Covid: the shape of things to come

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Israel, at present the most vaccinated country with over 60% of the population fully vaccinated (primarily the Pfizer vaccine), is still seeing a concerning number of cases. The UK is reporting that the beta variant, although apparently less infectious than the delta strain, is showing breakthrough infections in their (AstraZeneca) vaccinated population. Significant chunks of the USA still have fairly low vaccination rates (Alabama 33% fully vaccinated, Mississippi 33%, Arkansas 35%, Louisiana 35%, ...) and a large part of the world south of the Tropic of Cancer is either entirely unvaccinated or vaccinated at very low rates. The alleged lower effectiveness of some of the non-Western vaccines is another issues of concern. In short, conditions are favorable for yet more mutations, some of which could be even more successful at bypassing the immunity offered by current vaccines. My suspicion is that we'll be back to mandated masking indoors in the USA and perhaps some forced closings by September if not sooner.
 

spaceconvoy

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My suspicion is that we'll be back to mandated masking indoors in the USA and perhaps some forced closings by September if not sooner.
This seems doubtful to me... We're starting to realize that no amount of incentives will be enough to get a sizable chunk of the population vaccinated. Parents who have been vaccinated for nearly a half year by the time school starts will not suffer another semester of remote learning. Since the vaccine refusers seem to be content to die for their freedoms, I feel like there will be a collective shrug, "oh well, we tried."

In short, conditions are favorable for yet more mutations, some of which could be even more successful at bypassing the immunity offered by current vaccines.
This is the only thing I can see changing the calculation. If the variations don't get worse than the flu (for vaccinated people) I feel like this pandemic will soon become normalized as an endemic. The US will be stuck in limbo for the rest of the summer, some places as wild as Florida and others as cautious as LA, while watching the UK experiment unfold. As callous as it sounds, I don't think that even significantly increased deaths among the unvaccinated will prevent schools from opening this fall, unless there's some truly dreadful mutation.
 

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O not just Israel, the next wave is here, at least it's all over Europe. IMO however there is one major a difference from the previous waves....and that is ICU admissions are much lower, likely due to the vaccination rate. Positive test means someone has the disease, it does not tell us how bad these patients are affected.

I think we should continue to make speed with making vaccination available to the global population, if only to alleviate the current known variants until we have a handle on logistics of production and distribution and we can predict what the next mutation is, much like the flu.

Having any serious number of folks vaccinated in countries where vaccination is a choice, for those who did not opt...I'd say live happily with the consequences. I am all for freedom, independence and all that, there is another side to that too; regular hospital care is backlogged like H%$##...people are dying and suffering due treatments being delayed.
Aside from that enormous backlog there is a maximum to the depth to which the state coffers can be drained. At some point tax will have to be paid to replenish hole created by COVID relief funding.
 

Michi

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I live in a place that has been held up (together with New Zealand) as the shining light of effective infection control.

About four weeks ago, a driver who ferried three or four air crew from the airport to their quarantine hotel ended up getting infected by one of the air crew. The driver was not vaccinated (yes, really), nor was there any requirement for him to be vaccinated (yes, really, really).

Now, about a month later, about one half of Australia's population is under lock-down because one person was all it took to spread the virus into the community. It does not help that the delta variant is far more infectious than any of the variants that preceded it. People have managed to infect someone else within 36 hours of getting infected themselves. That doesn't leave our contact tracers much of a chance :(

Moreover, as of now, about 13% of the Australian population has had two doses of a vaccine. Yes, you read that right: 13%. And about one third of the population has had one shot. Never mind that that many other first-world countries can boast of vaccination rates of 50% and more.

Also, anyone aged below 40 years is currently ineligible to get the (Astra Zeneca) vaccine, unless that person opts against the advice of our vaccine advisory body and chooses to take the vaccine "with informed consent," regardless. What that means is that the person takes a (very small) risk of ending up with a potentially serious blood clotting problem. (Never mind that the risk of dying from Covid is many times higher than the risk of getting a blood clot from the Astra Zeneca vaccine.) But, basically, if you are under forty here, you are screwed.

The Pfizer vaccine (the only other vaccine in Australia) is in extremely short supply. Someone below 40 years of age has essentially zero chance of getting that vaccine right now, unless they camp outside a vaccination centre and get lucky to receive one of the left-over doses at the end of the day because there were a few no-shows.

In short, as spectacularly good as Australia's response has been in controlling the spread of the disease, as shockingly poor has been the vaccination effort.

And now we have delta on the loose. New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia are under strict lock-down. That works out to well over half the country's population.Today, we had yet more infections spring up in Queensland, so we may be next in line.

