have to wait to find out.
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Old 18th January 2023, 05:48 PM   #2696
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Bi-valent booster data from Israel

"Among more than 600,000 booster-eligible adults ages 65 and up, those who received Pfizer/BioNTech's bivalent booster had an 81% lower risk of COVID hospitalization compared with those who received no booster (adjusted HR 0.19, 95% CI 0.08-0.43), reported Ronen Arbel, PhD, of Clalit Health Services (CHS) in Tel Aviv, Israel...Of note, only 14% of the eligible Israeli population of older adults received the updated vaccine during the study period, which started following the rollout of the new vaccines. "Vaccine misinformation, reports of side effects, or the belief that the vaccine is unnecessary as COVID-19 infection is sufficient to obtain immunity," were cited by Arbel and co-authors as possible reasons for the low uptake." MedPageToday

Regrettably misinformation is not confined to one country.
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Old 24th January 2023, 01:41 AM   #2697
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I haven't checked any of this report from WHO, but it certainly matches what I'm seeing - hybrid immunity is very strong.

https://www.livemint.com/news/world/...294758266.html
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Old 24th January 2023, 02:18 AM   #2698
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UK daily numbers from ZOE Covid project dropped to lower than any point in 2022, but are on the way up again now. New cases around 90k per day.
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Old 24th January 2023, 10:00 AM   #2699
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I was just casting around the numbers and I see Japan is having its highest death toll right now. Their daily death records show an increasing number of deaths in successive waves, which is the opposite of what happened elsewhere.

https://www.worldometers.info/corona...country/japan/

They have a reasonable vaccination rate - maybe one of our residents can try to shed some light on possible reasons?
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Old 24th January 2023, 04:10 PM   #2700
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Good topic. It's pretty strange.

Japan, until 2022 had an exceptionally low covid death total. Under .01%. Now in the last 12.5 months it's .03%.

Like Omicron elsewhere, it's hitting the elderly harder than earlier variants. But this increasing impact is hard to explain. Seems to be creating more and larger clusters in elder community homes.

Here's one discussion:
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/n...kstories/2185/

Quote:
The health ministry said on January 14 that at least 4,998 people had died after contracting COVID-19 so far this month. That is clearly outpacing the rate of the past few months. Elderly people account for the vast majority of those deaths.

The National Institute of Infectious Diseases says around 60 percent of the deaths were directly caused by the coronavirus. The rest were attributed to heart failure, cancer, pneumonia, old age, aspiration pneumonia, or kidney failure, among other causes.
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Old 24th January 2023, 04:11 PM   #2701
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Nothing what Covid does in Japan makes sense really.
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Old 24th January 2023, 08:10 PM   #2702
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
I was just casting around the numbers and I see Japan is having its highest death toll right now. Their daily death records show an increasing number of deaths in successive waves, which is the opposite of what happened elsewhere.

https://www.worldometers.info/corona...country/japan/

They have a reasonable vaccination rate - maybe one of our residents can try to shed some light on possible reasons?
Yeah, it is odd. I have no idea what the reasons for it are.

I do know that cases have been spiking recently, and the numbers of deaths have hit record levels.

One thing I read recently was...

Quote:
Amidst another wave of coronavirus infections this winter, the number of daily COVID-19 deaths in Japan has hit new records. That's despite the omicron variant's lower mortality rate. Experts and others claim that it may be due to the existence of "hidden," or unreported infections. Along with seasonal increases in stroke and heart attack patients, the situation in Japan's hospitals is becoming dire.

When the Mainichi Shimbun visited the Trauma, Emergency and Critical Care Center at Fukuoka University Hospital on Jan. 17, an elderly patient was on a respirator in one of the beds for critically ill COVID-19 patients. Nurses wearing personal protective equipment were hurrying around. Hiroyasu Ishikura, the center's 64-year-old chief doctor, said, "Since Christmas last year, we have seen a sudden increase in the number of patients requiring hospitalization."

...In contrast with the seventh wave of COVID-19, which peaked last August, this winter's wave overlaps with a seasonal increase in patients suffering from strokes and heart attacks. "Our emergency resources are already depleted. Over close to 40 years, this is the first time I've seen such a situation," Ishikura said with an agonized expression.

As the medical system is stretched, what stands out is the number of deaths. According to daily numbers released by the health ministry, this winter's wave peaked on Jan. 6 with 246,632 new infections -- lower than the seventh wave's peak of 261,004 on Aug. 19 last year. However, the number of COVID-19 deaths hit 503 on Jan. 14, higher than the 347 reached last year on Sept. 2 at the height of the seventh wave.

Ishikura pointed to "hidden" COVID-19 patients as a reason for the higher proportion of deaths. He believes that many people don't get tested even though they have a fever or other symptoms, or do not register their positive test results with the prefectural authorities. The lower infection numbers, then, are an effect of updated health ministry rules that allowed prefectures to simplify how they tally new COVID-19 infections, which came into effect last September.
Link

Japan has maintained a very high level of masking until recently, has a very high vaccination rate, and generally takes Covid pretty seriously. Until a few months ago, it was still extremely difficult to get into Japan, and they have put restrictions on those coming from China. So it would be a surprise if the small decrease in mitigation strategies have ledo to more deaths.

That said, Japan is planning to downgrade Covid to the same level as flu and to begin dropping the recommendation for mask wearing indoors...

Quote:
The following is the gist of what will change in Japan when the legal status of the novel coronavirus is downgraded to Class 5, on par with seasonal influenza.

The government will:

-- scrap quarantine period of seven days for patients and five days for close contacts.

