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Open mike 05/02/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 5th, 2021 - 117 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

117 comments on “Open mike 05/02/2021 ”

  1. lprent 1

    Holiday. We're heading off to the Bay of Islands and Waitangi for a longer weekend 'holiday'. Back home on Tuesday. The cat is being fed by the neighbours.

    Maybe I'll get time to do some writing of things other than code.

    • Ad 2.1

      Nice article Joe. And the film is worth the watch, in a Man in the High Castle kinda way.

    • McFlock 2.2

      interesting.

      Another layer to the shit-cake.

    • Macro 2.3

      Just a teaser for those who just might skip over this.

      From the joe's link:

      On January 6, Trump supporters gathered at a rally at Washington DC’s Ellipse Park, regaled by various figures from Trump world, including Donald Trump Jr. and Rudy Giuliani. Directly following Giuliani’s speech, the organizers played a video. To a scholar of fascist propaganda, well-versed in the history of the National Socialist’s pioneering use of videos in political propaganda, it was clear, watching it, what dangers it portended. In it, we see themes and tactics that history warns pose a violent threat to liberal democracy. Given the aims of fascist propaganda – to incite and mobilize – the events that followed were predictable.

      ….

      What follows is scene after scene of immense loss. Empty streets of great American cities, a forlorn white woman peering out of a window, trapped at home. Scrabble pieces spelling “FEAR” appear and disappear within less than a second, empty chairs at a school, a sign reading “closed.” We see an image of the Supreme Court, followed by what appears to be a Black Lives Matter rally on a street emblazoned with “DEFUND THE POLICE.” Joe Biden appears in a forlorn photo in a gym, speaking to a lone man in a chair – Biden is here a petitioner, not a commander. The video switches back to a representation of glorious Trump years – a rising stock market, more fighter planes, a Black man and a white man with a “Jesus Saves” shirt embracing in brotherhood – a reference to the power of a shared Christian identity to bond Americans across racial lines. It ends with the screen filling with a powerful image of Trump’s face, showing steely resolve.

      The message of the video is clear. America’s glory has been betrayed by treachery and division sown by politicians seeking to undermine and destroy the nation. To save the nation, one must restore Trump’s rule.

      Each of us can decide what moral responsibility Trump personally has for a video to rouse his supporters at the rally. How much of a role the White House or Trump himself may have played in deciding to show the video and sequencing it immediately after Giuliani’s speech, we don’t know. But it is worth noting that the New York Times recently reported that by early January, “the rally would now effectively become a White House production” and, with his eye ever on media production, Trump micromanaged the details. “The president discussed the speaking lineup, as well as the music to be played, according to a person with direct knowledge of the conversations. For Mr. Trump, the rally was to be the percussion line in the symphony of subversion he was composing from the Oval Office,” the Times reported.

      • Anne 2.3.1

        Yep. I read that this morning with horror at how close the world came to biting that bullet once again. The last sentence says it all:

        For Mr. Trump, the rally was to be the percussion line in the symphony of subversion he was composing from the Oval Office,” the Times reported.

        Anyone who can't see he was attempting to turn himself into a modern day Hitler is blind as a bat!

    • Ad 4.1

      Vaccine rollout is the story that will rise Boris to stratospheric heights, just as it is with Ardern. Not much Starmer can do about it.

  2. Incognito 5

    Remember that no vaccine is 100% effective and vaccines are not a force field. So while it's still possible to get the disease you've been vaccinated against, disease severity and duration will be reduced.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/six-myths-about-vaccinations-busted/JDZXNODEDQTVAWKDJIHZBJW2OU/

    • Rosemary McDonald 5.1

      Dunlop celebrates India's polio free status with a link to an article from 2013…

      https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/03/images-of-india-beating-polio-two-years-without-a-new-case/274002/

      Yay.

      Unfortunately, this came at a cost.

      https://www.scidev.net/asia-pacific/news/oral-polio-drops-linked-to-paralysis-in-india/

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1570019/

      https://scroll.in/pulse/803485/if-india-is-polio-free-why-are-children-still-getting-paralysed-by-the-polio-virus

      https://scroll.in/pulse/843327/interview-whos-revised-norms-are-allowing-the-use-of-unsafe-vaccines

      https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/135/Supplement_1/S16.2

      Although the incidence of polio acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) has decreased in India, the nonpolio AFP (NPAFP) rate has increased. Nationwide, the NPAFP rate is 11.82 per 100 000 population, whereas the expected rate is 1 to 2 per 100 000 population.

