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It's been a little while since I've popped in but great to see so many familiar names still posting. DH is leaning toward getting the COVID vaccine but is also really cautious. At this time, we both qualify to get it and are under immense pressure from peers and family. With that in mind, how likely is this vaccine to prevent transmission? Is there enough evidence to call this a "herd immunity" vaccine, or is it more of a "personal choice" vaccine to prevent serious illness in those who choose to receive it?

I'm interested in data, (preferably independent), for any brand, and links are always appreciated.
 

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It's been a little while since I've popped in but great to see so many familiar names still posting. DH is leaning toward getting the COVID vaccine but is also really cautious. At this time, we both qualify to get it and are under immense pressure from peers and family. With that in mind, how likely is this vaccine to prevent transmission? Is there enough evidence to call this a "herd immunity" vaccine, or is it more of a "personal choice" vaccine to prevent serious illness in those who choose to receive it?

I'm interested in data, (preferably independent), for any brand, and links are always appreciated.
I've been reading a lot of stuff about the vaccine and have yet to see solid evidence that the vaccine prevents carriage or transmission. The stories about the vaccine preventing severe illness are also mixed. I've been qualified to get the vaccine for several weeks now, but I'm planning to continue as part of the control group until the study is finished in 2023.
 

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A new study where they followed essential workers at high risk of contracting COVID was released today with very promising results:

A new study suggests the messenger RNA vaccines produced by Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech partnership appeared to be 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 infection in a real-world setting.
The study was released Monday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, an online journal published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study followed nearly 4,000 health care workers, first responders, and other essential workers in eight U.S. locations as the first Covid vaccines were rolled out starting in December. Participants were tested weekly to look for all cases of Covid infection, even asymptomatic ones.

In the period from Dec. 14, 2020, to March 13, 2021, nearly 75% of the workers in the cohort received at least one dose of one of the mRNA vaccines. Both are given in a two-dose schedule.

There were 161 Covid infections in the unvaccinated workers, compared with 16 in workers who had received only one dose by the time of their infection and only three infections in people who had received both doses and were two weeks out from their second dose. The vaccine effectiveness following two doses was 90% — roughly in line with the 95% and 94% that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines showed, respectively, in the clinical trials that supported their emergency use authorizations.

The majority of infections — 58% — detected in the study were found because participants were tested weekly to look for infections; 42% of the infections were identified when study participants were tested after developing symptoms. Most of the people who tested positive in the study had some Covid-related symptoms, though 10.7% had none. Only 23% of the people who became infected needed medical care and only two were hospitalized. There were no Covid deaths in the study.
Article link: 'Real world' study shows Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were 90% effective

Study link: Interim Estimates of Vaccine Effectiveness of BNT162b2 and mRNA
 
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Well, I keep reading that even if the vaccine doesn't stop you from getting covid, it will still keep you out of the hospital because you will have a milder case. So that doesn't sound like it stops transmission. Of course, it is still possible that it stops transmission for some people.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there will be booster shots. We don't know how often yet. Some say every couple of years, but I am predicting every year. So anyone who feels safer with you vaccinated will probably want you to keep your vaccines up to date too.
 

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Have you read through this yet?


It has some links.

My understanding is it does not prevent transmission...but that is always a bit of a game, isn't it?

Ex: pertussis. the vaccine does not prevent transmission, only symptoms. And yet....people who cough are going to spread the disease more readily than those who don't. So suppression of symptoms likely does lead to less contagion. OTOH, people who think "they don't have pertussis because they have been vaccinated " might spread it more than the unvaxxed who know darn well they could have it, if it is circulating.

My opinion: As a general rule, I think the only reason to get a vaccine is to avoid the disease, and not for community health reason. Full stop. I know not everyone agrees with me and that is ok. Even if you (general you) disagree with me, I am not sure the arguments for herd immunity and the COVID vaccine are very strong (as they are, with say, measles) - the vaccine might not prevent transmission, there are varriants that are not in the vaccines at play, who know what percentage of the population is going to get the vaccine and if it is high enough to create herd immunity.

Astrazeneca was partially suspended for use in Canada today.

Honestly, I would just wait. Is there a lot of Covid where you live?

That being said, you are one of the smartest voices on here; I have every faith you can figure this out.
 

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Interesting link (with further links in it) suggestion vaccination reduces transmission. Hope it helps.

 
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Have you read through this yet?


It has some links.

My understanding is it does not prevent transmission...but that is always a bit of a game, isn't it?

Ex: pertussis. the vaccine does not prevent transmission, only symptoms. And yet....people who cough are going to spread the disease more readily than those who don't. So suppression of symptoms likely does lead to less contagion. OTOH, people who think "they don't have pertussis because they have been vaccinated " might spread it more than the unvaxxed who know darn well they could have it, if it is circulating.