This time, I'm afraid that the virus may well have got the better of us. We had too many close shaves already. With more than 90% of the Australian population being near-enough defenseless (with either no dose or a single dose), this may turn out to be very serious indeed.

I do hope that I'm wrong.
 
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MarcelNL

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What is clear is that the chance of getting infected is going up with the delta variant, what is also clear (assuming Fauci and others in control in the US have their numbers right, I for one do trust those numbers) is that 99.5% of current Covid related deaths in the US are non vaccinated people, and 97% of Covid related hospitalizations are non vaccinated people. Those numbers do not mean that delta is more dangerous.
I haven't seen any indication that the virus' morbidity/mortality has increased in any age range, conclusive evidence is not yet available afaik, yet some initial reports say that delta's mortality is about half of that for the initial virus.

Being under 40 means you are pretty safe even if you get Covid (provided there are no serious comorbidities)!

I'd say vaccination shows it's working, with a pandemic like Covid which is contagious but not a real killer it's not the question so much IF you get it, but WHEN, especially when a more contagious (Delta) variant is on the loose.

Lockdowns do reasonably well to slow the spread but they are no solution. A few more countries are in the same predicament as Aus, and honestly IMO the best solution is increasing vaccination rates by convincing folks to get vaccinated and buying more supplies and making them available asap, even if it means a proportion of the population suddenly starts speaking Chinese or Russian as a side effect...60% efficacy still means you can eradicate the risk for a large percentage of the population.

Alternatively Govt's could agree to lift the patents and hope someone can start producing mass quantities AND do so reasonably quick, which IMO is not real likely to end well...
 
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Lock downs were never a long term solution and were never meant to be a long term strategy. They worked well in some countries to give these countries time for real solutions. Unfortunately, some decided that just because they did well with lockdowns they don't need to invest in the actual solutions. Vaccines work and if more people were vaccinated we would be in a better shape worldwide. Of course even where vaccines are available and plentiful, some choose not to take them. Getting covid is not a death sentence for most younger, healthy adults. Older adults have no excuse for not getting vaccinated if the vaccine is available to them. It doesn't look like we will get rid of covid anytime soon, but life must continue and at the moment getting more people vaccinated is the only way to get there.
 
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And they should have made vaccination mandatory nationwide two months ago. Like if you try to avoid it you get arrested and vaccinated anyway. Speaking from the US perspective ofc, situation will be different in other countries.
 
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Although I chose to be vaccinated, I respect those who choose not to.
The Government has no right to force anyone to do so. This is a FREE country and the gov needs to be held in check, like stay out of my business.
There is so much disinformation and out right lies out there, one can not know the truth.
One they all agree on, but do not talk about, is better than 98% survival rate among those without other serious conditions.
I am 69, in good health and have nothing to fear.
 

tcmx3

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Although I chose to be vaccinated, I respect those who choose not to.
The Government has no right to force anyone to do so. This is a FREE country and the gov needs to be held in check, like stay out of my business.
There is so much disinformation and out right lies out there, one can not know the truth.
One they all agree on, but do not talk about, is better than 98% survival rate among those without other serious conditions.
I am 69, in good health and have nothing to fear.
you can survive having your arm blown off by an IED; doesnt make it a good idea to not take such things seriously. COVID can cause serious brain damage, permanent lung damage, etc. and often does. even in younger people.

not getting vaccinated is not materially different than drinking and driving. (folks with legitimate medical preclusions excepted)
 
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In the US vaccines are plentiful and free and anyone, outside of a tiny population that can't get vaccines for medical reasons and kids under 12, can get a vaccine. People not getting on of the vaccines do this by choice. I would never want a government that would force people to get this vaccine or get arrested, that's just going absolutely overboard. COVID is dangerous for some and people should get one of the vaccines and move on with their lives. At the end it is still a personal choice, at least in the US, so far.
 

superworrier

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In the US vaccines are plentiful and free and anyone, outside of a tiny population that can't get vaccines for medical reasons and kids under 12, can get a vaccine. People not getting on of the vaccines do this by choice. I would never want a government that would force people to get this vaccine or get arrested, that's just going absolutely overboard. COVID is dangerous for some and people should get one of the vaccines and move on with their lives. At the end it is still a personal choice, at least in the US, so far.
Yeah. I think it's fair to restrict nonvax people from going to non-essentials (concerts travel etc). People have a right to control their own body, but not to go to concerts, especially when they may affect others. At some point we need to let the nonvax accept the consequences of their actions.
 

applepieforbreakfast

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Yeah. I think it's fair to restrict nonvax people from going to non-essentials (concerts travel etc). People have a right to control their own body, but not to go to concerts, especially when they may affect others. At some point we need to let the nonvax accept the consequences of their actions.
If it's private companies restricting their attendance to events/destinations, sure.
 