      • Andre 5.1.1

        A few questions:

        Assuming for the sake of argument that the apparent increase in non-polio acute flaccid paralysis is in fact due to the version of polio vaccine being used in India being the cheaper of vaccines available (this assumption is by no means a clear conclusion from the available evidence), do you think this outcome is worse than the outcome would have been from not vaccinating and letting polio run rampant?

        Do you think think what might be a relatively minor step down from a perfect outcome that happened in a deeply impoverished nation that choose the cheapest of available vaccines in order to get wider coverage of its population, is in any way relevant to the rollout of covid vaccinations in New Zealand? Or is it just a convenient hook for maliciously spreading unwarranted fear, uncertainty and doubt?

        • Rosemary McDonald 5.1.1.1

          Obviously, Andre, the very best option would have been for the Indian Ministry of Health to first of all clean up the fucking slums that these children live in. You know, simple stuff that we take for granted like clean water and properly managed human sewage and proper houses. Because as we all know, polio travels by the faecal/oral route so having the kiddies paddling in shit all day kinda undermines the efficacy of the vaccine programme. Not to mention the fact that these kids must live with the associated chronic ill health and malnutrition. Then they might not to have had to give 10plus doses of a cheap and nasty vaccine.

          As for your wee dig… is in any way relevant to the rollout of covid vaccinations in New Zealand? Or is it just a convenient hook for … spreading unwarranted fear, uncertainty and doubt? … take that up with Incognito who posted the article I commented on. If Ms Dunn sets about busting myths she oughta be a little more selective in her choices of links.

          I am naturally suspicious of clearly biased happy clappy articles. I read news from all over the world and was aware of this 'epidemic' of NPAFP in India. (I also have experience of a close family member contracting polio from a oral vaccine.) And as I've written about on TS on previous occasions (with accompanying references) there have been major vaccine blunders over the years which have caused significant harm. These have been largely dismissed as whoopsie moments by Big Pharma and various governments and it is this that has been the root cause of vaccine mistrust. Folks don't like being lied to and misled.

          I am really not sure what your issue is…the vast majority of people are going to be begging for one of these new Cocid 19 vaccines regardless of anything the 'vaccine hesitant' might say. Most folks just want to get on with their lives. Most folks don't have much science and the mRNA tech is beyond them. But since the Governments and Big Pharma are saying the vaccines are safe and effective…they must be, right?

          …maliciously… now that was just plain nasty of you Andre. Expected, but nasty nonetheless.

          • Andre 5.1.1.1.1

            Polio persisted in wealthy developed western nations long after they had sanitation and freshwater systems vastly better than anything India could conceivably provide the majority of their citizens with anytime in the foreseeable future. But as soon as the polio vaccine was introduced, rates of polio went down dramatically. It was the vaccine that made the difference, not the water systems and sewage systems and decent houses. The vaccine is also why we don't have polio here in NZ, even the we still have shamefully high numbers of people living without good safe water and dodgy sewage disposal and crappy houses (or cars or tents).

            So that was a nice diversion that completely avoided the question about the increased incidence of acute non-polio flaccid paralysis that may be due to the polio vaccination program, compared to the permanent disability and death due to actual polio. (If you don’t know what acute means medically, educate yourself)

            Here's the question again that you avoided: do you think this outcome is worse than the outcome would have been from not vaccinating and letting polio run rampant?

            My issue is your apparent compulsion to pick irrelevant factoids from elsewhere and misrepresent them to present a falsely wildly inflated picture of vaccine risks. Thereby maliciously spreading unwarranted fear, uncertainty, doubt. Apparently with the intent of discouraging people from getting vaccinated and subsequently putting immunocompromised and other especially vulnerable people at unnecessary and avoidable risk.

            I can honestly take a darwinian view if you and your loved ones choose not to get vaccinated. From the information publicly available about you and your partner, you're both at significantly higher risk of negative outcomes from getting infected, but that's your choice. The waste of medical resource that might be incurred in maybe needing to treat you for an easily and cheaply preventable disease is really a minor issue, compared to the risk of passing it on to someone vulnerable that either can't get the vaccine or for some reason the vaccine doesn't work for them.

