Edit: yes I'm aware they have only a dozen or so dead per week but that also translates to hundreds of severe cases, missed elective surgeries, etc. For what would most likely result in zero side effects in the elderly group.
I don't see any way to justify the decision they've made logically.
1. Do very little intervention, but perhaps isolate the vulnerable. This was the "Sweden strategy".
2. Do big interventions if cases rise, but only so far as is required to prevent hospitals being over-whelmed. This was the strategy in most of Europe, and in particular the UK.
3. Do big interventions with the intention of reaching "covid zero", including restrictions on international travel. This was the strategy of Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and perhaps China (hard to get the full story).
Having spent the past year under (2) I wish I was living under (3). Sure it's painful in the short term, but compared to rolling lock-downs for over 12 months?
Having spent the last year under (3), I dream of 1 or 2.
That said, it very much dependent on the country. I live somewhere that is 20 x 20 miles in size (Hong Kong). The strictness of the border control (3 weeks in a hotel room if you leave and come back) make leaving pretty much impossible.
That, combined with extremely conservative local restrictions (not to mention the political situation) takes a significant toll after a while.
This is mostly an artefact of the fact that HK is so small. At least you’re not in Macau, which is 30 sq km?
Macau has quarantine free travel with the Mainland, so that's >9 million sq km ;)
I'm quite surprised that China was able to pull it off, because they're a major trade economy and must have millions of people coming and going. Of course it helps to have a government that can take any action without regard for rights or political consequences.
This is impossible I think for a country like the US with vital land borders and constant trade across them. I think it's also very hard for democratic counties where people have rights.
Australia and China managed to do this.
All the countries where this worked seem to have the advantage of being geographically and geopolitically distant from Italy, which meant they could take action against their outbreaks at a relatively early stage before they got deeply embedded in society. (Early on, cases were more or less a gradient radiating out from Italy, probably because they had a major outbreak which went completely undetected as in literally reporting zero cases country-wide despite having an awful lot more than that.)
In the past, EU countries did not want to delegate health care to the EU (except for approving medicine). So this would require lots of individual countries (including Sweden and, until this year, the UK) to suddenly agree on a single strict lockdown. Very unlikely to happen.
The real tragedy is that most of countries are following UK and US as their model because most of their government policy makers are trained in US and US, and they don't have the capacity and courage to set out their own plans.
This seems to have been the strategy in the past with similar risks. And it avoids the costs of freedom and live at the same time. What am I missing?
As far as I can tell, their most stringent restrictions are limits on group gatherings to 8, and closing bars at 8pm:
Contrast to France, Italy, the UK, Belgium, etc., where people have been forcibly restricted to their homes for a significant portion of the last year.
Reasonable people can disagree about policy choices, but misrepresenting facts as a starting point does not make you look reasonable.
> Sweden had to go back on it
They did not. If your standard for "going back on it" is "adding some restrictions", then you are erecting a straw man argument. By this standard, every country in Europe "had to go back on it", as all of them changed their tactics over time.
Also, not incidentally: I'm aware of no legitimate source for the claim that Sweden's hospitals were "full" (which is a non-specific claim). Most sources I've read emphasized that hospitals were under stress -- like in most parts of the Europe -- with some hospitals closer than others to capacity, and resources being shifted around the nation to manage:
Again, you could take this article and put it in Paris, Berlin, London, Brussels or other major cities in Europe in December of 2020. Details matter, and vague claims that "hospitals are full" are meaningless.
And i never said the Swedish hospital system was "full", just that their death toll compared to their neighbours was appalling, and said neighbors had to add restrictions on movement from Sweden.
Everyone compares countries all the time.
You literally just did it a few posts up by comparing it to other Scandinavian countries which are all different from Sweden.
Covid zealots compare other countries to New Zealand when it's convenient.
All with different cultures climate population density etc.
If what you're saying is true then you can't make any claims about any country's success rate because they're all unique.
You're just selecting Sweden as incomparable because it doesn't fit your narrative.
New Zealand are isolated by water from everyone, lockdown is drastically easier in that case.
You're cherry picking and choosing cultural aspects and labeling it as 'unquestionable fact' with no scientific evidence.
Classic Covid zealot move.
As a matter of fact, we're all human beings that like to congregate together and eat out and go to bars and coffee shops and see live music, and our biological drives have way more significance than anything cultural .
It's extremely disingenuous.
I don't know what "Covid zealot" is supposed to mean, but i think you need a reality check.
Overall, Sweden has taken a light touch with the pandemic, and continues to do so, even though, yes, they've adapted over time.
Most other lockdown measures are questionable at best, including mandatory mask usage. They are clearly symbolic tools for the political class to signal that something is being done, but the data to support them is not very strong considering that there is not much of a control group.
Enough for what? Hospital capacity was wildly sufficient for regular times, but the pandemic turned that around. Even Germany, which has multiple times the capacity per capita than France, is struggling in that regard. What is "enough"?
> but also to avoid superspreader events
Lol. Events with more than 2000 people outside ( at the best of times, usually it has been flat out forbidden), and 6-100 inside have been forbidden in France since last year. That obviously didn't help.
> Most other lockdown measures are questionable at best, including mandatory mask usage. They are clearly symbolic tools for the political class to signal that something is being done, but the data to support them is not very strong considering that there is not much of a control group.
There is, check the US and Brazil.
Indeed, "enough" for normal times is not the same as "enough" for pandemic times.
