Health

Covid Strategy Beyond Lockdown

“Lockdown fever” has crept into our lexicon with its destructive effect on the fabric of our lives. We are assured this is but a temporary measure and the only way to keep our community “Covid-free” until the vaccine uptake reaches the magical figures of 70 to 80 per cent. Then what? Does it mean the end of Covid-19, or a new way of life? The Doherty Institute’s “modelling” informed the government’s decision to plan an end to lockdowns and an opening of our national border. It appears to be basic modelling with limited incorporation of variables. What it does not do is provide a vision of how Australia will “look” once 80 per cent is achieved.

It is not surprising that “modelling” for Covid, indeed modelling for any complex multifactorial event, has a poor record. A great imponderable with Covid is the unpredictable appearance and impact of mutant variants that can change the pace of disease by being more aggressive, more transmissible, and/or more resistant to vaccine protection. The current “third wave” is due to the Delta variant out of India, which delays the host immune response, enabling a higher viral load and greater infectivity. This is similar to the influenza variant which caused the second wave of Spanish flu in 1919 and led to secondary bacterial infection. The Delta variant also stresses waning vaccine immunity but is less lethal than earlier variants. The Lambda variant, identified in Peru in early April, has been isolated in twenty-nine countries by July 2021. It has enhanced viral infectivity, and resistance to current vaccines. We await its arrival.

While the pandemic has raged across the northern hemisphere over the last twenty months, Australia has remained relatively free of Covid due to its maritime border and efficient public health controls, as it did in 1919 when faced with the Spanish flu. In the US there have been 36 million cases and 630,000 deaths and in the UK 6 million cases and 130,000 deaths. Over the same period Australia has reported 35,000 cases with just over 1000 deaths. While a cause for concern, this is low compared to most countries. There is now a loss of synchrony with many trading partners, who are hesitantly moving to “business as usual”, while we have created a “bubble” to keep us “Covid-free” with strict border controls, quality “test and isolate” public health measures and “lockdowns”. The success of these methods comes with increasing human and economic cost and distancing from the rest of the world.

This article discusses three difficult but important questions related to our future with COVID-19. First, what does “escape from the bubble” actually mean? Does it mean we return to a pre-Covid world? Second, what is the path to the “escape”? Third, how can we retain this freedom?

This essay appears in the latest Quadrant.
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Much can be learnt from the experiences of countries attempting to move on from Covid restrictions. While none are quite the same as Australia, a review of four countries can contribute general principles that shed light on a future Australian experience. Key characteristics related to Covid exit in the UK, Israel, Sweden and Iceland are summarised in the table on the next page.

Each of these four countries has experienced three waves of Covid infection, although with different profiles. The shapes of these profiles likely reflect differences in national management strategies. Critical is an understanding that the third or “July-August” wave of infections is due almost entirely to the Delta variant. The following observations can be made:

♦ The UK and Israel had similar levels of infection, although Israel had fewer deaths. Both countries had high vaccination levels (Israel used Pfizer vaccine; the UK used both Pfizer and AstraZeneca). During the third wave both countries experienced similar high infection rates but with few deaths and less hospitalisation. In both countries those infected irrespective of their vaccination status have been a source of transmission. In Israel, protection waned against mild to moderate disease following vaccination, with little protection at six months, although protection against severe disease remained at 85 to 90 per cent.

♦ Sweden had a more liberal approach to community control, with avoidance of lockdowns. The discrete infection peaks seen in countries using extensive lockdowns were absent. Swedish epidemiologists called this a “front-end loaded” pattern as infections in the “third wave” are lower. This is a level of herd immunity, following both infection and vaccination, and is consistent with emerging evidence that post-infection immunity is broader and more durable than that following vaccination. It is tempting to suggest that natural immunity has an inverse relationship to lockdowns, which are considered by Swedish epidemiologists as “simply buying time”.

♦ The experience in Iceland bears comparison to Australia, as both are islands attempting to be Covid-free. Points of difference are Iceland’s early high-level vaccination rate and a more porous maritime border. Iceland’s tracking data is between that of Australia and Sweden. Iceland’s “third wave” experience is characterised by a high case rate with few deaths.

♦ Normalised to a population of 10 million, the current seven-day averages for Israel and the UK are about 6000 per 10 million population, with about twenty deaths—a six-fold increase over current New South Wales numbers. Both Israel and the UK have vaccination rates of 60 per cent and rising—considerably above Australia. Iceland is overloading its health system with case numbers of 3000 per 10 million, but with no deaths. Sweden is ahead of the game with a flattened “third curve” attributed by their epidemiologists to a high natural immunity from their “front-end loaded” strategy.

The experiences of these four countries recovering their international relationships provide poignant scenarios for Australia. Vaccines will reduce severe disease but with little impact on the number of infections. There will be high rates of mild-to-moderate Covid, with transmission from vaccinated and non-vaccinated subjects causing considerable pressure on our health services. With seven-day averages of 730 infections at the time of writing and three deaths during the current New South Wales outbreak, and with these numbers continuing upwards despite a lockdown in excess of eight weeks, the idea of a Covid-free society is over for Australia.

It is likely that Australia will continue with significant numbers of Covid cases until the end of the year when an 80 per cent vaccination rate is expected. Greater movement within and outside Australia will be associated with more cases. This was seen in Europe and Israel, when greater movement of people occurred early in the northern summer. As there is near zero natural immunity to Covid in Australia, continued border controls and quarantine of those infected will continue, although screening of asymptomatic subjects may well be stopped. Given current “normalised” New South Wales numbers of 1200 per 10 million are stressing health systems (although low compared with six times that number recorded in “opened UK”), strategies to complement vaccine protection are urgently needed. Waning post-vaccine immunity will exacerbate infection numbers and virus transmission in early 2022. As the pandemic evolves, the virus likely will adapt to its niche in the community, with a loss of its destructive power. The future use of vaccines is discussed below, but current experimentation with “booster” shots has little appeal on efficacy or safety grounds.

As borders are relaxed and international travel is resumed, the only logical and science-based way to reinforce vaccine protection is to adopt widespread use of re-positioned drug therapy.

The roadmap for “escape”, as modelled by the Doherty Institute, anticipates transition to Phase B in late 2021 with minimal serious disease and hospitalisation requiring light social restrictions. Phase C is a consolidation period, prior to Phase D, when border restrictions are modified during the first half of 2022. Although this modelling was based on the Delta strain, it was released before the July-August third wave swept into Australia. The government strategy of accelerated vaccination and enforced lockdowns until achieving 80 per cent vaccination is already a rocky one.

Five months after receiving the Pfizer vaccine, protection in Israel against mild-to-moderate disease was only 15 per cent. The unpredictable nature of new variants leads to an increasing realisation that a Covid-free community in Australia will not happen without draconian and continued lockdowns. There is an immediate need for early drug therapy to complement the vaccine program.

