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moderna coronavirus vaccine

Moderna coronavirus vaccine – tempering the breathless pharma hype

This article about the Moderna coronavirus vaccine candidate has been updated and published here

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.Read More »Moderna coronavirus vaccine – tempering the breathless pharma hype

Bill Gates coronavirus conspiracy

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

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. Read More »Bill Gates coronavirus conspiracy – the anti-vaccine trope debunked again

coronavirus vaccine clinical trials

Coronavirus vaccine clinical trials – keeping up with everything out there

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.

Read More »Coronavirus vaccine clinical trials – keeping up with everything out there

judy mikovits

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

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. Read More »Judy Mikovits – another false authority on COVID-19 and vaccines

COVID 19 conspiracies

Debunking COVID-19 conspiracies – top 6 for entertainment purposes

Since I can only write so much about coronavirus vaccines without going mad, let’s talk about COVID-19 conspiracies. There are so many, but I wanted to focus on the six that are most frequently circulating around the internet.

I wonder what conspiracists before the existence of the internet. It’s possible that they were limited to those awful trash papers you could buy at the grocery story line checkout. Back when we actually stood in grocery store lines.

Today, we can’t have any science without someone inventing some conspiracy to go around it. You know, like vaccines contain nanobots or something. Actually, medical research is studying the use of nanotechnology for treating diseases – can’t wait for the ridiculous myths to surround that when it appears.

I know that 99.9% of the readers of this blog probably reject all conspiracies as pure, unfettered nonsense. But we need to have a little snark and fun during these dystopian times.

One little housekeeping note – I’m not going to link to any conspiracy website or anything. Why give them the clicks?

Read More »Debunking COVID-19 conspiracies – top 6 for entertainment purposes

coronavirus mutations

Coronavirus mutations and vaccines – worse than murder hornets

I am skeptical of the wild claims about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in 12-18 months, and now there is powerful research about coronavirus mutations that makes me very concerned about getting an effective vaccine. And you thought murder hornets were bad? 

These coronavirus mutations could mean a disaster for current vaccine research – if we’re developing vaccines for a previous strain of COVID-19, rather than more current (and apparently, more virulent) coronavirus vaccines.

This makes the murder hornets look like a ladybug.  

A recent paper looks at a particularly dangerous strain of coronavirus mutations that should make us reassess any optimism about getting a new COVID-19 vaccine. Let’s examine the paper.Read More »Coronavirus mutations and vaccines – worse than murder hornets

coronavirus vaccine race

Coronavirus vaccine race – Operation Warp Speed could be a disaster

Donald Trump has recently pushed “Operation Warp Speed” that will speed the coronavirus vaccine race so that we can have a new COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021. This is could end up being a disaster.

This is like the hundredth article I’ve posted on coronavirus vaccines. I just joked with someone that if I wrote an article that conclusively established that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines actually cured cancer, erectile dysfunction, and the inability to hit an inside curveball, the first 30 comments posted at the end of that article would ask, “yeah that’s nice to know, old dinosaur. But does it cure COVID-19?”

Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, whose facial expressions in response to whatever lie that Donald Trump is saying during his daily coronavirus campaign events are meme-worthy, has also said that we might see a vaccine within 12-18 months. Now, Dr. Fauci is a billion times smarter than I ever will be about immunology, infectious diseases, and baseball, but I have numerous reservations about this aggressive timeline. 

Maybe Dr. Fauci has some inside knowledge. Maybe he has seen some secret data only available only to him and Bill Gates. Maybe Trump has a gun pointed at him during these press briefings (really, campaign rallies). 

I don’t know the real answer, but a lot of vaccine experts who have spent their lifetime studying vaccines are very skeptical of this aggressive timeline for a new COVID-19 vaccine. I consider myself a pharmaceutical development expert, and I am unconvinced that this coronavirus vaccine race can be done safely.Read More »Coronavirus vaccine race – Operation Warp Speed could be a disaster

coronavirus treatments

Evaluating coronavirus treatments like remdesivir – only science matters

The ever-evolving world of fake coronavirus treatments, like Donald Trump’s push for hydroxychloroquine, has made it difficult for many people, even those who are well-informed about pharmaceutical research, to see when potential coronavirus treatments are overhyped.

Like my critique of the over-optimistic timelines for vaccines, we need to also carefully examine information about coronavirus treatments, especially antiviral drugs that are currently being rushed through development. 

For example, the antiviral, remdesivir from Gilead Sciences has been in clinical trials as a treatment (I think using the word “cure” might be an overstatement at this time) and has shown good results. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has expressed valid skepticism of every claim from Trump about COVID-19 treatments, has stated that the results are “very optimistic.” In fact, the FDA may authorize the emergency use of remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment.

Let’s take a look at how we should evaluate various coronavirus treatments, using remdesivir as a model.Read More »Evaluating coronavirus treatments like remdesivir – only science matters

coronavirus vaccine manufacturing

Coronavirus vaccine manufacturing – this may slow its availability

This article about coronavirus vaccine manufacturing has been updated and revised. Please go here to read all about it.

Getting a new COVID-19 vaccine has been overhyped recently, but one of the more critical issues is coronavirus vaccine manufacturing. Even if we get a vaccine clinical approved over the next two or three years, can we make enough for the world? The answer to that question is complicated.

I constantly joke that people oversimplify how we get a vaccine – throw some ingredients in a blender and, voila, we’ve got a vaccine. If only it was that easy.

I’m going to give you a brief, high-level view of coronavirus vaccine manufacturing, and some considerations that rarely show up in any analysis of when we will have a vaccine.Read More »Coronavirus vaccine manufacturing – this may slow its availability