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Coronavirus: awaiting for the new wave

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Josu, Dec 10, 2020.

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  1. EnglishEdward

    EnglishEdward Deity

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    I care to make a quick guess.

    I used to work in procurement. Many managers, and that started at the grade above me, were too busy or lazy to read contract documents.
    Instead they demanded short management summaries. Middle management wishing to ingratiate itself with the top of the office would
    often bounce any honest summary, reflecting the strengths and weaknesses of a contract, into a summary exagerrating the benefits.
    It is also a bit more complicated in the EU where there are many languages; I can understand her using a summary in her own language.

    I rather suspect that Ursula has been working from a favourable summary rather than asking her lawyers what the contract actually says.
     
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  2. GinandTonic

    GinandTonic Saphire w/ Schweps + Lime

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    EU blocks vaccines to NI

    WTF? The EU is banning NI from importing vaccines from the EU. Which is meaningless since they dont. But so much for the Good Friday Agreement being a sacred cow.

    Huge PR own goal. Betraying everything they said to the Irish. Not to mention punching down is never a good look.
     
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  3. EnglishEdward

    EnglishEdward Deity

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    Of more practical significance is:



    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-55860540


    Many people in the UK have had one dose only of the Pfizer vaccine. If the EU end the supply to the UK thereby breaking contractual arrangements,
    the UK may wish to consider allocating its existing stocks/one month supply, to second doses rather than provide people who've not already had their first dose.

    This will increase the requirement for those who have not yet had any dose at all for the AstraZeneca vaccine from UK sites.

    In any case, it will thoroughly disrupt the UK vaccination plan.


    Regarding the raid on AstraZeneca in Belgium. This will likely show that AstraZeneca supplied the UK and others
    from its European plants. AZ will argue that it was entitled to do so as the EU had not approved the vaccine and
    so it then had no real European market. The EU will claim its ban will ensure that no more AstraZeneca vaccine will be
    sent from the EU to the UK, but then having secured approval; from the EU today; they would likely tail that off anyway.


    Having secured one sided deals (withdrawal and trade agreements); the EU may hope to obtain a one sided
    deal on vaccines (3 or 4 doses of AZ vaccine from UK sites, for 1 dose of Pfizer vaccine from continental sites?).

    Who knows what will happen next?
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
  4. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Its quite astonishing that the EU made such insistence on the Northern Ireland protocol during Brexit negotiations. But thats completely vanished now. For about the only time in my life i completely agree with the incredulity of Unionist politicians in Northern Ireland. Utterly utterly shameful.
     
  5. GinandTonic

    GinandTonic Saphire w/ Schweps + Lime

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    If Trump can throw Nazi's under the bus the EU can throw Ireland under the bus. Have to say I really didn't see it coming.
     
  6. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    You did not read the pieces then. The agreement is temporary only. If you have poof that it is permanent please point it out.

    Who paid for the very same vaccines in advance to AstraZeneca? The UK government and others? Who actually manufactures the vaccines? A number of established subcontractors hired by AstraZeneca. The cost of the clinical trials? Those were paid for in advance.

    The same states could have hired these directly to produce the vaccine. They do the work for AstraZeneca without owning the "intellectual property". They would do the work for the UK government, the EU, whichever.

    The proof of what I am saying is that even now the EU government are discussing the application of article 122 of their treaty, which provides for any arbitrary measures breaking their precious market primacy and property rights claims, so that they can order available companies to manufacture the vaccines.

    And here you show your total and complete ignorance about the situation.

    Tell us: who makes the Astrazeneca vaccine? Where is it made, in which companies' plants? By staff working for whom?
    And while you are at it: where is the Moderna vaccine made? Who manufactures it? Who packages it?

    You can't think of such manufactures? Why, let me help you. And let me help all the credulous here who "liked" your ignorant claims. Never trust a cynical...

    Search for the name "Oxford Biomedica". Search for Novasep. Search for Halix. Search for Cobra Biologics.
    And search for "Lonza". And search for "Rovi.

    Who manufactures the vaccines indeed...

    For the lazy:
    Funny how you tell me to fact check. Up there are the facts you failed to check. What do you have to say no mr. "the others are conspiracy theorists, nothing to see there" guy?

