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MickMac

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2013
Frances 2016
Frances 2017
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Ponferrada-Santiago
July 2019
I just booked flights woohooo Camino here we come,

Coronavirus: German company BioNTech says its vaccine is 90% effective​

2 hours ago​



A vaccine jointly developed by German company BioNTech and US firm Pfizer has proven to be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19 infections, according to phase 3 trials.​

German company BioNTech and its US partner Pfizer announced on Monday that early results from ongoing Phase III trials showed that their vaccine was 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 infections.
 

mjal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.

I was about to add a question mark to the thread title but decided to be positive...

Approval will take some weeks and there is then the problem of administering the vaccine.
It needs to be stored at around -80C (yes, minus 80 degrees Celsius) and requires 2 doses with a 3 week interval but anyway, GOOD NEWS.

I hope I am not being premature but my congratulations and thanks are offered to the team(s) involved.

Edited once to remove a note re opening a new thread.
 
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mjal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.

I was about to add a question mark to the thread title but decided to be positive...

Approval will take some weeks and there is then the problem of administering the vaccine.
It needs to be stored at around -80C (yes, minus 80 degrees Celsius) and requires 2 doses with a 3 week interval but anyway, GOOD NEWS.

I hope I am not being premature but my congratulations and thanks are offered to the team(s) involved.

PS : I see I have placed this in "Announcements" but perhaps it deserves to be there...

Forgive my replying to my own post :

After reading the news on the BBC website at about 1430GMT I immediately came to this forum and found ...nothing (related) in the Latest Posts panel. So posted the not-news...

Should the first post on something of this nature remain in the Latest Posts for a fixed time rather than drop out in the usual fashion? Merely asking...
 

MickMac

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2013
Frances 2016
Frances 2017
Frances 2018
Frances 2018
Ponferrada-Santiago
July 2019

I was about to add a question mark to the thread title but decided to be positive...

Approval will take some weeks and there is then the problem of administering the vaccine.
It needs to be stored at around -80C (yes, minus 80 degrees Celsius) and requires 2 doses with a 3 week interval but anyway, GOOD NEWS.

I hope I am not being premature but my congratulations and thanks are offered to the team(s) involved.

Edited once to remove a note re opening a new thread.
I have a huge freezer all welcome 😃 "Vorsprung durch Technik" well done.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Forgive my replying to my own post :

After reading the news on the BBC website at about 1430GMT I immediately came to this forum and found ...nothing (related) in the Latest Posts panel. So posted the not-news...

Should the first post on something of this nature remain in the Latest Posts for a fixed time rather than drop out in the usual fashion? Merely asking...
I will change the title and make the thread a “sticky” in the covid sub-forum. No way (at least none that I know of) to make it the first post to come up on Latest Posts panel. But I’ll ask the management.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
I know you are being humorous but it did make me think.
How about investing in firms which make laboratory freezers (able to achieve -85C) because we are going to need a lot of them?
Further reflection : we are probably already too late.
Invest in the companies that make dosage phials suitable for - 80 degree centigrade (-112 degrees Fahrenheit), and the syringes they need billions. Hopefully the glass is recyclable because that is an awful lot of very specialist glass, and seemingly cannot be manufactured until they know what size is needed.

It's a bit like painting a room, everyone thinks of the cost etc of the paint and many forget the applicators and other paraphernalia needed to actually do the job. Except in this case you may need to wait months for the phials and syringes. 50 million ordered by the UK alone if it gets through its independant regulatory tests seemingly.
 
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mjal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.
Invest in the companies that make dosage phials suitable for - 80 degree centigrade (-112 degrees Fahrenheit), and the syringes they need billions. Hopefully the glass is recyclable because that is an awful lot of very specialist glass, and seemingly cannot be manufactured until they know what size is needed.

It's a bit like painting a room, everyone thinks of the cost etc of the paint and many forget the applicators and other paraphernalia needed to actually do the job. Except in this case you may need to wait months for the phials and syringes. 50 million ordered by the UK alone if it gets through its independant regulatory tests seemingly.
At the risk of being disciplined for thread drift...

The industry is ahead on this. It looks as though glass vials are a poor choice ; the material in favour for very low temperatures is "a cyclic olefin polymer" whatever precisely that may be.
I would expect syringes to be "normal" i.e plastic and disposable. It should not be too difficult to increase production to meet this new demand.

The low temperature storage requirement may only need to be enforced at what are called "high levels" in the supply chain (national and regional levels) with more modest requirements in the community.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
At the risk of being disciplined for thread drift...

The industry is ahead on this. It looks as though glass vials are a poor choice ; the material in favour for very low temperatures is "a cyclic olefin polymer" whatever precisely that may be.
I would expect syringes to be "normal" i.e plastic and disposable. It should not be too difficult to increase production to meet this new demand.