Here is a summary of available drugs. This topic has been reviewed (Quadrant January and June: Clancy; July: Altman), but it remains embroiled in misinformation, ideology, politics and the commercial interests of “Big Pharma”. The imperative of a pandemic has focused interest on known drugs with excellent safety profiles. These repurposed drugs come in two groups: drugs synthesised to have specific antiviral activity, and drugs that have less specific antiviral effect and that work through their capacity to disengage cell processes required for viral production. The first group are usually acquired by the pharmaceutical industry from academic institutions, then patented and sold at high cost. The second group of drugs have a biological origin with a history of many years as treatment for infectious and inflammatory diseases. They are no longer patented.

Specific antiviral drugs have a lacklustre history as nucleic acid analogues used against RNA viral diseases such as influenza and Ebola. They block the RNA-dependent polymerase enzyme responsible for viral replication and incorporated into the viral RNA, rendering it ineffective. The best-studied is Remdesivir, hailed as the “breakthrough” drug by Dr Tony Fauci, a leading American voice in Covid management. It was shown to reduce hospitalisation by only four days. Promoted by the pharmaceutical industry, this drug became standard treatment for hospitalised Covid patients despite randomised controlled trials (RCTs) failing to confirm benefit. Its use comes with concerning side effects and a cost of $4000 per course. Remdesivir was followed by two oral antivirals—Favipiravir, widely used with some success and costing $200 per course (its patent expired in 2020). More recently Molnupiravir has been developed, originally for influenza and Ebola. The pharmaceutical company Merck has initiated a “rolling registration” process with regulatory authorities across the world despite little evidence of efficacy and an emerging view that the RNA polymerase is a poor therapeutic target. Remarkably, the US government has bought the drug for A$1000 per course before trials are completed and efficacy proven.

The second group of re-positioned drugs has a long record of clinical use in a range of infections and chronic inflammatory diseases. The extensive history and width of benefit compared to the specificity of nucleoside inhibitors of RNA polymerase, fuels a perception of irrelevance to COVID-19.

The best-credited drug is ivermectin (IVM). In brief, over sixty studies with 26,500 patients have been subjected to meta-analyses. These analyses identified significant benefit for IVM used as a prophylactic (86 per cent), early treatment (72 per cent), as well as reduced viral transmission. These figures are little changed when analysis was restricted to thirty-one RCTs. A meta-analysis of six quality peer-reviewed meta-analyses found a 58 per cent reduction of death. Regions in India, Mexico and South America, adopting widespread use of IVM, showed dramatic differences in case numbers and mortality compared to adjoining regions not using IVM.

Many studies, performed in the intensity of a pandemic (which today, as I write, killed 9500 people), can easily be criticised by “experts” unfamiliar with clinical medicine. The consistency of data across many such trials involving great numbers of subjects and many non-aligned investigators led to three peer-reviewed sophisticated meta-analyses that “point overwhelmingly to the efficacy of IVM in both the prevention and management of COVID-19” (Kory et al J. Therapeutics 28(2021) e299-e318 DOI). A formal review by Bryant and colleagues of twenty-four RCTs found “moderate certainty” evidence in support of IVM therapy. This is considered “more than sufficient for regulatory approval of existing drugs in a new indication”. These quotes are included in a critique of the National Covid Clinical Evidence Taskforce (NCCET) statement on IVM by the epidemiologist Dr Tess Lawrie, based in the UK. In her comprehensive rebuttal Lawrie identifies an out-of-date, cherry-picked overview that includes inaccurate, illogical and misleading comment, and the exclusion of significant data bases. She says the NCCET statement is “an agenda driven independently of the actual evidence”.

The importance of this evidence-based independent critique of the NCCET statement on IVM is critical, as professional bodies such as the Australian Medical Association and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, public authorities such as the Therapeutic Goods Administration, as well as the press and politicians, accept these views, and base actions on them, without themselves examining the evidence. This accepting approach comes at a cost to infected patients, and confuses doctors charged with treating them.

“After the bubble” is the black-box period that follows the point of “bubble departure”. Yet it is of great importance for us to understand how Covid may affect our community in the longer term, given the profound implications as to how we would manage at personal and national levels. While predictions can be horribly wrong, in many ways Covid has followed a course that reflects the biology of airways infection. It carries added pathogenicity due to an extension of receptors into the gas exchange apparatus, bringing systemic immunity more into play, and the toxicity of the spike protein.

The current “third wave” caused by the Delta strain may be a transition zone to long-term seasonal Covid similar to the pattern for influenza after the 1919 pandemic. The Spanish flu infected at least 500 million with a 10 per cent mortality in three main waves over two years. This is twice the number infected with Covid, and ten times Covid’s mortality. Yet within a year, the pattern of influenza infections had returned to pre-pandemic seasonal influenza levels with a reported rate of about 0.1 per cent and a slight increase in mortality that lingered for fifteen years. There was no influenza vaccine until the late 1940s. Variants, due to antigen drift, maintained viral vigour, short of epidemic disease, until a major antigen change (or “shift”) in 1957, when seventy deaths were reported in Australia.

Population immunity was a critical determinant of this benign course. While the potential lethal possibilities of Covid cannot be forgotten, the Delta variant currently has the mortality of a bad influenza season. Current data from Sweden with its high level of natural immunity, supports the idea that Covid infections in that country are approaching “normal” for influenza. The problem facing Australia is that with its Covid-free management policy, the population is immune-naive, and may struggle making the transition to the “new normal”.

We know from Israeli data that current genetic vaccines do not protect against infection after six months and that their main value is to protect against severe disease. Similar data is emerging from the US, with retention of protection against severe disease, and with hospitalisation thirty times less among those vaccinated. Antibody levels following vaccination fall faster than those in convalescent sera. Immune memory and T-cell immunity persists and a combination of vaccination and infection maintains population immunity.

The current experimental genetic vaccines were introduced purportedly due to the need for speed to develop vaccines in a crisis. They are a basis for “escaping the bubble”, but are not a long-term answer. They produce uncontrolled amounts of spike protein which appear to be linked to a range of adverse effects including death. The reported mortality rates, in excess of thirty per million vaccinations, across agencies in the northern hemisphere, is unacceptable in the longer term. For context, the highest reported number of deaths linked to an influenza vaccine was one per million, which led to its withdrawal. Current reports to VAERS (the US government reporting agency) of post Covid-vaccine deaths at 13,000 (or 65 per million vaccinated) is a concerning signal of toxicity. Adverse events are known to be under-reported and can be coincidental to the vaccine. Deaths temporally associated with Covid vaccines have been analysed by “rules of causation” and post-mortem studies concluding that vaccination may contribute to death in between 40 and 80 per cent of reports. Mechanisms appear to involve immune-mediated damage of host cells expressing spike protein. Subsequent vaccination or natural infection could initiate serious inflammation.