> Even Germany, which has multiple times the capacity per capita than France, is struggling in that regard. What is "enough"?
Of course it's a "struggle" to suddenly work at capacity, but Germany wasn't in the situation of having to turn down patients. To the contrary, Germany was able to pick up patients from neighboring countries. That's "enough".
> Events with more than 2000 people outside ( at the best of times, usually it has been flat out forbidden), and 6-100 inside have been forbidden in France since last year. That obviously didn't help.
How do you know that it didn't help? We know from epidemiological studies that superspreader events were responsible for causing a surge of cases in a short amount of time.
> There is, check the US and Brazil.
There really isn't, we have countries with strong lockdowns doing poorly and countries with weak lockdowns doing relatively well, and everything in between. Lockdown measures are also difficult to compare, as are populations, as is testing and reporting.
For example, Brazil with minimal lockdowns is doing just as poorly as Peru, with heavy lockdowns. Florida is doing better than many other US states with heavier restrictions. Japan is supposedly doing well with few restrictions, but also performs little testing.
There are lots of variables and unknowns here and one can always cherrypick data to argue for or against lockdowns in various forms.
> How do you know that it didn't help? We know from epidemiological studies that superspreader events were responsible for causing a surge of cases in a short amount of time.
It didn't help in the sense that hospitals are overcapacity and new cases, hospitalisation and death rates were still exploding until the recent pseudo-lockdown.
In most countries, running at 90% ICU capacity is the normal state of affairs, Germany being an exception.
Of course you can always warn that the health care system is just about to collapse.
Spoiler: The NHS did not collapse. Working right at the brink of collapse is normal.
> It didn't help in the sense that hospitals are overcapacity and new cases, hospitalisation and death rates were still exploding until the recent pseudo-lockdown.
According to your own source, hospitals are not over capacity. If you had a few super spreader events, that could obviously change rather quickly. Whether a "pseudo-lockdown" meaningfully slows spread is not so obvious.
There are thousands of English HCPs talking about this. Here's one: https://twitter.com/seahorse4000/status/1386263023900319745?...
(That comment about staff is for their particular NHS trust, not the NHS as a whole)
We rationed oxygen
We shut the hospital
I was managing icu pts on amu
We stopped elective surgery
We had over 400 staff off with covid
I had 9 pts die on a single shift
You are using an anecdotal Tweet as an actual epidemiological citation.
It's very interesting to me how low the bar is for the Covid zealots scientific sources!
Having said that about utilisation, what pandemic beds requirements meant in the rest of the world and would have meant here is that no elective surgeries could be performed; leukaemia/cancer patient stem cell/marrow transplants couldn’t go ahead and trauma victims risked not being able to be cared for. This was absolutely the case in the UK during the height of things (friends are ortho/trauma surgeons over there and ended up working as assistants in nursing for 3-4 weeks in January).
So, with increase in ICU bed availability through adding new beds and with stopping any potential procedures that would electively require an ICU bed for recovery countries were able to basically meet demands (although many of my emergency colleagues in the UK reported having to determine who was going to be for ICU or not - ie top level care was not offered to some people during the height due to lack of resources) - there is now a massive backlog of patients requiring their baseline care to be fulfilled.
For example, another of my colleague’s mothers is a (retired) dermatologist in London. She was pulled back into work because there are now people presenting eith melanomas that were missed because no one was going for their regular care early in the year. And now they’ve spread and now people are dying because of this; not to mention the backup.
There’s no silver lining here.
The argument was: Did the hospitals overflow from Covid?
And they did not overflow anywhere in the world.
> New Toronto field hospital prepares to accept patients as ICUs overflow
> Greater Toronto Area hospitals are so overwhelmed due to record COVID-19 admissions that some patients are being transferred to health-care centres outside the region.
Post an actual link to ICU numbers if you truly '#believeTheScience'
Here I did it for you.
Do your own data analysis and see ICU admissions are only up 15% or so.
Also, according to other media outlets, ICUs in Toronto haven't filled up, they're 'NEAR capacity'.....which has been the story for over a year everywhere.
The media drums things up to make money and should not be used as evidence for your argument.
The media also said San Diego ICUs and Houston ICUs were overflowing but it didn't happen.
For example, this sensation article never happened:
Do you have anything supporting your argument of hospital overflow with substance?
Or do you get all of your 'science' from the news media?
First you attacked a comment (above), claiming they'd moved goalposts in their arguments, and then you claimed hospitals had not overflowed. Subsequently, you responded to a comment providing a citation saying they did, by demanding a different source - which is moving the goalposts, the very thing you criticized in someone else.
Here, look at this, another article showing Indian hospitals have overflowed, this time from Reuters:
> Indian hospitals turn away patients in COVID-19 ‘tsunami’ 
This is relevant because you yourself consider Reuters a citable source, at least when you like what it is saying .
That comment you cited Reuters in reminded me of another of your comments  (I actually did mark your words, as requested):
> Mark my words America is heading towards herd immunity as long as we stay this course, and this will be all over by the end of the year. (you, eight months ago)
How's that herd immunity coming along? Was it all over by the end of the year?
Texas had 40,000 people at a football game, has no covid restrictions, and is at record lows for Covid.
With the exception of Michigan almost every single state has reached record lows of Covid.
It's not an exact science but we have reached herd immunity in almost all of America within a few months of what I predicted.
All with only 25 to 40 percent vaccination number. So it's clearly not vaccination or restrictions providing the full herd immunity.