The low temperature storage requirement may only need to be enforced at what are called "high levels" in the supply chain (national and regional levels) with more modest requirements in the community.
Thanks for the heads up on the phial materials. Still billions to be made, as well as syringes, so lots of profits to be made. The temperature for the Pfizer stuff is right down to patient delivery.

Back to thread, still looks like mid 21 before quantities available to carry out the minimum number of injections needed in Europe. To get good coverage though, after listening to the science all afternoon, probably much later in the year before it could initially be envisaged any relaxing of travel rules and social distancing. On the basis of those opinions my plans will be underway as of today for a toddle along the Way in 2022. Hopefully see some of you then.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Thanks for the heads up on the phial materials. Still billions to be made, as well as syringes, so lots of profits to be made. The temperature for the Pfizer stuff is right down to patient delivery.

Back to thread, still looks like mid 21 before quantities available to carry out the minimum number of injections needed in Europe. To get good coverage though, after listening to the science all afternoon, probably much later in the year before it could initially be envisaged any relaxing of travel rules and social distancing. On the basis of those opinions my plans will be underway as of today for a toddle along the Way in 2022. Hopefully see some of you then.
It requires two injections as well.
 

Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
It requires two injections as well.
And the 90% effectiveness rate is (according to the BBC) at day 7 after the second injection (and subject to further data analysis), and more testing is required to confirm how long the vaccine will provide protection. Nevertheless promising news.
 
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D

Deleted member 34316

Guest
This is the second piece of excellent news I have received in as many days!
Not always the vaccine candidate (Pfizer) who is first to announce the victory, end up being the winner ;)
In the past (2009) Pfizer unfortunately promised more than it had to offer : NYT
I'd rather take a Russian SPUTNIK vaccine (which is probably just a shot of pure vodka)
 
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alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Year of past OR future Camino
Hope so!
A very positive and welcome development. But be mindful that this is 'science by press release' and a long way from the gold standard of peer reviewed and government approval. The data is from 94 people so a very small trial. And big pharma is famous for later developments not living up to the promise of their early press releases.
But ever so hopeful that there may be something mid-late 2021.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
@arthur1218, did you bother following either of those exciting links you found? The Sputnik link is just a bit of spoof advertising and your NYT link is from 2009. Similar stories can be found in regard to most of Big-Pharma stretching back decades and from much more recent debacles.

I place no more faith in todays announcements than you appear to do but I'll not bother chasing internet bollocks to justify my scepticism. I'll just plan my next Camino for when I feel I am safe to walk it.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
....... The data is from 94 people so a very small trial. .......

I also thought this when I first read the article but further down it explains that thousands are in the trial and that the 94 number is the number of people infected, either after taking the placebo or the real vaccine.

They are apparently waiting for 146 people to be infected to check for side effects.
 
D

Deleted member 34316

Guest
@arthur1218, did you bother following either of those exciting links you found? The Sputnik link is just a bit of spoof advertising and your NYT link is from 2009. Similar stories can be found in regard to most of Big-Pharma stretching back decades and from much more recent debacles.

I place no more faith in todays announcements than you appear to do but I'll not bother chasing internet bollocks to justify my scepticism. I'll just plan my next Camino for when I feel I am safe to walk it.

I appreciate your reply. That about the Sputnik vaccine was supposed to be a joke, I removed the link.
I'm not an anti-vaccine sceptic but for me this sounds like they really push to start selling it.
So it won't hurt to read 2009 article about Pfitzer, I guess...
 
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mjal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.
A very positive and welcome development. But be mindful that this is 'science by press release' and a long way from the gold standard of peer reviewed and government approval. The data is from 94 people so a very small trial. And big pharma is famous for later developments not living up to the promise of their early press releases.
But ever so hopeful that there may be something mid-late 2021.

"The data is from 94 people so a very small trial."

Well, yes and no.

The trial involved around 43,500 subjects ; the 94 are those who contracted Covid within a given time frame. It seems that 90% of those with infection had received the placebo.

The reports are not entirely clear but my understanding is that the investigators were depending on subjects to report symptoms and then be tested. Therefore we have no assurances re asymptomatic infection i.e. does the vaccine prevent this?
The obvious answer would be regular, frequent testing of all subjects ; it was suggested in a critique of a different trial that testing should be carried out twice-weekly...the logistics and costs of this would surely be prohibitive.
 

mjal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.
I also thought this when I first read the article but further down it explains that thousands are in the trial and that the 94 number is the number of people infected, either after taking the placebo or the real vaccine.

They are apparently waiting for 146 people to be infected to check for side effects.

Apologies : your post was not "up" when I began mine.