            Distrust of Big Pharma and government pronouncements is fine, as long as it's coupled with a willingness to look at data that is publicly available that is relevant to the situation at hand, and realistically compare it to the alternative.

            In the case of covid, there is at least six months of data for tens of thousands of trial volunteers, and weeks of data for tens of millions of vaccine recipients. A few dozen cases of anaphylactic shock are the worst reaction to the vaccine that there is any reasonable evidence for, and that's a routine risk for vaccines and part of the reason for staying at the doctor's office for fifteen minutes after vaccination. All of the very rare other nastier illnesses or deaths that happened shortly after vaccination appear to be happening at rates the same as the background rates of those illnesses and deaths, so they are very unlikely to be caused by the vaccine.

            So, for covid, over 22 million people getting vaccinated and the worst plausible side effect is 50 cases of anaphylactic shock that were quickly and completely recovered from, versus the actual disease causing 27 million cases of covid causing over 460,000 deaths and many more long-term disabilities from long covid.

            This is the reasonable comparison: about a 0.5 in a million chance of anaphylactic shock from the vaccine that is quickly and completely recovered from (many of those at elevated risk already know it, and would almost certainly be offered the chance to go for one of the other vaccines that carries less risk for that individual), versus a 20,000 in a million chance of dying from covid if you get plus some unknown but probably greater than 20,000 in a million chance of long-term disability (I've seen estimates as high as 1 in 5 covid cases having to deal with long covid).

          • weka 5.1.1.1.2

            the use of maliciously was entirely unnecessary.

            Thing about vaccination programmes is that they require the public getting on board, but this seems largely dependent on no meeting contemporary cultural standards of informed consent and patient rights. Obviously if I started talking about the huge problems with the dietary fat hypothesis and prescribing of statins, big pharma's role in that and the failures of the medical model, it's going to be less of an issue. Because people that take the information and decide to not go down that route are only harming themselves from the medical model pov. Not so vaccines. There is an inherent conflict between being fully informed and the perception of how a programme will work.

            How much of that is pro-vax fundamentalism, and how much of it is an actual problem for public health, I don't know. But I am pleased to see that the MoH is not talking about mandating or coercing covid vaccines, and I'm taking from that that they still understand that coercion is unnecessary and would be counter productive (would in fact blow up the whole antivaxxer thing again). Not that the MoH is not messing up in other ways, but I remain reasonable confident that unless we end up with a more deadly pandemic, this position will remain stable in NZ.

            Not so happy with progressives talking about the need to mandate/coerce, when patently there is no medical justification at the is point, nor public health planning rationale. That shit just makes it harder to discuss, and people will radicalise away from vaccines as being generally safe.

            Personally, I think we should be honest and upfront about the problems with vaccines, full disclosure, and let people decide from an informed place. If it turns out that not enough people will vaccinate, then maybe as you say it's time we look at other preventative approaches as well.

            I also think that if we actually gave a shit about medically damaged people in this country, and put good supports in place, then the argument that collateral damage is worth it would carry more weight. Not seeing a lot of the pro-vax/collateral damage people working to end state discrimination against chronically ill or disabled people though.

            • Andre 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Disability support is a totally separate issue to vaccination. But if disability support advocates want to tar themselves by association with idiot anti-vaxers, that's their choice to discredit themselves that way.

              At this point in New Zealand, our expectations of vaccine safety and performance are extremely high, and the vaccines we approve actually meet those extreme standards. To the point that I personally would need to see a credible peer-reviewed article examining the actual cases of vaccine disabled people in this country over the last couple of decades to believe that we really do have them and they are not cases of unrelated problems that happened to present sometime shortly after vaccination.

              In any case, if I had to guess, I would be extremely confident the number of people in the last say twenty years of genuinely vaccine-disabled people is tiny compared to disease-disabled people, even with the widespread vaccination we now have. I am also very confident that a significant number of disease-disabled people we have are from vaccine-preventable diseases, but those individuals were not vaccinated.

              • weka

                woosh. But sure, you believe in collateral damage, and you don't believe there is a need for NZ to improve how it looks after medically damaged people. So far, so mainstream. I would talk about how this affects disabled people generally, but given you didn't get what I meant the first time, I'm not sure there is much point.

                Remind me what the protocol/process is for reporting adverse vaccine reactions in NZ?

