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COVID-19, Pandemic
plastic
post Posted: Yesterday, 05:35 PM
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NZ Director-General of Health will take a shot and make it publicly known when he does. The PM however has deferred her shot until some later date but before the mass vaccination programme is rolled out. An obvious sign of leadership if ever there was one. We saw the same thing with Fauci but not Trump.

I am left wondering if ScoMo has got his.

I can't understand why with so many vaccination programmes underway around the world, NZ and Au. still haven't even begun theirs. Look at Israel. Russia and China are well down the track and we are supposed to be the western social leaders.

Something doesn't ring true in this tap test.



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What did Uncle Mel do to us?
 
plastic
post Posted: Feb 19 2021, 07:06 AM
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It is underway but I have no idea how to get mine.
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/436707/...ccinators-today

QUOTE
The first people immunised will not be border workers or their families but vaccinators - the people with the important job of administering the shots.





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What did Uncle Mel do to us?
 
plastic
post Posted: Feb 18 2021, 01:37 PM
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Does anyone know what to do in order to get the shot?



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What did Uncle Mel do to us?
 
mullokintyre
post Posted: Feb 17 2021, 02:34 PM
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In another sign that the rich are getting richer while everyone else is being screwed, it seems that the use of private/corprate jets has soared during the pandemic.
From Bloombergs
QUOTE
A rebound in the luxury-jet market is gaining steam as more well-heeled customers turn to private flying because of the coronavirus pandemic, said the bankers who cater to buyers of business aircraft.

A pick up in demand for used planes in the second half of 2020 is carrying over into this year, powered in part by first-time purchasers, said executives from Credit Suisse Group AG, BNP Paribas SA and other lenders. New gains are likely later this year as vaccination efforts spur corporate demand, bolstering the outlook for an industry that was bracing for the worst less than a year ago.

“Looking back we had a very good year and much, much better than expected,” Werner Slavik, chief of aviation for the equipment-finance unit of Societe Generale SA, said at a virtual Corporate Jet Investor conference last week. “We saw, especially in the smaller jet market, quite strong demand.”

Travel restrictions have reduced the need for larger jets that can cross oceans. Meanwhile, an uptick of first-time purchasers ventured into private-aircraft ownership at the lower end of the market, which is where they usually start, the bankers said. Leisure trips are driving demand in the pandemic, as more of the world’s wealthy travelers opt for private flights instead of premium seating on jetliners.

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JetHQ, which brokers aircraft sales and has its U.S. headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, was “cranking out” deals in the fourth quarter, said Rebecca Johnson, president of the broker’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The momentum has carried forward into this year, with the U.S. driving most of the sales.

“We have a lot of first-time buyers,” Johnson said. “Covid has just seemed to drive most people over the edge.”

I really loved this last bit, the US economy is tanking, its effectively in Civil war, but the biggest problem for some is getting to their holiday house without having to come into contact with the great unwashed.
And think of the greenhouse gasses they will be spewing out while doing so.

QUOTE
For now, buyers are mostly motivated by leisure travel rather than business trips. That will change as countries open up, said Robert Gates, chief of international sales for Global Jet Capital Inc. Commercial airlines are expected to take years to rebound to the number of pre-Covid flights and the well-heeled aren’t willing to wait.

“You can’t go on vacation on Zoom,” Gates said. “You need to get to your vacation house some way.”

Mick



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henrietta
post Posted: Feb 17 2021, 12:06 PM
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In Reply To: pacestick's post @ Feb 17 2021, 11:49 AM

I think that Australia was making sure the vaccines were safe, and then were down the line a little. Hard to see how it could have been speeded up.
With the flights back, if overseas people had acted when first warned they would have been OK. I can understand Aussies wanting to come back, but sometimes things just don’t work out. Crap happens.
Hotels have been OK except for Victoria. Building new facilities that will lie unused white elephants for decades seems wasteful ..... I wonder what Fox and Wagner see in it ...... maybe some generous government grants.