Moral : spend less time composing and checking. On reflection, perhaps not...
 

mjal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.
Thanks for the heads up on the phial materials. Still billions to be made, as well as syringes, so lots of profits to be made. The temperature for the Pfizer stuff is right down to patient delivery.

More thread drift but actually relevant and encouraging.


"Pfizer and BioNTech's mRNA hopeful, dubbed BNT162b2, specifically raised eyebrows: The vaccine reportedly needs to be held in storage at -94° Fahrenheit, and will last for only 24 hours at refrigerated temps between 35.6° and 46.4°"

Written in late August ; presumably still valid. The storage figure is -70 Celsius with the "24 hour" figure being normal fridge levels.

So conditions not as tough as imagined.

PS : not sure we could administer a "shot" anyway fresh from the -70C freezer...it needs to thaw.
 

Walkerooni

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
Have been involved in medical research for decades. While we are all twitching to get back on the Camino, those chirping about glass vs. plastic vials/syringes; about appropriate freezers/temps; about investing in -85 freezers (which are standard in every hospital, by the way), should remove themselves from the conversation. This expertise exists, but the forum is not the epicentre for that expertise. Fred and Martha offering up freezer space in their Camino cooler by the side of the road adds nothing to the conversation. Sit back. Trust the experts. Plan your trip for 1.5-2 years from now. At the earliest.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), Old Way (2020), VFnS (2020), CP (rebooked) (2021), VdT (ToDo)
There's the science; the logistics of delivery; and then there is the uptake.

Compulsory vaccination or not?
 
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those chirping about glass vs. plastic vials/syringes; about appropriate freezers/temps; about investing in -85 freezers (which are standard in every hospital, by the way), should remove themselves from the conversation. This expertise exists, but the forum is not the epicentre for that expertise.
I enjoyed following the conversation so far. Reading what people think, what people know and what they don’t know, what they want to talk about because they find it relevant for their future camino plans and are excited about.

And reading how some posters patiently share what solid information they can share. Some comments made me curious and I ended up reading elsewhere, for example the Frequently Asked Questions about the clinical trial design that Pfizer developed for this vaccine candidate. Or reading about the amazing researchers at BioNTech who are at the core of the development of this particular vaccine candidate and who started this project as early as January 2020!

So, as far as I am concerned, keep on chirping, folks. 🙃
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I’ll settle for the news, with all the caveats, being on balance ‘good’ when set against nearly twelve months of ‘not good’.

Unlike some, I don’t see walking a camino as anything other than part of the established pattern of my life; and I welcome anything which might promise progress towards normality. I’m not minded to pack my bag this afternoon and head to the airport; but I feel more confident in anticipating that today than I did yesterday.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Unlike some, I don’t see walking a camino as anything other than part of the established pattern of my life; and I welcome anything which might promise progress towards normality. I’m not minded to pack my bag this afternoon and head to the airport; but I feel more confident in anticipating that today than I did yesterday.
You speak for me...it's all about being hopeful.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
This expertise exists, but the forum is not the epicentre for that expertise. Fred and Martha offering up freezer space in their Camino cooler by the side of the road adds nothing to the conversation.
I appreciate your input and basically agree, but are you saying this thread should be closed by the mods as it has almost no value?

I enjoy humor and personally appreciated the little freezer pun by Fred and Martha as it gave me a little laugh amongst the serious...we are all different.😊
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
It is hopeful....but I have not actually seen the stats and I have some real questions about the 90 percent efficacy. Can someone help me out here?

Could it be that that only 84 people got Covid from the placebo group
( approximately N= 22000) circa 4 in 1000? This is significantly less than one would expect, particularly when part of the sample was from the USA with a much higher infection rate... I am wondering whether both groups were sufficiently exposed to the virus?

We do not know how long the antibodies will last? Right now I think, we only know it shows some protection for a few weeks, may turn out to be much longer, but we do not know that yet?

And we do not know how it will impact older populations and those with diabetes, heart disease asthma, etc.

While I welcome the news, I am not ready to buy a ticket just yet!
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese coastal (2021)
Hi everyone!
For me it's very simple!
Whatever the outcome regarding the longevity or even maybe the efficacy of these vaccines;i will take my chances with any of them.
I am running on less than 40% of one working deteriorating kidney after cancer;if i get the virus i will probs have little chance with Covid! (i've had the sword of Damocles hanging over my head since this lot started i just hope the bu***r is a little blunter now)
The waiting for the jab; will be like the waiting for my tumour to be removed!
Unbearable.
I like all of us want my life back;and to be around long enough to walk hopefully again and again!
Just listened to this back sounds a bit poor me ;but i am in fact in a good place; The best thing this gives us all is hope;and that's a mighty powerful word!
Woody.
 
