China is exporting two vaccines, and although they’re less effective than the gold standard vaccines like Pfizer and AstraZeneca, they do work. Sinopharm is 78% effective and Sinovac is somewhere between 50% and 78%. I’m not sure why the range is so large there. Sorry. And while I’m apologizing, apologies for not having a link on this. It’s from an email newsletter the New York Times sends out. It usually has links. Maybe I’m being particularly dense today.
There’ve been questions about the vaccines, especially after vaccinated people in the Seychelles became infected, but they do seem to be useful. In the Seychelles, when vaccinated people got Covid they had mild cases and recovered at home. It’s not what we’d all hope for, but it’s a lot better than being hospitalized. Or dying. China says it can make 5 billion doses a year. The U.S. has promised to donate 500 million doses of other vaccines (I don’t think they’ve specified which) to poorer countries. Britain has promised 100 million.
The world’s population–since this is relevant to the discussion–is 7.6 billion. Or it was in 2019. I haven’t counted it since. I did try last month but I lost track somewhere around 5 billion and didn’t have the heart to start over. The vaccine rollout in poorer countries is beyond dismal. The vaccines are going to rich countries and poor ones just can’t get them.
So weigh 600 million against 5 billion, then weigh both of those against the number of countries that can’t get hold of any useful amount of vaccine and it makes the two Sino- vaccines appealing.
Not much is known yet about how well they protect against the variants. There seems to be some reduction against the Beta and Gamma variants, but that’s still not solidly established.
China, having gotten off to a slow start in vaccinating its population, is now working at high speed.
I had links for all that and have succeeded in losing them. Apologies.
Early reports are that mixing vaccines–I think they were playing mix-and-match with the Pfizer and AstraZeneca, although the Moderna might have slipped in as well–may make them more effective, and Canada and a few European countries have started doing that.
How times have changed
To boost the number of people getting vaccinated, Washington State is allowing marijuana retailers to offer a free joint to anyone who can show proof that they’ve had either their first shot or second shot. Or both at once. What the hell. If the stuff they’re offering is strong enough, who can count that high?
It also allows other businesses to offer a beer, a cocktail, or a glass of wine. Arizona and New Jersey have done similar things. Other states are running lotteries.
What are they up against in their effort to promote the vaccine? People who think getting vaccinated will cause keys to stick to their faces and forks to–
I stopped listening right about there, so I’m not sure where the forks stick. I’ve heard of food that sticks to your ribs, but we seem to have entered new territory here.
Whether or not you’ve been vaccinated, plastic forks will not attack you. Covid restrictions allowing, you can go back to the food courts.
Antiviral drug update
If an antiviral drug that’s in late-stage testing works–and that’s not guaranteed–it could stop a Covid infection in its early stages. It could be available by the end of 2021–again, if it works.
With all those coulds in there, that sentence has a lot of wiggle room. Still, as everything we read lately says repeatedly, it could (there’s that word again) be a game changer.
Cards? Jenga? A football team crashing through the front door and out the back?
The drug is one of several attempts to tackle Covid by treating the infection rather than vaccinating people, so let’s not bother to name this particular one and instead hope one of them comes through. Even the people weren’t cranking themselves up to be afraid of flying forks might accept this.
Or possibly not. It’s gotten so crazy out there that I’ve given up trying to predict where we’re headed.