That genetic vaccines are in unknown territory is reflected in warnings from scientists, including Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier, identifying possible long-term outcomes that need study. They point to antibody-enhanced infection and emergence of variant viruses that could promote disease. Pathological outcomes raised include prion disease (including Parkinson’s disease and dementia caused by “prion sequences” within the spike protein), autoimmune disease (due to disturbed immune regulation and spike protein acting as an antigen), vascular disease due to spike protein toxicity to endothelium, and incorporation into host DNA using the cells reverse transcriptase capacity. Recent reviews that emphasise the importance of mutagenicity and transformation studies to screen for carcinogenicity are a reminder that Frank Graham, forty years ago, in Canada, showed adenovirus vectors caused “transformation” in human cells. There is simply insufficient data for long-term decisions. Basic cell research and vaccinology follow separate paths. Before long-term commitment to genetic vaccines, there is an urgent need for vaccine research to come together with mainline cell biology to give confidence on safety. Discussion of manufacturing genetic vaccines in Australia should not progress until these questions are answered.

Vaccination for children is a hot topic. Analysis of Covid in those under twelve indicates that little benefit follows vaccination as children rarely get significant disease, “long Covid” is uncommon, and they are poor transmitters of infection. Vaccination will have little benefit, either for the child or the community. Vaccination for those aged between twelve and eighteen is more difficult to assess, as few get significant illness, and adverse events increase. Resultant myocarditis is concentrated in young males, with figures peaking at 160 per million doses in those aged eighteen to twenty-four. Vaccination of those aged between twelve and eighteen is an individual decision, with no clear evidence of any overall advantage.

It is clear that the biology of Covid infection frames the space in which vaccines can work, and that genetic vaccines are no more effective than classic “antigen vaccines” (with the effective and—to date—safe NovaVax antigen vaccine to be available in Australia later this year). Every effort to develop antigen vaccines using non-spike protein as antigen, must be a goal for long-term vaccine development. Australia should take control of its Covid vaccine production, as it has with influenza.

Australia’s path to escaping its Covid bubble will not be infection free, as demonstrated by the current outbreaks. Vaccination rates at 80 per cent will be hard to achieve, as vigorous campaigns in countries more afflicted by Covid struggle to reach 70 per cent. At 70 to 80 per cent vaccination, Australia must expect infection rates greater than current ones, given the example of other Western countries as they resume “normal” international relationships. Iceland provides a model for Australia, with its maritime border. Its infection rate is a multiple of Australia’s current rate, so despite essentially no deaths it is putting extreme pressure on its medical facilities. Despite a vaccination rate now over 80 per cent, quarantine measures are again discussed, to the point of lockdowns, to protect health services. This is a warning to Australia, that it should adopt wide usage of early drug therapy to complement vaccination to navigate its way out of its bubble.

The biology of Covid infection determines the space for vaccines. It is not surprising to find that the current vaccines fail to protect against infection (while still preventing serious disease) after about six months. The future for the current genetic vaccines must take into account concerning signals of severe adverse events including deaths, reported across the northern hemisphere, due to uncontrolled spike protein synthesis. What is clear, yet resisted by authorities on flawed grounds, is the immediate need for effective and safe drugs for early treatment. Ivermectin, the lead candidate, would facilitate transition out of the bubble, reduce community transmission, serious disease and hospitalisation, and limit the need for any return to lockdowns. The physician’s mantra remains, “There is no alternative treatment, patients get sick and die, the evidence is persuasive, what is there to lose?”

In the longer term, the hoped-for transition is to a situation similar to that of post-Spanish-flu in 1920, characterised by mild-to-moderate seasonal infections, beginning one or two years after the pandemic. The Delta variant may represent a transition phase, as appears likely in Sweden. Australia with its immune naivety may take longer to achieve such an outcome, requiring drug therapy and vaccines to cover the interim period. Mutant variants of Covid remain the unknown, although increasing population immunity should limit the severity of disease in most subjects, as it does with influenza. Seasonal antigen-based vaccines are likely to be paired with influenza vaccines for an annual “shot”, with both including antigens matched to the circulating species.

From a biological viewpoint, clinical outcomes of Covid infection are the balance of the host-parasite (virus) relationship. Over time, as the host acquires immunity and the virus adapts, clinical disease evolves from “the dramatic to the mild”, as did influenza in 1919 and 1920. Sweden appears to be close to achieving this with Covid. Will Australia’s focus on maintaining a Covid-free environment paradoxically delay this transition in Australia?

Professor Clancy is a practising clinical immunologist. He was Foundation Professor of Pathology at the University of Newcastle, where he established the Newcastle Mucosal Immunology Group, identifying mechanisms of airways protection and the pathogenesis of mucosal disease, and discovered new methods of disease control. He contributed the article “COVID-19: Where Are We At and Where Are We Going?” in the July-August issue.

 

38 comments
  • hedge110

    Thank you Professor Robert Clancy. I find myself increasingly frustrated at the delays to the approval and provision of Novavax (NVX-CoV2373) in Australia. One hopes it is not embroiled in politics like everything else to do with this sorry state of affairs. TGA states that they are undertaking a careful rolling review but why so long when the other options were provisionally approved seemingly overnight. The data for NVX-CoV2373 is strong according to the New England Journal of Medicine – https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2107659
    Anyone in Australia wishing to support Novavax approval and freedom of choice can sign this petition – https://www.aph.gov.au/e-petitions/petition/EN3313.

  • Andrew Griffiths

    We are lucky to be able to read Robert Clancy in Quadrant,but it is a pity that mainstream media does not have the sense to bring this information to a wider audience. The ABC as usual is in the forefront of promoting misinformation, as shown in the treatment of IVM in a supposed satire, broadcast on the Friday afternoon radio program TGIF some weeks ago. The resident comics displayed ignorance and malice at more than usual levels for the ABC.

  • Christian

    An excellent letter from journalist from one of Germany’s public broadcaster’s does provide a tiny glimmer of hope that perhaps MSM might start to provide some balanced coverage: (you’ll need to translate it)
    https://multipolar-magazin.de/artikel/ich-kann-nicht-mehr
    I would also be interested in Professor Clancy’s opinion about the Valneva vaccine.
    https://valneva.com/research-development/covid-19-vla2001/
    At this stage, I’m not keen on any vaccine, and whilst Novavax looks promising, from what I understand, it still a ‘spike protein’ jab.