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peregrina2000

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Staff member
It is hopeful....but I have not actually seen the stats and I have some real questions about the 90 percent efficacy. Can someone help me out here?

Could it be that that only 84 people got Covid from the placebo group
( approximately N= 22000) circa 4 in 1000? This is significantly less than one would expect, particularly when part of the sample was from the USA with a much higher infection rate... I am wondering whether both groups were sufficiently exposed to the virus?

We do not know the how long the antibodies will last? Right now I think, we only know it shows some protection for a few weeks, may turn out to be much longer, but we do not know that yet?

And we do not know how it will impact older populations and those with diabetes, heart disease asthma, etc.

While I welcome the news, I am not ready to buy a ticket just yet!
Hi, @Marbe2, I heard and read quite a bit about this exciting development yesterday, but one thing that stuck out is that Pfizer has not (yet, I assume) released the actual data, so lots of news outlets have many questions just like yours. I think we just sit tight and wait.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
As I read through the comments on this section (and I have to admit I stopped about half way so forgive me if someone else has already stated this), it is apparent to me that no one here, including myself really knows what they are talking about. Especially those who seem to be in some manner, shape or form, anti-vaxxers. Each one of us has the right to take or not to take this or any other vaccine or therapy. It may be your right but if this vaccine is effective is it quite selfish not to get it unless for some reason you are allergic to some of the ingredients in the vaccine or some other unknown at this time reason.
I was a pharmaceutical representative for many years. Yes the industry has done some pretty shady and immoral things in terms of money gouging over the years. Maybe methods of profiteering are different but really no different than any other industry.
One thing I will give credit to in regards to one of the companies I worked for was that they did an excellent job of educating us in general pharmacology and especially in the areas of studies and understanding the data that is released in studies. I used to go for training at least 4 weeks a year for continuing education. I went to teaching hospitals and respected clinics like the Cleveland Clinic, Harvard, Stanford, Oregon Health Sciences to name a few. I spent 5 full days at Stanford learning ever in and out of how to read and interpret data at Stanford University Medical School. I say this not to brag but to say that the lay person knows net to nothing when it comes to understanding what terms like masking, blinding, what each phase of a trail is looking for, secondary endpoints and their validity, protocol deviations, retention plans to again name just a few terms found in a study.
I have read the speculation that people have injected and for the most part it is pure speculation at best. None of us have any idea how Pfizer intends to store or transport or deliver the vaccine. How long they are working on this, if they have already devised a plan for this, if they have worked with, for example, Moderna who is also targeting a vaccine that uses the spike protein, to solve the problems of storage and temperature. As no data has been released yet and no safety data will be available for another couple of weeks at the earliest. Bottom line is there is no real data. Even if there was raw data available NONE of us would be able to interpret the data anyway.
So my suggestion is there is hope for the future. When it comes to Science opinions by those of us that are uninformed and without the proper education are as valuable as a 3 dollar bill (In US currency of course ;)). I am not trying to be rude but if you were diagnosed with a rare cancer and a new treatment was available would you ask your butcher or garbage collector or waiter their advice or would you listen to a qualified and skilled oncologist who can interpret the data and help you make an informed decision. There is nothing wrong with trying to draw conclusions and educating yourself as a layman. There are many great sources that can give you clear and professional information. The trouble today is there are thousands of posts, articles and sights run by conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers, and a plethora of others giving out disinformation or flat out lies that are dangerous to say the least and deadly at worst. Get the facts from SCIENTISTS, and right now even they don't have the facts. We should just step on the brakes and just be happy science is getting close.
 

alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Year of past OR future Camino
Hope so!
I have to agree with lt56nyc---what we have so far is just science by 'press release' and that includes all the press stories, blogs, and forums (us too). The real science will come with time. And none of us have the background to accurately speculate on all the production, storage, and distribution issues--or the trial itself.
All this is very very hopeful news but not enough to plan my next camino.

More hopeful for me is the FDA 'emergency use authorization' of Lilly monoclonal antibody therapy bamlanivimab. Seems of use to very limited population, but I find hope that the medical professionals now have another tool. To me, a robust treatment is a solid second to a successful vaccine!!
Stay safe all!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Cause for hope, but we will still need patience. At the very least to wait for the trial to be concluded, and peer review to be completed. Press releases from pharmaceutical companies tend to be very rosy, leaving out the fine print.

As @It56ny said...
We should just step on the brakes and just be happy science is getting close.

I'm thinking my next camino will be in 2022....
 

mjal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.
it is apparent to me that no one here, including myself really knows what they are talking about. Especially those who seem to be in some manner, shape or form, anti-vaxxers.

