Tag Archives: AstraZeneca

The truth about vaccines and their boosters

Before I begin, I have to clarify that I’m only looking at the effectiveness of vaccines against the original Omicron variant in this post. I have no information about the Omicron BA.2 variant.

First up, a truth that no government wants to admit: neither Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca do much to protect against symptomatic disease with Omicron:

Comparison of Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines at 2 doses

I took this data from a study that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine: https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa2119451 If you scroll down to Table 3, which appears just before the Discussion, you can check the raw data for yourselves. This data compares the effectiveness of all three vaccines against the Delta variant and the Omicron variant. This is an example:

https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa2119451

As you can see, AstraZeneca is shown by its scientific name rather than the one we’re all familiar with. The same applies to Pfizer – BNT162b2 – and Moderna – mRNA-1273. For each vaccine, Table 3 displays its effectiveness against Delta and Omicron at specific time points. The 2 – 4 week time point is when the vaccine is at its most effective in preventing symptomatic disease. You can then see how quickly that effectiveness wanes over time.

Because I found the presentation of the data a bit hard to follow, I translated it into a spreadsheet and made it more visually clear:

The data from Table 3 showing the results for the Omicron variant only

Despite my best efforts, the data is still confusing so let me walk you through it. On the far left you have the effectiveness of the three vaccines at just 2 doses. As you can see, after 5 months, none of them are very effective and AstraZeneca is the least effective of all. This means that if you are Australian, over 65 and received only 2 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, you have virtually no protection. AT. ALL.

Until just 2 weeks ago, I fell into the ‘no protection at all’ category.

Now let’s have a look at what effect the boosters have. I’m going to start by looking at each vaccine boosted by itself – i.e. by a third dose of the same vaccine.

AstraZeneca

Looking at the table above you can see that 2 doses of AstraZeneca boosted with a 3rd dose of AstraZeneca – i.e. 3 doses of AstraZeneca – provides a maximum of 55.6% protection at 2-4 weeks. By week 9 – just over 2 months later – that protection has dropped to 46.7%.

Pfizer

Two initial doses of Pfizer followed by a Pfizer booster – i.e. 3 doses of Pfizer – provides a maximum of 67.2% protection. By week 10 that’s dropped to 45.7% protection.

Moderna

Two initial doses of Moderna followed by a Moderna booster – i.e. 3 doses of Moderna – provides a maximum of 66.3% protection. I can’t tell you what that protection becomes at week 10 because there is no data for it. The reason there’s no data is because there were only 7 people in the study who had 3 doses of Moderna. I guess that was simply too small a sample size to be significant.

To recap, 3 doses of the same vaccine at weeks 2 – 4 – i.e. when protection was highest – resulted in:

  • 55.6% protection for AstraZeneca
  • 66.3% protection for Moderna
  • 67.2% protection for Pfizer

Pfizer comes out on top, but only by a very small percent. AstraZeneca is roughly 11% worse than either of the mRNA vaccines. That said, the level of protection still isn’t stellar…for any of them.

Now, let’s see what happens when you mix-and-match vaccines.

When AstraZeneca is boosted by Pfizer, the level of protection at week 2-4 is 62.4%. AstraZeneca boosted by Moderna provides quite a bit more protection at 70.1%.

Significantly, boosting with Moderna causes that protection to also wane less by weeks 9 – 10:

  • 60.9% with Moderna
  • 39.6% with Pfizer

I’m pleased to say that I received my Moderna booster two weeks ago so my protection is reasonably high. I say ‘reasonably’ because I only have 1/2 a thyroid. That means my immune system is a bit compromised and the vaccines can’t provide me with the same level of protection.

The most interesting bit of data, however, is yet to come.

If you received two doses of Pfizer and followed that up with the Moderna booster, you will have the highest level of protection at 73.9%. By contrast, two doses of Moderna followed by a Pfizer booster will only give you a 64.9% level of protection.

So in conclusion:

  1. Get a booster as soon as you hit the 3 month mark [after your second dose of whatever].
  2. If at all possible, get the Moderna booster, especially if you received AstraZeneca as your base vaccine.
  3. Any booster is better than none.
  4. Keep taking precautions even after you receive your booster – even 73.9% protection isn’t all that much.

The study I’ve referenced here only looked at protections from symptomatic disease. Not severe disease. Not death. If the vaccines work the same way against Omicron as they did against earlier variants then there’s a good chance they will protect against severe disease and death, but the data isn’t in yet, so they may not. And given that BA.2 is a bit of an unknown quantity, we don’t even know if the boosters are as effective against it as they are against BA.1.