  • rosross

    Vaccination for children would be criminal, utterly criminal. These genetic treatments called vaccines are poorly tested, not fully tested, unapproved and highly experimental in ways never done before. We will not know for years what adverse effects these treatments may have long-term. Adults are meant to look after children so why would we subject them to this experiment when they face zero risk from Covid?

    I doubt anyone in the risk group of very old and very sick with 2-3 co-morbidities would want to see children sacrificed in this way in their name. The hubris in modern science-medicine in regard to vaccines in general and these genetic treatments called vaccines is horrifying. The cavalier approach to experimenting on the entire human population represents the greatest threat to humanity ever. For heaven’s sake, just leave the children alone.

  • Stephen Due

    It should be stressed that Ivermectin is only one component of treatment that reflects the complex pathophysiology of the disease (refs 1, 2). The literature on treatment includes articles by leading US clinicians with extensive experience in treating Covid-19 patients. Notable authors include Paul Marik, Pierre Kory, Peter Mccullough, George Fareed, Brian Tyson, and Vladimir Zelenko.
    Their treatment methods, which vary slightly depending on their experience and professional judgement, are more precisely described as sequential multidrug treatment protocols (ref 3). They typically use either Ivermectin or Hydroxychloroquine in combination with other drugs, most importantly anticoagulants (Aspirin or LMW Heparin). There is also some evidence for the use of simple drug combinations including Ivermectin for Covid-19 prophylaxis.
    It is important to stress the complexity of this disease and its medical treatment because of the widely-publicised failures with Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine reported in the literature: knowledgeable exponents of early treatment for COVID-19 mostly attribute those failures to the use of a single drug when several are required, or incorrect timing of treatment, or both.
    Application of the recommendations published by groups with international standing, such as the FLCCC Alliance, will restore confidence that the disease is readily curable. It is a tragedy, in this regard, that the TGA outlawed the use of Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine, when their effectiveness was clearly demonstrated from an abundance of evidence over a year ago.
    (1) McCullough P et al. Pathophysiological basis and rationale for early outpatient treatment of SARS-Cov-2 (COVID-19) infection. American Journal of Medicine 6 August 2020
    (2) Marik PE et al. Scoping review of the pathophysiology of COVID-19. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology 26 September 2021
    (3) McCullough P et al. Multifaceted highly targeted sequential multidrug treatment of early ambulatory high-risk SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19). Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine 30 December 2020

  • ianl

    Dr. Clancy’s articles here are greatly appreciated for their factual content and sensible forecasts of likely developments.

    >”Seasonal antigen-based vaccines are likely to be paired with influenza vaccines for an annual “shot”, with both including antigens matched to the circulating species”. One can hope this suggestion proves accurate.

  • vickisanderson

    Perhaps one of the most disturbing features of public health policy in Australia is the refusal to acknowledge the declining efficacy of the vaccines. If, as the Israeli study claims, efficacy of Pfizer, for example, retains only 15 % efficacy after six months, then many of the “double vaccinated” will have only marginally more protection than the unvaccinated in the next few months. Yet, our governments and the health czars are bent on “liberating” the vaccinated, & denying the same privileges to the unvaccinated. George Orwell would not be surprised.

  • Stephen Due

    @rosross. Re vaccinating children, the following comes from an article published by Geert Vanden Bossche on his website (geertvandenbossche.org) 9 October 2021. Geert is a lone voice in some respects. However his penetrating analyses of Covid-19 vaccine dynamics in populations, though superficially counter-intuitive, are widely referenced by world-class experts. Here goes:
    “As the mechanism of immune defense in vaccinees is totally different from the one at play in unvaccinated individuals, the mantra of mass vaccination stakeholders that vaccination of youngsters and children will provide them with improved protection from contracting severe disease is a textbook example of scientific nonsense. Their irrational, erroneous extrapolations lead people to believe that they should get their children vaccinated whereas there is barely any more catastrophic immune intervention one could think of.”

  • Stephen Due

    A word to the wise from Geert Vanden Bossche, a world expert on vaccine science. This is the conclusion of a brief piece he posted on his website today:
    “As the original pandemic is now more and more evolving towards a pandemic of more infectious Sars-CoV-2 variants, we have no choice but to immediately implement a pancontinental intervention with broadly effective antivirals and early multi-drug treatment. Given the enhanced evolutionary context of this pandemic, there is no longer any place for non-sterilizing vaccines, let alone for using such vaccines in mass vaccination campaigns.”
    Meanwhile, Australian governments march blindly on, and the people blindly follow.

  • BalancedObservation

    I like the way this article focuses on learning from other countries experience and the fact that managing covid effectively means taking a large number of factors into account, including treatments and natural immunity. These tend to be given less attention here.

    The 70 to 80% 16 plus opening up figures aren’t “magical figures”. They’re far worse than that. They’re murky and misleading figures if you want to compare Australia with other countries to learn from their experiences.

    We should be looking at total population figures . But the trouble with that for the federal government is that it would accurately reflect how badly vaccination has been managed here compared with most OECD countries. It was a PR masterstroke focusing on 16 plus. Most media outlets, even including the leftwing ABC, are describing our vaccine progress in glowing terms – when after all this time and the daily glowing media reports we are still near the bottom of OECD countries on vaccination progress ( We’re 31 out of 38).

    We certainly need to learn from other countries. We should be doing that far more than we are. We’ve relied too heavily on local modelling which has included a lot of data before the emergence of the Delta variant – importantly the Delta variant has a markedly different infection profile than earlier strains.

    One advantage we have is that the virus, including the all important Delta variant took a lot longer to take hold here so we have a lot of experience from other countries to help guide us. We’d be very foolish not to take full advantage of that. But we aren’t.

    One variable in Australia that is likely to differ from the experiences of most other countries is our natural immunity. It’s likely that it’s much lower here than in most countries – we’ve had far less exposure to the virus, far fewer cases and far fewer deaths. The implications of that now are arguably being overlooked. It probably means that to open up safely we need relatively higher vaccination levels than most countries.


    We should probably be undertaking widespread anti body testing to help us quantify this important, possibly critical factor for Australia.


    It’s worth noting that the countries stated in this article have paid a very heavy price in deaths for their natural immunity and their relatively more open societies during covid.
    We need to use their experience to avoid that.

    Even the WA premier – who’s the least likely to open up using the 70% 80% benchmarks – is not arguing for a covid free community. He realises that restrictions are simply buying time until vaccination has reached a level at which the cost of acquiring effective natural immunity is reduced to an acceptable level.


    The US has had 700,000 deaths from covid. Not 630,000 as this article states.


    The US has had 43 million cases not 36 million as this article states.

