Morrison gets gold-standard vaccine. You get cattle-class prod

There were reasons to be cautious on the global vaccine rollout. It was spectacularly swift and many drug companies have been indemnified in the event of fallout. However, the rollout is going swimmingly in those countries that have been most aggressive with excellent results in overall leader Israel as the Pfizer vaccine works to both retard transmission and render the virus much less virulent.

But sensible caution should not be confused with lunacy. This weekend saw the march at anti-vaxxer rallies around the country:

  • 11 separate demonstrations took place.
  • Dubbed the “Millions March”, hundreds turned out in Sydney and Melbourne.
  • Conspiracy theorists were everywhere. Pete Evans made an appearance in Sydney.
  • 20 were arrested in Melbourne.

Loons aside, there is a reason for sensible Australians to be angry about the local vaccine rollout. On the weekend, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was vaccinated with the Pfizer jab, the gold-standard. The same treatment being used so successfully in Israel:

He encouraged us all to follow suit but what he didn’t say was we’re not being offered the same one. We, the people, are only being offered the less effective Astra Zeneca version from his former Liberal Party mate:

The AZ vaccine is materially less effective than the Pfizer version. That is not to say that it is ineffective. 62% efficacy is still good. But at 94% and 95% efficacy, Pfizer or Moderna are obviously better.

Moreover, the AZ version does not work very well on the South African variant and there are still open questions about its efficacy in the elderly.  It is not being used in many African countries, Germany or Korea for these reasons.

On the other hand, the Pfizer version has less diminished efficacy versus the South African variant but is no less effective for the elderly. All three firms are now working furiously on adapted versions. Strong alternatives from Novavax and J&J are in the pipeline for H2.

This brings us back to the selection process of the vaccine originally. Recall that PM Scott Morrison rushed it out in his usual marketing-first, policy-last style in August last year. Why the AZ vaccine was selected is an ongoing political question typical of this corrupt government:

There were certainly questions about the availability of respective vaccines at the time that needed to be dealt with. But, today, the PM getting the good one (along with front-line health care workers) while the rest of us getting the cattle-class prod is the direct result of failing to manage these issues. For instance, Israel paid double to get its Pfizer allotment for everybody. Morrison went for the cheapest, least effective and most dodgy in terms of political connections.

Since then, new agreements have been struck that include the Pfizer and Novavax vaccine which will supply more doses:

The Novavax and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are expected to be available in Australia from early to mid 2021 – subject to approval by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for use in Australia.

But there is no sign of them yet and until they get here punters have every right to ask whether they shouldn’t wait for the same vaccine that ScoMo just had. 62% protection against most virus variants is good but 94% plus stronger efficacy versus the South African variant is better.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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Comments

  1. My information is that the mRNA vaccines are approx 25x more expensive than AZ. Govt has carefully calibrated the amount of more effective/expensive vaccine purchased to keep R0 of virus below 1 after rollout on cheapest possible basis. Individual protection and outcomes do not come into consideration.

      • Russia has a third jab just come thru trials. It is a true vaccine not a mRNA . It will again be a reasonable price, and will easy to transport and store.
        It uses a reduced form of the virus to trigger immunity, This means if a virus gets into he body it is attacked. immediately. It confers true immunity. It allows the body to release antibodies in a staged manner which has evolved successfully.

        With the mRNA jabs the virus gets in, infects, and hen triggers he reaction in an extreme cascade immediately in an unnatural way. and can be transmitted.
        The mRNA jabbed person also passes on the mRNA by saliva and during unprotected sex, so David you can do your own personal bit to pass it on the the anti covid jabbers,

        • Rorke's DriftMEMBER

          Glo that’s the first I’ve heard that mRNA can be passed on by saliva. That would make it a very dangerous injection if the vaccine spreads this way.
          Do you have any references I can read further?

          • I read so widely that I have no idea where. However will try to find source. I am equally startled and wondering if true. I sprang it out to startle David. Any details on how the jab works are hard to find though it’s out there.

      • The same way it is a matter of convenience.
        Do you wear a helmet every time you get into a car? why not?
        They are extremely effective at preventing head injuries.

  2. I’d much prefer Novavax, Moderna or Pfizer, but I’m also happy to get AZ now, then get the others later.

    Is there any info on getting AZ + an mRNA later?

    • I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I feel I’m the middle, but I’m not having the one that Bill Gates has any connection with. Guys the first assumption you start with in any decision is that virtually all politicians lie virtually all the time. I think it’s good to have anti vaxxers. It’s important to have both sides in the discussion.

      • TheLambKingMEMBER

        I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I feel I’m the middle, but I’m not having the one that Bill Gates has any connection with.

        Mate, that statement puts you with the conspiracy theorists 🙂 Go on, humour us, tell us something logical that would make you think that.

        Bill’s foundation’s funds have helped directly or indirectly, pretty much every bit of vaccine research around the Western world.

          • TheLambKingMEMBER

            He is by billions and billions

            What? You know he has given away 10’s of billions of dollars to the foundation? He does not get any money FROM the foundation. He is POORER* by billions and billions. But hey, never let the facts get in the way of a good conspiracy!