-- not pay all medical costs for treating and hospitalizing patients.

-- allow ordinary hospitals to examine COVID-19 patients, rather than current designated medical facilities.

-- not impose control measures, including state of emergency declarations.

-- consider dropping recommendation to wear face masks indoors.
Link
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Old 25th January 2023, 02:02 AM   #2703
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
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Good topic. It's pretty strange.

Japan, until 2022 had an exceptionally low covid death total. Under .01%. Now in the last 12.5 months it's .03%.

Like Omicron elsewhere, it's hitting the elderly harder than earlier variants. But this increasing impact is hard to explain. Seems to be creating more and larger clusters in elder community homes.
Quote:
The health ministry said on January 14 that at least 4,998 people had died after contracting COVID-19 so far this month. That is clearly outpacing the rate of the past few months. Elderly people account for the vast majority of those deaths.

The National Institute of Infectious Diseases says around 60 percent of the deaths were directly caused by the coronavirus. The rest were attributed to heart failure, cancer, pneumonia, old age, aspiration pneumonia, or kidney failure, among other causes.
Here's one discussion:
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/n...kstories/2185/
Died "after" but not necessarily due to? It's the perennial question. What exactly counts as a Covid death.

If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that Japan like everywhere else has pandemic fatigue (although mask wearing is still quite ubiquitous here, but the restaurants are full again and people have to take them off to eat). Maybe fewer people are bothering to get tested?

Right now I don't have enough information to say why, I can only guess. Maybe it is finally reaching older, more vulnerable people. Official statistics show 32 million Covid cases since the beginning of the pandemic. That's only about a quarter of Japan's population of 125 million. I assume that actual infections are much higher, but I don't know the true number. I've never been a "case" nor has anyone in my immediate family nor any of my in-laws that I'm aware of. Only a tiny handful have been reported at the company where I work. I could guess that some people don't want to see a doctor if they can avoid it, so maybe they wait until their case is very bad, and this gives a poorer prognosis than if they had sought early treatment.
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Old 25th January 2023, 02:09 AM   #2704
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Thinking about it a bit more, the overall death rates are still well within keeping of other countries, so it almost looks like it's a catch-up. The oldies didn't die earlier in the pandemic due to Japan stamping it out hard, and now people have relaxed it's ploughing through them.
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Old 25th January 2023, 08:16 AM   #2705
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Thinking about it a bit more, the overall death rates are still well within keeping of other countries, so it almost looks like it's a catch-up. The oldies didn't die earlier in the pandemic due to Japan stamping it out hard, and now people have relaxed it's ploughing through them.
The rates were surprisingly low here for a long time, considering how old Japan's population is. I do think there's some catching up now finally.
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Old 25th January 2023, 03:16 PM   #2706
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Between that and what's still happening in China, it pretty well proves the point you can't hide from it forever.

Sooner or later, it's gonna get ya.

As time goes on and fewer people wear masks, the chances of not being infected are getting very close to zero.
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Old 25th January 2023, 05:59 PM   #2707
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Between that and what's still happening in China, it pretty well proves the point you can't hide from it forever.

Sooner or later, it's gonna get ya.

As time goes on and fewer people wear masks, the chances of not being infected are getting very close to zero.
Indeed. Still later seems to be like a way better option. Weaker variants, vaccines, cures .. not to mention the simple fact that if you die one year later, you live one year longer.
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Old 25th January 2023, 07:23 PM   #2708
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No doubt about that, and waiting until antivirals were available is a winning ploy. As far as I can tell, Paxlovid is still highly effective at stopping covid in its tracks.

I don't understand the almost 50/50 split of people taking it and who refuse to do so.
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Old 25th January 2023, 07:34 PM   #2709
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on paxlovid refusal

At The Atlantic Rachel Gutman-Wei wrote, "Drug interactions are another source of worry for the anti-Paxxers. Official COVID-treatment guidelines warn that the antiviral may have ill effects when combined with any of more than 100 other medications. Geriatric patients in particular might need to tweak their daily regimens of pills while under treatment with Paxlovid, Kalender-Rich told me. That’s hardly ever a problem medically, she said, but some people are still reluctant to make the change, especially if a previous doctor told them to never, ever skip a dose."

Paxlovid hesitancy does not seem particularly political from what I can gather.
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Old 25th January 2023, 07:56 PM   #2710
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What about price ? I mean it's free where I live, but I guess it might not be everywhere.
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Old 25th January 2023, 09:59 PM   #2711
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The US Government paid $530 a course for Paxlovid.

Apparently Japan is about to stop paying extra for covid treatments (angrysoba posted a link above)

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2...-in-japan.html

I guess the logic is that the government wants to save money now, and will treat Covid like it treats any other disease. Normal health insurance will still apply, but that means co-pays and whatnot. Part of the cost to be borne by the patient. (Typically 30% is the norm I believe)


So if it costs the same here as in the US (I don't know if it does), 30% would be like $190, which is not cheap.
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Old 26th January 2023, 02:01 AM   #2712
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Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
"Drug interactions are another source of worry for the anti-Paxxers. Official COVID-treatment guidelines warn that the antiviral may have ill effects when combined with any of more than 100 other medications.


Viagra and Cialis are two of the drugs. That probably accounts for half the blokes who wouldn't take it. The doctor went through an extensive list with me, but I don't take any other legal drugs, so it wasn't a problem.

I understand from what he told me, that you only need to stop taking whatever the interactive drug is for the course of Paxlovid, which was 5 days.

Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
What about price ? I mean it's free where I live, but I guess it might not be everywhere.
Free in NZ as well, and our uptake rate is 50/50.
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