As for India sure I'll give you that. I should amend my statement to mean 'First world' countries with adequate ICU capacity had no ICU overflow.
You have to quote a third world country with the average personal income of 2000 dollars a month to support your argument because the hundreds and hundreds of other worldwide first and second world countries didn't have any hospital overflows. This is not surprising or unexpected and disingenuous of you to discredit hundreds of other countries in favor of a single country to support your argument.
However, the rest of the first world outside of India has had no hospital overflow.
Asking for a legitimate source this is not the news media.... is not 'moving the goal posts'.
You 'beleiveInScience' Covid zealots think the news media is science. I hate to break it to you but the news media is not a reliable scientific source. You should try to learn what science is before you #believe in it.
I'm not sure what you Covid zealots require to feel safe again.
I legitimately feel sorry for you.
You're in a permanent prison of fear.
Official sources and raw data:
Are you going to shift the goalposts again and redefine to "Anglosphere first world countries"? Or are you going to admit you don't know what the hell you're talking about?
"Covid zealots" is a peculiar term, i'll give that. Makes little sense of course, but nothing you say does.
ICU's run "near capacity" all the time, so the news source you linked is simply stating a normal situation in a sensational context.
What I mean by Covid zealot is people who believe things that aren't real about Covid based on poor critical thinking and/or poor understanding of the data or some other reason that I don't understand.
ICUs in France had their capacity doubled over last summer, and since the beginning of the year everything elective has been postponed to make place for Covid patients.
> What I mean by Covid zealot is people who believe things that aren't real about Covid based on poor critical thinking and/or poor understanding of the data or some other reason that I don't understand
So denialists that still fail to grasp the gravity of the situation, like yourself?
Patient numbers are still NOT ICU capacity. Numbers can go up and still not be at capacity.
If I'm indeed not missing something that is either poor reasoning or a disengenuous citation.
If you get all of your information from the news media there's 'gravity to the situation' but if you look at statistics...
Covid is mostly over in the states and either over or on the downswing around the world, with the exception of a few third world countries.
You should look at statistics and not the news media.
In the U.S., States are at record lows of new infections and almost every state has lifted most of it's restrictions and we're not even at 40% vaccination rate.
Even New Zealand has opened it's borders to Austrailia and their vaccination rate is in the mid teens.
Covid's fatality rate in the states was around 0.00125 and I'm assuming other places as well.
Trying to understand the gravity of the situation that you claim exists.
It's like The 3 billion people who believe in God. Despite all evidence to the contrary the zealots will cling to their narrative.
Totally wrong. Johns Hopkins says the case fatality rate in the states is 1.8% . Many others are worse, like Canada at 2.0% and 2.9% for the United Kingdom.
You're implicitly conceding that contrary to your earlier assertions, there have been hospital overflows, but now are further restricting your claims to only apply to first and second world countries.
You're also ignoring the fact that I chose this particular article not because I couldn't find first world examples (I already did, see above), but because this one was from a source (Reuters) you've already endorsed by citing articles from it yourself.
Now you're writing a rambling attack to distract from the fact that you have nothing to support your claims, and can only try to evade the evidence against them.
Any person with good faith and an honest mindset would agree that India is the exception not the rule.
Covid zealots are not known for honesty though.
As a healthy person, I personally would have been better off under (1). However, I think the economic and emotional damage of that number of deaths would have been too much for society as a whole.
The whole 1 vs 2 thing is just a matter of how much must the whole suffer for the benefit of the few?
 should have been the best strategy.
Until recently nobody in the US had the idea of removing restrictions and allowing 40.000 to gather for sport events.
That was until Texas did it and they are doing just as well as those with restrictions.
So far. Add 6, 12 or 24 months.
I would choose a mix of (1) and (2), but no matter what we say here it won't change the past.
Going forward we can either choose the goal of no masks, no vaccine pass and no restrictions this year. Follow Texas for more on how that works.
Or we can go on with restrictions and random shutdowns when infections rise above an arbitrary level.
I know i would choose the first option.
> Rate ratios (RRs) and 95% CIs based on the observed versus expected numbers of suicides showed no evidence of a significant increase in risk of suicide since the pandemic began in any country or area. There was statistical evidence of a decrease in suicide compared with the expected number in 12 countries or areas.
Except the actual statistics linked upthread say otherwise thus far.
The results weren't in, yet, when that article was written. The Lancet article is from April 2021; yours is from September 2020.
Experts are sometimes surprised by results; it's also possible the whole-population numbers have some subsets that go up and other subsets that go down.
Also, on the CDC stats, deaths by "unintentional injuries" is up by way more than suicides are down.
(PS: also, why would they miss a cancer screening when it's literally the only pastime that isn't shut down?)
Fear to go anywhere near a medical environment. Long delays and cancelled procedures and appointments because medical professionals had other priorities.
I was literally looking forward to an expensive and unpleasant dentist appointment (dental implant). At least, some change in the routine.
It assumes that the numbers caused by the lock-downs are bigger than the numbers caused by Covid.
It assumes that there is not positives to the lock-downs (maybe some people is less depressed at home than at their work, not deaths by flu, etc..) and, most important, it assumes that not lock-downs would not increase deaths by other causes (intensive care overworked).
I completely understand the initial lockdowns when we had no data. I would have done that too, although I would have acted sooner because I saw this threat clearly in January - why our governments were less competent across the board than some rando programmer is something I haven't forgiven.