Cheers
J



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pacestick
post Posted: Feb 17 2021, 11:49 AM
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In Reply To: triage's post @ Feb 16 2021, 07:19 PM

Its hard to start a vaccination programme without vaccine by that I mean it had to be developed and priority was always going to go to those wealthy countries with high infection/death rates However I agree with the rest of your post

 


triage
post Posted: Feb 16 2021, 07:19 PM
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In Reply To: mullokintyre's post @ Feb 16 2021, 08:35 AM

Hard to criticise the various local leaders as at the end of the day up till now we've dodged a bullet.


Three things I reckon they could have done which would have been an improvement are (1) organised charter flights bringing Australian citizens back - they did it for a heap of people when war broke out in Lebanon (even though in the end many of those evacuees refused to pay for their flights) and they did it with a flight out of Wuhan ending up at Christmas Island (2) set up dedicated quarantine stations rather than use make-do arrangements at hotels in the middle of urban areas (3) started the vaccination programs weeks earlier - as it is they are estimating it will be October before we reach a critical mass of vaccinated people - until then domestic tourism and travel will remain stunted and we will likely continue have bouts of lock-down.




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"The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought." Rudiger Dornbush

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Said 'Thanks' for this post: early birds  
 
mullokintyre
post Posted: Feb 16 2021, 08:35 AM
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About the only thing that seems to generate little argument over the Covid pandemic is the fact that the biggest threat to Oz is the entry of travellers from overseas, particularly from countries where the virus has gone on unchecked, or where the new strains of the disease have become more virulent.
We have also heard from countless people about how the Oz government is not trating its own citizens well by not allowing for their safe and swift return to our beloved shores.
Yes, there are logistical difficulties over getting flights, managing quarantine, contact tracing etc, but it would be good to get as many of our citizens back here as quickly as possible.
Imagine my surprise then when I read in The Australian
QUOTE
Foreign nationals have made up almost one-third of Australia’s international arrivals since March last year, with more than 73,000 citizens of other countries and transit visa holders arriving since the hotel quarantine regime was introduced.

Australian Border Force data shows more than 253,000 citizens, residents and visa holders have travelled to Australia by air and sea since the hotel quarantine system was set up on March 28.

In total, more than 461,000 Australians have returned home since Scott Morrison first urged them to come back on March 13 and 41,000 Australians registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are still waiting to return home from overseas.The Australian can also reveal Labor states have raised concerns that some foreign arrivals are not being properly vetted, as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Monday hit back at Victorian leader Daniel Andrews’ criticism of the national hotel quarantine system.

The ABF figures show NSW continued to carry the burden of international arrivals since March 28, taking in nearly the same number as all other states and territories combined. Victoria had 35,666 international arrivals compared with NSW at almost 125,000.

Apart from a few actors and other celebrities, the biggest influx would have been for the open, with a few more form the Indian cricket entourage.
So what the hell were the rest of them doing coming here?
What was so important that we needed to bring in 70,000 foreigners in?
Governments obviously give them permission, so how about they explain why so many?
Mick



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plastic
post Posted: Feb 15 2021, 01:47 PM
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How Merck, a Vaccine Titan, Lost the Covid Race

Thomas, Katie.New York Times (Online), New York: New York Times Company.


After ending its own Covid-19 vaccine trials, the company said that it was actively discussing with governments how to help its competitors make their shots.
From Ebola to H.I.V. to river blindness, the American pharmaceutical giant Merck has been on the front lines of the biggest public health emergencies in recent history.

So when the company announced last May that it was a late entrant in the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, Merck was a popular pick to win. Even if the company wasn't first, proponents argued, its expertise as the world's second-largest vaccine maker gave it a good shot at developing the best product — and manufacturing it quickly.