                • weka

                  and just to make it clear, I'm not an anti-vaxxer, and I support the development and use of covid vaccines globally.

                • Andre

                  So it's one of those "if you don't know what I'm talking about, I'm certainly not going to try to explain it" kinds of things? Really helpful. /

                  McFlock has linked below at 5.2.1.1.1 what the process is in New Zealand for reporting adverse reactions. Every time I've had a vaccination recently I've been given that info along with instructions to report it to the office or person that jabbed me.

                  • weka

                    no, it's a why would I bother wasting my time trying to explain the next thing when the first thing was ignored. You know me Andre, I'm usually happy to talk about what I think, lol. But you tying what I was talking about to anti-vaxxers just made me think that you can't see it outside that frame, so there's probably not much point.

                    Yes, I replied to McFlock's linking below. What happens if you report an adverse reaction to the contractor, or to your clinic? Because I can tell you the stories of young mums and how they get treated when they try to talk about what they consider vaccine reactions in their kids, and it's not a situation of patient rights and good communication.

            • RedLogix 5.1.1.1.2.2

              yes

            • Andre 5.1.1.1.2.3

              Personally, I think we should be honest and upfront about the problems with vaccines, full disclosure, and let people decide from an informed place.

              In what ways do you think anyone has not been upfront and honest about problems with vaccines in New Zealand over the last couple of decades?

              Or put another way, what kinds of information do you think anyone might have and be reasonably expected to share that they are not sharing?

              For every vaccine I've ever had a passing interest in, a quick google search has turned up a plethora of information about side effects, contraindications, expected efficacy, duration of immunity and so on.

              For instance, should I want to travel to northeastern US sometime in the future, I would be very interested getting vaccinated against Lyme disease. Indeed, one was developed for humans in the late 90s. Information such as this is readily available:

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2870557/

              • McFlock

                To hell with google, every shot I've taken came with a list of possible side effects.

                • Andre

                  Indeed.

                  One time I even got instructions to check in with the travel doc's office a couple of times a day for the next few days and if I missed a call-in they'd initiate a search for me.

                  But I'm more thinking about fact-finding before fronting up to get the jab.

                  • McFlock

                    Fair call.

                    But then not sure how the health sector could disclose any issues before the person presents, other than easily-googleable websites like this, with links to other places people can look if they really want to do a deep dive.

                    • Andre

                      In the case where I got my jabs for Africa, what happened was we went to an initial meeting to scope out what to get for where we were going and what we were going to do. We told her we would want side effect and contra-indication info to take home and study.

                      We walked out of that initial meeting with recommends for nearly 20 different vaccines, a lot of them 2 jabbers. And a smallish telephone book sized stack of info (this was before da intertoobz got really useful).

                      There was one recommended we didn't go for, one of the heps I think, because it was low efficacy, and what we planned to do was very low risk. The next six weeks was a metric buttload of jabs, both shoulders most visits. And I'm a craven coward around needles at the best of times.

                    • McFlock

                      damn, that would be like walking backwards into a cactus tree…

                    • Treetop []

                      Or thinking you were at acupuncture to have the nerve endings stimulated.

                    • weka

                      I'm sure that's a very interesting and useful link, but informed consent isn't about reassuring people that something is safe, it's about providing the known information about a treatment and enabling the person considering the treatment to be able to understand it. Not everyone wants that, and that's cool, they don't have to engage, but those that do want that should have it really easily available. This of course isn't just an issue with vaccines, it's across the whole medical profession.

                      (yes, yes, doctors are wonderful, so are patient rights advocates).

                      One thing that isn't helping that is labelling vaccine hesitant people anti-vaxxers and condemning them. There's been some good discussion elsewhere about how to engage with people concerned about vaccines so that they can make good decisions. People don't make good decisions under stress or when being ridiculed, and those things make it harder to parse information. The sense I have is that there are those who believe that people should be bullied into vaccination. Thankfully the MoH has more sense than that.

                    • McFlock

                      So what would you actually like to see made available online?

                      And how would it address “vaccine hesitancy”, assuming minds have not already been made up?

              • weka

                you just made the argument that vaccines are near perfect and there are next to no problems with them in NZ, so excuse me if I don't take your internet searches as being somewhat driven by confirmation bias and faith. Nothing wrong with that of course, people will manage their health in the way that works for them. Doesn't make a good political argument though.

