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Herd immunity appears unlikely for COVID-19

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By William Petri

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Cross-reactive immunity seems important to consider too - it seems this isn't a completely novel virus for many people's immune systems: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jmv.26958

Also Texas, Florida, Sweden and South Dakota have already been living normal lives for a while anyway even with low vaccine uptake. Shield and vaccinate the vulnerable then let everyone else have one if they feel they need to but an IFR of 0.15-25 doesn't really justify this much panic

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Cross-reactive immunity seems important to consider too - it seems this isn't a completely novel virus for many people's immune systems: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jmv.26958

If the cross-neutralization has not had a significant impact in the development of the pandemic (and the current situation in India proves the main hypothesis of your reference was not real) then it is much safer to assume it will not have an important role in herd immunity either.

Also Texas, Florida, Sweden and South Dakota have already been living normal lives for a while anyway even with low vaccine uptake. 

That is a wrong assumption, not being forced to keep social distancing measures is very different from the population not keeping them.

Shield and vaccinate the vulnerable then let everyone else have one if they feel they need to but an IFR of 0.15-25 doesn't really justify this much panic

That has already been debunked as an fantasy bases scenario by the scientific consensus, there is no realistic way to protect the people at risk with wide spread infection in the general population and health services would not be able to cope with even a small percentage of the non-vulnerable population that actually get serious complications from COVID.

7 ( +17 / -10 )

The best vaccine in the world is the natural disease so this article does not make sense, if many are contracting the virus they are also participating to herd immunity, putting the daily number of contamination in a different perspective.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

Cross-reactive immunity seems important to consider too - it seems this isn't a completely novel virus for many people's immune systems: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jmv.26958

Yes, many of us are already immune to it. Also, immunity conferred by a vaccine involving a single protein is more likely to become ineffective to future variants, thus requiring regular updates. I think it is much better to have a broader immunity conferred by regular exposure to coronaviruses, or perhaps to an inactivated virus (Sinopharm vaccine).

Shield and vaccinate the vulnerable then let everyone else have one if they feel they need to but an IFR of 0.15-25 doesn't really justify this much panic

Yes, very true! Letting the young and healthy to live their lives normally is the best way to achieve or approach herd immunity. But of course, big pharma does not like that and they will do everything they can to get everyone vaccinated, whether they need it or not.

Why are there ‘vaccine hesitant’ individuals?

... Lack of confidence includes concerns for vaccine safety or skepticism about the health care providers and public health officials administering them.

I have no issue with the health care providers if they are well informed and they truly believe the vaccine will help the patient. I am skeptical of the possible conflicts of interest of the public health officials involved in vaccine approval. But above all, some are skeptical of the vaccines because they were created by convicted serial felons (bribery, falsifying data...).

-16 ( +5 / -21 )

The best vaccine in the world is the natural disease so this article does not make sense, 

Your premise is wrong, that is why you don't understand the article.

In comparison with the vaccine the natural infection increase many times more the risk of complications and death while offering no real advantage, that is the opposite of the "best".

12 ( +19 / -7 )

Since nobody is testing for antibodies or T-cells what data does Dr William Petri have to make this statement?

And why is nobody testing for it? For all I know I might have already had been infected yet had no symptoms, developed my antibodies and be immune to this bio weapon. In that case the vaccine would be not only useless but possibly very damaging.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

@virusrex please link me the research papers showing that the natural immunity is inferior to the vaccine immunity for the covid-19, people do need personal opinion but facts, how can you state this when we do not even any evidences reviewed by peers that the vaccine is preventing the contamination.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

do NOT need personal opinion, correction to my previous post ;)

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

FtGuy2017

please link me the research papers showing that the natural immunity is inferior to the vaccine immunity for the covid-19

There is no natural immunity for covid-19. You can only get immunity by getting the disease or through a vaccine. Getting the disease risks long covid complications and death. This doesn't need a research paper to prove, it just requires deductive reasoning.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

"Yes, very true! Letting the young and healthy to live their lives normally is the best way to achieve or approach herd immunity. But of course, big pharma does not like that and they will do everything they can to get everyone vaccinated, whether they need it or not."

Precisely, and this is what I am worried about. At some point though, I won't be able to travel overseas without the vax, so I intend to wait as long as possible before taking it. At least allowing time for kinks to be ironed out.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Also, immunity conferred by a vaccine involving a single protein is more likely to become ineffective to future variants, thus requiring regular updates. I think it is much better to have a broader immunity conferred by regular exposure to coronaviruses, or perhaps to an inactivated virus (Sinopharm vaccine).

This does not apply when the protein is also the evolutive advantage of the virus, which means it cannot endlessly change it. Also if the "regular exposure" comes with the inevitable risks from the infection that cannot be considered better, the whole meaning of vaccines is to reduce this risk from the infection, getting the full risk to "avoid" the risk is not rational.

Yes, very true! Letting the young and healthy to live their lives normally is the best way to achieve or approach herd immunity. 

Again, the scientific consensus is that this is not a realistic possibility and is a mistaken hypothesis without basis on real data. No scientific or medical institution in the world defends this as a the best way to reach herd immunity but the opposite.

But above all, some are skeptical of the vaccines because they were created by convicted serial felons (bribery, falsifying data...).

That requires completely ignoring the strict vigilance and corroboration done by countless professionals of the world that confirmed the safety and efficacy of the vaccines before and specially after they began to be used in the general population, being skeptical from all the scientific and medical community as if they were all "in" the conspiracy to hide problems is not realistic.

please link me the research papers showing that the natural immunity is inferior to the vaccine immunity for the covid-19,

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/adverse-events.html

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7018e2.htm

It should be obvious that when comparing an infection that produces around 1 death out of every 100 confirmed infections and a vaccine that produces less than 1 in a million possible deaths the best option is the one that produces less deaths. This would mean the vaccines are hugely better because they give you effective protection without the risks of the infection.

when we do not even any evidences reviewed by peers that the vaccine is preventing the contamination.