As someone who commented earlier in the thread, I think you are overstating your case to say that "no one here....knows what they are talking about"

There are several on this forum who are scientifically or medically qualified ; I number myself among the latter. Many of my posts here are aimed at correcting misconceptions in the medical field. I claim no specialist experience in virology, immunology or epidemiology but I think that I am capable of reading original research and recording the salient features.

Now, you seem to have spotted "anti-vaxxers" posting in this thread ; I have not. The general tenor of the conversation, in my view, has been "bring it on".

For the record, I am entirely supportive of immunisations in general, as would be expected having been responsible for the administration of many hundreds in the past, and I shall certainly be taking up the offer of Covid-19 immunisation as soon as it is available...logistics permitting.
 
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mjal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.
Have been involved in medical research for decades. While we are all twitching to get back on the Camino, those chirping about glass vs. plastic vials/syringes; about appropriate freezers/temps; about investing in -85 freezers (which are standard in every hospital, by the way), should remove themselves from the conversation. This expertise exists, but the forum is not the epicentre for that expertise. Fred and Martha offering up freezer space in their Camino cooler by the side of the road adds nothing to the conversation. Sit back. Trust the experts. Plan your trip for 1.5-2 years from now. At the earliest.

As one of the "chirpers", may I be allowed a comment?

The original post re freezers was clearly humorous ; I extended it to the "low temperature" model, joking re investment etc. The "glass vial" business had an eco element ; we are all eco-committed, are we not?

Once I had realised the very stringent conditions for storage and transport of the vaccine in question, I thought it worth sharing the news that this was not going to be an easy ride. As a medical researcher, you will be aware that the best vaccine on the planet fails if a required "cold chain" is broken ; many on this forum will not know this. Meeting the conditions will be onerous enough in Europe, North America, Australia etc but where do we stand in Brazil or India? Food for thought.

Further reading for those interested ; all articles relating to Covid-19 require no subscription to the BMJ

 

mjal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.
@mjal, I for one, have always appreciated your input to these types of threads. You bring much "to the table" with your background as a medical doctor.

Thank you for your kind remarks.

I hope I can continue to contribute just a little expertise.

Stay safe (and buen camino...soon),

Mike.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Reportedly, the typical side effects in some patients are similar to those for flu vaccine -- so headache, swelling, muscle pains, and so on.

Side effects are reported to be more severe after the second jab.

Don't know if the more debilitating side effects sometimes reported for flu vaccines shall occur -- no conspiracy theory, as if those had been known prior to release of any particular flu vaccines, they never would have been. It's just an unknown quantity ATM.

Not medical advice -- just to those who are in a position to, don't forget simple circumspection. Eyes open.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
I do wonder if travel to/from countries with insufficient immunity (possibly through lack of vaccinations) will be high on the agenda of governmental minds.

I only know two antivaxxers who both trust two toothed barely coherent Kev to supply their drugs but they mistrust the world's best scientists and the huge amount of independant testing that goes into vaccines. 😁
 
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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Could it be that that only 84 people got Covid from the placebo group (approximately N= 22000) circa 4 in 1000? This is significantly less than one would expect, particularly when part of the sample was from the USA with a much higher infection rate... I am wondering whether both groups were sufficiently exposed to the virus?
If you are like me you may simply try to understand what the figures mean that are bandied about. As far as I can make out: 94 persons in the trial are known to have been infected with this Coronavirus, 85 in the placebo group and 9 in the vaccinated group, hence the split is 90,4% and 9,6%. This is what I understand when they say in the press release that the vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective. The figure is likely to change as the trial progresses. Apparently, the equivalent number for flu vaccines is around 50%.

There is no way of knowing how many people in the trial had been exposed to a potential coronavirus infection. The Pfizer protocol says that they selected participants who, in the judgment of the investigator, are at higher risk for acquiring COVID-19 (including, but not limited to, use of mass transportation, relevant demographics, and frontline essential workers).

I think it is a dead end if you try to relate this 90% figure to infection rates.

There's apparently a difference between vaccine effectiveness and vaccine efficacy but I wouldn't be able to explain it.
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Year of past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
My opinion for what it’s worth: @Kathar1na is right re: math. I join those who see this as optimistic, but agree I wouldn’t book travel just yet. It’s not the logistics nightmare some fear, and the storage temp and other logistics have been being worked out over the past many months. There will be only so much that can be made at one time, so distribution will undoubtedly be first to medical/first responders, elderly in nursing homes, other elderly/at risk groups in that order (and I imagine military, at least recruits in dorms and those deploying although I doubt that will be advertised)—in that rough order (military not necessarily at the end of those lines). Then anyone else who wants it. So it may be by summer people are more confident about relaxing travel restrictions but I wouldn’t bet a ticket on it.
there are other vaccines also soon to hit the market. This one would have been announced earlier but the FDA doubled the number of positive cases required. I think the rest will announce soon—so people will have several to think about. I have great hope next summer will start to feel more normal. Even so, not every vaccine is 100% effective. And not every person in every place will take it. Small flare ups may happen randomly. Everyone should take that into account especially if you are at risk of serious complications (elderly, diabetes or lung/heart issues). Everyone should have insurance that will cover them if they become ill on the road, money to cover hotels if things shut down again, and perhaps insurance that will cover bringing them home if ill (medevac) or repatriation of remains (I think all of these things should be planned for any trip, even without pandemic).
im super happy about this vaccine.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
There's the science; the logistics of delivery; and then there is the uptake.