    I do get offended when I'm falsely accused. And offended with people who deceive others even if they are only repeating common-place claims. That are wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
  7. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    You don't know how the EU operates :lol: It's incompetent bureaucrats doing their political theater to increase their own importance and cover their ass. As with any large bureaucracy. And the EU's is very insulated from democratic control and accountability.
    The idea that the EU is competent is a myth they spread. What do people in the UK say, penny wise and pound fool? Short term-gain and CYA are the operating modes there as elsewhere, but they get away with more due to the structure of the thing. Which these people basically wrote up, so no surprise in this.

    I admit it's amusing to see writers at The Independent and The Guardian letting a whiff of indignation about the EU get into their texts now. The same starry-eyed europhiles to whom the EU could do no wrong and was much better than the UK. They're not even harping their readers with a "this wouldn't have happened if we were in the EU". I'm surprised! But it wouldn't in fact, this (dangerously hasty) vaccination campaign would be going much slower in the UK also.

    Layers of irony here. I am not an enthusiast of the "we'll resolve this problem through vaccination" hopes. The lock-downs and now the closing of borders that I argued for are being implemented, too late and too little still but the "impossible" is being done now.

    As for a claim that resolving the virus crisis that way has been impossible after 2020, I guess the people who say that live in a world where several countries I can point out (but everyone here knows about) do not exist.

    I'm also going to say: I think the EU will back off. Again a "Deal" will be reached. Probably at the expense of the poorer countries outside of Europe also hoping for some of that vaccine. And - unfortunately - this idea of "breaking" "intellectual property" rights of some pharma corporations will be quickly dumped by the EU cliques, national and central.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
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  8. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Ive been reading a bit of foreign news just to get a taste of what they are saying. And doesnt seem the Germans are too impressed with Von Der Leyen. And blame her almost entirely for the whole fiasco.
     
  9. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    I don't think governments are about to turn on her. The european project would be at stake. If they can agree on anything it is on keeping their common shield against their own constituents!

    And I have a question: is the german and now french position that this "AstraZeneca vaccine" does not work for the elderly a scientific one, or a pressure tactic? Deliver us more doses or we'll cut your future market?

    I
    am cynical enough to wonder about that. It's not the first time that politics determined the "scientific" pronouncements made by governments, remember the "masks are useless" line by governments early on, when they were caught unprepared without mask stocks?
    Time should tell soon enough given that what should have been the final phase of testing of the vaccine is now being performed on a huge scale. But for the time being no one seems to be calling Macron an "anti-vaxxer".


    In fact I fear other things about the mess that is this vaccination programme. As I explained above, and again, the production is being outsourced. Pfizer does some in-house and some outsourced, Moderna outsources everything but apparently to a single producer in Europe, AstraZeneca outsources to several. This means that ther may be production differences depending on who actually manufactured the vaccine. And that is probably the reason why this fight between the EU and UK is happening. From this piece, the production for the UK is done at sites chosen and probably configured with the direct involvement of the scientists who developed the vaccine. Even prior to AstraZeneca's involvement.

    Whereas the production sites in the continent have been chosen later and perhaps without that assistance, and one is having trouble:

    This is a common risk when you outsource: the product may not be uniform at first, or the production methods may be different, and glitches in production sites have to be resolved without the benefit of already experienced staff.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
  10. GinandTonic

    GinandTonic Saphire w/ Schweps + Lime

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    The EU U-turned and dragged Ireland and the good friday from under the bus. Which makes the lose of face even more futile.

    Just WTF.
     
  11. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    Bureaucrats flailing around...

    Will they make up their minds tomorrow on whether they need the "Astrazeneca vaccine" to save lives (to vaccinate the most vulnerable population) or not?

    Because if it's no good for that, why the haste in taking it from the countries that are actually using it (wisely or not)? And on what moral grounds does the EC claim need for the vaccine?
     
  12. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    I did read it, or I wouldn't have had anything to post about...

    The agreement is for the duration of the pandemic (as defined by the WHO - and let's be clear that's not going to be declared over any time soon). And it is up to Oxford university as well as AZ what the post pandemic licensing agreement will be. If Covid vaccines are required beyond this pandemic I suspect the mRNA vaccines will be preferred in the long run, when rapid response is less of an issue.

