Coronavirus

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
Maybe I've not been reading things properly, but what actually is the strategy in tackling covid in most of Europe and North America? I'd understood that the idea was to use a combination of vaccination, testing, distancing and restrictions on big events to bring down the numbers of cases and break chains of transmission, resulting in the disease being a lot more manageable in future and numbers of cases staying lower. What the post-vaccination strategy now appears to be, though, is allowing the disease to sweep freely through the population and hoping the death and hospitalisation rate won't be too unacceptable/hoping that huge numbers of people catching the actual disease will result better long-term immunity.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Maybe I've not been reading things properly, but what actually is the strategy in tackling covid in most of Europe and North America? I'd understood that the idea was to use a combination of vaccination, testing, distancing and restrictions on big events to bring down the numbers of cases and break chains of transmission, resulting in the disease being a lot more manageable in future and numbers of cases staying lower. What the post-vaccination strategy now appears to be, though, is allowing the disease to sweep freely through the population and hoping the death and hospitalisation rate won't be too unacceptable/hoping that huge numbers of people catching the actual disease will result better long-term immunity.
I can't speak for there, but here, the hope is that once we achieve herd immunity, 85%+ vaccination rates, we will be able to return to a full normal, with partial normals along the way. Because vaccination doesn't prevent transmission but lowers its impacts, it seems likely that COVID will become something akin to a seasonal cold or flu.
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
The success of the vaccines is critical for that, and we've yet to see exactly how well any of the vaccines fare against the Delta variant when it's absolutely everywhere and people are getting huge doses of virus in packed indoor environments, rather than what our local ICU head described last summer as a 'glancing blow' of covid from short contact with an infected person. Or if long covid is still a problem in the vaccinated population who contract the disease, and if the disease really is akin to a cold or mild flu in most of those who are vaccinated, or just not severe enough for them to be hospitalised.

I found an article from 2019 on what was considered a much higher than usual number of flu hospitalisations at the height of the winter flu season, and that was 400+ hospitalisations in a week. Covid hospitalisation rates here are currently 200+ a day, and that's with almost 70% of the adult population fully vaccinated, almost 85% with at least one dose of the vaccine. There are still no plans to vaccinate under 18s, either. But there are huge indications being made that all restrictions will be lifted in three weeks' time, regardless of the currently rising case numbers, deaths and hospitalisations. Things look a lot better than they did, but in over 50s in particular, it still doesn't look great.

I thought it would make more sense to get case numbers as low as possible, get as much of the adult population as possible vaccinated, then release restrictions. Most countries seem to be easing restrictions alongside working on the vaccination programme, not waiting until after the main vaccination programme has been completed.

(I also speak as someone who was vaccinated against swine flu, but almost certainly caught it later that year, and it was anything but mild.)
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
Yeah. The first dose had an efficiency rate of 65% for the original COVID. With the Delta, we're down at 30% and 86% after two doses as opposed to 98% or whatever it was. This is it roughly, across the board for all of the EU approved vaccines. They have talked about 90% need to be fully vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. And as we all know, not everyone is keen on taking it.
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
Both AZ and Pfizer are currently estimated to be 90%+ against hospitalisation and death with the Delta variant, but yeah, both are only thought to be about 33% effective against symptomatic infection with the Delta variant after one dose, and 60% (AZ) and 85% (Pfizer) after two doses. Not enough data is available on Moderna as yet, and that has been given to younger age groups only here, so it's hard to tell.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Maybe I've not been reading things properly, but what actually is the strategy in tackling covid in most of Europe and North America? I'd understood that the idea was to use a combination of vaccination, testing, distancing and restrictions on big events to bring down the numbers of cases and break chains of transmission, resulting in the disease being a lot more manageable in future and numbers of cases staying lower. What the post-vaccination strategy now appears to be, though, is allowing the disease to sweep freely through the population and hoping the death and hospitalisation rate won't be too unacceptable/hoping that huge numbers of people catching the actual disease will result better long-term immunity.

European countries that depend heavily upon tourism are very keen to open up for the summer as soon as possible. I will keep my fingers crossed that is done sensible and does not end up being a huge mistake.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
The success of the vaccines is critical for that, and we've yet to see exactly how well any of the vaccines fare against the Delta variant when it's absolutely everywhere and people are getting huge doses of virus in packed indoor environments, rather than what our local ICU head described last summer as a 'glancing blow' of covid from short contact with an infected person. Or if long covid is still a problem in the vaccinated population who contract the disease, and if the disease really is akin to a cold or mild flu in most of those who are vaccinated, or just not severe enough for them to be hospitalised.
How much of this is that the EU relied on AZ, as well, I wonder, which is not proving to be terribly effective against Delta either. Although, more effective than none, regardless.

Canada is currently at 75.33% of 12 and older (we currently offer Pfizer to 12+ in Canada) with one shot and 22.07% fully vaccinated. We improved single-shot by 1.89% last week, which hopefully gets us close to 80-85% first shots once that peters out. Once we open it up to 6+, likely in September, those numbers as total population will shoot up as well.

Excitingly, we increased our total vax percentage by 7.5% of 12+ population last week! That puts us on course for 85% fully vaccinated by the end of the summer. Incredible.

Given that Peel/West Toronto has primarily Delta variants, that should let us know.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Europe relied on AZ. For a short period of time. Now that is seen as one of the worst options. In fact, it is not an option anymore in my country (and others), it only was for a small category and period of time.

Most is Pfizer and Moderna and Janssen for the ones who are willing to take (bigger) risk.

Yes things are opening up very quickly here. Due to vaccination strategy. Still a bit if a risk since not everyone is willing to have a jab, but the death and hospital numbers do go down rapidly. We had our first 0 deaths since last September. And the pressure is off the intensive cares.
 
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GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Europe relied on AZ. For a short period of time. Now that is seen as one of the worst options. In fact, it is not an option anymore in my country (and others), it only was for a small category and period of time.

In other countries it is still being used extensively (e.g. nearly 7 million doses of AstraZeneca in Spain, significantly more than Moderna and Janssen, with more than 5 million doses still to be injected) though.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Just got my second - Moderna, this time. We're mixing the mRNA vaccines here based on availability. By the time all is said and done, most Canadians will have at least one shot of mRNA vaccines - less than a million will have two AstraZeneca. We're still being very cautious about re-opening, which I think, given case resurgence in the UK and the US South, is very prudent.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Just got my second AstraZeneca dose today.

Funnily enough, it seems that today is also going to be the day when Boris Johnson is going to confirm that life would go back to normal in England on 19th July, ditching the need to wear face masks in spite of the significant rise in the number of cases in the last few days and against the advice of scientists and doctors. I am not sure if having appointed a new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (without any background in Public Health), who thinks we need to learn to live with this virus like we do with the flu before all adults are vaccinated, does completely explain the amount of stupidity of the donkeys leading this country.

Edit: corrected message to reflect that the changes will apply to England.
 
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