What I don't understand is now that we have data, we're still doing lockdowns with no attempt to publicly weigh the pluses and minuses and justify three decision logically. I mean maybe it's the right thing to do, but I want to see them put some real thought into the decision, and not do it because it's what they're before, or what's politically viable.
There should be a clear logical argument being made, weighing the harms on both sides and choosing the lesser evil.
In this case one side is clearly tipping the scales by multiple orders of magnitude more. To choose that side for political reasons is cowardice and unethical.
> There aren't a lot of humans who would support harvesting the organs of a healthy patient to save 5 sick ones, for example.
That's a strawman. I'm not taking the position that the right decision is always choosing the least number of bodies. Maybe that is true, there are debates to be had there, but I'm not arguing that, and that's not comparable to the decision here with the AstraZenica vaccine.
I'm here to say that there's a clear right decision to be made here that will cause the fewest number of deaths by multiple orders of magnitude - and the Danes are making the wrong choice because they left the decision to their medical professionals who are biased to first do no harm. It is the role of government to make these kinds of hard decisions, and they need to step up to the plate and do the right thing. This oversimplifies the problem because the deaths from Covid-19 tend to be older people and the deaths from blood clots, tend to be younger. But then there's still a clear right choice to be made by just using the AstraZenica vaccine in older people. This is the sensible decision most countries have taken so far.
What do we do in cases where it's murky like the trolley problem or the organ problem? The government still has to choose, and not choosing is still a decision. In that case if there's no clear answer then maybe the decision doesn't matter that much - both paths are similar.
The trolley problem and the organ problem have been argued about ad nauseaum. I don't expect to add anything new to that. They're different problems. The trolley problem you should pick the 1 to die - it might end up being the worst choice still, but it's the one most likely to do the least harm, so the choice is obvious - IMHO. If I recall correctly, that 1 person is not innocent, they put themselves in this situation, but the 5 on the trolley are and didn't make a bad judgment call. That seems to matter to the ethics of the thing.
With the organ harvesting - all the people are equally innocent. You can't take the life of an innocent person to save the lives of 5 others, even though the math makes sense. That's crossing a line.
Again, they're hard problems, not everyone will agree. But it's the job of the government to choose in hard situations, and choosing nothing is a choice too.
They're the wrong group to make the call here, and the politicians should overrule them.
And erroring on the side of caution is what tends to happen in democracies. An authoritarian government is much more suited to taking bold and controversial action. I’ll personally stick with the overly cautious government.
Country after country appears to have taken a turn doubting the vaccine. It would be normal for one or two outliers to behave this way, but for so many to defy logic - appearing to take turns falling in line with the EU message - it starts to smell a bit funny.
There are certain deaths on one side (no vaccine) and virtually certain absence of any deaths on the other side.
It is cowardice and self importance triumphing over reason and morality. Imo
I'm not spreading any FUD. I'm as far from an anti-vaxer as you can get. I think you didn't read my comments.
> A few deaths out of 6 million defies any confident statistical pronouncements. It is rounding error.
But it does suggest there is a problem there. I took issue with your no deaths on the pro vaccine side. That's not true, as you admit.
> People without the background to understand what 6/6,000,000 means in a medical research context will hear these fud statements and opt not to get the vaccine.
This is sadly true. That's the same odds as dying from lightning in a given year. People suck at evaluating risk. I had many arguments with my parents about the risks from the vaccine, when it's literally lower than the risk of getting out of bed in the morning. People are irrational and it makes me sad. I'm also irrational, and I don't always catch it.
Without statistical evidence we cannot make that claim. There may be a problem, but there is so far no statistical evidence to suggest so. There are anecdotal findings but there are anecdotes about space aliens and we don’t craft policy around that (that the public is aware of.)
Quite funny, because there is, to my understanding, a study taking place in the Uk for that. It is expected to be done by end of April. Someone has to explain to me why that recommendation couldn't wait until there is data.
Actually that does not even sound very surprising.
I should have made clear that the problem with elections is the timing, not elections in general. Governments should be focused on getting the population vaccinated as fast as possible now, and not worry about their /
Every COVID-related (or other) decision by or about government is political, by definition, independent of election timing.
Election timing may effect the degree to which the people of a democratic state have effectively direct input on an issue whose existence and political salience would not be regularly forseeable, but that’s a very different issue than whether decisions about that issue are “political”.
And it wouldn't be hte first AZ related recommendation that changes every other week. We had so far:
- not for people over 65 because of underrepresentation in the trials
- not for people under 60 because of blood clots before any studies were finished
- Nobody wants AZ, so we will give it to everyone who is willing to take it
I don't see a strigent strategy here.
Well, in the end "everything is politics" I guess. But one must also see it practically. In places where AZ is a small part of the vaccine strategy, skipping it just means a small delay. It's not a huge or risky decision to either stop using it or use it only in older groups.
In places where AZ forms the backbone of the vaccination strategy such as the UK, it's a much harder decision. The delay imposed by stopping general use of AZ means more deaths because it's a longer delay.
So different countries reaching different conclusions is natural.
No idea how the situation in Denmark is, so. Just one example how vaccines are used for political purposes in Germany, the Bavarian Prime Minister, Söder, and one of the two likely candidates for the chancelor candidacy, just placed a pre order for Russia's Sputnik V. The plan is to produce 2.5 millon doses in a plant in Bavaira by June or so. Never mention that Sputnik V has no EU approval, no study was submitted (what was that again with "faulty" AZ data?) and by June Germany will get up to 260 million doses the EU contracts.