    So your suggestion is for a system of direct funding of clinical trials and production by governments? It's not a new idea, but governments tend to hurriedly bury the idea when they see the cost and failure rates of pharmaceutical developments. And I did suggest this as one possible scenario for an open-license Oxford vaccine to make it through trials. But with the caveat that it was far from evident at the time that the Oxford/AZ candidate would be a success, and while governments have thrown funding at some Covid candidate vaccines, not all of them. It's largely down to luck where they turned out to fund a successful candidate.

    From a UK perspective I can't help remembering the time the government hired a pizza delivery company with no boats to run a ferry service, and just imagining how much of a mess they'd make trying to organize the complex process of vaccine development and manufacturing themselves. For the first time. In a pandemic. When time is of the essence... :cringe:. And the EU is not exactly giving the impression of competence managing these matters either at the moment.

    You were talking as if there were companies just sitting there with vaccine factories, and pharma companies' role is just to throw them some money and tell them to bash out X million doses. As I said, I couldn't think of such a company off the top of my head, and it's rather a stretch to class most of the ones you list as setting up manufacturing independent of the major pharmaceutical companies. What makes your aggressive response particularly bizarre though, is that you're quoting my explanation of why, even if such companies are available, it is still not in their interests to produce an effectively generic vaccine when there are licensed alternatives available. So you're complaining about the bit where I preemptively gave your argument the benefit of the doubt, and haven't addressed the point I did make. :confused:

    You weren't accused of anything, falsely or otherwise. :) When you come out with stuff like:

    it is entirely reasonable to query where exactly that's coming from. With the amount of misinformation flying around these days, it does need to be challenged where it appears. You posted a claim that shows up with monotonous regularity in anti-vaxxer circles, and gave nothing much to support it beyond accusation. But I didn't, and still have not, accused you of being a conspiracy theorist or anti-vaxxer. I'm asking if you actually have any facts or reasoning to back that up. If so, it would be rather more effective to explain them, rather than just insulting me (and anyone who agrees with me) repeatedly. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
  13. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    NEVER piss off the Irish (yes that includes NI). Thats the one immutable fact i have leaned as a Brit. They are like unreasonable Scottish people. And they are pretty damn unreasonable.

    Anyway i digress.

    Its German diplomacy hard at work :lol:. I guess the French have given up trying to pretend to be a European power and just bleat the same tune the Germans sing them.
     
  14. Takhisis

    Takhisis Jinping, wer fragt uns?

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    up yours.
    Like the existing European Uni–
    Ohhhh.
     
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  15. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    A am aware of the terms, and they were stated in the pieces I linked to. Remembering the ill advice of the WHO to not suspend international flights and to not wear masks, I will not put my trust in them to arbitrate anything for the common good, including declarations of pandemics. I do believe that the WHO will declare this pandemic over log before it is cleared in many countries. My guess is the pandemic will be declared over when the wealthier countries, either by carrying out already proven effective local eradication efforts (which I favour as the best strategy), or vaccines, or a combination of both, get rid of the virus menace. For the long term vaccines are expected to remain necessary as the virus will be a latent menace.

    And in fact it was you who took the position that the virus cannot be eradicated. How, should that prove true, can the pandemic not be declared over while the vaccine continues to be necessary, and becomes a very profitable business? Someday the pandemic must be declared over, even if the virus is not totally eradicated from the planet. Which even I acknowledge is impossible. The business plan here is obviously to profit handsomely then from a vital medical supply.

    Doing a clinical trial is easier than producing a new therapy. It may take longer, but it is easier. Governments are already deeply involved with the clinical trials, as government agencies must approve the trials and check the results. Governments already have experts on the subject matter. It is indeed a simple matter of funding.

    The UK government funded both the ferry service that wasn't, and the vaccines that are.
    Let me put this in billet points:
    - A public UK university developed the vaccine
    - The inventors contacted the companies that are now actually producing the vaccine in the UK.
    - The UK government put up the money to finance the whole production process.