Vaccines do not prevent contamination, that comes with hygienic measures like washing hands and use of masks, what vaccines do is preventing infection, symptoms, complications and death. This is known from peer reviewed articles literally from last year https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa2034577

If you have not kept with the literature that does not mean there are no such reports, at the moment scientific reports even indicate strongly that transmission is also reduced thanks to vaccination.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

This does not apply when the protein is also the evolutive advantage of the virus, which means it cannot endlessly change it. Also if the "regular exposure" comes with the inevitable risks from the infection that cannot be considered better, the whole meaning of vaccines is to reduce this risk from the infection, getting the full risk to "avoid" the risk is not rational.

But we are already seeing these vaccines being less effective towards some variants. Imagine when these variants mutate further.

BTW, I don't see how your links show "that the natural immunity is inferior to the vaccine immunity for the covid-19".

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Vaccines do not prevent contamination, that comes with hygienic measures like washing hands and use of masks, what vaccines do is preventing infection, symptoms, complications and death.

I suspect that by "contamination", they meant spread of infection. I believe that all we can say now is that vaccines appear to reduce symptoms. Evidence for prevention of infection, spread, and death are not yet conclusive.

Regarding immunity conferred by natural infection versus that from vaccination, the natural one appears to be stronger according to the latest update from Prof Didier Raoult, whose institute has so far screened about 600,000 people:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVmXvo1FMOc

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

It should be obvious that when comparing an infection that produces around 1 death out of every 100 confirmed infections and a vaccine that produces less than 1 in a million possible deaths the best option is the one that produces less deaths.

One could conclude that if they wrongly assume that everyone is equal. They aren't!

For example, in Japan among 65,642 confirmed infections in the below 20 years of age, there were no deaths or serious cases. Zero! In the 20's, there were 3 deaths out of 141,292 confirmed infections.....

I am willing to accept that taking the vaccine might be beneficial for old or unhealthy people, but there is no valid reason for young and healthy people to take it, especially considering that we do not yet know their long term effects.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

But we are already seeing these vaccines being less effective towards some variants. Imagine when these variants mutate further.

Again, that is the point, that variants that mutate further have to pay an adaptive cost, which means they would have to choose between being infective to human cells but also sensitive to the immunity or escaping immunity but losing the specific advantage that let them infect humans. This is something inevitable when the same protein is responsible for the infection and the immune neutralization.

BTW, I don't see how your links show "that the natural immunity is inferior to the vaccine immunity for the covid-19".

Read again the comment I made, why should I prove something I did not said? I easily proved that the natural infection is much more risky than the vaccines, because that is what I said.

I suspect that by "contamination", they meant spread of infection. I believe that all we can say now is that vaccines appear to reduce symptoms. Evidence for prevention of infection, spread, and death are not yet conclusive.

No, only spread is still preliminary, vaccines have been corroborated to importantly reduce infection, complications and death above any rational doubt already,

the natural one appears to be stronger according to the latest update from Prof Didier Raoult, whose institute has so far screened about 600,000 people:

When a single source contradicts what is found by the consensus this means those results have to taken with care, if the source has been already confirmed to manipulate and fabricate data, perform unethical human trials and lie to publishers openly to have reports published that means the results cannot be trusted at all until replicated by other sources.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

One could conclude that if they wrongly assume that everyone is equal. They aren't!

For example, in Japan among 65,642 confirmed infections in the below 20 years of age, there were no deaths or serious cases. Zero! In the 20's, there were 3 deaths out of 141,292 confirmed infections.....

If your point depends on sever underreporting of cases and deaths by design that debilitates much more your point than enforcing it. If you can choose between good quality data (widespread testing) or terribly bad quality data (as in Japan) willingly choosing the lower quality data means your conclusions are much more likely to be invalid. For Japan there is very little that can be said about deaths and infections, you can only talk about detected deaths and infections, which are a very small subgroup.

 am willing to accept that taking the vaccine might be beneficial for old or unhealthy people, but there is no valid reason for young and healthy people to take it, especially considering that we do not yet know their long term effects.

The reduction of risk is not specific for any subpopulation of people, there is no evidence that indicates that, anybody that is a target of immunization receives the benefit of reducing the risk of complications and death, even if the risk is low already, that is a reason good enough to do it. If the person is also interested in replacing social distancing measures without increasing the risk for himself and others that is another very powerful reason. It requires to be deeply in denial to think those reasons are not valid.

Also, since we already know COVID produces long term and even permanent effects the vaccines are still a lower risk for a person precisely because they have not shown this. This will continue until there are any specific risks associated with the vaccine that are comparable with COVID (and that COVID do not accumulate more risks, something that is quite unlikely since they keep being discovered continously).

7 ( +11 / -4 )

According to BigPharma, their vaccines are only good for 6~9 months before needing a booster. We already know they have been lying about how effective they were. Even if they didn't lie about efficacy, it would require everyone who hadn't already recovered from the virus to be vaccinated within the space of 6 months to gain herd immunity.

We know the Chinese vaccine is more effective but no word on how long it will provide protection. The Russian vaccine is way more effective and the makers haven't deviated at all from their confidence that it would provide protection for over 2 years. That is an ample time frame to vaccinate everyone also given how easy it is to deploy.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

According to BigPharma, their vaccines are only good for 6~9 months before needing a booster. We already know they have been lying about how effective they were. Even if they didn't lie about efficacy, it would require everyone who hadn't already recovered from the virus to be vaccinated within the space of 6 months to gain herd immunity.

That is mistaken, if you want to trust companies when they say their vaccines are going to lose efficacy soon even when there is no data to support that conclusion then you also have to trust them when they say their vaccines are more effective than the Russian and Chinese ones, you cannot believe the half you want.

At this point the available open data points to mRNA vaccines to be the more effective and with least negative effects on immunized people, no medical or scientifici institution of the world have said or shown data contradicting this.

What we know about the Russian vaccine is that they are actively hiding their data and that from the small fragments they have published many problems have been identified that points out to undue manipulation or even fabrication of data, togheter with the openly recognized unethical development this makes it not something worth recommending without external corroboration of their conclusions using their raw data.

Nobody has a scientific argument to say any vaccine is going to last more than two years (nor less), empty confidence in absence of evidence is irrelevant.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Thank you rex for all your comments. Very helpful and informative.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

For example, in Japan among 65,642 confirmed infections in the below 20 years of age, there were no deaths or serious cases. Zero! In the 20's, there were 3 deaths out of 141,292 confirmed infections.....