EDIT: I read the 260 million in an article. Numbers from Statista don't back that up. And the EU isn't publishing any schedules. The supply chain guy in me is crying for a year now, first masks, now vaccines. Really frustrating. I really have to get a new job, right I have too much time on my hand it seems...
It's fallacious to describe this as an instance of the trolley problem, as there's also the public's trust in vaccines to consider. You'll see that the rest of Europe have arrived at a different conclusion, largely due to the fact that Covid is much more widespread there.
I think your interpretation of the relative risks is wrong, but I’m open to seeing the calculations by which you come to this conclusion.
A <72-hour negative tests is required for e.g. hairdressers and restaurants.
Plans for opening up travel to other countries and returning without quarantines during the coming months are in place.
We do very rigorous testing, and the number of cases/deaths has not risen over the last month despite opening up parts of society, so the assumption is that we can open up more (carefully).
Denmark is number two worldwide with respect to tests per inhabitant with 5.1 million tests for each 1 million inhabitants (i.e. 5.1 tests per inhabitant). Generally less than 0.5% of the tests are positive
That part of the decision might just be the combination of uncertainty combined with the public's skepticism towards this particular vaccine. Giving an impression of listening to the public might have been considered a better overall choice than making a big communication effort for little real-world benefit. Other vaccines will be available very shortly for the few >65 people not yet vaccinated.
80+ population is largely vaccinated. 70+ isn't, and 60+ is barely begun, at least in Sweden.
But most deaths are in 80+, so current situation is that hospital admissions are trending up (because adults are largely unvaccinated), ICU is trending up (because 50+ are unvaccinated) but deaths are trending down (because 80+ are vaccinated).
Not really. AZ is a small fraction of the total vaccines being deployed in Denmark.
> For what would most likely result in zero side effects in the elderly group.
The elderly group is almost fully vaccinated because they were prioritized; allowing AZ to go forward with that group would have no meaningful effect on the delay in overall vaccination completion, or its expected impacts. This is explicitly noted in the article as part of the reason Denmark.made the decision.
What can differ is which groups are vaccinated, e.g. Sweden has 19% vaccinated with at least 1 dose but the coverage by age group is e.g 85% in 80-89 and just 35% in 70-79 and 60-69 is only 10%.
 https://www.sst.dk/-/media/Udgivelser/2021/Corona/Vaccinatio... (in Danish)
 https://www.sst.dk/-/media/Udgivelser/2021/Corona/Vaccinatio... (in Danish)
The expected overall delay from not using AstraZeneca until all adults have been vaccinated is 3-4 weeks.
Current death rate in Denmark is 2/day. Population 5.8 Million.
But only a small minority of the <60 population has been vaccinated; almost exclusively healthcare workers. You would expect the deaths from side effects to eclipse the number of covid deaths if vaccination continued.
So it's a pretty safe assumption at this point that AZ is a bad option for younger age groups in countries with similar numbers, assuming that other vaccines will soon be available (they will)
Looking at the rates from other countries where AZ has been deployed more heavily, it seems like Norway mostly had bad luck, and the rate is fairly small.
Though as you say for the younger population the risks with covid are also small and the choice ultimately depends on the infection rate in the country.
An interesting question is if there actually is any public health argument in favour of vaccinating the inhabitants in the countries that have managed to keep it out completely? There the choice is between taking on the risks of the vaccine versus just not allowing travel, and the public health impact of the latter isn't very clear.
Even at half the incidence of deaths reported in Norway, which would be on the order of 1:100,000, it puts the risk of a 25-year old dying from the vaccine at ~5 times the risk of dying of a Covid infection. At one tenth incidence, it's an even bet. That seems unlikely.
This seems like a pretty obvious decision to me, when looking at the Covid incidence in these countries. Given that alternative vaccines are available. I'm surprised at the level of controversy, honestly. Given the presumed science-based background for the topic. Just use one of the others.
In the UK they've had 13.5 million people under 60 vaccinated as of April 8, and a grand total of 79 cases and 19 deaths. The number of COVID deaths in people under 60 is more than 9000.
You should at least acknowledge that the UK has a per-capita Covid lethality of 15 times that of Norway, and that this might also be a relevant factor in these decisions.
"You have some chance of getting Covid" then "If you get Covid you have some chances of getting seriously ill, permanent damage or die"
"You have 100% chance of getting the vaccine" then "If you get the vaccine, you have come chance of dying"
So it's not super simple to calculate the risk, especially not for me, so I shouldn't comment at all..
It's quite possible that people under 60, or perhaps only women under 60 should not take it. In that group, the numbers are at least starting to be possible to compare. Which is why many countries have stopped it in that group (despite the risk of covid death even in that group being higher!).
So it's indeed not very simple, but you can always find a group where even conservatively counting the risk is enormous from the disease and tiny from the vaccine.
It just means that people like me who are at the end of the queue will lose six months more of our lives waiting for a vaccine (they have also paused J&J, I am assuming that one is gone too).
Sweden has only around 10% given a first dose in the 60-69 group yet and a huge fraction of the doses given to that group are now AZ, so that mRNA vaccines can be given to other groups.
Which then raises the question, why did these professionals make a decision so different than the "obvious" opinion here?
It should also be noted that Denmark has a relatively low infection rate, which is probably why politicians has decided not to interfere in the decision.
