Scientists admit their mistakes

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shpalman
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Scientists admit their mistakes

Post by shpalman » Fri Feb 04, 2022 10:15 pm

Being proved wrong lies at the heart of scientific progress. Here, experts reveal what they got wrong during the pandemic

I thought the UK vaccination strategy, messing with the time between doses a year ago (as compared to the protocols the manufacturers had trialed), would be a disaster leading to vaccine-resistant variants. But it turns out to be better to make sure everyone gets their first dose as soon as possible and there isn't such a rush for the second one; variants seem to arise where there are lots of cases in an unvaccinated population.

Also I didn't expect that "being allowed to go to work" is a better incentive for vaccination than "not dying" for some older Italians.
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Re: Scientists admit their mistakes

Post by Herainestold » Fri Feb 04, 2022 11:16 pm

shpalman wrote:
Fri Feb 04, 2022 10:15 pm
Being proved wrong lies at the heart of scientific progress. Here, experts reveal what they got wrong during the pandemic

I thought the UK vaccination strategy, messing with the time between doses a year ago (as compared to the protocols the manufacturers had trialed), would be a disaster leading to vaccine-resistant variants. But it turns out to be better to make sure everyone gets their first dose as soon as possible and there isn't such a rush for the second one; variants seem to arise where there are lots of cases in an unvaccinated population.

Also I didn't expect that "being allowed to go to work" is a better incentive for vaccination than "not dying" for some older Italians.
Longer intervals between doses appear to result in better immunity. Apparently this was known to be true with other vaccines.
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Re: Scientists admit their mistakes

Post by Grumble » Fri Feb 04, 2022 11:24 pm

Herainestold wrote:
Fri Feb 04, 2022 11:16 pm
shpalman wrote:
Fri Feb 04, 2022 10:15 pm
Being proved wrong lies at the heart of scientific progress. Here, experts reveal what they got wrong during the pandemic

I thought the UK vaccination strategy, messing with the time between doses a year ago (as compared to the protocols the manufacturers had trialed), would be a disaster leading to vaccine-resistant variants. But it turns out to be better to make sure everyone gets their first dose as soon as possible and there isn't such a rush for the second one; variants seem to arise where there are lots of cases in an unvaccinated population.

Also I didn't expect that "being allowed to go to work" is a better incentive for vaccination than "not dying" for some older Italians.
Longer intervals between doses appear to result in better immunity. Apparently this was known to be true with other vaccines.
It was discussed at the time as being reasonable given what we knew about other vaccines. It was a risk given that these vaccines hadn’t been tested that way, but obviously the government thought it a sensible risk to take, and shock of shocks the government actually took a sensible and balanced view on this.
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Re: Scientists admit their mistakes

Post by dyqik » Sat Feb 05, 2022 1:42 am

Or they took an uninformed punt that was convenient and got lucky.

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Re: Scientists admit their mistakes

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Feb 05, 2022 2:44 am

I think any discussion along these lines needs to define "government" very precisely to be of value.
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Re: Scientists admit their mistakes

Post by Grumble » Sat Feb 05, 2022 7:04 am

dyqik wrote:
Sat Feb 05, 2022 1:42 am
Or they took an uninformed punt that was convenient and got lucky.
There were sound reasons based on what we know about the immune system to think that the longer gap was going to be beneficial. I think this in particular is an example of where the government was lead by its advisers.
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Re: Scientists admit their mistakes

Post by shpalman » Sat Feb 05, 2022 8:02 am

Prof Peter Openshaw, theme lead for infection at Imperial College London, did not expect vaccines to be successful

I honestly didn’t think vaccines were going to work. There had been no example of a vaccine for a human coronavirus and the vaccines for animal coronavirus were not that good. We mentioned vaccines in our first report on Covid from Academy of Medical Sciences and said it was unlikely that anything would be available in the near future. So I was completely bowled over when those first trials came through in the run-up to Christmas 2020 and we got this wonderful gift. They were so much more effective than I’d hoped. As a person who has been studying immunity to viruses for 30 years, I should have been able to predict that, if anyone could. Hats off the to the Oxford team, they’re fantastic people and came up trumps.
Yeah, the Oxford vaccine. Luckily there was also the Pfizer one. Maybe I didn't expect that the Pfizer one would end up being the most heavily used one in Europe, as compared to some of the others which are easier to distribute and handle. European rollouts were frustratingly slow in getting going.
Prof Allyson Pollock, professor of public health at Newcastle University, regrets not speaking out against school closures
Or, depending on what phase of the epidemic your area was in, maybe someone else regrets not closing the schools.

Oh and I was definitely wrong about last summer in the UK, because I didn't expect this strange self-limiting oscillating infection rate which I think nobody understands why it happened; and I was also wrong about how much people would care about the UK's pile of bodies,* i.e., they don't seem to care much at all.