If your point depends on sever underreporting of cases and deaths by design that debilitates much more your point than enforcing it.

Yes, I agree and have often stated that cases are significantly under reported in Japan. But I very much doubt that many covid deaths are not detected as such, particularly among kids. I put very little credibility into that one modelling study that people here have been referring to, suggesting that the covid death count is much higher...

The is zero evidence that any child has died (or suffered severe effects) from covid in Japan.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

That has already been debunked as an fantasy bases scenario by the scientific consensus, there is no realistic way to protect the people at risk with wide spread infection in the general population and health services would not be able to cope with even a small percentage of the non-vulnerable population that actually get serious complications from COVID.

Not sure what "scientific consensus" you are talking about, as this is something that has to do with healthy policy and not so much with science.

What I see is this complete disregard by some people, including the authors of this article, of the longstanding and never disproved fact of natural immunity, and these immunity deniers continue to paddle their pseudoscientific point of view as some sort of scientific consensus, when the consensus is the complete contrary.

At this point in time COVID-19 is a preventable disease. People who do not vaccinate and get infected and die are responsible for their own actions.

If you are vulnerable and/or are scared about a COVID infection, then take the vaccine.

Wanting to continue indefinitely lockdowns and restrictions make absolutely no sense in this regard, and is completely unscientific.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

But I very much doubt that many covid deaths are not detected as such, particularly among kids

You have demonstrated repeatedly that you doubt things that have been confirmed, and believe immediately things that later were demonstrated as false, like the supposedly imminent herd immunity in Japan last year.

The is zero evidence that any child has died (or suffered severe effects) from covid in Japan.

And again, the problem is that the huge lack of evidence of everything makes Japan the worst kind of reference, so if it contradicts the evidence collected in places with much better vigilance that puts your argument in serious disadvantage. After all there is zero evidence that any vaccine against COVID represents any risk for children in Japan, if your point is that Japanese may be somehow "special" this could also be the case.

Also, you understand there are vaccinations that are recommended for children against diseases that do not kill any child, vaccines against COVID are not special.

Not sure what "scientific consensus" you are talking about, as this is something that has to do with healthy policy and not so much with science.

Search around for any institution that defends this debunked theory. Since the failure of the supposedly scientific Great Barrington Declaration it was clear this concept was wrong and not based on any scientific evidence and condemnation against this was very common. There is such a thing as scientific basis for policies.

Wanting to continue indefinitely lockdowns and restrictions make absolutely no sense in this regard, and is completely unscientific.

It would be then easy then to find out respected medical or scientific institutions that actually say restrictions as a measure to stop spreading of COVID are not based on science.

One thing is that measures are put in a completely ineffective way or without proper consideration, another completely different is that non-pharmacological interventions are unscientific, this is not the case. Masks, isolation, limiting crowding, etc. Have been studied and demonstrated to have an effect

7 ( +11 / -4 )

People may be vaccine hesitant for several reasons, including lack of confidence in the vaccine, the inconvenience of receiving the vaccine, or complacency – that is, thinking that if they get COVID-19 it will not be severe.

These reasons mostly exist because of propaganda from leaders. The same group of people doesn’t want to mask up. It’s a fantasy world where viruses don’t really exist, and somehow, adversaries would benefit if one of these folks got vaccinated.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

As the many, many past pandemics have shown us, herd immunity is inevitable.

The question is, will we achieve it after unimaginable suffering and death, or after the successful application of the many vaccines available to fight Covid-19?

Seems to me that if a sizable proportion of the population either choose not to get vaccinated, or are unable to achieve access to the vaccines, then herd immunity will be achieved with a combination of vaccinations and infections. The virus does not care what we do; it will spread as long as there are people available for it to spread into.

I grew up being told about the horrors of the 1918-1920 pandemic. I never thought what happened then would repeat itself in my lifetime. That pandemic eventually ended, when so many people had become infected that the population achieved herd immunity. One way or another, this pandemic will also end.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I don't know first hand how things are in Japan, but on the block where we live four people (one in his fifties with an underlying problem, and three very senior citizens) have died so far from the pandemic, and most of the young people have come down with it and then recovered. And still, many of my neighbors are afraid to get vaccinated.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

It’s a fantasy world where viruses don’t really exist, and somehow, adversaries would benefit if one of these folks got vaccinated.

Are you sure a significant number of people think this? Every sensible person believes the virus exists. The minuscule number of people who do not believe in the virus will have no effect on achieving herd immunity.

There are many legitimate reasons for being skeptical of these vaccines. The (warp)speed at which they were created. The fact that they are unapproved, and have only received authorization for emergency use. The manufacturers have been convicted numerous times for bribery and falsifying data. Thousands have already died soon after vaccination, and many more have suffered severe adverse reactions. And for many people, these vaccines are completely unnecessary.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

There are many legitimate reasons for being skeptical of these vaccines. The (warp)speed at which they were created. The fact that they are unapproved, and have only received authorization for emergency use. The manufacturers have been convicted numerous times for bribery and falsifying data. Thousands have already died soon after vaccination, and many more have suffered severe adverse reactions. And for many people, these vaccines are completely unnecessary.

None of those reasons are legitimate, the vaccines are the product of more than 10 years of development, initiated since the first SARS scare, approval do not make anything safer, the data over millions of inoculations is enough to prove their safety and efficacy. Thousands died soon after almost anything you can think about, but if there is no elevation of the risk that means this is no actual reason to be skeptical, just an excuse. And finally, since vaccines do reduce the risk that is present even for young and healthy people, let people be responsible and empathic towards the population at higher risk, and can replace at least some of the social distancing measures that make them necessary (at least for anybody rational and considerate enough, and interested in getting rid of social distancing measures).

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The best vaccine in the world is the natural disease so this article does not make sense, if many are contracting the virus they are also participating to herd immunity, putting the daily number of contamination in a different perspective.