                • weka

                  I'd also add, that I wouldn't advise a vaccine hesitant person to use a general google search, because it's a total shit show out there re vaccination and very hard for people to find information that they can trust and understand. Again, I'm not talking about reassuring messaging from public health bodies.

                  • Anne

                    @ weka

                    I started this conversation on OM yesterday and I was talking about "anti-vaxxers" not those who are hesitant about the Covid vaccines because they don't know enough about them. There is a huge chasm between the two. One lot are totally deluded and too far gone to be persuaded against their foolishness. The others are concerned that what they may be about to receive is everything its cracked up to be.

                    I've had a gutsful of the former but I expect the latter to become less hesitant as they are able to better inform themselves. Indeed I want to know everything there is to know before I commit myself to the jab too. Its called commonsense.

                    • weka

                      how would the state determine one from the other for the purposes of denying employment?

                      Ime (by which I mean the large number of people I have known over my life who don't vaccinate or who have concerns), it's not black and white line. I think it's a mistake politically and socially to other people who don't toe the provaccine line, in this way.

                      I think you will also find that many people use the term ‘antivaxxer’ when talking about vaccine hesitant people.

                    • KJT

                      There is a huge difference between people who are justifiably suspicious of the pharmaceutical industries power and business model, and ask for more information. and those who persist in a belief that vaccines are harmful, despite over a centuries evidence that vaccines are beneficial and that serious side effects are extremely rare. Usually because someone has mucked up storage or treatment protocols.

                      If vaccines were as dangerous as the anti vacc lobby believe, where are the hospitals full of "vaccine damaged" people?

                      Simple statistics tell us they are very safe.

                      Unlike the many in my youth deaf from rubella, and handicapped from other diseases. My mother has lived with the side effects of polio all her life. She remembers classmates dying from diseases which are unheard of now, including polio. I, and many others have had the pain of shingles, from the "harmless" childhood disease, chicken pox.

                      I remember others sterile from mumps, with limbs missing and deformities from other diseases. In comparison, in 60 years I only know of one person who had a serious adverse reaction to vaccines. She recovered and is fine, now. However she is one of the people, who cannot be vaccinated, who needs the rest of us to be vaccinated, to protect her.

      • Incognito 5.1.2

        What is the point of your reply, which is irrelevant to the quoted text in my comment that stands on its own?

        Do you think it related to polio vaccination with life oral vaccine in NZ? That would be quite a jump, a leap of faith, more like it or perhaps grasping at straws.

        It seems you took the source link of the quoted text and started cherry picking to suit your own narrative.

        SSDD.

        • Rosemary McDonald 5.1.2.1

          It seems you took the source link of the quoted text and started cherry picking to suit your own narrative.

          I was merely responding to the obvious cherry-picking of the author of the post you linked to. Clearly biased in favour of vaccines and more than keen to promote the 'vaccines are safe and effective' narrative. And avoid like the plague(intended) any reference to adverse events.

          Sigh. As I stated upthread…I read widely from various media sources from throughout the whole world. Gotta love the internet. The drive to deal with polio, a disease spread through the fecal/ oral route, in the sewage ridden slums of lower caste India caught my interest years ago. Reading that the method of giving repeated doses of the OPV was alarming to say the least. This vaccine is live, and has known issues. So much so that only the injected vaccine has been used in the US for the past 20 years…

          https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/polio/public/index.html

          …and forms part of a multi-vaccine shot in NZ

          http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/immunisation/new-zealand-immunisation-schedule

          Seems like your chosen pro- vaccine fundamentalist ( stolen from weka https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-05-02-2021/#comment-1777572 ) was choosing to only cite articles that support her particular view…celebrating based on a headline and a shallow puff piece that totally ignores the well documented concerns at the negative outcomes.

          https://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k2077/rr

          At least in India, OPV has been blamed for causing more paralysis than the actual virus does (1% case prevalence rate) (3); the found case vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDVP) in New Delhi strengthens all such statements (4).

          What is the meaning of keeping polio-free status when annually 50,000 Indian children are victimized by polio-like AFP?

          Again…the extremists at both ends are making the loudest noise. And getting the most attention. And commanding the most links.

          The scientists on the ground and at the coalface are often sidelined.

          Dunlop should have dug a little deeper Incognito, and checked that her claims could withstand scrutiny.