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If it's private companies restricting their attendance to events/destinations, sure.
Vaccines have been a requirement for school in this country for an awfully long time. Here's NYS requirements, I think this is pretty standard:

Vaccines required for day care, pre-K, and school attendance
  • Diphtheria and Tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and Pertussis vaccine (DTaP or Tdap)
  • Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR)
  • Polio vaccine
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine
Additional vaccines required for middle school and high school
  • Tdap vaccine for Grades 6-12
  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) for Grades 7-12
    • Students in Grade 12 need an additional booster dose of MenACWY on or after their 16th birthday
Additional vaccines required for day care and pre-K
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine (HiB)
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine (PCV)

//
Nobody wants to allow a minority to affect the health of most people. Nobody will abide by a parent doing willful harm to their children in any other area, why is this treated so differently?

If we're forced to give extended unemployment benefits to avoid the economy imploding, there's a societal cost to that and we're at the point now where that's a preventable cost. Lots of people have lost their businesses, others are hanging on by a thread and certain peoples unwillingness to get vaxed is just going to prolong the suffering.

I don't get it. I say, require vaccines for school kids, and allow private companies to set their own standards. Who in their right mind is going to get on a cruise ship now without assurance that the other passengers are vaccinated?
 

tcmx3

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Vaccines have been a requirement for school in this country for an awfully long time. Here's NYS requirements, I think this is pretty standard:

Vaccines required for day care, pre-K, and school attendance
  • Diphtheria and Tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and Pertussis vaccine (DTaP or Tdap)
  • Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR)
  • Polio vaccine
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine
Additional vaccines required for middle school and high school
  • Tdap vaccine for Grades 6-12
  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) for Grades 7-12
    • Students in Grade 12 need an additional booster dose of MenACWY on or after their 16th birthday
Additional vaccines required for day care and pre-K
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine (HiB)
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine (PCV)

//
Nobody wants to allow a minority to affect the health of most people. Nobody will abide by a parent doing willful harm to their children in any other area, why is this treated so differently? If we're forced to give extended unemployment benefits to avoid the economy imploding, there's a societal cost to that and we're at the point now where that's a preventable cost. Lots of people have lost their businesses, others are hanging on by a thread and certain peoples unwillingness to get vaxed is just going to prolong the suffering.

I don't get it. I say, require them.
not just public school either, my private university in Massachusetts had state mandated vaccine and insurance rules.

IMO it's time to start making life uncomfortable for folks who are able to get vaccines and dont.

and also to get rid of these preposterous vaccine patents. I S2G the people in charge have brain damage as evidenced by how clear it is that they think making money for a few companies right now outweighs solving a global problem.
 

applepieforbreakfast

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I think what it really boils down to, is that Covid doesn't affect the "correct" population and doesn't have a high enough mortality rate for people to get all up in arms about. As a result, certain segments of the population think it's not a big deal, that there's no reason to get vaccinated, and it's not a real issue until it affects them or someone they know.
 
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I'd ordinarily always come down on the side of greater freedom too, but that horse is long out of the barn. As a restaurant worker and therefore speaking from the position of absolute least privilege with regard to this whole thing, freedom to do individually and collectively what one/the people decide is the best course of action based on the widely available information has already been grievously abridged by the forcible shutdown of entire sectors of life and further by the artificial influencing of the consumer population. The free market, too, has been significantly tampered with such that conditions were and are not reflective of what supply and demand would otherwise be with consumers deciding for themselves what to do based on publicly available data.

Now the industry and its adjacent sectors, the supply chain, labor market, &c, tens of millions of people, are in ruins far worse than the worst case unmitigated virus scenarios could possibly have caused. And it's become apparent that whatever people would decide for themselves, infection case and hospitalization numbers are going to continue to dictate what governments and the populations they influence will do vis-a-vis restaurants and the like. We also know that the way to reduce those numbers is to increase the vaccination rate. So my attitude is that my rights and livelihood (and those of the multitudes for whom I speak who have borne the brunt of the effects of the response to the outbreak) have been sacrificed enough for someone else's sake, and if what it takes to begin to repair some of that damage is to force upon a bunch of obstinate people something that they're lucky to have available, then do it and let the courts rule it unconstitutional after the fact.
 
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MarcelNL

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pls do not forget that getting vaccinated does not mean you cannot get Covid and spread it, just see the data on the delta variant, it's just less likely.