  • rosross

    @Stephen Due,

    Yes, I have read Geert Van Den Bossche and follow his writings. However, he is but one of many ignored experts who challenge the running narrative. I think the bit which messes with my head is that all of this experimental meddling is totally unnecessary given the recovery rate without treatment ranges from 99.99% with trivial differences for ascending age groups: according to the CDC in the US:

    Under 20 – 99.997%
    Age 20-49 99.98%
    Age 50-69 99.95%
    Over 70 – 95%

    Why mess around like this when there is absolutely no need and the vulnerable group can be protected and, if they choose (bet they do not get to) can have the Jab which might or might not, diminish symptoms?

  • Rebekah Meredith

    Chairman Mark here in WA has, at times, spoken as though he will grant us (at least, the jabbed among us) the great boon of being able again to travel to all the rest of the country (until we’re not); but he has also spoken of not considering any covid deaths acceptable. Other deaths, it seems, ARE acceptable. His preferred position is for zero covid. No kidding! Whether or not any level of vaccination ever satisfies him and his worshipping followers remains to be seen. However, two questions remain.
    Are these rushed, novel, forced vaccines safe?
    Which is worth more: safety (of a dubious nature, in this case) or liberty? As Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

  • BalancedObservation

    Rebekah Meredith

    At one stage all premiers were aiming at zero cases. They all know since the Delta variant that’s clearly and unambiguously not going to be possible. However that won’t stop the WA premier doing all he can to keep cases as close as possible to zero while his state increases its vaccination levels, until it’s safer to open up.

    This is what the WA premier was recently reported saying:

    “It is probably just a difference of months between us and other states (like) Victoria and NSW,” he said.

    “If that means in the interim we don’t have mass deaths … and lots of people losing their jobs, I think the choice is clear.”

    It’s a sensible approach. It’s not like you’re representing it.

    It won’t matter what the PM says – I’m predicting the WA premier will stand firm until he, after consultation with his heath advisors, thinks it’s safe to open up.

    The WA government was re-elected in a landslide largely due to its clearly effective management of covid. And I’m predicting the same will happen at the next election.

    The last landslide election result shows clearly the people of WA are very satisfied with how the WA premier is managing covid. You may not be but the last election result shows you’re highly likely to be in a very small minority.

    As for the safety of the vaccines… there’s an absolutely huge range of thinking among governments in the world on most issues but you couldn’t point to one government to agree with you that large scale vaccination wasn’t necessary to manage covid – and wasn’t safe. And all those governments have a huge range of expert health advisors informing their opinions.

  • Rebekah Meredith

    The fact that the vast majority, if not all, of governments around the world believe in something does not make it right. There was a time that most of the “civilised” world’s governments believed that a state religion was an absolute necessity for a nation’s morals and the state’s stability. Freedom of religion was not a danger just because they said so.
    In addition, the groupthink around the world only increases my suspicion that there is more to all this than just fighting a disease. As you say, it is very rare to have such a general consensus on anything. No vaccine, against any of a list of truly dangerous diseases, has ever been pushed like these jabs are. I don’t know WHAT the real agenda is, but it seems to me that it has to be something besides giving shaky-at-best protection from a disease that is fatal to a tiny portion of those who contract it.
    The people of my state DID vote overwhelmingly for Mr. McGowan (not their local Labor candidate–Mr. McGowan). Shame on us! We used to pride ourselves on our independence, pioneer spirit, and all that. Now our only independence is from the rest of the country at which we thumb our collective nose, like we’ve always accused the rest of the country of doing to us.
    But the biggest problem, to me, in this whole mess, is that we have thrown away the freedom that God gave us, that thousands–no, MILLIONS, going back through our Western heritage–have given their lives to defend. Soldiers and ordinary men, women, and little children have worked, suffered, and died defending the right to worship God as they chose–the right to freedom from arbitrary imprisonment–the right to choose how to earn a living–the right to work to make a better life for their families.
    Despising all of that, and setting up the government, doctors, “experts,” or any other men in the place of God, are far worse dangers than any disease or any vaccine.

  • BalancedObservation

    Rebekah Meredith


    Of course because every government in the world thinks something is right it doesn’t make it right. And because every government in Australia of all political persuasions thinks something is right doesn’t necessarily make it right.

    But It’s highly likely that because every government in the world thinks it’s right it’s likely to be right. Especially considering the depth of expert medical advice governments have.

    The evidence overwhelmingly supports the approach of world governments that mass vaccination has restricted the spread of the virus and saved lives.

    Looking at the recent figures for example in the US and even the recent figures in Australia illustrates that. But there are many people who simply don’t want to believe the facts or the expert advice.


    Your analogy with religion is untenable. And irrelevant. And illogical.


    Because your arguments are so far removed from the facts fortunately no government in this country or anywhere in the world would act on them.

  • Gasman

    From my perspective I find it intriguing that on one hand governments around the world are so pro vaccination yet at the same time so anti early treatment. It seems that they’re not necessarily anti early treatment per-se, they’re seemingly anti early treatment drugs that are off patent and seemingly pro early treatment drugs that are under patent.
    Personally I think our government needs to implement an early treatment program now.
    Not sure the exact form that takes but given that Ivermectin has such a low side effect rate I think that is probably the cornerstone to the whole thing. But will they do it? It’s hard to think of a reason why not

  • Citizen Kane

    ‘The evidence overwhelmingly supports the approach of world governments that mass vaccination has restricted the spread of the virus and saved lives.’ Wow – blind ignorance and a distinct inability to assimilate what they have just read masking as a facade of Balanced Observation! You clearly haven’t understood a single part of the article. Vaccination has had no discernible effect on the spread of the virus, which is why Professor Clancy focused on a number of highly vaccinated countries in the article to demonstrate this. Add to this the fact that the mDNA & mRNA vaccines have a very limited temporal efficacy for disease severity, have an unacceptable risk profile and will likely have even less efficacy against new strains, as all articulated by Professor Clancy in the article.
    ‘Looking at the recent figures for example in the US and even the recent figures in Australia illustrates that.’ Really? As recently as mid September 2021 US intensive care admissions from Covid were on a rolling 7 day average of over 25000 per day. with 55% of the population fully vaccinated. This has only been surpassed once, briefly in January 2021. In mid September rolling 7 day case averages were 175 000 per day, again only surpassed at one other point in the entire pandemic, in January 2021. The US had a lower 7 day rolling average of cases, deaths and hospitalisations the whole of 2020 before any vaccines were available. Now lets look at Australia, shall we. The current rolling 7 day case average in Australia (in the midst of lockdowns and high vaccination uptake) is 2 200 per day. The highest it was at any point in 2020 in the absence of any vaccines was a rolling 7 day average of 550 cases per day! ‘But there are many people who simply don’t want to believe the facts or the expert advice.’ Indeed there is! I suggest you re-read the article.