          And exactly what do you think my 'narrative' is? I am not 'anti-vax' at all…I am pro-fact and pro-transparency. It gets a little scary when well known facts about adverse vaccine events are treated like heresy. Vaccine believers…are they simply too scared to admit there have been injuries and there have been negative consequences from vaccines? Sounds like a religion to me.

          • Drowsy M. Kram 5.1.2.1.1

            Vaccine believers…are they simply too scared to admit there have been injuries and there have been negative consequences from vaccines? Sounds like a religion to me.

            Good Lord, "Vaccine believers" now – Hallelujah!

            I believe (and know) that “vaccines save lives by preventing disease“, so maybe that makes me “a vaccine believer".

            But wait, I'm not "simply too scared to admit there have been injuries and there have been negative consequences from vaccines", so that means I’m nota vaccine believer“, right? Label me confused.

          • Incognito 5.1.2.1.2

            Ok, let’s go back to base here.

            I quoted text that stands on its own. No more, no less. No “pro- vaccine fundamentalist” stuff, no anti-vax stuff, and no “vaccine believers” stuff either. No agenda. I gave the source of the quoted text because to omit it would be plagiarism.

            The quoted text has been completely ignored, which is puzzling given that it is directly relevant to the pending Covid-19 vaccine rollout here in NZ and how that might change our behaviour and whether we can start relaxing the border controls. This is why I quoted it!

            However, nobody responded to the quoted text. Instead, everybody went off on their own tangent (AKA cherry picking the link to suit their own narrative).

            Three days ago, I held up a mirror to you, which you rejected outright. In fact, you doubled down. Thus, what I think of your narrative is irrelevant.

            I’m not interested in continuing this futile convo with you about polio and your ‘categorising’ and ‘labelling’ of some people’s views on vaccination; your judgment carries way too much bias, IMHO.

            Bye

    • Fran 5.2

      Lord I am tired of the propaganda from the "all vaccines good" brigade. This article is full of misinformation. Vaccines can and do cause autism. This is recognised by the CDC and the Vaccine Injury Compensation Table in the USA and by the manufacturers themselves. The article is scientific nonsense in this regard. The "vaccines don't cause autism" thing is an urban myth. Enough people have said it for so long that it must be true.

      Can't link right now as work but there are studies (peer reviewed, solid science stuff) which show a causal relationship between childhood vaccines and the onset of autism.

      This belief in the myth is a marketing success by the manufacturers.

      Vaccines are not safe or effective for everyone so there must be choice.

      • Andre 5.2.1

        Go on, show us a credible study that convincingly shows vaccines cause autism. I'll be especially impressed by a quality study that shows autism rates are higher in vaccinated populations compared to unvaccinated populations.

        Those studies actually do exist. Most of the ones I've seen come from insurance company records. All the ones I've seen convincingly refute the idea that vaccines somehow cause autism.

        Then there's the fact that Wakefield's study alleging the link which gave a massive boost to the false idea that vaccines cause autism, was in fact fraudulent, complete with outright fabricated data. Apparently done with the purpose of lining his own pockets as an expert witness in courtroom trials and as the patent-holder for single disease vaccines to compete with established MMR vaccines.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2323045/

        https://www.vox.com/2015/2/2/7965885/vaccine-autism-link-false-evidence-wakefield

        https://poolux.psychopool.tu-dresden.de/mdcfiles/gwp/Reale%20F%C3%A4lle/Andrew%20Wakefield%20-%20MMR%20vaccine%20and%20autism.pdf

        • Treetop 5.2.1.1

          I reckon there needs to be a data base for people who have rare conditions to say how the Covid vaccine affected them.

          Example Gastric Antral Vascular Ectasia (watermelon stomach) which causes the gut to bleed.

          • McFlock 5.2.1.1.1

            always willing to provide the link:

            https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/safety/report-a-problem.asp

            • Treetop 5.2.1.1.1.1

              I did not know that there was such a data base.

              I would also like to know which Covid vaccine people had. Some vaccines could make a difference. A single dose would be preferred. I usually do not mind doing a medical procedure as I will do it if necessary, the anticipation of it I do not like.

              I know I need to work on doing links.

              • weka

                it's very hard to establish cause and effect from a medical treatment unless there are enough people having the reaction. Public health is about looking after most people, and sometimes at the expense of individuals. This isn't necessarily wrong or bad, but I don't think health authorities have taken enough care in *processes around this. I agree about better reporting processes.

