I have not got a crystal ball. But I do know three things. The first is that current UK vaccination policy, popular as it is, provides a perfect opportunity for vaccine-resistant mutations to develop. They may not. But equally likely, they might. That’s what vaccines do.

So we must never vaccinate anyone in order not to create vaccine resistant strains?

21 thoughts on “Amaaaazing!”

  1. It’s OK, cos if the vaccine stops working Ivermectin still will. And the vit D and the various other proposed treatments, as far as they work now, which is subject to proof.

  2. By June, at this rate Covid could be rampaging again.

    Nice testable prediction. I’d bet it won’t be rampaging by June, but he’ll be raging about something else by then. How MMT cures piles or something, probably.

  3. So in the absence of vaccines there would be no mutations?

    Well I’ve learned something today – I thought the mutations occurred in order to get past acquired immunity in the host population.

  4. TMB, you write as if the virus has a plan of campaign. It just evolves over time and it is sloppy when it comes to reproducing itself

  5. Potato is on a roll today. A tidal wave of drivel is seeping over Twitter. In the public interest I have reported it.

  6. It’s funny how the virus, well any pathogen really, has that potential to adapt and change built in. In fact, it does so very efficiently. Almost as if it’s spent millions of years of trial and error to get it right. Almost as if there’s a counteracting defense system that makes it necessary for it to be able to change, so it can move shop when the heat gets too much…

    Vaccination will marginalise, but not “disappear” this strain of Coronavirus. That same strain has also already expanded its horizon in mustelids and felines, and possibly dogs.

    The vaccination is against the spike proteïn, which this virus needs to detect/infect against a very common, but specific proteïn which is exposed in our lungs (and is more or less the same enough in the beasties mentioned) .
    The total effect is that we are better equipped to handle an entire family of related coronaviruses, including those that make the detour in our pets already.
    Won’t eliminate the Plague. That one’s gone endemic and generic now. Too Late. Tough Luck.
    It will allow us to build up a resistance against that whole family of viruses, including the new kids on the block.

    Until the spike changes so much it’s structurally different. But the chances of it being able to infect us then are pretty slim, and even then that new strain has to compete against all the Old Folks that are already trying to get past our immune system.
    Because that’s the other side of the immunisation equation, and one that the politiccians don’t talk about…

    You want a couple of “human” WuFlu strains around, preferably the ones that learned to Behave Nicely. They are actually our first line of defense. It’s why you cultivate a complete rainforest of critters on your skin ( and you never, ever sterilise them off unless necessary..) , and your gut needs to be chock full of bacteria that are well-behaved ( if you wondered what poop-transplantations are for..).
    They are the ones that put up the No Vacancy sign for us. They are about 90% of what keeps us “safe” at all times.
    Viruses work slightly different, but regular exposure to the strains that carry this spike keeps us “safe” in the long run against new variations in the same family.

    What the vaccine does do with regards to expansion of the virus repertoir is limiting the amount of fertile soil it has to change in. It can mutate every single time it replicates, vaccine or not. If it can’t replicate and spread, it can’t propagate any new mutation. So we’re stuck longer with the stuff we ( and our bodies ) know how to deal with.

    Which is a Good Thing. And the opposite of what P³ ventilates.

  7. Bloke in North Dorset

    I think this was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek article, but it sums up the defeatists nicely. They want the vaccine to fail to feed their moral superiority.

    “ For those of us who like to talk Britain down, all this good news is hard to take. The vaccination figures are shocking. Nearly 20 million first doses administered. A forward-thinking procurement plan. The leading large nation, far ahead of the US and, more gallingly for us frothing Remoaners, miles ahead of Europe. Nothing could be more depressing for the honest self-loathing liberal Brit. You know the type. Recycle assiduously but fly once a fortnight.”

  8. In a bizarre way it reminds me of that moment in “Network” when Peter Finch asks all his viewers to go to a window and yell “I’m as mad as Hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” Has Prof Spud finally lost any semblance of sanity? His posts and tweets this morning read like the ravings of a complete lunatic

  9. Presumably Spud expects all the other vaccination programmes to fail in the same way as the UK programme? Or will they be different, because reasons?

  10. “That same strain has also already expanded its horizon in mustelids and felines, and possibly dogs.”

    That’s cats, dogs and…politicians?

  11. The magic virus will be the first epidemic respiratory disease not to disappear because of herd immunity because Big Vax needs regular income.

  12. @Ljh “first epidemic respiratory disease not to disappear because of herd immunity”

    We still seem to have plenty of respiratory diseases floating around, many of them not especially nasty and not subject to vaccination programmes, that herd immunity hasn’t “disappeared” yet, and which would have spread epidemically when they first got established in humans. Suspect would have spread pretty fast when it first did the rounds, for example, even if it wasn’t responsible for the “Russian flu”.

    Herd immunity doesn’t guarantee diseases disappear, just that at the tail end you get stuck at an endemic equilibrium where R hovers around 1, the proportion immune stays pretty steady as immunity from new infections is balanced out by birth/death processes and immune waning, and the pool of susceptibles is small enough we don’t see very large-scale exponential growth happening again. But you can still get seasonal outbreaks if conditions tip R above 1 at favourite times of the year, or multi-year cycles if the pool of susceptible grows (due the the disease being quiet for a few years) until a small epidemic is possible again. Then there’s the effect of new variants, where a particularly sneaky one might pop up occasionally.

    As @Grikath says, it’s useful that we are immune to a wide range of bugs because it gives us a degree of protection from their mutants and also close cousins that might try to make the leap over from other animals. But that only works if herd immunity doesn’t make the diseases “disappear” since on the kind of timescales we are talking (many respiratory pathogen seem to have been circulating for hundreds or thousands of years) then humanity would lose said immunity pretty rapidly. In some senses we benefit from diseases not disappearing but rather continuing to circulate, preferably in a mostly harmless form, with enough of us taking one for the team and catching the thing for herd immunity to be maintained. If we were capable of “disappearing” diseases by the power of herd immunity alone, each generation of humankind would be being slammed by fresh pandemics of nasties that our previous generations had fought off before.

  13. “Equally likely”.

    What, so it’s a coin toss between the two? The megaspastic has plumbed new depths of stupid unsupported assertions.

  14. Dio… They can vaccinate anyway. Would be a nice test to see who would have fallen over from a “natural” infection anyway.

    (no-one ever said biology was a nice subject of study, especially biologists..)

  15. There will always be some unvaccinated people. Believers in Andrew Wakefield, for medical or religious reasons. But 90% immune is quite possible and herd immunity to covid may be achieved at a much lower %age.
    But any set level of immunity is just an average in the population. There will always be clusters of unvaccinated and vulnerable people and so you will have occasional outbreaks, which are by nature self limiting because they cannot escape through the surrounding immune population.
    The danger is that a government panics again when one of these outbreaks occurs.

  16. “There will always be some unvaccinated people. Believers in Andrew Wakefield, for medical or religious reasons. ”

    In the current circumstances I would consider that deciding not to take a completely unproven and untested (in the long term) vaccine would be an entirely reasonable decision, especially if you are under 50 and in good health. IMO the risks attached to the vaccine outweigh the risks attached to catching the disease, not least because of the long tale risks attached to the vaccine. There is a small but non zero risk that this could turn out to be one of the greatest healthcare disasters in human history. We just have no idea what the long term effects could be. Its a mass medical experiment, one I personally don’t want to be part of, not now at least. If others want to jump in with both feet let them, I’ll hang back and see what transpires first.

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