            (* poorer by billions, but he still has billions to live on)

  3. Jumping jack flash

    i would probably trust the first COVID vaccines over later ones, especially if they start using that whole predicted mutation garbage that they use for the regular flu vaccine.

    The virus will mutate and those mutations will require new vaccines to be developed. How will they develop them quickly enough to not trigger rolling pandemics when the impetus and cash for developing COVID vaccines subsides?

  4. Arthur Schopenhauer

    Apparently Hunt and Albo will be getting the Astra Zeneca vaccine, during a joint press stunt. 😂

    Someone’s been studying Machiavelli. 😆🤣😭

    Edit: Hunt is a feared contender for PM?

  5. kierans777MEMBER

    > Recall that PM Scott Morrison rushed it out in his usual marketing-first, policy-last style in August last year.

    This was the obvious retort to Nick Coatsworth on Q&A. His reply, used a few times to “why should we use Astra Zeneca when the X vaccine is better” (insert other brand for X) was “well we bought the Astra Zeneca vaccine and it’s all right so we should use it”.

    NOONE pointed out the obvious. WHY did we the Australian people buy the inferior product FIRST? Because of Scotty From $%$#$#% Marketing.

    Morrison went for the cheapest, least effective and most dodgy in terms of political connections

    Amen.

  6. Strange how two of the Chinese vaccines are so expensive, almost as if they don’t want anyone to buy it! Would have thought Chinese ones would be cheaper as they have their much vaunted mfr cost advantage not to mention a government that is always happy to provide subsidiss to it’s chosen companies especially when they would be able to leverage it for political propaganda worldwide. I can only think they are both duds & typically they won’t own up to having a dud due to loss of face, definitely won’t take one of them … unless Scotty has it first! 😂

  7. It is a very bad look Scomo having a different experimental vaccine to the one he expects commoners to have.
    I thought the whole idea of the stunt was to say “Look I am having it, it must be safe, so you can too”.

  8. working class hamMEMBER

    6 Sept 2020 he reportedly locked in a jobs for the boys contract with AstraZeneca. 33 million doses. Plus whatever they bought off numerous other suppliers.
    At what stage would Aust need that many doses of anything? Am I missing something here.

  9. is there a reason my comment was deleted?
    I was seeking clarity and suggesting questions we should all be asking, so I’m not sure why you’d delete/not post my comment (there wasn’t a personal attack on anyone, no abuse, nor a mis-representation of facts). Feel free to email me to let me know your reasoning.

  10. MB continues to push the vaccines. We don’t need it. We have a quarantine system that us protecting us very well and will do better if quarantine is moved out of the cities. The only reason for individuals to vaccinate is if you want to travel (like getting typhoid or tetanus boosters). The reason Canberra wants us all to vaccinate is to reboot the ponzi. No thanks.

    • What you miss is that they WILL reboot the ponzi. It is not a question it is a certainty – and even harder than before to make up for lost time. So you better get the vaccine when you can because they are going to open the borders shortly thereafter and allow non-hotel quarantine “self isolation” at home and/or in student housing to help facilitate it – and it leaking out of that is even more inevitable. And this time they won’t do the lockdowns when it leaks out because “we offered the vaccine it is now on you … personal responsibility… yada yada”.

      • No doubt the powerful elites want to do as you say.
        However things might not go there way for various reasons. We now have a frightened population, we have various state leaders with a history of over-reactions, there are also overpaid health “experts” who love locking us down. These lesser elites might be afraid they will get the blame if someone dies. These lesser elites might not co-operate.

    • Given the current vaccines are only partly effective and don’t confer sterilizing immunity, then even with 100% vaccination across Australia the death rates from COVID will escalate unless the mitigations remain in place.
      ie. It’s still a big decision to reopen international borders, even if we can vaccinate everyone.

      • It may not stop you from getting sick but it seems that it is nearly guaranteed to stop you from taking up in-patient hospital beds (at least in the numbers where it breaks the health system) and/or dying. That’ll be enough to cave to the business interests and let it rip – I am sure a Liberal government is expecting an economic boom to help repay the huge expense of the JobKeeper/JobSeeker and lockdowns…

        • Lots of propaganda to frighten people to take what is genetic modification technology – it’s not a vaccine. As I understand no one has isolated the virus – if anyone knows of a technical paper related to this let me know as I’d be interested in reading it. The covid tests are a fail and the deaths related to flu strain and pneumonia related and covid are confused. The side effects of the jab, if you are unlucky to get them, are rather unpleasant. It will be interesting to see if the government publishes adverse reaction data.

  11. Stuff the vaccine.
    On a daily basis:
    Take around 5000 IU of Vitamin D. Preferably with a fatty meal as Vitamin D is fat soluble.
    Note that most Vitamin D capsules sold in Australia are 1000 IU each and most Australians (rather ironically) are Vitamin D deficient.
    You can safely take up to around 10 000 IU a day and it should not be a problem.
    On a side note, if you are taking Vitamin D in fairly large amounts on an ongoing basis; it is wise to supplement with Vitamin K2 which comes in MK-4 and MK-7 form (easily purchased online)
    Vitamin K prevents the calcification of tissues and arteries (As Vitamin D acts with Calcium) and ensures that Calcium is transported to the bones where it is needed.
    Take a Zinc supplement.
    Take Vitamin C either as a supplement or eat plenty of fresh fruit… or both.