Getting vaccinated is IMO primarily to lower the risks of getting Covid for yourself and it may help to eradicate the disease but only once a high percentage of ALL population gets vaccinated, which is not likely anytime soon IMO looking at how good we've been in getting the global population vaccinated for other diseases that we have good vaccines for (just lookup vaccine derived Poliovirus).
 

big_adventure

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People are free to not get vaccinated, but people shouldn't get to endanger others for their (objectively stupid and bad) decision. No bars, no restaurants, no gyms, no theaters, no clubs, no shops, none of that. No school, no jobs where you share the air with other people, no freaking way.

Most of those things are privileges anyway: you can't drive a car without a licence, you can't go to school without a polio vaccine, you shouldn't get to do public stuff without this vaccine.
 
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Vaccines have been a requirement for school in this country for an awfully long time. Here's NYS requirements, I think this is pretty standard:

Vaccines required for day care, pre-K, and school attendance
  • Diphtheria and Tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and Pertussis vaccine (DTaP or Tdap)
  • Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR)
  • Polio vaccine
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine
Additional vaccines required for middle school and high school
  • Tdap vaccine for Grades 6-12
  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) for Grades 7-12
    • Students in Grade 12 need an additional booster dose of MenACWY on or after their 16th birthday
Additional vaccines required for day care and pre-K
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine (HiB)
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine (PCV)

//
Nobody wants to allow a minority to affect the health of most people. Nobody will abide by a parent doing willful harm to their children in any other area, why is this treated so differently?

If we're forced to give extended unemployment benefits to avoid the economy imploding, there's a societal cost to that and we're at the point now where that's a preventable cost. Lots of people have lost their businesses, others are hanging on by a thread and certain peoples unwillingness to get vaxed is just going to prolong the suffering.

I don't get it. I say, require vaccines for school kids, and allow private companies to set their own standards. Who in their right mind is going to get on a cruise ship now without assurance that the other passengers are vaccinated?
I believe one big difference is that those vaccines have been FDA approved. We are still waiting for the trials to submitted for approval for the covid vaccines.
 
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I believe one big difference is that those vaccines have been FDA approved. We are still waiting for the trials to submitted for approval for the covid vaccines.
Review post 18 in this thread.

When the polio vaccine was injected into me as a child it was nowhere near as thoroughly tested as the COVID vaccine was sixty or so years later. Emergency authorization implies an emergency. We got one.

I’m not saying to get ahead of the approvals but people are dying and businesses are suffering. There’s only one path out of this and that’s worldwide universal vaccination.
 
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deskjockey

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And they should have made vaccination mandatory nationwide two months ago. Like if you try to avoid it you get arrested and vaccinated anyway. Speaking from the US perspective ofc, situation will be different in other countries.
Forced injection of Emergency Use Authorization immunizations for people not in forced high density settings (nursing homes, schools, etc.) is a step too far IMHO. The public is not in the military where they have voluntarily waived their rights for vaccines like this.

Even fully approved vaccines, like the flu vaccine, with the Flu killing young and old people every year, in not "forced" on the public at large.

Although I chose to be vaccinated, I respect those who choose not to.
The Government has no right to force anyone to do so. This is a FREE country and the gov needs to be held in check, like stay out of my business.
There is so much disinformation and out right lies out there, one can not know the truth.
One they all agree on, but do not talk about, is better than 98% survival rate among those without other serious conditions.
I am 69, in good health and have nothing to fear.
Valid point regarding disinformation and the freedom to make your own choice, assuming you are avoiding large public settings and confined spaces with the public at large.

Between Social Media and their heavy handed agenda with various forms of 'social justice' and political manipulation, confusion and disinformation starts there for many. Then you have the US Government with mixed messages and an obvious political slant. Thinking people from both sides of the political aisle have serious questions about these emergency use vaccinations and why they are needed and for who.

It is not dissimilar to the face masks! First they didn't want us to wear them so hospitals and doctors didn't run out. Now even vaccinated people are being masked shamed. And who thinks masking a 2-year old is going to go well?

In the US vaccines are plentiful and free and anyone, outside of a tiny population that can't get vaccines for medical reasons and kids under 12, can get a vaccine. People not getting on of the vaccines do this by choice. I would never want a government that would force people to get this vaccine or get arrested, that's just going absolutely overboard. COVID is dangerous for some and people should get one of the vaccines and move on with their lives. At the end it is still a personal choice, at least in the US, so far.
Absolutely! If they forced me to get an "Emergency Use" vaccination, where does it stop? Isn't this why our nation (USA) was founded (to avoid religious persecution among the primary concerns)? Do I loose my free speech if I don't regurgitate the "approved message"?