My opinion: As a general rule, I think the only reason to get a vaccine is to avoid the disease, and not for community health reason. Full stop. I know not everyone agrees with me and that is ok. Even if you (general you) disagree with me, I am not sure the arguments for herd immunity and the COVID vaccine are very strong (as they are, with say, measles) - the vaccine might not prevent transmission, there are varriants that are not in the vaccines at play, who know what percentage of the population is going to get the vaccine and if it is high enough to create herd immunity.

Astrazeneca was partially suspended for use in Canada today.

Honestly, I would just wait. Is there a lot of Covid where you live?

That being said, you are one of the smartest voices on here; I have every faith you can figure this out.
Except there is real-world data from Israel and even from the US (I linked above) that it is preventing transmission and infection, even asymptomatic infection. Obviously, if you aren't getting infected with COVID, you also aren't spreading COVID. Those small percent who do get infected are much more likely to have a mild case and reduced viral load.

This was from a couple of weeks ago before the most recent study I discussed above, but is still a good take on it.

Myth #2: The vaccines don’t really work that well — they don’t reduce virus transmission.
Most experts have been urging people to continue following public health guidelines, including masking and social distancing, even after they’ve been fully vaccinated with two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — and after enough time has passed for those vaccinations to have taken effect (generally two weeks).

The reason for this recommendation is because while the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been shown to have 95% efficacy against illness (and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 85% protective against severe disease), the clinical trials were not designed to test whether any of the trial participants contracted COVID-19 but showed no symptoms.

“The experts are saying that the vaccines do not reduce transmission, but that is an inaccurate statement,” Gandhi says. “What they should be saying is that the clinical trials were not designed to test for asymptomatic infection, but there is every biological reason in the world to believe that they will reduce asymptomatic transmission.”

There is already evidence to support this, she says. First, when the vaccines were studied in macaque monkeys (during preclinical testing), they did eliminate asymptomatic infection — researchers swabbed the vaccinated macaques’ noses and found little or no virus. Second, the types of antibodies that are stimulated by most systemic vaccines (IgG and IgA) do tend to block viral infection in the nose (and no viral load in the nose most likely translates to no transmission). Finally, when monoclonal antibodies are given to COVID-19 patients, those antibodies reduce the viral load throughout the respiratory tract, including the nose.

The most convincing evidence, though, is just starting to emerge among real-world data. In Israel, where more than 90% of those age 60 and over have been vaccinated, “cases have plummeted in this population,” Gandhi notes. “Not just hospitalizations, which we expected, but cases [asymptomatic infection] as well.” Moreover, data from vaccinated health care workers recently published in the Lancet and preprint servers show reduced rates of asymptomatic infection and low viral loads in the nose when swabbing after vaccination.

“I think that in a few months, we are going to be able to say with certainty that these vaccines not only protect you, they also protect those around you,” Ranney says.
 

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I see where you linked the article discussing the emerging evidence that it does prevent infection and transmission, now.

:)
 

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I agree that the current vaccines, if not 100% effective in preventing infection/transmission, significantly reduce the likelihood. How long protection will last is an open question, at this point.

As to herd immunity, I'm skeptical that it could be achieved with the current paradigm - perhaps in truly isolated populations (i.e. if vaccinated countries choose to maintain total lockdown until all 8 billion people are vaccinated), but certainly not on a sustainable, global scale in any sort of permanent way. I know I sound super pessimistic at a time when everyone just wants to (finally) feel some relief. But I think I'm not the only one to think that it's a fairly realistic assessment.
New Covid Vaccines Needed Globally Within a Year, Say Scientists
The planet could have a year or less before first-generation Covid-19 vaccines are ineffective and modified formulations are needed, according to a survey of epidemiologists, virologists and infectious disease specialists.
The grim forecast of a year or less comes from two-thirds of respondents, according to the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of organizations including Amnesty International, Oxfam, and UNAIDS, who carried out the survey of 77 scientists from 28 countries. Nearly one-third of the respondents indicated that the time-frame was likely nine months or less.
 

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From above article

"“COVID-19 variants are surging in America and scientists are learning the vaccine may not work as well against them.” "

later on in the article

“I think the fourth wave is upon us," he said, "but I think the vaccine will hold it back."

“Vaccination is expected to be even more protective than natural immunity”
 

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From above article

"“COVID-19 variants are surging in America and scientists are learning the vaccine may not work as well against them.” "

later on in the article

“I think the fourth wave is upon us," he said, "but I think the vaccine will hold it back."

“Vaccination is expected to be even more protective than natural immunity”
The consistency is in the scaremongering. Continuous.
 