    What indeed has AstraZeneca brought into the process? I suspect that the only reason the UK government went along with it was the marketing and lobbying expertise for international distribution. Which is only necessary because of the utterly insane way the pharma industry has been set up. Not because it is necessary but because they bought into that position back when they actually produced stuff. They have been divesting of those abilities but retained their competitive edge - regulatory capture - in our sadly very corrupt systems.

    Was it viable for Oxford to have issued an open license for any interested parties to produce, test and manufacture the vaccine? Yes.

    There were no technical obstacles to that. The inventors were already working with the companies that are actually producing the vaccine in the UK.
    There were to financial obstacles to that. The UK government put up the financing.

    The very hastily conducted clinical trials were basically conducted by staff of these companies. IF you search you'll find that the famous mistake that led to the discovery that a reduced first dose would improve outcomes was done by the staff of one of the two companies involved. The protocols for the trials were managed between the researchers and the regulators. Again: what dis AstraZeneca brought to the table? The lawyers to demand no liability clauses?

    I am talking exactly that, and I documented for you here how the process works as such for the production of these vaccines. Now you know not of one, but of several :) They are available. And they take orders on demand, from other companies and from national governments. Why should governments fund intermediaries in that process?

    Which of these things do you still doubt, and what additional information do you need to dispel those doubts, using specific examples of the production of these vaccines? Because I can provide. How this process has developed and is being set up is very much in the news and easily searchable. This is indeed a remarkable situation we're living through because the public interest in the vaccines is shining a rare light on the uselessness of an established rent-seeking layer in the pharma industry.

    So I maintain my conclusion: big pharma has changed from companies that did real research and production to financial holdings specialized in acquiring and milking "intellectual property". Not all are in the same stage of that process but they're well along it.

    I'm also happy to bury the hatch on insulting remarks, provided it's mutual! Yes I was angry: you claimed that what I know for a fact is happening, and tried to inform about, was impossible. It was wrong and misleading to anyone who read it.
    As for Bill Gates' contributions to help maintain this wasteful and irrational (for the public interest) situation, that would indeed be more political and better argued about in some other thread. It is a very evil things to increase costs and reduce access to medications and these vaccines provide a demonstration of how the intermediaries can be done away with. Even if - wrongly - again they weren't. So I cannot help myself from mentioning that example of how the status quo gets maintained.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
  16. Chicken Pizza

    Chicken Pizza Warlord

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    After almost a year of shutting down and opening up, depending on the situation, finally swedish school children have free access to masks.

    They're not forced to use it though, "every student must feel what's right for them"... while at the same time, wearing a baseball cap in the classroom isn't allowed.

    Everyone seem to want to use this pandemic for their own purposes (surprisingly, the religious people haven't started yet) and the healthy, normal response is to revolt.

    Trying to change things in other ways has proven to be like banging your head against the wall, or talking to it.
     
  17. EnglishEdward

    EnglishEdward Deity

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    The EU appears to have backtracked about creating a hard border in Ireland for vaccines:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55865539

    Traditionally the Irish complained that the British/Westminster made decisions without considering Irish interests.

    Nowadays the Irish complain that the EU/Brussels make decisions without considering Irish interests.

    Spot the difference.
     
  18. Wastl

    Wastl Warlord

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    Neither, because said position doesn't actually exist.

    The actual position is the following: the test-data does not include a large enough sample-size in the age bracket above the age of 64 to make any definitive statement on whether the vaccine works well enough or not. And that is very much true.

    From that point on there are two possible paths to take:
    a) ignore that you don't have the necessary data, assume that it still works, and go ahead with using it
    b) wait for further testing to deliver the necessary data, and until then use the vaccine only for younger people

    The former is the quicker approach to use the vaccine on more people, with the possible though not necessarily likely option of it not working well on plenty of the elderly. The latter is the safer approach in that you don't hand out a vaccine to people who it might not work for, with the downside that you won't be able to vaccinate as many people now, thus possibly creating more harm in the short term.

    Neither is without its flaws, and neither is really incorrect.
     
  19. thetrooper

    thetrooper Schweinhund

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    Worldwide cases trending down for three straight weeks.
     
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  20. Chicken Pizza

    Chicken Pizza Warlord

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    c) assume that it doesn't work but use it anyway
     
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