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Some observations on the Vaccine hearings.

  1. There are a number of vaccines in clinical trials at the present time. They use various technologies. You can get relatively easy to understand reviews of the companies, the technologies and response by checking out Derek Lowe’s In the Pipeline blog.
  2. Fauci says that there are several vaccine candidates that have produced a strong response and that the development has happened rapidly. This is very believable. However, they are still working their way through the trial phases. AND TRIALS MUST NOT BE SKIPPED. There is no shortcut here.
  3. It is unlikely that the vaccine will be ready before the election. Sorry, Donald.
  4. Fauci says the FDA commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn will carefully review the clinical trials before the vaccine is approved. Fauci seems to be saying that Hahn intends to resist political pressure on this. And we’ve seen how that has worked in the past.
  5. Maxine Waters says she has heard that hospitals that refuse to comply with Trump’s new reporting standards will not be receiving Remdesivir for patients with Covid. The guy she is questioning is squirming but he hasn’t denied this accusation. He’s just saying that every effort will be made to make sure hospitals comply. As Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer would say, “THERE’S your story. Write that down!”
  6. Another republican rep (female) didn’t get her name, went on and on about China and Russia stealing proprietary info from pharma companies and she’s agin’ it! Golly, lady, this kind of IP theft has been going on for YEARS. It even happened at the last company I worked for. I blame the MBA’s who think that scientists aren’t as crafty as they are and so make it easy to download s#%{ to a flash drive. In this case, it’s a fricking pandemic. There are billions of people involved. Give them the data for Pete’s sakes. Let them make their own vaccines. It’s a global emergency.
  7. Fauci is reviewing antibody response vs T cell response. I think you want both. But antibody titres diminish over time which is why you sometimes need booster shots. From the brief glance at Derek’s posts it looks like T cell response may not be robust. Fauci just said that some of us who have never been exposed to Covid-19 nevertheless have T cells to other corona viruses, possibly from past colds. Unknown if these are protective but may be.

One last thing: if you get a vaccine by the end of the year or early next year, thank the scientists. No one else should get credit for it.

Nope, don’t even. No victory laps for anyone but the lab rats.

****************

Crash course on T cells. See the video below on how the immune system works with respect to T cells. T cells are not antibodies. I’ll see if I can find a video for that separately. This one is pretty visual which makes it easy to follow without a lot of jargon.

Basically, the virus invaded the cell. The cell chops up the virus proteins and send them to the surface of the infected cell to sit on your unique HLA. The circulating T cell receptors find the viral protein and start making copies of killer T cells and memory T cells.

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