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The consistency is in the scaremongering. Continuous.
and sheeple will be lining up for the next wave of covid vaccines, since the first ones aren't truly protecting anyone in the long run...how can we actually know if studies are not being done on determining this? The only thing the vaccine purports to do is lessen severity of the illness and MAY prevent death or hospitalization...no guarantee, of course.
 

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and sheeple will be lining up for the next wave of covid vaccines, since the first ones aren't truly protecting anyone in the long run...how can we actually know if studies are not being done on determining this? The only thing the vaccine purports to do is lessen severity of the illness and MAY prevent death or hospitalization...no guarantee, of course.
Time to channel the vaccine pushers: "but the vaccines will save lives and protect hospitals from being overwhelmed."
 

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This article includes an interesting discussion of the sort of immunity that the vaccines may provide. Should Everyone Get Vaccinated? — Yeadon, Wittkowski & Bridle comment

I will now outline a strong reason not to vaccinate everyone, even supposing there was a perfect vaccine that harmed no one.


  • For the first time in human history, the “vaccinate the world plan” will, as a by-product, give rise to a unified database of every person on the planet.
  • For each person, at minimum, there will be a common standard digital ID associated with their vaccination status.
  • That database will be used to grant certain privileges such as the right to cross an international border.
  • Those not on the system will be denied access.
  • Initially, the idea is made to sound reasonable: “it’s not us, we aren’t setting this requirement, it’s clearly up to other, sovereign nations to set conditions for entry to their country, and we must accommodate this, so that our citizens can once again travel”.
  • Once on this common ID system, permissions & privileges will steadily be made more stringent until you will legally be unable to leave your dwelling.
  • Israel is leading by example. Absent a strong & widely heard and understood reason, the U.K. will be next.

Furthermore, you’ll turn up when ordered to do so for your next “top up vaccine”.
 

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Is there enough evidence to call this a "herd immunity" vaccine, or is it more of a "personal choice" vaccine to prevent serious illness in those who choose to receive it?
Today the NYT has a "herd immunity" article. I don't think that herd immunity was ever really possible, as I noted in my earlier post in this thread, except in truly isolated populations. SARS-CoV-2 is a zoonotic disease with many animal reservoirs; the current vaccines can prevent severe illness, but not infection/transmission; the virus is mutating too quickly; and vaccinating 8 billion people is not feasible in the timeframe required to stay one step ahead of the virus.

Anyhow, the "herd immunity" paradigm is shifting - getting walked back to something more realistic. Unfortunately, the new paradigm will probably involve Covid vaccine mandates for children (because it's easier to mandate childhood vaccines and people seem more comfortable with these mandates). The argument is that early protection w/ viral antibodies will lead to the virus becoming more like the common cold. The elderly and most vulnerable will continue to be protected with yearly booster shots.

NYT - Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely in the U.S., Experts Now Believe
If the herd immunity threshold is not attainable, what matters most is the rate of hospitalizations and deaths after pandemic restrictions are relaxed, experts believe.
By focusing on vaccinating the most vulnerable, the United States has already brought those numbers down sharply. If the vaccination levels of that group continue to rise, the expectation is that over time the coronavirus may become seasonal, like the flu...
Over the long term — a generation or two — the goal is to transition the new coronavirus to become more like its cousins that cause common colds. That would mean the first infection is early in childhood, and subsequent infections are mild because of partial protection, even if immunity wanes.
As for children and babies who are at the lowest risk of severe illness and transmission, but the easiest to shift the burden to:
Though children spread the virus less efficiently than adults do, the experts all agreed that vaccinating children would also be important for keeping the number of Covid cases low. In the long term, the public health system will also need to account for babies, and for children and adults who age into a group with higher risk.
 

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Today the NYT has a "herd immunity" article. I don't think that herd immunity was ever really possible, as I noted in my earlier post in this thread, except in truly isolated populations. SARS-CoV-2 is a zoonotic disease with many animal reservoirs; the current vaccines can prevent severe illness, but not infection/transmission; the virus is mutating too quickly; and vaccinating 8 billion people is not feasible in the timeframe required to stay one step ahead of the virus.

Anyhow, the "herd immunity" paradigm is shifting - getting walked back to something more realistic. Unfortunately, the new paradigm will probably involve Covid vaccine mandates for children (because it's easier to mandate childhood vaccines and people seem more comfortable with these mandates). The argument is that early protection w/ viral antibodies will lead to the virus becoming more like the common cold. The elderly and most vulnerable will continue to be protected with yearly booster shots.

Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely in the U.S., Experts Now Believe
Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely in the U.S., Experts Now Believe



As for children and babies who are at the lowest risk of severe illness and transmission, but the easiest to shift the burden to:
None of that makes any sense. Variants are, by and large, likely to become less dangerous. How are children going to get it in childhood if they are vaccinated as babies? And if the vaccine requires yearly boosters, vaccinating babies makes even less sense.
 
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