  • BalancedObservation

    Citizen Kane

    Pressure on ICUs in the US was worst in the south of the country where vaccination is lowest. It went from something like 20 % utilization to 95% in a matter of weeks. ICU pressure was lower in parts of the country with higher vaccination levels.

    We are also starting to feel pressure on ambulance services and ICUs in Sydney and Melbourne. It’s an ominous warning not to open up prematurely.

    The heavy pressure on ICUs in the south of the US and in Sydney and Melbourne is likely to be a combination of the Delta variant and an insufficient level of vaccination. Such pressure follows high case numbers with a lag.

    Recently vaccination levels have increased in NSW faster than Victoria and are now at a higher level than Victoria and new covid cases per day have dropped and in Victoria where vaccination levels are lower than NSW cases continue to rise. You can see the trend every night in the news. It’s very clear.

    Recently for many weeks new covid cases in the US continued to rise on a 14 day change basis and so did deaths. However vaccination levels have now hit 56% of the population in the US after stringent efforts to lift levels including mandating and incentives. As that has happened cases have begun to plateau. The key variable that has changed to achieve that is the vaccination level. Neither treatments nor natural immunity would have changed in that relatively short timeframe.

    But the number of new cases per day in the US is still high. Today the figure was 96,549. And new deaths were 2000. While those figures represent an improved trend they are a serious warning to Australia that starting to open up at 56% of our total population vaccinated is likely to be too early.

    If we did open up too early the equivalent number of cases in Australia on a population basis would be around 7896 per day and deaths would be 156 per day. At those figures it’s not going to take too long to firstly completely overwhelm medical services and then go well past our total death toll so far in the pandemic. The pressure is being felt now at well below those numbers.

    The figures are likely to be worse that these proportional ones because our natural immunity is likely to be far lower than in the US. We’ve had far less exposure to the virus – far fewer cases and far fewer deaths on a population basis. So far…


    The debate will be over when we see the impact of starting to open up at 56% of our total population vaccinated. I hope I’m wrong but I’d argue the recent experience in the US and the recent experience in Sydney and in Melbourne arguably supports what I’m saying. Time will tell.

  • Citizen Kane

    BO. You are wrong and you will continue to be wrong. California has the highest vaccination uptake in the US and is now battling its highest daily case loads and hospitalisations since the pandemic begun. India’s Delta case load and hospitalisations fell off a cliff in May 2021 with just 2% of the population fully vaccinated and remain relatively low to this day, demonstrating that natural immunity is far superior to the largely ineffective vaccines as also demonstrated in Sweden. Your analysis fails to appreciate that the mRNA & mDNA vaccines make zero difference to spread of the virus as they offer very little humoral immunity in the upper respiratory tracts mucosa, meaning that vaccinated individuals often harbour higher virus loads and are more contagious than the unvaccinated.

    If the key variable for change of transmission is vaccination rates, why has that variable failed in the UK & Israel?

    You also fail to appreciate that even the limited efficacy that these vaccines offer wanes in as little as 3 months, meaning the US will suffer a significant increase in cases with the approaching northern hemisphere winter irrespective of vaccination rates. The majority of people will turn their backs on booster shots as they become aware of the vaccines futility and the increasing risk profile of additional mRNA & mDNA vaccine shots, again noted in Prof. Clancy’s article. You also fail to appreciate that in older cohorts vaccinated hospitalisations outstrip unvaccinated hospitalisations as experienced in the UK in recent times. So by all means hang onto your vaccination fantasy if it makes you happy, but on balance your opinion is wrong.

  • Stephen Due

    @Balanced Observation.
    The rate of hospitalisation and death from this disease in healthy people under 60 is negligible, Therefore they do not need to be vaccinated. The argument for mass vaccination cannot be sustained.
    The current rate of hospitalisation and death is an artifact resulting from the failure to treat the disease aggressively in its early stage. Effective treatments are not being used by GPs.
    Early treatment of the sick by family doctors is unquestionably the best public health strategy for dealing with this disease, as with every other endemic, seasonal viral illness.
    Tyrannical measures such as lockdowns and forced mass vaccination are not harmless. On the contrary they come with considerable health, social and economic costs. Sound public health policy preserves freedom, personal responsibility and medical autonomy.

  • STD

    Rebekah, as mentioned previously here, I bumped into an old Italian bloke in the supermarket a while back, his comment to me was that there is more to this than we’re being told on the face of it. When an Italian smells a rat, there’s a rat.
    It’s high time that we the common folk purge the mainstream political parties, Labor greens and liberals of this morally inept elitist buffoonery . Where have all the good descent people gone?

  • MargieCJ

    Christian (10.10.2021) you said, “At this stage, I’m not keen on any vaccine, and whilst NovaVax looks promising, from what I understand, it still a ‘spike protein’ jab.”

    I am anxiously waiting for NovaVax modern antigen vaccine which “can rapidly be adapted to emerging mutants, which is important for long-term vaccine strategy.” (Prof Robert Clancy). I just hope it is not being deliberately held up by the TGA.

    The following is an explanation of the difference between the mRNA & DNA vaccines and Novavax. It is from my husband, a retired pathologist:-
    “With the genetic vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna or Astra Zeneca, human cells are given the recipe to make the spike protein, and it is uncertain how and when the cells will stop making the spike protein. The DNA vaccine, Astra Zeneca vaccine, once inside the cell, leads to the production of messenger RNA (mRNA). The mRNA vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna, skip this step. The ribosomes in the cytoplasm of the cell read the code on the mRNA and produce the corresponding protein molecule, in this case the spike protein.

    To develop immunity, various lymphocytes will produce antibodies to the spike protein and some become ‘killer’ cells which will neutralise the virus and also attack human cells which have attached spike protein. It is the latter which leads to concerns about the long-term dangers of these genetic vaccines.

    With the NovaVax, you are given a single dose of spike protein which leads to antibody production. Human cells will develop the memory to make antibodies to the spike protein if they are exposed to it later by infection with the virus. Without the genetic information, the human cells cannot make the spike protein themselves.”

  • BalancedObservation

    Citizen Kane


    The simple fact is that the growth in the number of cases and deaths in the US continues to fall as vaccinations rise. This is as the weather starts to cool there. Your prediction that rates will rise significantly when Winter arrives remains to be seen. We’ll see. I think the opposite will happen if vaccination rates continue to rise. I think the current trend will continue. We’ll see who’s right when Winter arrives.

    Both deaths and cases in the US had been rising after the impact of the Delta variant until the 56% vaccination figure was reached following mandating of vaccination in a number of categories, sanctions and incentives.

    Consistent with the new trend the 14 change average is down again today for both deaths and cases in the US.

    Cases yesterday were 96,549, today they’re 89,526 – that’s down 24% on a 14 change basis. Deaths yesterday were 2000, today they’re 1853 – that’s down 10% on a 14 change basis.