Compulsory vaccination or not?

Whole new 'can of worms' there!
Like the debate (in normal times) over unvaccinated kids being allowed into child care centres........

I doubt it can be compulsory.
But maybe 'proof' of vaccination could be required to enter certain places, take part in certain activities?

I'm all for 'free choice' as long as 'your' choice doesn't negatively impact me and mine :cool:
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
If you are like me you may simply try to understand what the figures mean that are bandied about. As far as I can make out: 94 persons in the trial are known to have been infected with this Coronavirus, 85 in the placebo group and 9 in the vaccinated group, hence the split is 90,4% and 9,6%. This is what I understand when they say in the press release that the vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective. The figure is likely to change as the trial progresses. Apparently, the equivalent number for flu vaccines is around 50%.

There is no way of knowing how many people in the trial had been exposed to a potential coronavirus infection. The Pfizer protocol says that they selected participants who, in the judgment of the investigator, are at higher risk for acquiring COVID-19 (including, but not limited to, use of mass transportation, relevant demographics, and frontline essential workers).

I think it is a dead end if you try to relate this 90% figure to infection rates.

There's apparently a difference between vaccine effectiveness and vaccine efficacy but I wouldn't be able to explain it.


Thank you for your post, Katarina.
I was able to do the initial math comparing percentages between groups.....but the numbers being provided as well as the in the sample group were relatively low compared to the general population and therefore are perhaps suspect for many a researcher.

I am initially reserved about the overall effectiveness rate of the vaccine being so high...especially since the vaccine did not contain a sufficient number of seniors... I hope 🤞 it is, indeed 90 percent..

What also concerns me is that nursing home patients have been identified for the vaccination ASAP.... Perhaps it would have made more sense to offer it to healthy seniors with no preexisting conditions for the trials, even if one had to offer a substantial fiscal incentive to participate, rather than to innoculate the most vulnerable unhealthy senior population?
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
the numbers being provided in the sample group were relatively low in both groups compared to the general population and therefore are likely questionable for many a researcher.
Without having dived too deep into it, it seems to me that this number (> 90%) corresponds to how efficacy / effectiveness had been defined by the competent national authorities for large-scale trials (which are apparently called Phase III trials) in order to grant approval that will allow the product to be used as a vaccine for the population in general within that country.

So that's really all there is to these news: a pre-defined first threshold had been reached and even superseded by a large margin at a pre-defined specific moment in time, and that's it for now. It's not a number cast in stone.

What also concerns me is that nursing home patients have been identified for the vaccination ASAP.... Perhaps it would have made more sense to offer it to healthy seniors with no preexisting conditions for the trials, even if one had to offer a substantial fiscal incentive to participate, rather than to innoculate the most vulnerable unhealthy senior population?
I don't think that this is a decision to be made by the biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies who develop, test and market such products. It's up to the national authorities in every country to decide.

PS: I confess that it took me a while and some reading/googling/discarding chaff from wheat to figure out how they obtained this "> 90 %" result. When I see a percentage figure my first thought is often: percentage of what? Pet peeve. ☺️
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I confess that it took me a while and some reading/googling/discarding chaff from wheat to figure out how they obtained this "> 90 %" result
🤣, stupid me. I should have looked here: https://pfe-pfizercom-d8-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/2020-11/C4591001_Clinical_Protocol_Nov2020.pdf - Point 9.4.2. Efficacy Analyses. It explains in some detail how the percentage/ratio is calculated. No wonder that there is no easy/accurate explanation to be found in most of the places where I had looked earlier. 🤓
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Katerina, how can doctors decide if the vaccine will “do no harm” to folks in Senior living facililies if their physicians have Insufficient data to make that determination?

I have talked to many elderly, who will not rush to be a guinea pig as they too recognize that there does not appear to be sufficient data available.