But then, last month, Merck exited the vaccine race, abandoning its two candidates after early clinical trials flopped. Now, in addition to testing two experimental Covid-19 drugs, the company says that it's looking for ways to help competitors supply the world with vaccines.

"We are in regular conversation with governments, we're in regular conversations with the public health authorities, with the foremost experts on all this," said Michael T. Nally, the chief marketing officer at Merck. The company, he said, is now asking: "With all that we know today, what is the best way for us to help?"

Merck did not provide details about which companies or governments it planned to work with, or how it would help. But as a major vaccine maker, it has factories that specialize in a range of vaccine technologies, as well as ones that fill the bulk product into ready-to-ship vials.

Mr. Nally's statements follow weeks of speculation in which industry insiders and public figures have called on Merck to do more to help with the vaccine effort, as demand outstrips supply and contagious variants boom around the globe.

"Merck tried to make a vaccine, didn't succeed," Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, said earlier this month. "And now they're going to go off and do other types of drugs. Well, I disagree. I think the federal government should say, no, Merck, you're producing the vaccines we have now because we have a massive shortage."

Officials in both the Trump and Biden administrations have considered enlisting Merck's help in manufacturing vaccines developed by Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.

Merck is now considering a range of options, both in the United States and around the world, mindful that anything it chooses to do would take months to bring to fruition, given the complexity of the manufacturing process. For the United States, that could mean shoring up supply later in the year or supplying booster shots needed to fight emerging variants. For other countries that do not have enough vaccines to immunize their populations, Merck's support could be even more significant.

Given the unknowns about how long current vaccines will work, as well as the spread of variants that may make them less effective, "I think there's a broader recognition, certainly within the U.S. government, but governments around the world, that this is a bit more complicated than we had at one time thought," Mr. Nally said. "If there's a way that we can help think through that, and prepare the world for what we see on the horizon, that's where we're focused."

The turn of events leaves Merck — which brought in $8.3 billion in revenue from vaccines in 2020, second only to GlaxoSmithKline in global vaccine sales — without a starring role in the biggest public health crisis in a century. The spotlight is instead on a major competitor, Pfizer, and an upstart, Moderna, which developed two highly effective vaccines in record time, using a new technology known as mRNA.

"It is really interesting to see what Merck will do next," said Ronny Gal, a pharmaceutical analyst with the Wall Street firm Bernstein, noting that in abandoning its Covid-19 vaccines, the company has conceded that its technology could not compete with the newer mRNA methods. "And since they have a very large vaccine business, they kind of have to do something."

Merck has lagged its competitors for a range of reasons, experts say. Early talks with the University of Oxford about a partnership to develop its vaccine fell through, with the university researchers later choosing AstraZeneca. And Moderna chose not to partner with a bigger drug maker on its Covid-19 shot, despite a collaboration with Merck on other vaccines. (Merck has profited from Moderna's success, however: It sold its stock in Moderna late last year, after Moderna's share price had skyrocketed.)

Merck may have also simply been a victim of bad luck, as vaccine development is notoriously unpredictable. Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, major vaccine makers that have partnered on a Covid-19 vaccine, experienced a major setback when their shot failed to work on older people.

"I was very encouraged when Merck announced their commitment, because I have a high degree of confidence that Merck has what it takes, from a capability perspective and from a corporate commitment to global health," said Margaret McGlynn, the former president of global vaccines at Merck, who is now on the board of Novavax, a small Maryland company that is developing a Covid-19 vaccine. "But you can only tell what's going to work by doing the trials."

Merck, which was founded in 1891, has been in the vaccine business for more than 100 years, having developed some of the world's most well-known vaccines, including those for mumps, hepatitis A and chickenpox. In 2019, it was the first company to win approval from the Food and Drug Administration for an Ebola vaccine.

When the coronavirus began spreading around the world, however, Merck was slow to announce plans for a vaccine. By the time it provided details about two vaccine candidates in late May, most of its major competitors had already announced deals, and Pfizer and Moderna had already begun early clinical trials.