No. Immunity gained from infection does not last very long, as demonstrated by the number of individuals who have had two Covid-19 infections. A good friend's wife is among those btw. The first Covid case offered her no protection from getting sick again.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Search around for any institution that defends this debunked theory. Since the failure of the supposedly scientific Great Barrington Declaration it was clear this concept was wrong and not based on any scientific evidence and condemnation against this was very common. There is such a thing as scientific basis for policies.

You talk in an authoritative tone, saying things like "debunked theory" without producing a clear reason for your statement (when? how? who say that?), but then because according to you it is "debunked" and requires to be "defended" ask for "institutions" that defend this "theory" (Is not really a theory, but a policy, once again). Basically you are poisoning the well, and asking me to remove the poison.

The GBD, as far as I'm aware, have been supported by many well renowned epidemiologists, but I'm sure you have a way to discredit any support by any of those parties.

Not to mention that it was a "Failure", only works if you find it to be a "Failure" because governments didn't even consider what they were saying.

The GBD actually is way more in line with the decades of pandemic preparation, and all the rules and practices before 2020. The practices of Lockdowns, mass masking of population, restriction on economic freedom, on freedom of movement, closure of borders and such were not recommended, and many of them actually recommended against, even in pandemic events worse than SARS-CoV-2.

The current constant goal post moving and inconsistent approach, where more restrictions = better is the experimental never done before approach.

Once again, where is the scientific basis against a focused protection approach?

It is the approach that is taken most of the time for outbreaks and previous pandemics.

Not only that, also how the level of dialog hasn't change since October of last year. It is almost like there wasn't many vaccines with an extremely high efficacy deployed, and that, as I said, COVID-19 is now a preventable disease.

The point of lockdowns by advocates was supposedly to "flatten the curve" until there was a cure or a vaccine.

There is one, so it makes no sense to continue this any longer.

It would be then easy then to find out respected medical or scientific institutions that actually say restrictions as a measure to stop spreading of COVID are not based on science.

You show me where are the medical institutions, and the science they use, pushing for continued restrictions after vaccination.

One thing is that measures are put in a completely ineffective way or without proper consideration, another completely different is that non-pharmacological interventions are unscientific, this is not the case. Masks, isolation, limiting crowding, etc. Have been studied and demonstrated to have an effect

The best strategy, with over 90% of success, unless the strategies you talk about, that not even the people pushing for them are sure of how successful they are, and do not even try to put a number on that success rate, is VACCINATION.

There is a vaccine already. Saying that non-pharmaceutical interventions should continue even after a vaccine is an anti-vaxx position, and one of the main drivers of vaccination hesitancy.

I constantly hear people saying "what is the point of the vaccine, if even after I take it nothing changes?"

If anything, people like yourself are way more successful at keeping people out of vaccination that any other typo of anti-vaxxer.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

A study conducted by a Libertarian think tank funded by the Koch Brothers and some large oil companies and signed reportedly by 15,000 researchers and medical practitioners that contains many fake names and the names of homeopathic practitioners lacking the scientific coursework an MD or even a PA has. There was no vetting process for the signatures. Anybody could sign it. 100 "therapists" whose expertise included massage, hypnotherapy and Mongolian khoomii singing signed it. One "researcher" claimed to be from "university of your mum". A BBC journalist was able to sign the declaration by ticking a box identifying himself as either a scientist or medic. That is your Great Barrington Declaration. It's suspect to put it gently. And then there is the no so minor detail that it has no research to back it up while being contrary to all the research that has been done.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Proper Science

There is a vaccine already. Saying that non-pharmaceutical interventions should continue even after a vaccine is an anti-vaxx position, and one of the main drivers of vaccination hesitancy.

You almost got it right. Sure there is a vaccine, but still not many people have been vaccinated, not anywhere near the 70%+ required for herd immunity.

Sure, in some countries the numbers of people vaccinated would slow the transmission of covid and infection figures in the US show this. However, there are also more infectious strains like the India strain, which are worrying.

Until more people get vaccinated, some non-pharmaceutical interventions to prevent the spread are necessary.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

You talk in an authoritative tone, saying things like "debunked theory" without producing a clear reason for your statement (when? how? who say that?), but then because according to you it is "debunked" and requires to be "defended" ask for "institutions" that defend this "theory" (Is not really a theory, but a policy, once again). Basically you are poisoning the well, and asking me to remove the poison.

As already explained, the theory (because it is one, policy based on a flawed unproved assumption) has been completely rejected by the scientific consensus, as easy to prove as you are unable to provide any recognized institution that supports it. That should be enough to put any rational person to think why the scientific and medical world is against it.

The GBD is not supported by scientific data, science simply is not a democracy, so it does not matter how many people believe something that can be proved wrong (or how many of their names are taken without permission or by deceiving them as it happened) It does not matter what makes more sense to you, as long as non-pharmaceutical interventions have data to support them and there is an absolute lack of data to support the flawed theory that vulnerable population and functioning health services can be protected by letting the infection be wildly spread in the general population it is still valid to disregard it as a worthless theory.

Also as mentioned, vaccines are not even close to provide herd immunity in most countries, so it is irrelevant if there are vaccines, social distancing must be kept until the vaccines are distributed and the data let the experts know the risk is reduced.

The best strategy, with over 90% of success, unless the strategies you talk about, that not even the people pushing for them are sure of how successful they are, and do not even try to put a number on that success rate, is VACCINATION.

Which is still worthless if the population is not vaccinated, the full set of measures is to be continued until vaccination is enough to replace the other measures, if countries with a huge advantage like the US is just beginning to do it it is wrong to expect countries like Japan that have not vaccinated any significant part of the population to drop everything as if everybody was immune.

If anything, people like yourself are way more successful at keeping people out of vaccination that any other typo of anti-vaxxer.

I am only repeating the consensus of the scientific and medical community, it is justified to keep measures until vaccination is on levels enough to make differences, you thinking otherwise is not important. Specially if you base it on unproven conclusions like this one. Science has the responsibility of proving things first before making recommendations. Jumping to recommendations whiteout evidence is not justified.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

You almost got it right. Sure there is a vaccine, but still not many people have been vaccinated, not anywhere near the 70%+ required for herd immunity.

The heard immunity number is not some hard number set in stone, not to mention that different local populations have different numbers on immunity, there are probably places where herd-immunity has already been archived, and many of the new anti-vaxx immunity deniers like yourself ignore completely natural immunity from previous infections.

