Coronavirus vaccine trials – updating current studies across the world

coronavirus vaccine trials

This article about coronavirus vaccine trials will be regularly updated as new clinical trials are registered or early results are published about an ongoing trial. Again, this article will focus on coronavirus trials – treatments and diagnostic tests are outside of the scope of this article.

Keeping up with COVID-19 vaccine candidates has gotten out of hand, so for brevity, I’ve created a separate list of coronavirus vaccine trials. The interest in clinical trials for a new COVID-19  vaccine is unprecedented, so I thought this might be the best way to keep loyal readers up-to-date.

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has listed over 110 vaccine candidates, which is amazing, but it is way too difficult to tell which ones have any chance of actually becoming a real product.

Right now, there are numerous vaccine candidates in clinical trials – this article will analyze these coronavirus vaccine trials.

Continue reading “Coronavirus vaccine trials – updating current studies across the world”

Vitamin D for coronavirus – not a cure or prevention for coronavirus, but…

vitamin d for coronavirus

The internet was flooded recently with reports that vitamin D for coronavirus may be either a treatment or prevention. Or it may reduce the severity of COVID-19. 

But what does the real data say? Does it say that there is a solid benefit of vitamin D for coronavirus? Is there strong evidence that it can help prevent or treat COVID-19?

The answer is complicated. This is why I am annoyed by science journalists – they don’t critically analyze the underlying science published in peer-reviewed journals. It’s almost like the whole hydroxychloroquine fiasco – latch onto weak evidence and make outlandish claims.

So let’s look at a few recent studies about vitamin D for coronavirus. Continue reading “Vitamin D for coronavirus – not a cure or prevention for coronavirus, but…”

Moderna coronavirus vaccine – tempering the breathless pharma hype

moderna coronavirus vaccine

If you have been paying attention to the news, you’ve probably seen reports of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine candidate that is getting everyone all excited about a vaccine “real soon now.” I’ve even seen so-called pro-vaccine people, who ostensibly should be following science, breathlessly cheer them on.

Instead of waiting for actually published scientific results, so that we can see if the Moderna coronavirus vaccine actually shows any safety or effectiveness, people are demanding it “right now.” If this were someone pushing an anti-malarial drug as a “cure” for COVID-19, we’d be relentlessly mocking them. And we do.

People want “hope,” as opposed to possibly endless cycles of bouncing between opening up and closing down in response to the pandemic. But hope isn’t a part of the realm of scientific research – that’s best left to those who believe in the Age of Aquarius. 

As anyone who reads my blog knows that the only thing that matters to me is published scientific evidence. And by published, I mean in a respected, peer-reviewed journal. Sure, I don’t need scientific evidence to support my belief that the New York Mets should be thrown out of baseball, because I hate the team – that’s just an opinion.

But when it comes to vaccines, we have built an amazing system of bringing the most effective and safest medical advances to humanity. Despite the misinformation and FUD of the anti-vaccine zealots, the safety and effectiveness of modern vaccines are settled science

I’m not willing to sacrifice that for a vaccine that may not be effective or safe. That’s why I want to take a very critical look at the Moderna coronavirus vaccine. And I think there are more reasons to be skeptical than not. Continue reading “Moderna coronavirus vaccine – tempering the breathless pharma hype”

Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for coronavirus – UPDATED with new studies

hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin

Because of an awful study from France published on 20 March 2020, Donald Trump and other non-scientists pushed hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for coronavirus. Of course, this old dinosaur and many others like Orac, who has written several articles about it,  found the evidence that hydroxychloroquine, usually with the antibiotic azithromycin, had any effect on COVID-19 was very weak. 

And now we have information that Donald Trump is taking hydroxychloroquine prophylactically (or maybe he has the disease and not saying it). This happened despite the lack of effectiveness, the lack of any data that it can be used as a prophylactic, and the strong evidence that it can cause serious harm.

And now, new observational studies now show that hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin had no positive effect on the course or outcomes from severe cases of COVID-19. Let’s take a look. 

Continue reading “Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for coronavirus – UPDATED with new studies”

Bill Gates coronavirus conspiracy – the anti-vaccine trope debunked again

Bill Gates coronavirus conspiracy

I discussed some of the lame COVID-19 conspiracies before, but the Bill Gates coronavirus conspiracy requires special attention because it’s particularly idiotic. Most conspiracies are easily debunked or are so ridiculous that we can only debunk them while mocking anyone who pushes it – hey, the coronavirus came from aliens in outer space!!!

We are seeing the COVID-19 deniers significantly overlap with the vaccine deniers, lead by the chief science denier in the country, Donald Orange Trump. So most of the Bill Gates vaccine conspiracies neatly fit into Bill Gates coronavirus conspiracy.

So let’s debunk this crackpot conspiracy, not because Bill Gates needs my help. We’re doing it just so that you have a reference point to debunk the Bill Gates coronavirus conspiracy. Continue reading “Bill Gates coronavirus conspiracy – the anti-vaccine trope debunked again”

Bill Gates vaccines – causing hate across science deniers everywhere

bill gates vaccines

Bill Gates vaccines are one of the biggest shibboleths of the anti-vaccine world.  Of course, he is one of the world’s leading sponsors of vaccine research along with healthcare (including vaccinations) to underdeveloped countries.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), founded by Bill & Melinda Gates using their vast Microsoft wealth. I have always favored capitalism, and believe there is no particular moral code associated with accumulating wealth. It is, however, wonderful that they have decided to use their wealth to help humanity.

As strong supporters of vaccines, the Gates and their foundation have become one of the leading targets of the vaccine denialists who use a bunch of outright lies to attack his good works. Bill Gates and vaccines is a constant drumbeat from the anti-vaccine world.