Governments and media have gone quiet on the pandemic, leading a lot of people to believe that the danger is over. It’s not. It’s just that no-one wants to admit that vaccines are not the magic bullet we were promised. The continuing death toll here in Australia and elsewhere in the world is proof of that.

Get your booster. Wear a mask. Don’t be a fool, the life you save may be your own.

Meeks


mRNA vaccines and Myopericarditis

Some time ago, I posted about the need to aspirate the needle before injecting with AstraZeneca vaccine. When I finally had my first jab of AZ, I asked the nurse to aspirate the needle, and that simple change helped my nerves a lot.

Now, there’s proof that not aspirating the needle before injecting mRNA vaccines can cause myopericarditis, which is a rare but known side-effect of mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna.

Rather than trying to explain the research myself, please watch this video in which Dr John Campbell explains the terms, the research and the results:

I know a lot of you have already had both doses of whichever vaccine was available. But…it’s pretty obvious that we’re going to need booster shots fairly soon. That means you will once again be at the whim of fate.

The number of people unfortunate enough to develop myopericarditis is small, but it is real so, when it’s your turn for a booster…go to your GP and ASK for the needle to be aspirated. For your health and peace of mind.

cheers,
Meeks


I’ve had my first jab of AstraZeneca

Am I happy about it? No.

I never gamble because I don’t see myself as a ‘lucky’ person. I don’t even win anything at those stupid scratchies. So having to take a chance on AZ, however ‘small’ that risk may be, scares me silly.

And I hate not having a choice of vaccines. Not just because of the risk of blood clots, but because AZ is quite a bit less effective against Delta than Pfizer.

And while I’m at it, I hate the Morrison government for being such cheapskates. They put all their eggs in the nice, cheap AZ basket which is a big part of the reason we are so very far behind in terms of vaccinations.

And last but not least, I hate GladysB, Premier of NSW, for deliberately allowing the Delta outbreak to spread to just about every part of Australia [and even to New Zealand]. I don’t know if it was sheer hubris – “We are the gold standard state so we don’t need to learn from anyone else” or her emphasis on the economy rather than on lives, but she has helped to destroy the reasonable standard of living we used to enjoy despite the pandemic.

GladysB decided that we would all have to ‘live with Covid’, and now none of us have a choice in the matter.

So no, I’m not happy, and the next person who hangs shit on anti-vaxxers, just remember this: whether you agree with their reasons or not, those people are afraid. That is not a good place to be.

I’m not anti-vaccines in general, but I know what it feels like to be afraid of AZ. Trust me, it’s not a pleasant feeling.

Meeks


WHY AstraZeneca vaccine can have fatal side-effects

My thanks to Mel for sending me the link to this video by Dr John Campbell. In it, Dr John explains new research that shows how and why AstraZeneca, and other adenovirus vaccines, can cause blood clotting in unlucky people. And it starts with how the vaccine is injected.

What should happen, according to Dr John, is that after the needle is pushed into your arm – but before the vaccine is injected! – the plunger is pulled back a little. The term for this is ‘aspirated’. If the needle has accidentally hit a blood vessel, a tiny bit of blood will be pulled back into the syringe.

If that happens, you pull the needle out and try a different spot!

Why? Because the research shows that if AZ is injected directly into the blood, it can trigger an immunological response that ends up with blood clots and low platelet count that kills people.

‘Hence, safe intramuscular injection, with aspiration prior to injection, could be a potential preventive measure when administering adenovirus-based vaccines.’

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.06.29.450356v1.abstract?%3Fcollection

And here is the whole video. The demonstration about how aspiration works starts at minute 9:43. If you keep watching you’ll see diagrams showing the deltoid muscle and the location of blood vessels. Most injections miss those blood vessels entirely, but they are there, and if you don’t aspirate you’ll never know if you’ve hit one.

This is the missing link that explains why some unlucky people end up dead.

It’s not an act of god, or one of those inexplicable bolts of lightning from a clear sky. People are dying because it’s faster and easier not to aspirate before injecting.

Getting the AZ vaccine seemed like Russian Roulette to me all along. Now I know I was right: the side-effects are preventable. All you have to do is take that one bullet out of the chamber…

I’m going to keep this post up for a while so it gets as much exposure as possible. Even if you’ve already been vaccinated, please tell your friends. If enough of us make a noise, the authorities may eventually take notice. And people will stop dying.

Meeks


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