Perhaps we will find this out soon?
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
My emphysema, and my heart disease, keep me pretty confined and lonely just now. But I sit with my sleeve rolled up waiting for a little injection of hope.
Meanwhile I wear my mask, carry my hand gel and “Ditch Pig” my local paths.
Life has never been “safe”, we die from disease, disaster, distraction and direction. Every new day is a bet against circumstance, happenstance and the random humour of our gods.
If you’re not sure what the answer is you’re probably asking the wrong question.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Katerina, how can doctors decide if the vaccine will “do no harm” to folks in Senior living facililies if their physicians have Insufficient data to make that determination?
I personally have no opinion about which groups should be vaccinated first. As far as I can tell, the various countries have developed slightly different plans and scenarios in this respect. Also, there may well be quite different vaccines for COVID-19. As I understand it, Pfizer/Biontech, GSK/Curavac and Moderna are each developing a novel vaccine of a similar kind while others work on more conventional vaccines.

Wait and see ... I’m sure my GP or more likely my health authority is going to give me a recommendation about what I should do when the time comes.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
My emphysema, and my heart disease, keep me pretty confined and lonely just now. But I sit with my sleeve rolled up waiting for a little injection of hope.
Meanwhile I wear my mask, carry my hand gel and “Ditch Pig” my local paths.
Life has never been “safe”, we die from disease, disaster, distraction and direction. Every new day is a bet against circumstance, happenstance and the random humour of our gods.
If you’re not sure what the answer is you’re probably asking the wrong question.
@Tincatinker, you are one of the forum treasures and I thank you for all the wise words you interject here and there. I am a lover of humor, and often you add a dry pun to your posts, which I always find amusing.
Our weather in the Midwest USA, England and elsewhere, is beginning to turn cold and gloomy. Add to that the covid situation and your words of feeling confined and lonely are just around the corner for many of us.
I am sorry to hear of your health issues and hope you will have better days to come.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Pfizer/Biontech, GSK/Curavac and Moderna are each developing a novel vaccine of a similar kind while others work on more conventional vaccines.
And Moderna has caught up with their competitors: more than 30,000 participants, 95 cases of which 90 in the placebo group and 5 in the vaccinated group and a "point estimate of vaccine efficacy of 94.5% (p<0.0001)".

See their press release: Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Meets its Primary Efficacy Endpoint in the First Interim Analysis of the Phase 3 COVE Study
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Moderna has also something to say about temperatures:

Moderna Announces Longer Shelf Life for its COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate at Refrigerated Temperatures. Vaccine candidate now expected to remain stable at standard refrigerator temperatures of 2° to 8°C (36° to 46°F) for 30 days, up from previous estimate of 7 days. Shipping and long-term storage conditions at standard freezer temperatures of -20°C (-4°F) for 6 months. mRNA-1273 to be distributed using widely available vaccine delivery and storage infrastructure. No dilution required prior to vaccination

Get ready to roll up your sleeves. 🙃
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have been following this thread off and on, and have read most of the posts. If this question has already been asked and answered forgive me.

I have a question about how the trial was conducted. My understanding is that volunteers were not purposefully exposed to the virus. That would be something called a challenge trial, I think. So if people were not purposefully exposed to the virus, how does Pfizer or any other drug company know if the people who didn’t get the virus were just lucky and never got exposed to it, or were exposed to it and didn’t get it?
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
As someone who commented earlier in the thread, I think you are overstating your case to say that "no one here....knows what they are talking about"
SThere are several on this forum who are scientifically or medically qualified ; I number myself among the latter. Many of my posts here are aimed at correcting misconceptions in the medical field. I claim no specialist experience in virology, immunology or epidemiology but I think that I am capable of reading original research and recording the salient features.

Now, you seem to have spotted "anti-vaxxers" posting in this thread ; I have not. The general tenor of the conversation, in my view, has been "bring it on".

For the record, I am entirely supportive of immunisations in general, as would be expected having been responsible for the administration of many hundreds in the past, and I shall certainly be taking up the offer of Covid-19 immunisation as soon as it is available...logistics permitting.
Sorry I couldn’t get back to you sooner. I apologize as I did leave
When I cut andpasted my original post I cut out part of it as I did it in two pastes. It should have reas no one here “or anywhere has the complete information” so sorry for that. I probably was also ambiguous about the anti vax people as that was general too and I do believe that have successfully poisoned a large number people’s thinking. So for that I apologize. I do not believe I have anything else to amend or apologize for in the rest of my post. All that has been announced, as you well know is just some initial and extremely hopeful findings. Nothing more or less.
Just let us hope that all people can make informed decisions about their health and this pandemic with clear, understandable and as extremely scientific information as possible.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I have been following this thread off and on, and have read most of the posts. If this question has already been asked and answered forgive me.