    This will put you in a better position to fight off the virus than 80% of the population.

    • “That kind of talk is Pete Evans tinfoil hat stuff. Trust the (corporate) science, bigot.

      Now stick this experimental cocktail in your arm for a disease that 99% of people will survive and most will have mild to no symptoms or lose your job, freedom of movement and forever be untermensch” – Australia 2021.

      • where do we start. The AZ vaccine doesn’t work very well because its about as experimental as the bicycle. Very old carrier virus is used thats well understood, tried and tested with other vaccine efforts over the years. Pfizer on the other hand is cutting edge, experimental no. That was 20 years ago when they used the technique on cancer patients. Never forget if we didn’t experiment we’d still be using leeches, I’d certainly rather have a shot than radiation or chemo. Likewise the difference between AZ at worst case 60 and Pfizer at real world 96% is colossal. AZ should be halting distribution and tweaking their recipe. Theres enough good vaccines why risk mudding the waters with one that just simply doesn’t work.

        Now just because covid doesn’t kill you doesn’t mean you will be right as rain in 4 days either. A growing group of long covid sufferers describe their situation a year after infection as feeling like being constantly poisoned. Pneumonia sufferers I’ve met describe it as the worst thing to have ever happened to them healthwise. I’ll skip that thanks.

        The poor 30% that you’ve ignored would love your contact details. Tagging knowledge into methods of organisation doesn’t alter anything as much as we hate the kleptocracy around us. Pfizer’s team that created their ‘experimental’ vaccine are a husband and wife team. I applaud them for their great science akin to semi conductors after WW2.

  12. The pfizer vaccine is not necessarily much better – in a study released only days ago from South Africa, it’s only about 60% effective against that strain, and pfizer are already planning to perhaps do a booster shot, targetted at that variant.

    The amount of time, effort and money involved in rolling out vaccines, I think it will not be possible to stay on top of which vaccines are overall better for which variants – because these deals need to be made months in advance, so what happens if there is some new variant ? Do you discard the deal and waste all the money involed? Throw out the vaccines ordered?

    It’s pretty complicated, and I think the politicians want to create as much confidence as possible surrounding vaccines – any vaccines.

    I would much rather there be a free market, with vaccines approved on the basis of them being approved in other countries, and people allowed to choose which vaccine they want – basically no different to the free market approach used for any other type of product.

    • I would much rather there be a free market, with vaccines approved on the basis of them being approved in other countries, and people allowed to choose which vaccine they want – basically no different to the free market approach used for any other type of product.

      Waffle.
      Better to have government create a COMPETITIVE market in insurance for the various concoctions that suppliers offer.
      There are various problems with your free market fantasy regarding vaccines. Consumers cannot know what a substance is. Consumers cannot know that substance has done for other people, or what it will do to them.

      This is not a bottle of milk that the consumer can sniff and taste before pouring over their cereal. (Sell me bad milk and I won’t buy from you next time). This is life and death stuff. Your faith in the mythical free market is touching, but misplaced.

      • All the vaccines do the same thing, in different ways. The government can simply recommend one or a few for people who don’t want to make the decision themselves, and the rest can decide which they want.

        It’s not complicated.

  13. Mr SquiggleMEMBER

    My understanding is that no mRNA vaccine has been approved for human consumption anywhere in the world. ie For Covid or any other bodgey virus.
    The pfizer and moderna COVID jabs are authorised under emergency provisions only. They have not been approved by the FDA. In australia, they do not have full approval either
    So, I won’t be jealous of ScoMo just yet, he’s a guinea pig.
    It was fascinating to hear the spontaneous boos and hisses at the tennis last night when vaccines were mentioned. I’m thinking we have a Trump/Brexit type moment coming, where the mainstrain media has no idea what the majority of australians are thinking in relation to vaccines.

    In the US, Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines are authorised for emergency use

    • “I’m thinking we have a Trump/Brexit type moment coming, where the mainstream media has no idea what the majority of Australians are thinking in relation to vaccines.”

      This is also my thinking.
      Everyone that I have asked has been dubious at best about being jabbed with a Covid vaccine.
      I suspect that unless they are compelled to get it for work or travel purposes, the majority of 18-50 somethings will avoid it for as long as possible.
      The level of trust that Australians have in the media, politicians and so-called experts has eroded to an all-time low.

  14. Why are you so dismissive of the concerns over these vacines? The protests on Saturday were not anti vacine, they were anti govt coercion to get the vaccine. It should be a choice, not the govt making your life so difficult that you get the vaccine to haave some of your civil liverties returned.

    I’m happy to let those who’d like to be further in front of the queue to go for it. They’re making their own choice, and I’m waiting till next year to get he vaccine.

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