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Thread: Questions about vaccines

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    Contributor repoman's Avatar
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    Questions about vaccines

    I am being a bit lazy by not searching on my own, but there are a lot of people much more learned about this topic than me here. Also, I think these are useful questions.

    First is the class of virus that Covid-19 belongs to poorly or very amenable for making vaccines to it?

    Second, let's say there was an influenza strain similarly deadly to the 1918 pandemic once again. Also the prepared vaccine for that flu season was a very poor match for that strain. How long would it take to make and distribute a new vaccine for it?

    Third, I got this from another thread:

    https://talkfreethought.org/showthre...l=1#post776094

    It also has impacts on the immune system in some cases. So every time you get a version of it, it might end up wiping out your immunity to other things, including past versions.
    I am not sure what this means.

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    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    The "common cold" is a coronaviral disease (or rather, a group of similar coronaviral diseases). There has been decades of research and billions of dollars spent looking for both a vaccine and an effective treatment for the common cold; And all we have to show for it is symptomatic relief via such things as paracetamol (acetaminophen) and aspirin, none of which shortens the course of the disease, nor protects against its spread.

    Covid-19 is obviously different from the common cold in a number of ways; But it seems likely that it will be similarly difficult to find an effective treatment or preventive medicine (including a vaccine).

    Influenza is likely a much less useful model in our attempts to understand how to manage Covid-19. It's lethality makes it a better model for the effects of the disease on both populations and the healthcare system; But this shouldn't be mistaken for implying that treatment or prevention will be similarly easy (or difficult) to achieve.

    We can vaccinate against influenza, albeit with difficulty; And we now have influenza specific antiviral medications such as Tamiflu and Relenza, that can actively fight an infection. None of this is true of the common cold causing coronaviruses, despite similar levels of effort.

    The unthinking and uninformed faith we see from various world leaders, that emergency measures need only last until a vaccine is available and has been widely distributed and used (with the implication that this will take weeks, or at most, months to achieve) is a great compliment to the effectiveness of medical science in the last century. There's a feeling that the scientists can cure anything, once it's been identified and the funds made available to find a vaccine or treatment. But that's really never been true. Epidemiologists and virologists are much, much less confident than politicians and the public about this.

    To invert the words of Arthur C Clarke, any technology that is distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.

    A vaccine (or a cure) may be decades, or centuries, away. Or might not even be possible at all. The universe is under no obligation to include a formula for killing covid-19 without killing the patient as well.

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    Contributor repoman's Avatar
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    Thanks.

    Is it possible that for healthy people fighting off Covid-19 quickly or getting extremely sick has to do with which coronavirus strains the patient had in the past?

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    Elder Contributor barbos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by repoman View Post
    Thanks.

    Is it possible that for healthy people fighting off Covid-19 quickly or getting extremely sick has to do with which coronavirus strains the patient had in the past?
    It's doubtful that there are many people who have not had every single imaginable common cold virus in the past. Maybe some isolated amazon tribes.
    Immunity against common cold does not last long anyway, maybe having common cold corona-virus just before COVID-19 helps but I would be doubtful

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    ...
    A vaccine (or a cure) may be decades, or centuries, away. Or might not even be possible at all. The universe is under no obligation to include a formula for killing covid-19 without killing the patient as well.
    Interesting. Are there vaccines for any coronaviruses? My search indicates nothing yet for severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) or Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers) (aka the Saudi Arabian virus, but let's not tell Trump that).
    Last edited by Treedbear; 03-25-2020 at 05:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    ...
    A vaccine (or a cure) may be decades, or centuries, away. Or might not even be possible at all. The universe is under no obligation to include a formula for killing covid-19 without killing the patient as well.
    Interesting. Are there vaccines for any coronaviruses? My search indicates nothing yet for severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) or Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers) (aka the Saudi Arabian virus, but let's not tell Trump that).
    There is one vaccine for a coronavirus--but it's for chickens, not people. Thus it has never been subjected to the testing that would be expected for anything being put into people. Israel is using it as a base to work from to try to make a vaccine for Covid-19.

    There was a SARS vaccine that was ready for human trials but they were scrapped as there was no SARS about at that point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    ...
    A vaccine (or a cure) may be decades, or centuries, away. Or might not even be possible at all. The universe is under no obligation to include a formula for killing covid-19 without killing the patient as well.
    Interesting. Are there vaccines for any coronaviruses? My search indicates nothing yet for severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) or Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers) (aka the Saudi Arabian virus, but let's not tell Trump that).
    I never knew what Mers stood for. Huh. So, what is going to be the new name for it, because racism?

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    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebeave View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    ...
    A vaccine (or a cure) may be decades, or centuries, away. Or might not even be possible at all. The universe is under no obligation to include a formula for killing covid-19 without killing the patient as well.
    Interesting. Are there vaccines for any coronaviruses? My search indicates nothing yet for severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) or Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers) (aka the Saudi Arabian virus, but let's not tell Trump that).
    I never knew what Mers stood for. Huh. So, what is going to be the new name for it, because racism?
    MERS has never spread significantly outside the Middle East, so it's name reflects that fact. If Covid-19 had never spread significantly outside China, then it would be descriptive, rather than racist, to call it "the Chinese virus". But it has, so it's not.

    To refer to MERS as "the Saudi Arabian virus" is similarly insulting to calling Covid-19 "the Chinese virus". Of course, people have always loved to blame foreigners for diseases.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    The way things are going here in the states we're about to rename the current virus Trump virus. However Mardi Gras virus and Florida spring virus are still in the running.

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