Coronavirus - how is it/has it affected you?

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Billysboots

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Can someone enlighten me please re a vaccine for this.
I understand how a vaccine works, but I hear last week on the BBC radio through medical specialists that apparently the antibodies formed by people that have had the virus weaken and become no good, so the person stands a good chance of possibly catching the thing again to the same level. Now if that is the case, how will a vaccine work because from my perspective I don't see how it can.
My assumption would have to be that, even if a vaccine only provides limited protection for, say, six months, if you vaccinate a big enough proportion of society then the virus cannot spread and, as such, dies out.
 

Billysboots

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Correct, but you need >80percent of the population to be vaccinated
Given the numbers who have probably had the virus already, which I think most agree are several times more than those who have actually tested positive, combined with those queuing up to be vaccinated, I don’t think we’ll struggle to get to 80%.

Even with the anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists.
 

Bunkermagnet

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My assumption would have to be that, even if a vaccine only provides limited protection for, say, six months, if you vaccinate a big enough proportion of society then the virus cannot spread and, as such, dies out.
But it would have to be a World wide action all at the same time. As I said, I don't see how a vaccine will work with what information has been given out so far:)
 

Ethan

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Agreed, my comment was in response to Slab and the response in Mauritius whereby you were not allowed out at all, total lockdown, travel permits needed, certain permitted shopping times/days etc.
Sure, and I was trying to add to the discussion rather than rebut. It is an important issue. The idea of behavioural fatigue was one which influenced Govt to delay lockdown, even though there was no evidence that it would occur here, or had occurred anywhere else in a way that undermined response to the virus. I suspect it was cover for Johnson not wanting to do something perceived by his libertarian wing as unpopular. And as it turns out, people have responded pretty well with lockdown overall. With clearer messaging I think we should have seen it even better.
 

Ethan

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Can someone enlighten me please re a vaccine for this.
I understand how a vaccine works, but I hear last week on the BBC radio through medical specialists that apparently the antibodies formed by people that have had the virus weaken and become no good, so the person stands a good chance of possibly catching the thing again to the same level. Now if that is the case, how will a vaccine work because from my perspective I don't see how it can.
There are several types of vaccine in development, ranging from the conventional inactivated part of the protein coat to more modern RNA sequences which work as a sort of gene therapy. This is good because multiple different mechanisms and technologies improve the chances that at least one of them will work. The Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine and the Moderna vaccine look very interesting.

The current thinking on immunity is that there are at least two major contributions to immunity, and they probably work together.

One is through antibodies. It appears that people who get exposed to the virus pretty much all develop antibodies, but the amount of antibody, and the length of time it lasts may be lower in asymptomatic patients, who presumably got a lower load of virus. Most people exposed will have some immunity through this route.

The other side, and possibly the real story, is T-cell immunity. Good evidence that some people do not develop antibodies but develop activated T-cells which will attack and kill the virus. Recent studies looking for activated T-cells have shown quite promising results with a much higher prevalence in the community than expected. See link below for a not very technical news story.

T cells

Taken together, there may be a better reservoir of immunity in the population than thought. Both effects may exist together, so exposure through natural infection or vaccination may result in initial antibody response of variable degree and duration, but a longer lasting T-cell activation.
 
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Ethan

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Correct, but you need >80percent of the population to be vaccinated
The herd immunity threshold varies according to Ro. Herd immunity is based on there being too few people at risk for the virus to propagate, and the more infectious it is, i.e. lower the Ro, the less people at risk it needs to propagate. The formula is herd immunity threshold = 1-1/Ro. For Covid, the Ro is around 3, so the herd immunity threshold is around 66%. That can be accrued from natural infection and vaccination combined.

For measles, the Ro is much higher, around 15, so the herd immunity threshold is around 94%.
 
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And so we are in August - and in normal times I would have been thinking seriously about giving notice of hanging up my boots (at least by full time ones) in about 3 weeks time. But circumstances as they are, and not wanting to risk not getting any P/T work if that's what I want, I'm not going to do that. And I don't think my company is that interested in helping me find the door.

As a result I guess that I'll become a bit of a job blocker, pretty much in the way that many (100s of thousands?) WASPI women are job-blocking as they can't afford to retire at 60 as they thought they'd be able to.

However if the government were to sort out the WASPI issue and incentivise companies to help, say, over 55s to hang up their boots (or change legislation to make it easier to make an individual redundant rather than a role), then many job opportunities could be opened up for a younger generation in these difficult Covid-19 times.
 

SaintHacker

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Mrs. BiM is due to have an operation. Hospital just phoned about it, oh, and your bloods are back; you might like to know that you've got Coronavirus antibodies...