    Until the higher vaccination figure had been hit after the impact of Delta, cases and deaths had been rising. They aren’t now. The variable that has changed to get this down is the level of vaccinations.


    The total US statistics give a clearer picture. California has a high number of cases but it’s testing rate is high. It’s deaths per head of population are relatively low compared with the rest of the US.

    Israel made a mistake in lifting restrictions as Delta arrived. However, the rate of serious cases in Israel is double for unvaccinated under-60s and nine times higher for unvaccinated over-60s, so vaccines remain highly protective against severe outcomes.

    Hard to argue with those facts.

    I’m not arguing against natural immunity as you seem to be implying. Of course natural immunity is good. It always is. But the cost of reaching natural immunity has been very high for a country like Sweden which you mention.

    They realised that themselves when they reversed an earlier approach aimed at achieving herd immunity quickly ( So incidentally did the UK.) Sweden’s approach has been markedly different from ours. They’d had strong faith in herd immunity and a far far lighter hand with restrictions than we’ve had.

    Their deaths to covid are 14,905. Our deaths to covid have been 1432. If we’d had the same death rate per head of population as Sweden we would have had 36,000 deaths . That’s a lot of avoidable deaths we’ve dodged with the sensible approach Australia has generally taken – an approach which has the overwhelming support of Australians.

    Vaccination and much harder restrictions than most countries have been used in Australia to buy time until vaccination has reached a level at which the cost of acquiring effective natural immunity is reduced to an acceptable level. Following Sweden’s approach would arguably have cost Australia about 35,000 avoidable deaths. We’d have higher natural immunity but at a very high cost. I’d argue an unacceptably high cost.

  • BalancedObservation

    Stephen Due

    The rate of hospitalization in NSW recently has actually been far higher for under 60s than over 60s. Around 70% of hospitalizations were under 60.

    And only 1.7% of those hospitalized were unvaccinated.

  • BalancedObservation

    Have to correct that. Only 1.7 % were vaccinated. So of those admitted to hospital 98.3% were unvaccinated.

  • Citizen Kane

    BO.
    Demonstrate to me any case incidence data from anywhere around the globe at anytime during the pandemic, pre or post vaccine introduction, that hasn’t shown the same modal peak of incidence characterised by a relatively sharp incline and equally sharp decline? This is why I raised the India example which you simply left unaddressed because it doesn’t fit your ‘narrative’.
    You make the classic pseudo-science mistake of confusing correlation with causation. You do so, because you presuppose a number of attributes that are not reflective of the real-world dynamics. Namely that the vaccines infer sterilising immunity and are effective in reduced transmission which they are patently not and that their efficacy, which you presuppose to be universal, is uniform across an indefinite temporal domain, which they are most definitely not. You also fail to consider that ineffective sterilising vaccines may well drive viral mutation and ever increasing ‘resistant’ variants.
    The US as a whole conducted an equal amount of daily tests on 06 Oct 2021 as it did on 08 November 2020. On 06 October 2021 it recorded 111 338 new cases while on 08 Nobvember 2020 it recorded 114 764 new cases, the former with close to 60% double vaccination the later with 0% vaccination – so there goes that ‘fact’ out the window.
    When comparing the impact of Australia’s interventions on COVID mortality one needs to consider any excess to ‘all cause deaths’.
    • There were 71,503 deaths that occurred in the six months between January and June 2021 and were registered by 31 August.
    • This is 4,199 deaths (6.2%) more than the 2015-19 average
    • No correlation exists between these statistics and deaths directly attributable to COVID 19.
    Excess ‘all cause deaths’ have been running between -5% & -2% on the 2016 – 2019 average in Sweden since March 2021. The Australian excess death figures and direct COVID death figures still have a long way to play out as does the political fallout of Australia’s totalitarian approach to delaying the inevitable. Your logic is the same that drove the moronically out of touch policy that thought COVID elimination was possible and has created so much social dislocation in the pursuit of that folly. You were monumentally wrong the first time and you will be monumentally wrong all over again with a failed (mRNA/ mDNA) vaccination policy as sub-optimal efficacy wanes even further and people wake up and reject and endless conga line of booster jabs. Novavax vaccine, and other ‘antigen mediating’ vaccines like it, may provide a circuit breaker to that scenario.

  • BalancedObservation

    Citizen Kane

    Of those admitted to hospital with covid in Sydney recently 98.3% were unvaccinated.

  • Citizen Kane

    BO
    That is a meaningless comment – what timeframe is ‘recently’ 6 hours? 6 days? 6 months?
    Up to 24 September 2021 approx 30% of those who have died of COVID in NSW were either single jabbed or double jabbed. So that would mean if your above 1.7% statistic was consistent over any kind of meaningful timeframe then if you have been vaccinated and you do become seriously ill you are in fact far more likely to die! Go figure!!

  • MargieCJ

    The fact that the TGA or any other Australian health authority have not mandated, at the very least, for an opt in trial for anyone who tests positive of the Virus (and their immediate contacts), demonstrates a serious lack of desire to find alternative ways to move forward to reduce the impact of this virus.

    Why are there no trials reported in Australia of possibly very effective treatments for people who test positive? There are credible reports that IVM (Ivermectin) can reduce, and can prevent, the illness produced by the CCP virus. Thousands of Australians are being tested every day for the COVID-19 virus. Those who test POSITIVE should not be sent home. They should immediately be given the IVM and ZINC treatment and then sent home for 14 days. If that treatment does not work, they need to call an ambulance and go to hospital.
    The Government and its advisors should take note of the following extremely important studies:-

    “Ivermectin obliterates 97 percent of Delhi cases.”
    By Justus R. Hope, MD
    June 1st 2021
    https://www.thedesertreview.com/news/national/ivermectin-obliterates-97-percent-of-delhi-cases/article_6a3be6b2-c31f-11eb-836d-2722d2325a08.html

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/09/huge-uttar-pradesh-india-announces-state-covid-19-free-proving-effectiveness-deworming-drug-ivermectin/

  • BalancedObservation

    Citizen Kane I don’t know if your statistic that 30% of those who have died from covid had at least one shot is true or not. It becomes pointless chasing every little bit of data down. But even if it were true that would mean 70% who have died from covid were unvaccinated. It would probably a lot worse than that because health authorities advise that to get protection two jabs are required – you are not fully vaccinated without two jabs. If I weren’t vaccinated I’d be very concerned to see that presented by someone who was clearly opposed to vaccination.

    All the health authorities and governments in Australia and throughout the world are convinced of the importance of vaccination. And the pro vaccination policies in Australia have the overwhelming support of the Australian people.

    Why? Because the evidence overwhelmingly supports the importance of vaccination.

