Two cheers for Covid 19 vaccines, not three

If there’s one thing that distinguishes the readers of LSS from other people, it’s that we think. We think that truth is subtle, nuanced and requires a lot of examination before you pronounce on it. We don’t take one story from the media and yell to the heavens that it proves everything we have ever thought about is eternally true.

We are not without feeling-we genuinely believe the achievements of the scientific teams who evolved the COVID- 19 vaccines are among the greatest of mankind. But we do think that even these truly awesome accomplishments may be hedged around with caveats, which the clever people at Nature and The Conversation have for us today.

What happens when your placebo people take the vaccine?

They are heroes too. They deserve a real dose. But what happens to your long term data? This is what Nature says about a dilemma posed by early vaccine approvals.

Scientists are concerned that the early deployment of promising COVID-19 vaccines could compromise ongoing clinical trials that seek to show conclusively how well they work. Following the release of early data from phase III trials on 9 November, vaccine makers Pfizer and BioNTech have sought regulatory permission to deploy their vaccine under emergency-use rules. The developer of another leading vaccine, Moderna, is expected to do the same within weeks. Once a vaccine is granted emergency approval, trial participants who received a placebo will be understandably keen to get the real thing. But if too many people cross over to the vaccine group, the companies might not have enough data to establish the long-term effects of the vaccines, including safety, how long protection lasts and whether the jab prevents infection or just the disease.
Nature | 6 min read

How to get the vaccine out there

What about all the people who won’t take a vaccine? LSS readers may have their own opinions here-but we urge a thoughtful approach. How do you get people to realise their obligations to others, whatever their own feelings? Here’s Tim Solomon in The Conversation:

Oxford vaccine results are in: here’s how to ensure it is used (

#vaccine #Sars-Cov-2 #covid-19 #coronavirus #placebo

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