Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Malevolent Designer News - Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine - a Triumph of Science

Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine approved by UK regulator | Society | The Guardian

The day after the UK recorded its highest ever number of new Covid-19 cases at 53,135 and hospitals in the Southeast reported that they now have more Covid-19 patients than at the height of the first wave last Spring, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) finally announced the long-anticipated approval of the vaccine developed by Oxford University researchers in conjunction with the pharmaceutical firm, AstraZeneca. No magic, magic deities or spell-casting preachers were involved in this scientific breakthrough.

This mRNA vaccine has an advantage over the Pfizer vaccine, which is already being deployed to the most vulnerable people, in that it can be stored at ordinary refrigerator temperatures, so is easy to deploy to GP surgeries, health centres, chemists and places like community centres for mass-vaccination efforts, instead of being held as specially-equipped hubs, like the Pfizer vaccine.

The UK government already has 100 million doses on order at a cost of just £3 per dose. With each person needing two doses this is enough for 50 million adults. The rollout is to begin on Monday 4th January. Together with the 30 million Pfizer vaccines, that should be enough for the whole adult population of the UK. There are high hopes that this vaccination program will be substantially complete by April 2021! What's the betting that Donald Trump will then claim he meant April 2021 when he said last in March 2020 that it would all be over by April?

Daily new Covid-19 - UK (30 Dec 2020)

For those intelligent [sic] design creationists who believe the SARS-Cov-2 must have been deliberately designed by their favourite creator deity, for some mysterious divine purpose that involved the random killing of the pious and impious alike, this must come as a bitter disappointment because it looks increasingly as though human medical science has developed an antidote to the virus their putative designer had created to make as many people sick and die as possible, even giving it a little tweak recently to produce the VUI-202012/01 variant which is spreading rapidly in the UK and elsewhere and which threw Christmas plans into chaos, because it is estimated to be some 56% more infective!

In fact, on that point, I'm still waiting for an intelligent design proponent to explain why this new variant, which seems to coincide with the announcement of the approval of the Pfizer vaccine, should not be regarded as a coincidence and the result of a natural, evolutionary process to which they are bound by dogma to deny, but the wilful attempt by their malevolent designer to pre-empt the vaccine and make as many people as possible as sick as possible before the vaccine was fully deployed against it. It looks like I'll have a long wait as an embarrassed silence seems to be the only response so far.

The other great thing about this Oxford vaccine is that it seems to be just as effective against this new strain and even if this putative malevolent designer manages to redesign it so the antibodies no longer work against redesigned 'spike' proteins, it is a simple matter to replace the mRNA in the vaccine with the relevant segment of the new viral RNA, so restoring its effectiveness.

The vaccine works by using the shell of a harmless virus to transport the mRNA it into muscle cells at the injection site. This is then used by the cells' internal protein-manufacturing mechanism to make the SARS-CoV-2 'spike' proteins. These proteins are harmless on their own, serving only to get gain the virus access to the cells and deliver their own full RNA genome, but are recognised by the body as foreign proteins, so stimulating the production of antibodies. These antibodies then attack and deactivate the 'spike' proteins on any SARS-CoV-2 viruses that manage to get into the body. Since these proteins are what the virus uses to get into the cells of, primarily, the lining the respiratory tract to replicate itself, deactivating them stops that part of the virus' life cycle and, importantly, stops the virus infecting and killing your body's cells and making you sick and producing lots more virus particles for you to pass on to someone else.

The results of the clinical trials for the Oxford vaccine had seemed to indicate, from a trial on a small sub-group in the UK in which participants were mistakenly given half the normal dose as a first injection, followed by a normal second dose, that this gave 90% protection against the 60% protection given by the normal full dose regime. However, that result has largely been discounted as due to a non-random age distribution in the sub-group meaning that the sub-group was inadvertently biased toward a younger age group, and, significantly, there was a longer gap between first and second dose. It is now thought that the greater efficacy was due to the latter, the implication being that there is now not the same urgency to give a second dose within the 21 days and something to be gained by delaying it, meaning more vaccine is available for a first injection early on in the program and a second dose can wait for up to 12 weeks.

This first dose should be sufficient to protect 70% of people for that length of time, quickly building up heard immunity in the adult population. The second dose given 12 weeks later, raises the effectiveness to about 80% - better than the current annual flu vaccines. None of the volunteers who participated in the trial and who received the test vaccine, not the placebo, became ill or needed to be hospitalised during the trial! There were no serious side-effects from the vaccine reported in the clinical trial.

According to the DHSS, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation today issued the following advice on priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination:
  1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. all those 75 years of age and over
  4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals [footnote 1]
  5. all those 65 years of age and over
  6. all individuals aged 16 years[footnote 2] to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality[footnote 3]
  7. all those 60 years of age and over
  8. all those 55 years of age and over
  9. all those 50 years of age and over
There are no certainties in science, especially when confronted with a process like evolution which is generally far cleverer than humans, but it is looking set now for the defeat by science of the most serious pandemic to befall mankind since the 'Spanish Lady' flu of 1919 and possibly since the Black Death plagues of the Middle Ages. Hopefully, by this time next year, the Covid-19 pandemic will be just an unpleasant memory and the triumph of science will stand as an example of what can be achieved by science when the funding and international cooperation are there.

It will also stand as a reminder to the way religious fundamentalists sought to exploit the misfortune of others and, when their income was threatened, or they were being slightly inconvenience by the social distancing regulations and requirement to wear a face-covering to protect others, they put that above the mere lives and welfare of their followers and of the general public. Never again can these sanctimonious hypocrites claim to be pro-life!

And it still remains for an intelligent design proponents to explain why a natural process such as the evolution by natural selection that they dogmatically reject, is the only explanation for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the devastation it caused, which doesn't leave their putative designer looking like a malevolent, misanthropic, pestilential, genocidal, sadistic monster who hates its creation and goes to extreme lengths to make us sick and die, apparently singling out the pious church-goers and their priests, of all denominations, for special attention by turning church assemblies into super-spreader events.

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