Most of us know that Bill Gates did not invent these vaccines, but the attacks on him make it seem like he did.

These personal attacks remind me of Ernst’s Law, which states “If you are researching complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and you are not hated by the CAM world, you’re not doing it right.” 

For vaccines, I guess we should create a corollary of the law, “if you are supporting the safety and efficacy of vaccinations for children, and you are not hated by vaccine denialists, you’re not doing it right.” I think I want to call this corollary “Offit’s Law,” named for Paul Offit, a tireless supporter of vaccines who has been the target of lies and hatred, or even “Gate’s Law.” 

So, let’s talk about Bill Gates vaccines. They are amusing. 

Continue reading “Bill Gates vaccines – causing hate across science deniers everywhere”

Coronavirus herd immunity – without vaccines, it will not save us

coronavirus herd immunity

Let’s talk about coronavirus herd immunity, which is something that is being tossed about by everyone, including the British Prime Minister. I guess until the point that Boris Johnson contracted COVID-19

Herd immunity is one of those terms in public health that is misunderstood and misused by people who are on all sides of science from vaccine deniers to vaccine advocates.

But there’s one thing we should remind ourselves – coronavirus herd immunity is no panacea, and it probably won’t happen without a COVID-19 vaccine, which is probably years away. Furthermore, pandemics like COVID-19 are almost impossible to predict – that makes it even more difficult to determine if we can even have herd immunity for this disease.

Continue reading “Coronavirus herd immunity – without vaccines, it will not save us”

Anti vaccine social mobilization is a virus in the coronavirus world

anti-vaccine-social-mobilization

This article about anti-vaccine social mobilization was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about the social and legal policies of vaccination. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease.

Viruses are the ultimate parasites. Viruses are little packages of genetic material whose whole existence is about finding a host cell they can enter, use the cell’s machinery to make copies of themselves, often killing the cell in the process, and move to another cell – often inflicting substantial damage on the whole host organism (when the host is not a single cell).

Obviously, no human is like that. Nor is a movement like anti-vaccine social mobilization. But the term “viral” has been used to describe things that are not actually viruses. In several ways, the anti-vaccine movement can be argued to have similar qualities to viruses.

First, viruses succeed by misrepresenting themselves. They get into cells by convincing the cell’s receptors that they should be pulled in, that they belong. In a similar way, anti-vaccine social mobilization simulates other social movement’s use of the law by misrepresenting legal claims – blatantly or less blatantly.

They present settlements as wins. They present a case that rejected an argument that the Childhood National Vaccine Injury Act embodied the idea that vaccines are “unavoidably safe” by saying “US supreme court ruled vaccines “unavoidably UNsafe” [sic] in 2011.”

Second, anti-vaccine activists are parasitic in the sense that they coopt previously successful legal claims used by other movements. For example, in attacking laws trying to tighten vaccine mandates anti-vaccine activists compared them to segregation, going as far as to refer to Jim Crow, Rosa Parks, and separate water fountains.

In more than one lawsuit they cited Brown v. Board of Education to support a claim of discrimination (Reiss, 2018). More recently, they invoked the language of “my body, my choice” used by supporters of reproductive rights, and to the Me Too movement.

Third, anti-vaccine activists’ content goes viral. Although the content does not often break outside their network, the coordinated nature of their network and their sophisticated efforts make it quickly go viral within the network.

In these different ways, the anti-vaccine social mobilization has a viral-like quality, with more than one meaning, that is unlike the social movement previously written about.

As the editor, I’d like to add a fourth point. Viruses have no intelligence or free will. They are organisms at the edge of life, barely living. Compare that to the anti-vaccine social mobilization. Just saying.  

Coronavirus vaccine clinical trials – keeping up with everything out there

coronavirus vaccine clinical trials

This article about coronavirus vaccine clinical trials will be regularly updated as new clinical trials are registered or early results are published about an ongoing trial. Again, this article will focus on coronavirus clinical trials – treatments and diagnostic tests are outside of the scope of this article.

Keeping up with COVID-19 vaccine candidates has gotten out of hand, so for brevity, I’ve created a separate list of coronavirus vaccine clinical trials. The interest in clinical trials for a new vaccine is unprecedented, so I thought this might be the best way to keep loyal readers up-to-date.

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has listed over 110 vaccine candidates, which is amazing, but it is way too difficult to tell which ones have any chance of actually becoming a real product.

Right now, there are numerous vaccine candidates in clinical trials – this article will analyze these coronavirus vaccine clinical trials.

Continue reading “Coronavirus vaccine clinical trials – keeping up with everything out there”

Judy Mikovits – another false authority on COVID-19 and vaccines

judy mikovits

If you have been following the detritus of the internet regarding COVID-19, you have probably seen a video called “Plandemic” from Judy Mikovits, another pseudoscientist screaming about conspiracies and nonsense during this pandemic. She has a long history of scams and false information over a few decades, not unlike all of the other false authorities we’ve seen over the years.

In case you don’t know about a “false authority,” formally the “argument from false authoritylogical fallacy, which favors claims from individuals based solely on their credentials rather than the scientific consensus. Credentials don’t matter – I maybe someone who has a Ph.D. in cell biology and biochemistry from a top university, but if I claim that you must believe that Sasquatch because of my background, that doesn’t work. Plus, Sasquatch does not exist.

The anti-vaccine zealots have a long history of relying upon false authorities – Tetyana Obukhanych, Christopher Exley, and Christopher Shaw. None of the individuals have any reputation in vaccines, yet they are deified by the anti-vaxxers. I’m guessing that Judy Mikovits will be joining that crowd soon. Continue reading “Judy Mikovits – another false authority on COVID-19 and vaccines”