Public health issues are further complicated by what messages are thought to result in the best population behavior. There are articles in medical journals discussing the issue of people refusing to take the less strong vaccine, it is an entire topic of research in itself how to communicate with the public. It is not out of the question to strategically spread somewhat false messaging, like "all the vaccines are the same!" when obviously they are not.
Finally, this kind of thing is always going to involve value judgements that don't have an objective answer. How different is death of a 20 year old vs death of an 80 year old? How do you compare side effects like partial paralysis vs permanent lung damage? They are apples to oranges problems. But in cases where we have to act cohesively as a population, a judgement has to be made by someone. Plus in general I think medicine tends to not trust people to make their own well thought out decisions, for better or worse.
Most human have a "religion" template in them and they fill in that with some prevailing common belief. In the past it used to the religion containing gods, now it's environment, the virus etc.
(Though with the environment/virus as with traditional religion, there are always elements of truth mixed in)
Are we really going to allow ourselves to slide into such naivete, especially after we have suffered through a year-long global orgy of corruption and violence at the hands of these same politicians?
I wonder what science the Biden administration used to determine it really should sell all those weapons to the UAE. 
What was the science behind the West's decision - also led by Biden - to continue bombing civilian infrastructure in Yemen? 
Politicians use science as a rallying cry, not as an actual philosophical fundamental. We would be a lot better off if they even tried to practice people-ruling while utilizing the "hard science," but we must all come to the realization that they are simply science-adjacent. None of the ghouls in elected office - in any country on the planet - have any idea how to incorporate "science," into the act of ruling over others. But perhaps the more important question is: why should we even value such an incorporation, if it were valid?
Scientists study the natural world, observe it, and document it for others to observe on their own. Politicians - if we were to be very charitable - move other peoples' money around & redistribute it. There is only a small overlap in these concentric circles and it's probably too large as it is. The mandate of the politician is largely illogical, and for this reason trying to conflate it with science is not just sophomoric and ridiculous - it's incredibly dangerous.
Are people already forgetting how masks were actively disrecommended by 'professionals' at the start of the pandemic while plenty here and in other places were similarly saying that masks are obviously good?
In a nutshell, they did recommend not to wear masks for a short time during the beginning of the pandemic but at least the experts I've heard always provided the right justification - to prevent shortage.
You are downplaying it - they were actively taking a stance against them in the US and June was already quite late into the pandemic.
The WHO themselves were advising people NOT to wear a mask and that it might be even more dangerous to wear one than not to wear it months into the pandemic.. They also only revised this in June.
However, many people fail to correctly interpret official statements, especially those made by WHO at the time. You only ever officially recommend something in evidence-based medicine if there is evidence of its beneficial effects, never out of a gut feeling. They should have said "we are using masks because we believe they work but we're short of them and so you shouldn't buy them" and instead said "there is no evidence that wearing masks is beneficial and it could even be dangerous" to prevent shortage. The WHO's statement lacked transparency but if they had stated that everybody should wear masks in March 2020, the effects would have been disastrous for health authorities all over the world. National health authorities did the very same at the time, and I used to point out that a "King's Lie" like this, no matter how noble the motives, will likely backfire - as evidenced by your statements.
Still, if you listened closely, no expert I know of has ever said in any interview that masks don't help. That's all I wanted to point out.
Either way - my point was that people here can and do often outperform 'decisions made by experts', no matter the reason why that's the case.
> The WHO's statement lacked transparency but if they had stated that everybody should wear masks in March 2020, the effects would have been disastrous for health authorities all over the world
Even if that's what was happening, the way they did it - saying they are ineffective rather than, say vaguely saying they dont advise them - has fueled an anti-mask movement still alive today. It's very hard to believe that it was a good decision overall on top of being straight-up wrong.
Oh it did eh? Weird because that same "irrational" government is responsible for getting us vaccinated before almost any other country. The so called rational EU seems to be having a lot of issues right now.
Maybe lay off the Trump propaganda and look at how the US handled the vaccine rollout correctly. I've been vaccinated for over a month and my family has been as well. None of my EU friends have even been scheduled yet. Our economy is opening back up and yours is not, maybe ignoring what we did isn't such a great idea?
To protect yourself. The revised and current advice is to wear masks to protect the others and avoid propagating the virus. Why does everyone complaining about the masks thing miss that?
And as others have already said, the lack of PPE across the world would have made recommending masks for everyone highly irresponsible.
This might just be availability bias, but most of the people I see complaining about mask use also respond badly to other calls to lessen their negative impact on their family/neighbors/tribe/comrades/countrymen/fellow humans.
This was a mistake. If authorities were going to be lying about masks anyway, the message should have been that they protect the wearer. People care more about themselves than they do about strangers.
Who said they ( as if all authorities across the world are a singular entity) are lying about it?
Dr. Fauci is a wrong expert? I love how when the narrative doesn't fit then suddenly the expert becomes the 'wrong-expert' even though the entire time everyone gets beat over the head with lIsteN to scIeNce & eXperts.
You're just subjectively choosing which people you agree with like anyone else but telling yourself they're the correct experts so you know the supposedly undeniable truth.
We are talking about science, I thought. Phrases like "obviously good," really are not in the scientific spirit.
Professionals also said that double-masking is even more obviously, obviously good. But that obvious obviousness was, quite obviously, wrong. 
But we do give them the power to ban medicines and that's where actual trouble can start.