Never been sick, never noticed that she had anything beyond a mild seasonal bug. How far has this spread already?
A lot further and longer than anyone expected. Daughter in law has been shielding since the start due to a compromised immune system. She had a chat with her specialist last week now she's been 'released' and was basically told go out and enjoy yourself, the risk to her mental health is far greater than the risk from c19 at the moment in our area.
The specialist also said they were seeing antibodies in bloods taken from people well into last year, so the theory is emerging that the hit in March was actually the 'second wave', and is a mutation from the first one which is why people suddenly started dying from it.
 

Swinglowandslow

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There are several types of vaccine in development, ranging from the conventional inactivated part of the protein coat to more modern RNA sequences which work as a sort of gene therapy. This is good because multiple different mechanisms and technologies improve the chances that at least one of them will work. The Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine and the Moderna vaccine look very interesting.

The current thinking on immunity is that there are at least two major contributions to immunity, and they probably work together.

One is through antibodies. It appears that people who get exposed to the virus pretty much all develop antibodies, but the amount of antibody, and the length of time it lasts may be lower in asymptomatic patients, who presumably got a lower load of virus. Most people exposed will have some immunity through this route.

The other side, and possibly the real story, is T-cell immunity. Good evidence that some people do not develop antibodies but develop activated T-cells which will attack and kill the virus. Recent studies looking for activated T-cells have shown quite promising results with a much higher prevalence in the community than expected. See link below for a not very technical news story.

T cells

Taken together, there may be a better reservoir of immunity in the population than thought. Both effects may exist together, so exposure through natural infection or vaccination may result in initial antibody response of variable degree and duration, but a longer lasting T-cell activation.
Thank you for this. So many ( of us ) have half baked theories and beliefs that something like this is valuable in getting ordinary folk to understand ( and have some optimism😀)
 

Ethan

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A lot further and longer than anyone expected. Daughter in law has been shielding since the start due to a compromised immune system. She had a chat with her specialist last week now she's been 'released' and was basically told go out and enjoy yourself, the risk to her mental health is far greater than the risk from c19 at the moment in our area.
The specialist also said they were seeing antibodies in bloods taken from people well into last year, so the theory is emerging that the hit in March was actually the 'second wave', and is a mutation from the first one which is why people suddenly started dying from it.
There are studies of antibody prevalence suggesting that around 10-15% outside London, and a bit higher inside, have antibodies. There is some doubt about some of the assays which are thought to have detected antibodies in samples from last year. If there had been any meaningful numbers of cases, there would have been people in ICUs with the characteristic symptoms. The role of T-cells I described in a previous post may change the picture, but it shouldn't yet translate into medical advice to shielding patients.

If the specialist told your DiL she had antibodies and was unlikely to be able to contact Covid anytime soon, fair enough. If he was telling her that there is enough immunity out there that means it ain't a risk any more, I don't know any doctors who share that view, and I certainly don't.
 

AmandaJR

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A woman at golf swears her son has had it twice. Certainly a 2nd positive test but not sure the first bout of illness was tested as it was early on.

Possible or coincidence do you think @Ethan
 

GB72

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Are they checking bloods taken for antibodies as a matter of course. Would seem sensible to. Got my annual check up next week which normally involves blood tests. Wondering if they check for covid antibodies at the same time as a matter of course now.
 

GB72

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Sure, and I was trying to add to the discussion rather than rebut. It is an important issue. The idea of behavioural fatigue was one which influenced Govt to delay lockdown, even though there was no evidence that it would occur here, or had occurred anywhere else in a way that undermined response to the virus. I suspect it was cover for Johnson not wanting to do something perceived by his libertarian wing as unpopular. And as it turns out, people have responded pretty well with lockdown overall. With clearer messaging I think we should have seen it even better.
Have to agree, I was surprised at the response and thought there would be far more deviation.
 

Ethan

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A woman at golf swears her son has had it twice. Certainly a 2nd positive test but not sure the first bout of illness was tested as it was early on.

Possible or coincidence do you think @Ethan
There were reports of people in China testing positive then later getting symptoms and testing positive again. Later reanalysis showed that the earlier tests were wrong and should have been negative.

It is impossible to say that something can't ever happen, there are all sorts of variations in people, and some have weird immune systems, but the general view now is that people do not get reinfected. They can have a prolonged single course, but more likely one of the two episodes wasn't Covid.
 

Billysboots

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Mrs. BiM is due to have an operation. Hospital just phoned about it, oh, and your bloods are back; you might like to know that you've got Coronavirus antibodies...

Never been sick, never noticed that she had anything beyond a mild seasonal bug. How far has this spread already?
I said precisely the same when my antibody test came back positive. I had merely felt slightly out of sorts, and certainly not ill, during the few days I think I had it. I think I may already have said, 40% of our office have tested positive for antibodies and only one colleague had felt genuinely unwell - he suspected seasonal flu.

To date 300k positive tests in the U.K. That number is meaningless because it doesn’t come close to the true number of infections.
 
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