* - although as noted, since the UK's death rate is of the order of 10,000 per week, if you just tested everyone and it turned out they all had covid, then those 10,000 people would all suddenly show up in the covid deaths stats without being excess deaths. I think I tried to figure out the actual magnitude of this effect but I can't remember what the result was.
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Re: Scientists admit their mistakes

Post by shpalman » Sat Feb 05, 2022 8:06 am

Grumble wrote:
Sat Feb 05, 2022 7:04 am
dyqik wrote:
Sat Feb 05, 2022 1:42 am
Or they took an uninformed punt that was convenient and got lucky.
There were sound reasons based on what we know about the immune system to think that the longer gap was going to be beneficial. I think this in particular is an example of where the government was lead by its advisers.
The longer gap was beneficial for the AstraZeneca, and maybe even supported by the earliest trial data: the trial started with a single-dose protocol but was modified to a two-dose protocol, but that led to a delay in giving the second dose in that particular centre. The regular decided it was probably this which gave the better efficacy (and not this business with mistakenly giving a half dose, but I'm surprised they didn't incorporate this into the approved protocol to make supplies go further).

But they were taking a bit of a risk extending the gap with the Pfizer vaccine.
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Re: Scientists admit their mistakes

Post by lpm » Sat Feb 05, 2022 10:25 am

Isn't there a deeper point?

One should expect to be wrong and base one's decisions on the existence of wrongness.

Particularly at the beginning of a phase, e.g. Feb 2020. Or at the start of the vaccine rollout in Jan 2021. Or the arrival of Omicron in Dec 2021.

Decisions should be like a flow chart. Or chess. You think about the latter moves you can play if it turns out you are wrong.

For example if the UK was wrong about dose timing and got immunity waning fast, would that wrongness have mattered given the UK could respond later with booster jabs? On the other hand if the UK has been wrong about Omicron's mildness there appears to be no back up choices that would have saved the NHS from overload.
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Re: Scientists admit their mistakes

Post by dyqik » Sat Feb 05, 2022 12:22 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sat Feb 05, 2022 2:44 am
I think any discussion along these lines needs to define "government" very precisely to be of value.
Yes. Because even if those making the decisions had been given data and advice that suggested that a longer time between doses was likely to be ok or beneficial, that doesn't mean that they understood or took that into account properly, weighed against risks and other advice, when they made the decision. To show that, you need to see the documented decision process.

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Re: Scientists admit their mistakes

Post by dyqik » Sat Feb 05, 2022 12:23 pm

lpm wrote:
Sat Feb 05, 2022 10:25 am
Isn't there a deeper point?

One should expect to be wrong and base one's decisions on the existence of wrongness.

Particularly at the beginning of a phase, e.g. Feb 2020. Or at the start of the vaccine rollout in Jan 2021. Or the arrival of Omicron in Dec 2021.

Decisions should be like a flow chart. Or chess. You think about the latter moves you can play if it turns out you are wrong.

For example if the UK was wrong about dose timing and got immunity waning fast, would that wrongness have mattered given the UK could respond later with booster jabs? On the other hand if the UK has been wrong about Omicron's mildness there appears to be no back up choices that would have saved the NHS from overload.
This, many times over.

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Re: Scientists admit their mistakes

Post by Stranger Mouse » Sat Feb 05, 2022 4:35 pm

Mehdi Hasan vs Monica Gandhi

Wow

Wow

Wow

https://twitter.com/mehdihasanshow/stat ... 77190?s=21
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Re: Scientists admit their mistakes

Post by KAJ » Sat Feb 05, 2022 5:11 pm

shpalman wrote:
Sat Feb 05, 2022 8:02 am
<snip>
* - although as noted, since the UK's death rate is of the order of 10,000 per week, if you just tested everyone and it turned out they all had covid, then those 10,000 people would all suddenly show up in the covid deaths stats without being excess deaths. I think I tried to figure out the actual magnitude of this effect but I can't remember what the result was.
For what it's worth (not much), about a month ago I outlined a very rough, handwavey, approach to this. I've added it to my daily data analysis and today's chart is ...
00003b.png
00003b.png (25.86 KiB) Viewed 445 times

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Re: Scientists admit their mistakes

Post by individualmember » Sat Feb 05, 2022 5:47 pm

shpalman wrote:
Fri Feb 04, 2022 10:15 pm
… I didn't expect that "being allowed to go to work" is a better incentive for vaccination than "not dying" for some older Italians.
It comes as no surprise at all to me, as a freelancer if I don’t work I don’t have an income. I can’t afford that for long. I’m one of the nearly three million who fell through the gaps in the laughable self employed scheme so I had nothing for 5 months (until I got some remote working jobs). So for me and some of my friends getting vaccinated very much meant being able to earn an income relatively normally.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the politicisation of what should have been non-political public health advice.

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Re: Scientists admit their mistakes

Post by Al Capone Junior » Wed Feb 16, 2022 8:46 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sat Feb 05, 2022 2:44 am
I think any discussion along these lines needs to define "government" very precisely to be of value.
In the current sad state of merkinania, I don't think we have anything that would meet this criteria.

Now what we have could meet other criteria, such as "circus," "parade of lunacy," "nightmare" etc

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Re: Scientists admit their mistakes

Post by dyqik » Thu Feb 17, 2022 12:13 am

Al Capone Junior wrote:
Wed Feb 16, 2022 8:46 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sat Feb 05, 2022 2:44 am
I think any discussion along these lines needs to define "government" very precisely to be of value.
In the current sad state of merkinania, I don't think we have anything that would meet this criteria.

Now what we have could meet other criteria, such as "circus," "parade of lunacy," "nightmare" etc
That's true in Texas. Less so in Massachusetts.

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