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    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Covid vaccination.

    We've all see the big headlines for the last couple of days shouting about a new Covid vaccination.

    The government have announced that the NHS are ready to start administering the first doses before Christmas.

    Forgive me for being sceptical, but they can't even get this years flu vaccinations done on time and that's supposed to have been planned months in advance.

    The new vaccine isn't even approved for general use yet, although no doubt there will shortly be a lot of cut red tape on the floor.

    So what is it?

    The first thing to say is that as yet it's not clear if this new vaccine will stop the spread of Covid, or simply mean that those who catch it don't get severely ill and/or die.
    Either way that's a result if it works.

    It's too early yet to know if you will need to have a new one each year like the flu jab.
    That will depend on how the Covid virus evolves/mutates.

    The vaccine is said to be 90% effective.
    But manufacturers (and governments) statistics always need a good looking at, in particular 90% of what? (eg. 90% of those tested positive is different from 90% of those with symptoms, is different from 90% of those infected overall, is different from 90% of the population including those not infected).

    This particular Covid vaccine is a new type of vaccine which works in a different way to previous vaccines.
    It's an RNA modifying vaccine, a type never released for general use before now.
    This explanation is not too technical: RNA vaccines: an introduction (University of Cambridge).

    There are already a few other RNA modifiers for other conditions approved and close to general release, I was invited to take part in a phase 4 trial of one last year.
    Those are having voluntary phase 4 trials before general release because they are a new type so the manufacturers are being extra cautious.

    With the new Covid vaccine a phase 4 trial will be skipped, that's not particularly unusual for a new drug but is maybe a bit more so for a new type.
    (They will monitor things in the general public rather than in a voluntary manufacturers trial).

    There are a couple of possible practical problems:
    This particular new Covid vaccination is not one jab, it's two jabs that have to be given 3 to 4 weeks apart.
    It has to be stored at minus 80 degrees Celcius* before and during delivery to the injection clinic, and once thawed out for use only lasts 5 days in a fridge.
    Which of course all gives more scope for cocking things up.

    *Minus 80 Celcius is very cold, and not often seen outside of a laboratory.
    The vaccine would have to be transported quickly in special cryogenic containers, I doubt that there are thousands of these just lying around waiting to be used. https://www.sopachem.com/biobanking/...ample-carrier/
    I suspect that instead it will be a five day race to get it from the manufacturer in a standard cold box and into your arm.
    Last edited by nukecad; 11-11-20 at 21:40.
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