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Subject:  Covid Tests - Numbers Date:  3/6/2021  7:18 AM
Author:  GWPotter Number:  22645 of 23135

It about impossible not to be hit with the "numbers" when we see information on the news or listen to experts. While I have had a bucket of math, I am not a statistician. I know just enough to realize I do not have a clue if one of the 3 currently approved vaccines would do a better job at preventing covid illness or keeping me out of the hospital.

My wife and I are part of the Moderna Phase 3 trial. We both got injections last September & October. We have been "donating" blood for testing regularly. During the process I have had a couple of 15 minute meetings with Dr. Evan Anderson. I asked him the obvious questions. Two points many people seen to not appreciate are:

#1 There had been 184 cases of covid among the 30,000 trial participants at the time data was submitted to the FDA for an EUA. If just one more person in the 30,000 caught covid the 94% number could move four or five percentage points -- or less. The number could go either up or down depending on whether the additional case was a vaccine recipient or a placebo recipient.

#2 The Moderna trial had exactly zero data on whether or not a person vaccinated could harbor/carry the virus if exposed to a person with covid. (Participants reported known contact with covid patients. Being near does not mean we got virus particles in/on our bodies.) Serology showed whether we had antibodies and further they did determine if those antibodies were from the vaccine or the virus.

Fauci & others often say each of these 3 vaccines were tested in different geographical locations and particularly the J&J product at a different time. All the data can show is vaccine behavior for subjects in their local communities. Since the mRNA vaccines testing was done before there were any known South African variant cases, there is no way to measure if those vaccines provide protection against that variant. The J&J vaccine was tested in South Africa == so they have firm data showing efficacy against that variant.

I am aware Moderna is testing against some new variants - lab testing, not trials as far as I know.

Personally what I care about most is not getting sick enough to need hospitalization. Today I would consider allowing intubation. I decided early last summer, I would not - the statistics were grim - 80% of intubated patients my age died.

Beyond my personal health, the thing I want most about is lowering community infection. About the last thing we need is covid becoming an annual problem like the flu - new shots every year. Unfortunately until we get the level in the community lower variants will happen with enough frequency to require vaccine changes.
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