                Looking at what is happening in the US and the UK in particular, I think that is where we may see patterns of reactions over time. Given all the very weird stuff that is happening with post-covid syndromes, I think it's reasonable to have some caution about the vaccines themselves, but not from a 'vaccines are bad and the govt is trying to control us' position. That world view is the big challenge in the US I think, not the people that have concerns about this particular set of vaccines.

                Otoh, if I had elderly parents in a rest home in the US I'd want the staff to be taking all the precautions possible, and I'm not sure that is happening.

                In NZ it's different, lower numbers and a different need for vaccination. People that have pre-existing health conditions in particular should be assisted to make their own informed choices, and lefties arguing for mandatory or coerced vaccination really should pull their head in, because it's not going to lead to more people being vaccinated.

            • weka 5.2.1.1.1.2

              do you know what happens after someone submits the form?

              From a patient rights perspective, that form is classic paternalistic health authority. Give us your information, we're not telling you what will be done with it, from a process or privacy point of view, you just have to blindly hand over this to us and assume we will do *something with it.

              That shit is throughout the health system, and it's disappointing in 2021 to still see it being done like this.

              • McFlock

                Which form are you talking about?

                There were several different forms accessible from my link.

                Or maybe if you have specific questions, every single submission or reporting type seems to have an associated email address. Or report your issue about a lack of information to the site maintenance folks, at almost 7pm into a long weekend, my cares have been largely spent.

                • weka

                  it's not a site maintenance issue, it's a cultural issue within the MoH and other health authorities in NZ. The person at the end of the email isn't going to be able to address that.

                  The point of my question about what happens once someone submits a form is to highlight that having that link doesn't inherently mean that something adequate is being done with the data.

                  Neither of us are obliged to do anything, this is a political forum, we just respond to what is in front of us and hash it out. Nice deflection though.

                  • McFlock

                    The question was whether such a database exists. While I don't personally have user credentials to personally inspect what the site does with form data, I suggest that the existence of a submittable form and a variety of other submission alternatives indicates that the data is stored and collated rather than immediately erased or discarded.

                    What the website does specifically with the data is most defnitely a site maintenance problem. I suspect e.g. the medecine form gets piped straight to CARM, but it might go through some intermediary systems before that.

                    But if you were just asking for rhetorical purposes, it looks like I wasted my time.

          • Andre 5.2.1.1.2

            In the US, there's the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) where people are encouraged to report any adverse event after vaccination. Literally anything can be reported as a potential adverse event. One person tested that by claiming he was turning into the Incredible Hulk after a vaccination. He was followed up on, and if he had insisted he really was turning green and muscularly bulking up, the report would have remained on the VAERS database.

            Unfortunately, because the VAERS database uncritically accepts every report no matter how implausible any link to vaccination may be (by design), it has become a fruitful dumpster for anti-vaxers and dodgy lawyers to "find evidence" for all kinds of false claims.

            https://www.vice.com/en/article/qjpmp7/anti-vaxxers-misuse-federal-data-to-falsely-claim-covid-vaccines-are-dangerous

            • Treetop 5.2.1.1.2.1

              I did give it a thought about reporting being plausible and not being backed up by science.

              I have encountered specialist (5 in 5 years) saying my autoimmune was not active because they could not see the GAVE or consider the reason for 10 years of low iron.

              Hard to know what to trust at times. I tend to to rely on my gut instinct.

              • Andre

                The value of VAERS is that by trying to sweep up everything, plausibly related or not, they're in a better position to find the rare conditions that genuinely are adversely affected by any particular vaccination.

                By the time you get offered a vaccine here, it’s still quite unlikely there will be sufficient data from overseas on whether your autoimmune condition increases your risk, or makes it very unlikely you’ll get any benefit from the vaccine, or that it’s likely to work the same for you as for most everybody else. Having a rare condition sucks, with the extra suckiness that getting actual information in situations like this is just that much harder and longer to do.

                So at that time, it will likely become your choice whether to effectively become a trial participant by getting the vaccine, or choosing to rely on others that don’t have a genuine medical reason to decline going and getting the vaccine to achieve community immunity.

                I hope you’ve got access an actual expert in the workings of your autoimmune condition you can rely to help you make a decision that works for you when that time comes.

