Rasmus Faber-Espensen


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Impact of delaying vaccinations on the total number of deaths

Great to get a rough estimate of this. I had been wondering the same thing.

But at least in my country (Denmark), vaccinations are limited by the supply. The infrastructure has already been expanded to be able to handle the much higher rate of vaccinations that we will hopefully get later in the year, when the production has ramped further up.

So, I would expect that the temporary halt will be followed by a period of higher activity, where the unused supply is used.

Sort of like this: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10AzZMJFIDt-cZUUI2MmHLHsU7gSJWj2gpAJlzi5Z08s/edit?usp=sharing , which gives a much lower cost (but still much more than one extra death).

Covid 2/11: As Expected

We remove false claims about how and where COVID-19 can be transmitted and who can be infected. This includes: [..] Claims that COVID-19 can be transmitted from anything other than human-to-human transmission

Interestingly, the Danish version of the Facebook policy page does not include this clause (only forbidding claims about transmission by mosquitoes).

So I guess we actually can discuss why we culled 17 million minks (we just have to avoid discussing it with our English speaking friends).

Covid 2/4: Safe and Effective Vaccines Aplenty

I have tried to investigate and after much search (and having a question on r/askscience about it closed due to this being easily googleable) this is a summary of what I have found:

Apparently the mutation in the spike protein and the receptor binding domain lets the virus 'easier' bind to the ACE2 receptor sites and thus infect the cells.

So for a given amount of exposure you have a higher risk of getting infected with B.1.1.7 as compared to the old strain.

So bad news, I guess. There does not seem to be any low-hanging fruit here. Only harder restrictions (and more vaccinations) will help.

Best sources was this: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.12.24.20248822v2.full.pdf and this: https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/kjo7zm/how_do_experts_come_to_know_that_the_recent/

Covid 2/4: Safe and Effective Vaccines Aplenty

So it is clear that B.1.1.7, the English strain, is more transmissible than the old strain.

But what do we know about the methods of the increased transmissibility?

Do you need less exposure to the new strain to get infected? (Less time? Less amount of virus?) Do the virus persist in the air for longer time? Do the virus transmit more via different pathways?

We started out by using the protections that worked best against the flu: lots of handwashing, disinfecting surfaces etc. We adjusted this when we learned more about Covid-19: masks reduces transmission etc. Is there anything we can adjust to protect better against the English strain? Is it just strictly more infectious, or is it also that it is better than the old strain at transmitting through a specific pathway that we have not been protecting as much?

Covid 1/21: Turning the Corner

The newest report estimates the reproduction number (R) for all types of Covid-19 in Denmark to 0.64 (95% CI [0.56 ; 0.73]) and for B.1.1.7 to 1.07 (95% CI [0.83 ; 1.32]). This translates to a relative reproduction number of 1.67. B.1.1.7 is now 12.1% of tested samples. It looks like it will dominate in 3-4 weeks at which point we should expect infections to start rising again.

The report also contains some interesting details about how they estimate the reproduction numbers (rolling poisson regression with beta correction).

What if we all just stayed at home and didn’t get covid for two weeks?

I think this is a major obstacle: Natural reservoirs. Covid-19 is transmittable between species.

Covid 1/21: Turning the Corner

To be fair, Pfizer has reduced deliveries to all countries that follow EMA guidelines, even those that haven't been able to consistently extract 6 doses per vial. I guess they are just hard-pressed to deliver the vaccines they have promised, and are thus seizing this as an excuse to reduce the deliveries.

Covid 1/21: Turning the Corner

Denmark's SSI is now estimating the relative reproduction number for B.1.1.7 to 1.36. Since Denmark now has R=0.6 with the current restrictions, this should mean that B.1.1.7 infections here is currently falling.

In less good news: Denmark was from the beginning extracting 6-7 doses per vial of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, sensibly ignoring EMA's guidelines only permitting 5 doses per vial. The Danish plan for vaccinations thus took the extra doses into account. But Pfizer has now informed Denmark that since they are extracting extra doses from the vials, they will reduce the deliveries accordingly (since the contracts specified number of doses and not vials), thus forcing Denmark to make a new slower plan.

As for that plan, I can't help getting a bit worried when I see the jump in expected weekly vaccine deliveries jump from 85,000 in week 13, the last week with confirmed deliveries, to 750,000 in week 14, the first week with only forecasts.