And it's understandable. If every time a Japansese person stole something you heard about it sooner or later your intuition would be convinced that they're all a bunch of thieves. If you heard about every bicycle accident you'd be scared to ever ride. US cops do hear about it every time one of their number is killed and we can see the resulting paranoia with which they treat the public. And the people at health regulatory agencies get fed a constant stream of medical mishaps.
To counteract this bias any organization really needs to make explicit cost benefit analyses with real numbers if they're going to make sensible decisions. We force highway safety and toxicology regulators to do this. We really ought to have the medical regulator do it as well but for some reason we don't.
-Risk of death from side effects in <65 patients is estimated at 3x higher than the international consensus, based on local observations. Unknown why this is the case, but seems unlikely to just be a statistical anomaly.
- >65 population is largely vaccinated already
-Vaccines from other manufacturers are expected to be available for everyone shortly
-Covid is under control and new cases are few. Risk of dying from infection in a given month is extremely low. When risk of death from vaccine is estimated at the order of 1 in 50.000, (ballpark figure based on memory), the vaccination risk outweighs Covid risk by far. Would be a tough call if other vaccines wouldn't be available, but they will be. It's not a long delay.
-Given the above, it's crucial to make sound ethical decisions to maintain public's trust in vaccinations and health authorities. This is not the last time we need to trust health authorities with our wellbeing.
In closing, summarized very briefly: there is a lot of orthodoxy regarding vaccination strategy in the community of science-interested folks. It's very fascinating to watch part of this consensus being challenged with good scientific arguments.
Because they may see that clotting worries would harm public trust in vaccines, delaying or preventing us from getting to herd immunity.
Because they may see the number of people tested for blood clots, indicating the number is much higher than 1 in a million.
Because they may see that trading a week of paused administration at this point is a reasonable price to pay to ensure we get to herd immunity.
mRNA vaccines are apparently better and don't seem to have serious side effects, so only using those is correct if it doesn't delay immunity too long.
According to the article, this might cause a 4 weeks delay: currently Denmark has around 2 deaths per day, thus possibly causing 60 additional deaths, which would match a vaccine death rate of 1/100000.
Denmark has a 6 million population, and it seems AstraZeneca kills around 1/1000000 so it seems COVID is only 10x more lethal than the vaccine in the general population.
However death rates for COVID are much higher in the elderly while vaccine clot rates are much higher in young people, so the AstraZeneca vaccine might be more lethal in present day Denmark for young people.
Even among elderly people they can eliminate their COVID risk by isolating but they would be forced to take the vaccine risk if the government only offers the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Finally any vaccine deaths can be more easily attributed to the person who made the decision to continue using the vaccine thon COVID deaths.
: 1/40000 chance of serious complication with a around 20-40% chance of death, source: .
(a) The reasoning is often either not communicated, or is poorly communicated.
(b) It takes away a risk/benefit decision from people that are mostly capable of making on their own. Don't want to take the risk of a rare side effect? Wait for an mRNA vaccine. Think the risk of COVID for your particular scenario is higher? Let me accept the risk.
There isn't a way that a single model of the scenario produces the 'correct' or 'safest' decision for everyone. Also, there is no good reason that a person of sound reasoning cannot make this decision for themselves.
The decision was made by politicians who only consider public reaction. Public reaction which is decidedly uninformed, and without all data in front of them.
I wish you were right. What you say should have been the case. All over the world though, we see the true nature of high-level decisions.
Sundhedsstyrelsen (the Danish Health Authority) makes that recommendation to not use it, not the government. Some parties are discussing giving a choice of AZ, but Sundhedsstyrelsen has then said that _that_ is a decision outside of their realm. But the recommendation is made outside of the government and parliament.
1. Professionals might have data we don't have - maybe they've used up their stock of AZ but have plenty of other vaccines.
2. They might be making more nuanced calculations. For example, if they've already vaccinated all their high-risk groups, the risk-to-reward trade off for younger groups might be worse.
3. Alternately, they might be being more conservative than you and I. I'm expecting the end of vaccine roll-outs to mean lockdowns and masks end permanently and the entire economy comes out of hibernation, which is a big pay-off. But between the vaccine's less-than-100% success rate, the risk of new variants, people who can't be vaccinated, international travel and so on, they might feel my benefits are too speculative to have a place in their calculations.
4. Healthcare ethics can be a complicated matter, and they've probably spent longer agonising about it than we have. After all, you and I are talking about pulling a hypothetical lever - they're the ones who'll actually be pulling it and cleaning up the splattered blood.
5. They might be particularly worried about the vaccine-hesitant, feeling hesitancy is a bigger risk than the deaths caused by vaccine rollouts taking a few months longer. They might feel the best way to reassure the vaccine-hesitant is to be demonstrably extra-vigilant, rather than providing reassurance that might sound like denial or cover-up.
6. Public health comms has to be inclusive of even the dumbest people in the population. Nuanced, complex messages might get lost in the mix. With this, the message is "WE NOT GIVE YOU BAD VACCINE. YOU GET VACCINE WE GIVE YOU GOOD VACCINE." - very simple!
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. When someone says ‘science teaches such and such’, he is using the word incorrectly. Science doesn’t teach it; experience teaches it" - Feynman.
What you have here is the European "precautionary principle" in action. Whatever you do, don't get blamed for anything - whether you make any forward progress or not.
At 60 you have a 1 in 100 chance of being dead in the next year anyway. A 1 in a million extra risk on top of that is a rounding error.
The zero extra risk option is no longer available.