I have a question about how the trial was conducted. My understanding is that volunteers were not purposefully exposed to the virus. That would be something called a challenge trial, I think. So if people were not purposefully exposed to the virus, how does Pfizer or any other drug company know if the people who didn’t get the virus were just lucky and never got exposed to it, or were exposed to it and didn’t get it?
As I understand it, they are looking only at the study participants who did get sick, conformed by a PCR test. They determine the effectiveness of the vaccine by how many in the placebo group got sick vs those who got the vaccine.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
As I understand it, they are looking only at the study participants who did get sick, conformed by a PCR test. They determine the effectiveness of the vaccine by how many in the placebo group got sick vs those who got the vaccine.

And Moderna has caught up with their competitors: more than 30,000 participants, 95 cases of which 90 in the placebo group and 5 in the vaccinated group

So that means the assumption must be that if this is random, all volunteers were exposed to the virus at approximately the same rate? Otherwise, if only 5 people in the vaccinated group were exposed to the virus and all got sick, it would be meaningless. Don’t they need to have some data on actual exposure to know about efficacy of the vaccine, or do statistical probabilities take care of that?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Don’t they need to have some data on actual exposure to know about efficacy of the vaccine, or do statistical probabilities take care of that?
I believe that it's the statistical probabilities.
I do know that they chose volunteers who are not strictly isolating at home. They want volunteers who are regularly out in the community.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
So that means the assumption must be that if this is random, all volunteers were exposed to the virus at approximately the same rate? Otherwise, if only 5 people in the vaccinated group were exposed to the virus and all got sick, it would be meaningless. Don’t they need to have some data on actual exposure to know about efficacy of the vaccine, or do statistical probabilities take care of that?
Yes, statistical probability. That is why the total number of participants is important. If there is a big enough number of participants AND the participant selection protocols are relatively unbiased AND they correctly adjust the results for small differences between the participant groups and the characteristics of the total population then they can have (a statistically significant) confidence in the results.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
The weakness that I see, comes about as a result of only testing participants who are obviously sick.

This means that the results of the vaccine as a protection from serious illness can be relied on but we don't know how effective it is in reducing the prevalence of the disease.

I suspect that secondary trials will be needed to get information on how effective the vaccines are at reducing the prevalence of the disease.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Pfizer/BioNTech announced today, 18 November 2020, that they have reached another milestone. They have now concluded phase 3 of the trial with the following results for this endpoint:
  • Their COVID-19 vaccine is 95% effective against COVID-19.

    In total, 170 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were evaluated, with 162 in the placebo group and 8 in the vaccine group.


  • Efficacy was consistent across age, gender, race and ethnicity demographics; observed efficacy in adults over 65 years of age was over 94%.
See: https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-r...ntech-conclude-phase-3-study-covid-19-vaccine
 
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mjal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.
The weakness that I see, comes about as a result of only testing participants who are obviously sick.

This means that the results of the vaccine as a protection from serious illness can be relied on but we don't know how effective it is in reducing the prevalence of the disease.

I suspect that secondary trials will be needed to get information on how effective the vaccines are at reducing the prevalence of the disease.

Re prevalence : I think to answer that question it would have been necessary to carry out regular PCR testing, of all subjects, perhaps as often as every 5 days - a mammoth undertaking with its accompanying costs, both financial and also in commitment by the participants. At a theoretical level, it would seem probable that a vaccine would reduce prevalence ; in the initial phases of the trials, there were good antibody and T-cell responses.

The trials are also not designed to answer other, important questions e.g. does the vaccine reduce admissions to hospital/ICU or indeed reduce death rates. My understanding of this problem is that, because of the relatively low incidence of the disease when the trials commenced, it would take too long to acquire sufficient severe cases though this information may accrue as the trials continue over the next 2 years.

My apologies if some of this has already been aired either by myself or others.

Further reading if interested : https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4058
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Now that it SEEMS that there may be a vaccine on the horizon...my thoughts turn to the younger generation, many of whom have lost their livelihoods through redundancy, sackings or indeed firms going bust ..and perhaps losing their homes in the process
I wonder if this vaccine should not be first administered to this generation and of course all health workers rather than than those over the age of 70/80of which I am one.....in order that people can get back to work and indeed their lives and get the economies going again ...just thinking!!
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
And not far behind Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are AstraZeneca/Oxford University who informed today about progress of their phase 3 trial: their vaccine candidate has an efficacy of between 62% and 90%, depending on the dosis and an interim analysis of 131 infection cases. As I understand it, this is a more conventional vaccine and it will be easier to store and to transport.

See for example Oxford AstraZeneca Covid vaccine has 70% efficacy in the Guardian or the official press release: AZD1222 vaccine met primary efficacy endpoint in preventing COVID-19.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Qantas has announced that once vaccines are widely available that they will require vaccines for passengers to be able to fly, except those for whom vaccines are medically contraindicated.

 

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