I had a "choice" whether to get this Emergency Use vaccination and I perceived the benefit to be greater than the risk and got it. I can understand some people making a different CHOICE!

not just public school either, my private university in Massachusetts had state mandated vaccine and insurance rules.

IMO it's time to start making life uncomfortable for folks who are able to get vaccines and dont.

and also to get rid of these preposterous vaccine patents. I S2G the people in charge have brain damage as evidenced by how clear it is that they think making money for a few companies right now outweighs solving a global problem.
First, I am still stunned by Anti-Vaxxers and how easy it is in some school districts to opt out, which has lead to measles outbreaks among the many issues this has caused. Children die from not getting appropriate vaccines. Sure, vaccines have rare side effects but, it is called relative risk; does the risk of my child dying exceed the risk of a significant side-effect?

If you remove Patent Protections, who will invest billions of dollars to make vaccines?

The cost of medical care and medicine in the USA is a different subject from Patent Protection.
 
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MarcelNL

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Patent protection does not mean a drug is for free...various governments have funded hundreds of missions to create and produce the vaccines to begin with, paid with tax money and already invested.

We buy various off patent drugs, simply because there is (less than for on patent drugs) money to be made.

I work in 'the industry', still this one is of a different and global magnitude far bigger than allowing us to rely on a few manufacturers to provide all 7 billion people with two or even three shots....however, producing the new rNA vaccines is not likely something that 'drugsforyou. Ltd' in India or China can or should attempt, setting up production and quality control, making the vaccine and validating a new plant and it's Q&A takes time and $$$ (inspections by FDA EMA etc) so my pledge would be for a joint venture to multiply production but under the oversight of the patent owners while sharing cost and revenue. Less $$ per shot but selling many shots more means lots of $$ to be made or my economics class was wrong back in the day...as a byproduct more folks get access to vaccines.
 

Michi

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As a restaurant worker and therefore speaking from the position of absolute least privilege with regard to this whole thing, freedom to do individually and collectively what one/the people decide is the best course of action based on the widely available information has already been grievously abridged by the forcible shutdown of entire sectors of life and further by the artificial influencing of the consumer population
Thank you for sharing.

Hmmm… I'm guessing that you do know how to spell "sesquipedalianism"?

PS: If you want your message to be received by people without a tertiary degree, making your sentences shorter would be in your interest.
 

tcmx3

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If you remove Patent Protections, who will invest billions of dollars to make vaccines?

The cost of medical care and medicine in the USA is a different subject from Patent Protection.
the US government funded covid vaccine research (and btw it funds a MASSIVE percentage of other R&D that companies make money off of), also it turns out also that a solving a humanity wide crises precedes the needs of making a few dollars.

furthermore, there is a lot of empirical evidence from Europe, South Korea, Japan, etc. that even without the insane profits that US pharmas make that companies still invest in R&D. not having a patent on a vaccine doesnt even mean you arent making money, it just means that you let other people make the same vaccine. and they'd still have all their other vaccines.

people gotta stop thinking this way. it's some kind of 80s brainworm that still infects us; profit is not the singular motivator of human activity, and not everything has to make a profit. there's a literal crises going on, it's not important if Pfizer makes a few tens of millions of dollars more this year for their shareholders.
 

deskjockey

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The US Government did streamline the approval and deployment process and paid for vaccines to be produced in parallel to testing and approval. However, they didn't fund the patents used to produce the vaccines. How many drug patents were issued during Covid? If you want to argue the US Government vaccine purchases paid for patents, that is similar to saying I PAID FOR PATENTS by purchasing my prescriptions. I don't know about you but, I'm not getting royalties from my allergy and heart medication prescriptions.

The manufacturers used patents and experience THEY ALREADY HAD to make the vaccines. Its no different than the efficacy patent from Europe (Bion-Tech?) that was added to improve the effectiveness of vaccines. That ingredient was in use prior to the current Pandemic and came from the EU.
 

MarcelNL

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I'd like to clarify the order of magnitude of profits...they are not measured in a few tens of millions as hardly any company would invest the amounts required to start up production, run clinical programs (studies) AT RISK on that premise, but closer to several hundreds of millions or even a couple of billions when literally billions of doses are sold...

Just look up the Ebola vaccin program, for sure there is little money made on that and still it was an effort (also co-funded by governments/WHO etc)
 

deskjockey

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Vaccines for illnesses in impoverished regions like Africa do require funding from non-profits (think Gates Foundation and similar) and various governments because there isn't a good business case to make the investment from a company that has to answer to shareholders and other owners.

Drugs are developed for the domestic USA market because there is a real profit motive for them.
 
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