Also, not sure why people like yourself do this, but vaccination numbers continue to grow all the time, they have not halted. This narrative of "we will not get herd immunity" is just pure panic porn.

The way how countries with high vaccination numbers have been seeing numbers going down as never before is a clear signal of herd immunity kicking in.

Herd immunity will be archived with or without vaccines, vaccines help a lot because, specially the Pfizer vaccine, provide way higher immunity than natural immunity, and helps people who are vulnerable to get protected without getting infected.

Until more people get vaccinated, some non-pharmaceutical interventions to prevent the spread are necessary.

No, they are not, because the level of protection is just not comparable. is like saying that a rocket, until it reaches space, requires someone to be pushing it from the back.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

As already explained, the theory (because it is one, policy based on a flawed unproved assumption) has been completely rejected by the scientific consensus, as easy to prove as you are unable to provide any recognized institution that supports it. That should be enough to put any rational person to think why the scientific and medical world is against it.

Those are a lot of words to just basically say "I'm right because I'm right".

What is the flawed unproved assumption? That vulnerable people cannot get protected? Once again, we have done that all the time way before 2020.

Look at the WHO pandemic preparedness guideline from 2019, and you will see how it looks almost like the GBD.

The GBD is not supported by scientific data, science simply is not a democracy

Now you are being inconsistent. Just a few words ago you were saying how institutional support is almost necessary for something to be science, and now you are saying it isn't a democracy.

But you are right, it isn't a democracy. Saying GBD is not "supported by scientific data" makes little to no sense, since, once again, it isn't a theory, it is a policy, and one that is followed all the time, and was the normal way of dealing with infectious diseases until China's lockdown changed the world because of panic.

It does not matter what makes more sense to you, as long as non-pharmaceutical interventions have data to support them and there is an absolute lack of data to support the flawed theory that vulnerable population and functioning health services can be protected by letting the infection be wildly spread in the general population it is still valid to disregard it as a worthless theory.

This is what you don't get about GBD. You think that because there is some data that supports non-pharmaceutical interventions they should be continued to be done, while GBD's argue that you can reach a similar level of protection without having to sacrifice most of society.

The way I see it, lockdown supporters really believe it is a "all or nothing" approach, in which either you destroy society, or you kill all grandmas in the world, and never want to make a proper risk management calculation between interventions and actual risk.

If an intervention creates more colateral damage than the risk it prevents, that intervention makes no sense, which is the whole point of GBD.

Also as mentioned, vaccines are not even close to provide herd immunity in most countries, so it is irrelevant if there are vaccines, social distancing must be kept until the vaccines are distributed and the data let the experts know the risk is reduced.

This article was about the US, where the vaccination rate is approaching 50% of the population, and just looking at how the infection rate is going down is pretty clear at least in some parts of the US vaccination + natural immunity has already reached an equilibrium of herd immunity.

But this article talks doom and gloom, which isn't supported by actual numbers and reality.

Which is still worthless if the population is not vaccinated

Here is what I don't get about people like you. SARS-CoV-2 is bad for those who are vulnerable, and not so much for the rest of the population. That was the whole point of lockdown, weren't them? Protect the vulnerable, protect grandma.

Grandma gets the vaccine, she is already protected. Why continue with this whole thing?

Who are we protecting now?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Also, not sure why people like yourself do this, but vaccination numbers continue to grow all the time, they have not halted. This narrative of "we will not get herd immunity" is just pure panic porn.

If the speed is decreasing this becomes a valid worry. Just graph the number of new vaccinations over each day and graph the trendline, how long will it take to reach the theoretical levels of herd immunity without unnecessary deaths?

No, they are not, because the level of protection is just not comparable. is like saying that a rocket, until it reaches space, requires someone to be pushing it from the back.

That is a terribly bad analogy, the non-pharmacological measures are quite effective in avoiding unnecessary deaths. They are not perfect and they are not free, but they are much better than not doing nothing while waiting for months until the transmission of the pandemic stops thanks to immunity. Countries have lower number of cases while vaccinating AND keeping other measures.

Those are a lot of words to just basically say "I'm right because I'm right".

False, this is common knowledge in science and it would be insulting to pretend someone interested in the topic has not read the multiple sources that prove it.

The flawed assumption is that the vulnerable population and health services can be protected even with widespread infection in the general population. It may surprise you but science do advance and

Now you are being inconsistent. Just a few words ago you were saying how institutional support is almost necessary for something to be science, and now you are saying it isn't a democracy.

Misrepresentation, I am saying that the best institutions of the world do not support this flawed theory, which would put anybody rational to think, using large numbers of people without any authority, experience or knowledge does nothing to deny this. Again, if you think science supports it, how come no scientific institution of the world do it?

 it isn't a theory, it is a policy, 

Its a policy based on no scientific data, so by definition is not supported by science.

You disagree? put here the references that support such policies, you have made clear you could not find any respected medical or scientific institution that agrees with you.

You think that because there is some data that supports non-pharmaceutical interventions they should be continued to be done, while GBD's argue that you can reach a similar level of protection without having to sacrifice most of society.

Having "some" data is still much better than having no data like the GBD proponents, and it is hugely much better than having data that proves the contrary.

The way I see it, lockdown supporters really believe it is a "all or nothing" approach, in which either you destroy society, or you kill all grandmas in the world, and never want to make a proper risk management calculation between interventions and actual risk.

That is an hysterical exaggeration, measures have scientific data to support them, be it isolation or masks or vaccines. Each particular situation makes some measures necessary or not, and the same happens with the degree on which they have to be used. No measure depends on the destruction of society to be useful or effective.

If an intervention creates more colateral damage than the risk it prevents, that intervention makes no sense, which is the whole point of GBD.

And exactly why they needed scientific data to prove it, which they never provided, just personal opinions that depend on irrational premises (like wide spread infection having no effect whatsoever in other health problems or the economy).

This article was about the US, where the vaccination rate is approaching 50% of the population, and just looking at how the infection rate is going down is pretty clear at least in some parts of the US vaccination + natural immunity has already reached an equilibrium of herd immunity.