But Merck didn't have to be first to win. Executives decided to pursue two projects that they felt had advantages over competitors. One vaccine, developed in partnership with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, would rely on the same technology, based on a harmless livestock virus, that had yielded their successful Ebola vaccine. The other, acquired through a purchase of Themis Bioscience, was based on an existing measles vaccine.

Both of the experimental Covid vaccines, the company said, would be tested using a single dose, and Merck was also exploring whether the one using the livestock virus could be given orally — two big edges over potential competitors, especially in the developing world.

In July, Merck's chief executive, Kenneth C. Frazier, warned against moving too quickly. "I think when people tell the public that there's going to be a vaccine by the end of 2020, for example, I think they do a grave disservice to the public," Mr. Frazier said in an interview with a Harvard Business School professor. Mr. Frazier recently announced that he would retire as chief executive later this year, a decision that had been long planned.

In an interview in August, Dr. Nicholas Kartsonis, Merck's senior vice president of clinical research for vaccines and infectious diseases, said the company's position as leading vaccine maker gave it the luxury of time. "We are a much larger company. We are not as beholden to having to be first," he said.

As it turned out, Pfizer and Moderna — who were in a close race to complete their vaccines — not only achieved their goal of producing something by the end of the year, but the results also exceeded expectations. Whereas some thought that the first generation of vaccines would show modest efficacy, akin to a flu vaccine, the shots from Moderna and Pfizer were 95 percent effective in clinical trials.

That set a high bar for other vaccines, one that Merck concluded last month it could not meet. In its announcement two weeks ago, the company said that the vaccines appeared safe, but did not generate immune responses that were comparable to other Covid-19 vaccines.

Saad Omer, a vaccine expert at Yale University, said Merck should get credit for trying, even if it did not succeed this time. "This is not the last pandemic," he said. "So the more entities we have developing these kinds of things, the better off we are."

Merck is now redoubling its efforts to develop two drugs to treat Covid-19, both of which are in clinical trials with results expected soon. In December, the company reached a $356 million deal with the federal government to supply up to 100,000 doses of one of them, a drug known as MK-7110 that affects the immune system, if it is shown to work.

Public health experts have said more treatments are needed for Covid-19, because even if vaccines become widely available, they may not work on everyone, and people will still get sick.

Still, some politicians and public health experts have questioned whether Merck should do more to aid the vaccine effort, especially given its expertise. Novartis and Sanofi recently announced deals outside of the United States to pack and fill millions of doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and the German company BioNTech; the so-called fill and finish process is one of the biggest bottlenecks in manufacturing. On Wednesday, the chief executive of the pharmaceutical giant Teva said its company was also considering aiding the vaccine production effort.

"There's always a chance to build more capacity, but it takes time," said Ms. McGlynn, the former Merck executive. Still, she said, "until we know that we have ample vaccine to immunize everyone in the world, and not have the access issues that are being predicted by some, I think we have to keep looking under every rock to see where can we find additional capacity."



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What did Uncle Mel do to us?
 
plastic
post Posted: Feb 15 2021, 01:26 PM
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NZ into a lockdown on the back of three, yes just three cases in the community. Apparently its the new UK variant. Ordinary people like myself would like to know how it got across the border when there is a two week mandatory quarantine period to allow for these things to develop or abate. There can only be a failing, or rather, another failing in the process.

Meanwhile, this headline says it all as to why we can't rely on government to be in total control of anything. It even sounds like a sales pitch for the Advanced Market Committments model for healthcare. The model which allows those with the money to purchase the vaccine at a higher market price than that which is being put forward by the government.

Gonna need a partner or a competitor in that case. Who might that be I wonder.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/dick-brass-it...M6AH6RZSP53WXA/

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Dick Brass: It's like a full-time job trying to get a Covid vaccine in the US</h1>




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What did Uncle Mel do to us?
 
 


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