    There will always be people who don’t accept the evidence. That’s obviously a fact of life. A number are even prepared to be violent in support of their anti vaccination views. We’ve seen that unfortunately on our streets. There are others who go to extraordinarily convoluted arguments to prove their strongly held personal views against vaccination in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    It becomes too time consuming for very little or no gain to try to convince people oppposed to vaccination when all governments, all government health authorities in Australia and the overwhelming majority of Australians recognise the importance of vaccination. There’s little benefit.

    The current covid pandemic in Western countries is largely becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated. If you doubt what I say do your own research looking at hard facts. It’s overwhelmingly the case.

    My biggest concern is not that some are still opposed to vaccination – that’s inevitable. However my biggest concern is when we do open up in Australia there’s a very good chance that our hospitals are going to be overwhelmed with unvaccinated covid patients. It will not only put the lives of the unvaccinated covid patients at risk but many others who are vaccinated, who don’t have covid but urgently need hospital care.

    I’m also concerned that because Australia has handled covid initially very well, so far avoiding the huge death toll most other countries have experienced – we’ve become complacent about opening up. We overlook that with that success we are very likely to have a lower natural immunity to the virus than most countries – because we’ve had far less exposure to the virus, far fewer deaths and far fewer cases than most countries.

    We are planning to open up at a vaccination level ( 56% of total population vaccinated) around which other countries are experiencing problems. The US is a key case in point even though the situation is starting to improve there since the 56% target was reached. Because of our likely lower natural immunity we need a margin above the vaccination levels of countries like the US to be safe.

    We also have a false impression – given to us from daily glowing reports of vaccination levels – that vaccination is really now at acceptable levels in Australia. But today we are still near the bottom on vaccination progress among OECD countries. We are ranked 31/38 on vaccination progress despite all the glowing daily media reports.

    Very concerning pressure on hospitals and ambulance services in Melbourne and Sydney is a warning to us that we should heed when considering starting to open up the country at a vaccination level of 56%. It’s sobering to note that this recent pressure on hospitals is in a lockdown situation.


    If you’ve been reading here and have an open mind on vaccination and still some doubts don’t simply believe what I say or others here say, do your own research. You’ll find the facts are overwhelmingly in favour of being vaccinated.

  • Christian

    MargieCJ
    Thanks for your reply.

  • Lewis P Buckingham

    BA
    ‘70% who have died from covid were unvaccinated.’
    Within the cohort of the vaccinated persons who died would have to be the ‘early adopters’ the aged and immune suppressed, which skews the statistics.
    These were more likely to die of covid in the first place.
    Some were dying, especially when the virus got into aged care and palliative care areas.
    Just because ? 30% died, partly or fully vaccinated, does not mean that this statistic can be applied across the whole Australian population.
    So I agree with you.
    The medical narrative though, is very cogent.
    If vaccinated you are much less likely to end up on a ventilator.
    So vaccination is about stopping the hospital systems collapsing and reducing the morbidity a bit, not preventing the disease or wiping it out.
    My own POV is that I and my staff will all get it or a variant, sometime.
    So I am working outside as much as possible to reduce the antigenic load of this ‘wild’ virus.
    Hopefully with a lower dose of the virus, we will be more likely to throw it off our ‘mucosal barriers’.
    ‘Of those admitted to hospital with covid in Sydney recently 98.3% were unvaccinated.’
    This is true but the problem was that the unvaccinated panicked and many presented into outpatients with trivial symptoms.
    As a result whole areas were modified to take the influx.
    They were admitted and observed to be treated.

  • Citizen Kane

    BO,

    This is not a debate about the effectiveness of vaccination per se, it is a debate about the efficacy and safety profile of mRNA & mDNA vaccines. I personally have had every vaccine under the sun and administered many hundreds to others. The foundation of the scientific method relies on a number of cornerstones, one of which is falsifiability. India (amongst many other examples globally) falsifies your ‘vaccination as the only change variable’ hypothesis. Thats how science works.

    All you offer in this debate is a lack of critical thinking that sounds like a flag waving football fan of government policy irrespective of the fact that the first major tranche of that policy, Covid elimination, failed miserably at an enormous social, medical/health and economic cost. In a period not long from now, the Covid pandemic will not be one perpetuated by an epidemic of the unvaccinated, but rather of those who are vaccinated and in short order are once again susceptible to serious illness. This is not just about a temporal cross section analysis of the statistics in the here and now, its about understanding the dynamics at play to gain valuable insight into how the situation will progress.

    If a vaccine cannot achieve sterilising immunity, and allows for the virus to still harbour and reproduce in the vaccinated host and be transmitted from the vaccinated host to other vaccinated and unvaccinated hosts then herd immunity will not be achieved no matter how high your vaccination rates and the virus will simply go underground for a period before re-emerging with a renewed infectious vigor, due both to the likely fact that it will have mutated and host susceptibility will have waned in the vaccinated (but probably not so much in the previously infected). We have the influenza virus (and other coronaviruses) to demonstrate this dynamic every other year, inspite of high influenza vaccination rates. You simply fail to learn from such prescient examples right under your nose.

    I fear you cannot see the forest for all the flag waving trees!

  • Citizen Kane

    P.S. Even with elevated hospitalisations in the US with Delta, only one state has more than 25% of its ICU beds occupied by Covid cases as of 07 October and that is Arizona. So fear mongering around ICU overload,using US as an example is greatly overblown. Guess which state has an increasing Covid ICU bed occupation over a 14 day rolling average – California – with one of the highest vaccination rates in the country.

  • BalancedObservation

    Of covid cases in hospital in Victoria yesterday 91% were not vaccinated.

    This was announced by Victoria’s Chief Medical Officer on the ABC news tonight.

    What do people need to convince them to get vaccinated?

    Please get vaccinated if you’re not already, so that our hospital systems are not overwhelmed and you don’t risk dying from covid unnecessarily.

  • Citizen Kane

    Just a recycled plea from: please people just lock yourself in your homes and abandon your livelihoods, cease your children’s education, abandon attendance at your loved ones funeral, be ostracised from elderly relatives in their final days and disregard any death that is not COVID and we will eliminate this virus for good! It’s for your own good!

    By all means get vaccinated, that is your prerogative but don’t ever be coerced by the self serving arguments of politicians and government bureaucrats who are primarily focused on political outcomes and arse covering with minimal personal sacrifices of their own.

  • Gasman

    Balanced Opinion, what’s your verdict on the evidence for Ivermectin?
    Worth giving it a go like Robert Clancy suggests?

  • MargieCJ

    A new study published 12.10.2021 using a new treatment with a naturally occurring hormone.

    “The Effect of Melatonin on Thrombosis, Sepsis and Mortality Rate in COVID-19 Patients”
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1201971221007980

    Ha! but will our Australian politicians and their advisors take any notice of it?

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