And that is already relaxing social distancing measures in a cautious way, something perfectly valid and expected.

Grandma gets the vaccine, she is already protected. Why continue with this whole thing?

Increase the risk of variants, overloading of health services, no vaccine being 100% efficient, there are many reasons available that anybody with an interest should be able to understand easily. At least if the person had a proper scientific education.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

If the speed is decreasing this becomes a valid worry. Just graph the number of new vaccinations over each day and graph the trendline, how long will it take to reach the theoretical levels of herd immunity without unnecessary deaths?

I mean, decrease is to be expected, people who are the most vulnerable will be vaccinated as fast as possible, and then the rest of the population, depending on their risk level and requirements, it is really not necessary to get them in the same sense of urgency.

I'm not against trying to reach the highest level of vaccination posible, but I think going for a pure vaccination herd immunity number is really not that necessary. Most of the people vulnerable are already vaccinated, so I would say that for the most part you already prevented most preventable deaths.

they are much better than not doing nothing while waiting for months until the transmission of the pandemic stops thanks to immunity

Are they? Specially when the vulnerable population is already vaccinated?

And that's the whole point, the whole rationale behind lockdowns and restrictions was to protect the vulnerable. They already are protected with their vaccination. Any further return you get after that is just insignificant, and the damage from those interventions sadly is not that insignificant.

this is common knowledge in science and it would be insulting to pretend someone interested in the topic has not read the multiple sources that prove it

I assume you are saying science as in "scientific community", and no, it is not. CDC lately has been constantly criticized in the scientific community for their extremely conservative approach.

 I am saying that the best institutions of the world do not support this flawed theory

You keep using this word "institutions", but institutions are not monolithic entities. They are created by many different members. What you seem to be implying is that the administrative and public relationship branches of these institutions are what really counts. Because I'm sure if I start to name you members from the best institutions, and many of them being renowned by their own merit, you will have some argument to make whatever they say invalid.

Its a policy based on no scientific data, so by definition is not supported by science.

You disagree? put here the references that support such policies, you have made clear you could not find any respected medical or scientific institution that agrees with you.

Already told you, look at the WHO pandemic preparedness guidelines, specially the "Non-pharmaceutical public health measures for mitigating the risk and impact of epidemic and pandemic influenza" guideline.

Having "some" data is still much better than having no data like the GBD proponents, and it is hugely much better than having data that proves the contrary.

You are the one misrepresenting the GBD. The GBD basically says that most efforts should be focused on the vulnerable, that they are the focus in this pandemic, and in fact things that they say like requiring staff in nursing homes with immunity, is already being implemented, because once again, you want to avoid an outbreaks on those places.

That aspect of the GBD is uncontroversial.

The most "controversial" part of the GBD is that they call for a risk balanced approach, and let people with low risk continue their lives without restrictions.

And let's be clear, GBD was written before vaccines, so I can see the argument that "you cannot fully protect the elderly" or whatever, so that in order to protect those populations even people without much risk must have restrictions.

Now we have vaccines, the vulnerable for the most part is already protected, they do not need other to do anything for them to be protected, so why are you still talking as if nothing has changed in the last 7 months?

No measure depends on the destruction of society to be useful or effective.

Never said that, and I agree with your statement, but you cannot deny that society received a pretty big blow with these restrictions, and the continue usage of the same restrictions, even when things have obviously changed, do not allow society to recover, and continue to build up colateral damage.

And exactly why they needed scientific data to prove it, which they never provided, just personal opinions that depend on irrational premises (like wide spread infection having no effect whatsoever in other health problems or the economy).

Here is my question thought, has any real risk assessment being done about these restrictions?

What about people who proposed these restrictions, where is the risk management assessment done there?

Was it ever clear if the restrictions didn't create more colateral damage than the risk they avoided?

Why do the people who push for restrictions get a free pass in this regard? Why is it that they do not need to prove that there is no colateral damage that could make the whole restriction unnecessary, but the other side get so grilled on that regard?

Also, look around, we are in the middle of an oncological crisis, a mental health crisis, an economic crisis, a democratic crisis, a food security crisis, a young children vaccination crisis. Those things didn't happened out of nowhere.

Increase the risk of variants, overloading of health services, no vaccine being 100% efficient, there are many reasons available that anybody with an interest should be able to understand easily. At least if the person had a proper scientific education.

You are going for a zero risk approach, which is the most unscientific approach there is.

Vaccines are not 100% effective, but, specially the Pfizer vaccine, is crazy effective, trial showing 100% effectiveness against severe disease, INCLUDING on variants. And 97%+ in symptomatic disease, including, once again, variants.

Even in in-vitro trials for the so called "South African" variant, which has seen some resistance to vaccines, it shows 75% infection reduction, and, once again, 100% efficacy in symptomatic cases.

The variant talk, and the "vaccine not being 100% effective" is, funny enough, one of the arguments anti-vaxx people use as to why the vaccine makes no sense, which kind of paint you on the same category as them.

People like yourself are one of the reasons why there is vaccination hesistancy.

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I'm not against trying to reach the highest level of vaccination posible, but I think going for a pure vaccination herd immunity number is really not that necessary. Most of the people vulnerable are already vaccinated, so I would say that for the most part you already prevented most preventable deaths.

That is a completely different position from your original one. And still justifies keeping useful, effective measures to compensate for the delay on vaccination speed. Keeping a balance is a lot different from just drop everything and hope vaccination fills the space.

And no, social measures are not only to protect the vulnerable but also to protect anybody that has to be hospitalized, which includes many young and healthy people, and to prevent the appearance of new variants. It is also important to remember not all vulnerable people can be vaccinated, from children with immune problems to cancer patients they are still exposed to the infection until herd immunity stops the spreading. That is an extra reason to be cautious.

CDC lately has been constantly criticized in the scientific community for their extremely conservative approach.

Which is perfectly fine, but does nothing to deny the fact that the GBD and simmilar measures based on no science (and sometimes rejected by science) are being actively rejected by scientific and medical institutions all over the world. Institutions do not have to be monolithic, but definitely an official declaration is much more valuable than what one single individual of that institution have to say for himself. If the public relationship part were disconnected from the general position of the institution it would not have the support from the members, and of course no declaration would be signed by the maximum authority of that institution.

