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Author: Subject: Covid vaccine results

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[*] posted on 11-4-2021 at 11:59

Quote: Originally posted by WGTR  
I wonder if you have already had the illness, if you get the vaccine are you more likely to get side effects? Like anything else, I imagine that the answer is, “it depends”.
I have read that that is a likely trend, and it is backed up by the anecdotes that I have heard. People I know who had covid have all seemed to have the more unpleasant side effects while those who didn't have been fine.

I am curious to see how I fare with the vaccine (I am scheduled for next week, though I don't know yet which one I'll be getting). Early last March I was sick for a few days after coming home from visiting Utah for a recruitment weekend. It was before mask-wearing was widely accepted, and it wasn't even known to the public at that time that the virus was already spreading in the US. Thus I had flown on a plane, and gone to restaurants and bars with virtually no precautions taken. Since testing wasn't available yet at that time, I have no idea whether I had it or if it was just a common cold.

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[*] posted on 11-4-2021 at 12:22

I got my second Pfizer shot last Thursday. For both, I had a sore arm and felt a little off for a day or so, but nothing that stopped me from doing anything. I now have both an old and new school vaccine card, first the Yellow Card for yellow fever (which has been required for some international travel for a long time), and now the new USA CDC COVID card (not necessarily accepted internationally).

It is very nice to have a fixed date on the calendar when I can treat life normally. I just had a campout with a big group of friends, we had not seen many of them in person for the past year, and most everybody had at least partial vaccination, and with being outdoors, it was possible to act normal again in a group for the first time since last March. It will be good to wear masks indoors until everybody has a chance to get the shot, to set a good example if nothing else, but I am used to that part now.
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Elemental Phosphorus
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[*] posted on 11-4-2021 at 12:24

While this is only tangentially related, one thing that worries me about current vaccines is the focus on the spike protein, because when the spike protein mutates, the vaccines may be less effective. As I understand it, the mRNA sequence in Pfizer and Moderna vaccines codes for the coronavirus spike protein, and then the immune system learns to recognize it. The viral vector vaccines like J&J and Sputnik V also seem to code for the spike protein, but using an adenovirus to deliver that genetic code instead.

Most vaccines have reported a significantly reduced efficacy against the B.1.351 variant (South African variant), most likely because antibodies that are made to bind the original 'wild type' spike protein are less effective at binding these mutated spike proteins.
AstraZeneca reported much lower efficacy against the variant, J&J reported efficacy of 57% as opposed to 72% against wild type virus, Novavax reported 60% against B.1.351 as opposed to 96% against wild type. In a 'in vitro' trial, Pfizer reported antibodies as having about 10x less neutralizing activity against B.1.351, although their human trial in South Africa so far seems to be reporting positive results.

It seems like some scientists think that because of the focus on antibody production against the spike protein, even a minor change in the spike decreases antibody neutralizing activity, and these vaccines (mRNA vaccines and viral vector vaccines that code for the spike, and the Novavax vaccine which contains spike proteins attached to nanoparticles) tend to focus on teaching the immune system to recognize and destroy the spike protein rather than other parts of the virus or the virus as a whole, and this approach gives lots of antibodies (which seem to protect pretty well) and relatively less of a response from T cells and other immune cells. This worries me a bit since antibody neutralizing activity seems to decrease significantly against certain variants of Covid-19 but apparently T cells still recognize all of the variants quite well (

All of the vaccines still seem to be quite good at preventing hospitalization and death, even from the variants, but I would worry that eventually a variant may emerge which escapes immune protection more thoroughly, because all of the vaccines available in the West currently seem to target the spike protein.

One piece of good news though, is that the inactivated virus vaccine made by Sinopharm appears to retain pretty good efficacy against the B.1.351 variant in vitro, they claim that neutralizing activity only decreased by 1.6 times in a study:

Also good news, is that possibly more vaccines are being developed for COVID-19 than for any other disease ever (except maybe the flu?) and other vaccines which claim to be able to induce better immunity against parts of the virus other than just the spike are in the pipeline, some are using viral vectors that code for multiple pieces of the virus, some are directly injecting other viral proteins, etc.

One vaccine that interested me was this one that contains 11 different viral proteins that are apparently less likely to mutate (I don't know enough about virology to comment on that) and supposedly produces good T cell responses as well:

The Pasteur institute and a company called TheraVectys are developing a nasal spray viral vector vaccine, rationale being that since the SARS-CoV-2 virus tends to infect through the respiratory tract, the best place to produce an immune response would be the respiratory tract. They claim that it was almost completely protective in monkeys, so that's another exciting development. The press release is here, if anyone is interested:

On an unrelated note, I received my first shot recently (Pfizer). I am pretty young, but I got a message saying that I was eligible (I had previously pre-registered) so I went ahead and got it. Noticed no ill effects other than a sore arm and maybe a little tiredness, but it could have been because I was not sleeping well.
Sharp contrast with a meningitis vaccine that I received about a month ago, which had my arm extremely sore for most of a week, and gave me about a day and a half of fever and chills. I guess a lot of it is up to chance.

I wonder if the risk of a live attenuated virus vaccine (which usually tend to produce a robust T cell and good all-around immune response) would be low enough in already-vaccinated people to justify the slight risk of an infection.

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International Hazard

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[*] posted on 12-4-2021 at 14:12
Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine

3 days after my 2nd shot and no ill effects.
Even my shoulder stopped hurting. :D

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[*] posted on 13-4-2021 at 06:22

Well, I slept and slept, after my vaccination. Wasn't really tired or anything. Just felt good to sleep.

I just felt relaxed and good. De-stressed. Sleeping from relief?

I'm expecting to need some boosters bye and bye.

Perhaps we were lucky that this pandemic has been relatively mild.

As terrible as it has been; it could have been a lot worse.

Good preparation for the next one. A learning experience.

I've learned a lot about protective gear. Not to mention, keeping some food in reserve.

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