I've had the AZ jab. It's perfectly fine and does the job. And those downvoting this post are saying that I should be dead instead.
It's difficult to see how Denmark isn't failing its population with this decision.
In Denmark, at least among the people I talk to, there isn't much confidence in AZ. The feeling is that Moderna or Pfizer are safer with higher protection (also against mutations).
So the common feeling here is really that the government would fail the population by using AZ instead of the (possibly better) alternatives.
 One of their slogans is literally "Corona, yes please! The virus isn't dangerous." https://www.ooc.one/
But if the alternative is no vaccine or AZ then it is indeed vastly better to continue using AZ.
Denmark's population is also less than 6 million so they don't need a massive supply compared to larger countries.
If they could source the vaccines, they have the infrastructure to vaccinate the population in a month.
Of course, Denmark is part of Europe and therefore bears equal parts responsibility for the EU vaccination program joke.
Getting a warning letter from an US agency for publishing outdated data in a press release is quite a feat.
The reason it is risky to measure data after a predetermined stop point is that it lets human bias play a role in making conclusions.
It is very subtle, but this human behavior has been a contributor to the replication crisis:
When you get a warning from a gov agency that you shared outdated data that just looks terrible. Just don't do anything in a press release that could even remotely look like you're trying to cheat with your data. It's a terrible idea in a situation like this.
: Sir John Bell, the Oxford University professor who helped drive the vaccine’s development
> Sir John Bell, the Oxford University professor who helped drive the vaccine’s development
Since academics traffic in reputation, this is an example of a conflict of interest I think.
Still, it’s good that someone stepped up the the plate, otherwise most people on earth would remain unvaccinated.
The lipids used in Pfizer's come from UK, Moderna exported vaccines from EU are actually brewed in Switzerland and finished in Spain for export
What was really required was a globally coordinated response to the design, test, manufacture, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, through the WHO/CEPI with the backing of the security council members. Unfortunately with the major countries locked in various levels of sub-explosive warfare with each other (and our international institutions gravely weakened*) we've ended up with a scramble powered by commerce and nationalism.
Edit: *through malice and incompetence
...in the US and the UK. In the end it's also a reflection of what is important to a nation. Should the strong help the weak? Is it every man for themselves? Thank you for making my point.
I think pointing to "international organizations" to do something, when you could have done something yourself, is a weak argument.
The UK has no ban on vaccine exports. It is more accurately the case that nobody has ordered vaccines from the UK except for the UK itself, because the UK had absolutely zero vaccine manufacturing facilities.
And of course it is factually false in any case: https://www.dw.com/en/australia-receives-astrazeneca-vaccine...
The EU (after encouraging other countries to invest in facilities in the EU) changed its mind and interdicted vaccines going to Australia. So they got some manufactured from the UK instead. But somehow it is the UK that is the bad guy!
Protecting your citizens is the first duty of government. There is a political failure here, but the domestic mass vaccination programs aren’t part of it.
If these countries didn't export, Israel wouldn't have any vaccine, Australia wouldn't have any vaccine, Canada wouldn't have any vaccine, New Zealand wouldn't have any vaccine. And let's not even talk about the rest of the world.
But yeah, it's inconvenient. I get it. Greed is good! Let them starve.
Yet the EU and even India/China/Russia are exporting vaccines. This speaks a lot.
Oxford scientists came up with the vaccine and the deal to manufacture it with a partner. It looked like a great deal until it turned out that AZ is completely incompetent.
Given the bad press AZ got, reverting to a "no comment" strategy is not such a bad idea. Anything they say will be used against them anyway.
A company that just avoid commenting on issues your product could have or misinformation regarding it does not seem a company that cares about that. Hard for me that they had a good PR strategy.
The AZ contract has none of that. Ultimately, it would need a court to decide that. Once the point of discusing contract terms, the relation ship between supplier and customer is already ruined.
I just see a bad behaviour and PR from AZ. That and having a CEO that says that UK got it first because of the "best effort" clause when both UK and EU contracts have does not seem very professional to me IMHO. I am not sure why that happened.
Unless I am going to refuse any and all drugs and medical treatment, I will have to trust e.g. EMA that the stuff I take when being sick is safe and working as intended.
AZ is a profit driven pharma manufacturing company. Oxford University developed the vaccine.
When Oxford licenced the vaccine to AZ -- it was at the institence of Bill Gates a major donor to Oxford and shareholder of AZ. The licence allows AZ to make a profit -- after the pandemic.
Before a certain 'letter to Oxford' from Gates, Oxford was planning on giving away the vaccine to anyone who wanted to manufacture it.
So I find it particularly disgusting that people are falling over themselves to associate AZ with altruism when the company isn't really even holding up it's bargain.
Rumours are that AZ is constantly trying to make a profit by shipping the vaccine produced in Europe outside Europe. It can make a profit this way because it only has to sell 'at cost' but the cost varies depending on the facility that produced it giving rise to a profit incentive.
After could be as early as 1st July 2021.
It seems very unlikely to be a statistical anomaly, although it isn't known yet whether it's due to incomplete observations from abroad or due to local environmental or genetic factors. It would obviously be poor science to ignore the observations; they are well documented at this point.
The authors conclude
"Although rare, VITT is a new phenomenon with devastating effects for otherwise healthy young adults and requires a thorough risk–benefit analysis. The findings of our study indicate that VITT may be more frequent than has been found in previous studies in which the safety of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine has been investigated."