What examples can you find where an official declaration about the best way to deal with the pandemic from an institution is not what the members actually think?

Influenza is a very different disease from COVID-19, and is controlled much more easily thanks to the almost immediate availability of vaccines and drugs with specific activity against the virus, those advantages (and the much lower transmissibility) obviously would make need for the rest of the measures very different.

You are the one misrepresenting the GBD. The GBD basically says that most efforts should be focused on the vulnerable, that they are the focus in this pandemic, and in fact things that they say like requiring staff in nursing homes with immunity, is already being implemented, because once again, you want to avoid an outbreaks on those places.

The rejection of the GBD is not about the obvious things that the scientific community also defends but about the unjustified differences that are not supported by science. This include the rejection of social distancing measures and the baseless assumption that vulnerable population can be protected without stopping wide spread infection in the general population. This is not a personal opinion but what the experts in the field used to reject it.

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/521159-dozens-of-public-health-groups-experts-blast-herd-immunity-strategy-backed

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/12/who-chief-says-herd-immunity-approach-to-pandemic-unethical

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/10/14/nation/boston-researchers-join-letter-lancet-rejecting-herd-immunity-strategy/

etc.

Was it ever clear if the restrictions didn't create more colateral damage than the risk they avoided?

It is expected so, but obviously that does not make it an absolutely correct decision, the main point is that the measures do work, balance is difficult to find without going too far, so it is justified to act leaving a margin of safety because that risks economic damage while the opposite risks of economic damage AND unnecessary deaths. This are not just theoretical considerations by this point, countries have rejected measures and their situation can be seen and compared with close counterparts that acted differently. The differences are very clear.

You are going for a zero risk approach, which is the most unscientific approach there is.

False, there is no zero risk approach, this is the lesser risk approach, which has nothing unscientific about it.

Current variants have increased transmissibility, which causes increased lethality (even if the rate of death remains the same, just because of the expected increase in the total number of cases) that would be reason enough to try and stop others from appearing, increase in the lethality or the emergency of a new serotype is not impossible, so there is value on reducing this possibility. Precisely because it is realistic to expect it and because once it appears it is not like you can jump on your time machine to correct the approach.

Again, this is not a zero risk approach, just doing realistic and rational measures that help reducing this risk, even if never completely.

People like yourself are one of the reasons why there is vaccination hesistancy.

You like to repeat it as if it were a fact, but that is just your opinion, people are still rejecting the use of masks because science was not able to exactly predict their importance at the beginning of the pandemic, it can be argued that immediate replacing of known effective measures with an absolute focus on a vaccine and observing negative results (again, because no vaccine is 100% effective and the reduction of transmissibility from vaccinated people is not absolute either) would make vaccine hesitancy much stronger in many people.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This hit my desk this morning.

Eric Clapton: "I feared I would never play again" after Covid vaccine | MusicRadar

https://www.musicradar.com/news/eric-clapton-i-feared-i-would-never-play-again-after-covid-vaccine

4 ( +6 / -2 )

lol, still people with the barrington declaration? what's next, PCR has too many cycles so all results are fake? masks don't work? vaccines kill children?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

That is a completely different position from your original one.

It is not, so probably you either misinterpreted me, or were fighting some strawman. I've been 100% pro-vaccines, unless you who apparently think that vaccines are no good enough, and somehow social distancing, lockdowns, border closures and that kind of stuff who ruins people's lives are necessary even when vaccination of the most vulnerable has taken place.

And still justifies keeping useful, effective measures to compensate for the delay on vaccination speed

It makes no sense if the most vulnerable are already vaccinated. This article is talking about keeping these restrictions for the foreseeable future. That is just pure psedo-scientific bull.

but also to protect anybody that has to be hospitalized, which includes many young and healthy people

The rate of hospitalization and severe infection for healthy young people is lower than the flu. Stop with this "young people can die too" bs, it is not the same. Vulnerable populations show a very high IFR that can go up to 20% depending on location, but young people have an extremely low IFR, going lower than 0.1%.

If you cared this much about young people dying from this, then why I don't see you pushing for the same policies so that every single young person can get vaccinated against the flu?

Once again, it is all about risk management. Burning a whole building because there are some cockroaches makes sense if you only care about killing cockroaches, just to be extra sure they are all dead, but if you care about anything else, it is a reckless and stupid policy.

GBD and simmilar measures based on no science (and sometimes rejected by science) are being actively rejected by scientific and medical institutions all over the world

You keep on bringing this GBD is "debunked by science" and "rejected by science"? What part of the 1 page declaration, calling for a risk managed approach is "debunked" by science exactly?

an official declaration is much more valuable than what one single individual of that institution have to say for himself

Are you aware how academia works? People on the top of the institution usually care more about politics and their own skin, and rarely speak for most of the institution.

It makes way more sense to trust what renowned experts from these institutions, on the fields being discussed say about the subject, and listen to the actual academic debate on the subject, not the declarations from PR departments from some university which is a mouth piece for the administrative that cares more about getting support and money than to protect any scientific rigor.

Influenza is a very different disease from COVID-19, and is controlled much more easily thanks to the almost immediate availability of vaccines and drugs with specific activity against the virus, those advantages (and the much lower transmissibility) obviously would make need for the rest of the measures very different.

Dude, the COVID-19 vaccine is times more effective than any influenza vaccine ever was. Also, transmissibility changes from virus to virus (influenza are actually a family of viruses), and pandemic influenza can have same or more transmissibility than COVID-19.

Also, a pandemic influenza is NOT the same as an endemic one. It is similar to comparing SARS-CoV-2 with some common human coronavirus, like OC43.

When you have pandemic influenza, you will see a similar behavior to this COVID-19 pandemic, because it is an uncontrolled outbreak in which the population do not have enough immunity against, so it moves easily and expands.

In fact, in family terms, the coronavirus family is seen as LESS dangerous than the flu family, because for the most part coronavirus aren't as toxic as influenza. The only difference of the SARS family of coronavirus with human coronavirus is that there is a chance for it to go "roge" with a Cytokine Storm, which explains why there is so much contrast between asymptomatic patients and serious patients.

SARS-CoV-2 is actually the one with less chances of creating this Cytokine storm of all the virus from the SARS family, and the main point to fight in this pandemic, which is why you want to vaccinate vulnerable populations that are the ones at risk of getting this serious form of COVID-19. For the rest, SARS-CoV-2 is just another coronavirus, with the same effects and risks.

 This include the rejection of social distancing measures and the baseless assumption that vulnerable population can be protected without stopping wide spread infection in the general population. 

I take you have not read the single page long declaration then.

The only "declaration" it makes is that vulnerable people should be the focus, and the rest of the population should continue their lives as normal as posible.

Talks nothing about social distancing.

And I go back to a previous point, was it ever even proven that it is not posible to protect the vulnerable without lockdown? Why is it that in those instances proof is not really needed to implement these measures, but counter proof is needed to remove them?

This is not a personal opinion but what the experts in the field used to reject it.

Except for those who support it. What you are linking to me are nothing more than hit pieces by news organizations, many times interviewing some faceless and nameless "expert" that many times misinterpret the whole point of GBD.

For example, one of the most basic misconceptions that keep appearing in these kind of articles is that "it is a free for all strategy" or that it is a "herd immunity let it rip" strategy. It isn't and never was, and it is just an strawman.

balance is difficult to find without going too far, so it is justified to act leaving a margin of safety because that risks economic damage while the opposite risks of economic damage AND unnecessary deaths

Once again, where is the risk assessment for this? Where is the study that shows that the level of damage that lockdowns could bring where justified by some risk that has to be at least bigger than the damage of the measures?

Because you are no longer asking for hard data, you are just making assumptions, and assuming that it was some how worth it, because.

countries have rejected measures and their situation can be seen and compared with close counterparts that acted differently. The differences are very clear.

Let's assume you are right about that, in that it is without a doubt been proven that lockdowns and all of this have surely reduced number of infections and overall death.

You are not still answering the question I made, on the overall risk management aspect for this. Is it worth the colateral damage? Are you looking just at the immediate future, or taking also into account the long term problems this will generate?

False, there is no zero risk approach, this is the lesser risk approach, which has nothing unscientific about it.

So not 0 risk, but going as low as a risk posible, without any regard of consequences, and if it makes sense in an overall risk management assessment.

Once again, if there are still cockroaches, even if they are just a few, and can be managed, because you want as little cockroaches as posible, burn the building.

Current variants have increased transmissibility, which causes increased lethality (even if the rate of death remains the same, just because of the expected increase in the total number of cases) that would be reason enough to try and stop others from appearing

Oh, for f--- sake...

Vaccines have shown to work even with variants, and because how mRNA vaccines are done, if it becomes necessary to change the formula so that it can take care of some variant that escapes it (hasn't happened), it can be done easily, safely, and quickly.

You are also talking about "possibilities" that "maybe in the future there is a super variant that kill us all". That's just pure speculation, and the way you talk about it, there will never be an end to it, so if we do what you want, there will be measures until either the human race disappears or there is a catastrophic colapse of human society.

You like to repeat it as if it were a fact, but that is just your opinion,

An opinion based in my own personal experiences. My parents aren't taking the vaccine for that reason, even thou I've told them to better do it, they see it as, we are going to die in the near future anyway, and if we can still not go to your country even after vaccination, we don't care about vaccines.

If the policy was that after vaccination ALL restrictions are dropped, they probably would take it, just to be able to live their lives normally.

People like you have actually put my parents at risk.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

The posters who dominate a post with long posts and many should remember these posts are not for their exclusive use.

You don't actually expect us to read those long posts? Do you?

Shorter informative posts would be better.

This isn't a university challenge. You guys keep repeating yourself trying to be better than the other.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

You changed from "vaccination numbers are increasing continously" to "vaccines are not even necessary" that is a completely different thing, you are the one that use strawman arguments frequently, like accusing people of saying vaccines do not prevent infection even when that was not said anywhere.

My position has been constant and rational, measures are necessary up to the point where they can be safely replaced with vaccines, that point is closer in the US for example, and way too far in other countries like Japan.

Again, not all vulnerable population can be vaccinated, and vaccinating them is not enough to prevent huge problems with the general population, not being specially vulnerable is not the same as being immune to problems that require hospitalization.

Sorry if you don't like it but actually young people do die of COVID, and 0.1% of a large part of the population is still more than enough to swamp the health services in many countries including the US and Japan, what do you think happens with hospitalization numbers when there is no space in the hospital?

You keep exaggerating the measures and minimizing the effects of wide spread infection, it is not burning the whole building and it is not just cockroaches if your only point is to make a strawman from valid, rational measures that have a positive effect it is as if you already gave up discussing.

You keep on bringing this GBD is "debunked by science" and "rejected by science"? What part of the 1 page declaration, calling for a risk managed approach is "debunked" by science exactly?

Try reading the links I put, they have the information you are trying so hard to ignore, the declaration has been heavily discredited for its lack of necessary evidence and measures not justified, you may not like it but the WHO and dozens of other health care groups have much more authority than you on the subject. Sorry.

Are you aware how academia works? People on the top of the institution usually care more about politics and their own skin, and rarely speak for most of the institution.

So, no examples where people from those institutions disagree with the official position expressed by the authorities directing them? excuses are unnecessary, just accepting that the institutions can be said to disagree with a flawed, baseless theory is enough. Trying to say its only the PR when you cannot even prove the professionals inside those institutions have a different opinion is useless.

Dude, the COVID-19 vaccine is times more effective than any influenza vaccine ever was. Also, transmissibility changes from virus to virus (influenza are actually a family of viruses), and pandemic influenza can have same or more transmissibility than COVID-19.

And that is irrelevant if the vaccine is not yet used, which is again the reason to continue with measures, the measures against influenza are based on the immediate access to vaccines and drugs, so obviously they cannot be just used for the COVID-19, this is going to change, but pretending it could be treated as influenza is irrational. The 2009 pandemic influenza was not specially dangerous, and compared with COVID is a Joke, so no, just because the measures against the influenza are against a pandemic they can't just be used as they are against COVID.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

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