                • Treetop

                  I do not think any specialist who works with blood vessel conditions would have the answer. The problem with an autoimmune condition is the body has turned against itself and Covid can react causing a cytokine storm. High ANA above 1280 for about a decade does not help either.

                  It could depend on how active the autoimmune is when a person is vaccinated and what meds they are on.

                  People are individuals with their own mind and they will decide for theirselves. A responsible person would not want to infect someone else.

                  Covid vaccines appear to protect an individual, but not stop Covid from being transmissible. If this is the case, not having the vaccine would not be as bad were it to stop the transmission of Covid to other people.

                  • Andre

                    As far as transmissibility goes, it seems that getting vaccinated doesn't completely prevent someone from getting infected and developing enough viral load they could potentially infect someone else.

                    But it does appear that getting vaccinated does reduce the peak viral load, and therefore reduces the likelihood of infecting someone else. Furthermore, it appears to reduce the time someone has a high enough viral load to be infectious, also reducing the chances of passing it on.

                    The reduction of peak infectiousness and duration of infectiousness combine to significantly reduce the risk of of an outbreak or passing it on to someone that's unprotected.

                    • Treetop

                      I did not look at it that way, lower viral load less transmissible.

                      If you’re gone burger with the vaccine you do not have to worry about passing it on.

                    • Andre

                      @Treetop unless new information comes out saying the risk of infecting someone else after vaccinated really is negligible, I hope the messaging will still be to keep up distancing and other behaviours to reduce transmission, even after vaccination.

                      Because the possibility of transmission will be lower, but not zero. And keeping up the transmission-reducing behaviours will help with reducing colds, flus and other airborne diseases.

                    • Treetop []

                      Just look at what was known about Covid a year ago and what is now known. This can also be applied when it comes to what is known about vaccines.

                      A lot is yet to be learned on both fronts. As you point out transmission reducing behaviours are really important and are proven to prevent infection. Treatment for Covid will also improve. Just today I saw an article about a gout drug reducing inflammation for moderate to severe Covid cases, a Brazilian finding.

                    • McFlock

                      I suspect, and this is only me gazing at my own navel, that much of the reason we have advanced so far on covid, vaccine development, and so on is basically twofold: people went "oh shit" and threw literal billions at a single problem, and also a hundred million cases in a year really sped up the process of gaining enough participants for trials, studies, and so on.

                    • Treetop []

                      Scientists, lab technicians and health workers have not had it easy. They can only do their best when they are adequately funded.

                      Whenever I criticise a doctor it is always when they have not got it right. Missing a vital procedure to be properly diagnosed.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 5.2.2

        Scaremongering about vaccines increases overall health risks.

        The research is clear: Vaccines don’t cause autism. More than a dozen studies have tried to find a link. Each one has come up empty.
        https://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/do-vaccines-cause-autism

        Here we go again: the reemergence of anti-vaccine activism on the Internet

        Vaccinating Children against Covid-19 — The Lessons of Measles
        Since a now-discredited and retracted article suggesting a link between MMR vaccine and autism was published in the Lancet in 1998, media attention and parental anxiety have been deliberately exacerbated by antivaccine activists and organizations, despite extensive research that has failed to find any verifiable link to neurodevelopmental disorders. Many recent outbreaks have involved children left unvaccinated by parents who had been targeted with propaganda, including antivaccine messages developed to target specific ethnic communities. This disinformation entails both lies about dangers and impurities of the vaccine and false reassurance about the benign nature of measles. The downstream effects are global, with plateauing vaccination rates and rising measles mortality after decades of progress. [20 Jan 2021]

        Anti-Vaxxers Misuse Federal Data to Falsely Claim COVID Vaccines Are Dangerous
        VAERS, a database of reports of vaccine side effects, is being abused by people trying to sow fear. It's not the first time. [4 Feb 2021]

        Covid-19 vaccine: Was it rushed? Is it safe? Could it be used to spy on the population? An expert addresses key questions and fears [Feb2021]
        Lies and mistruths about the jab shared online are expected to affect its uptake.

        • Rosemary McDonald 5.2.2.1

          Since you have an obvious interest in the topic DMK, I thought you might like to peruse this…https://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/9453695

          Vaccines and The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

          Most Americans agree that the use of vaccines to
          prevent infectious diseases represents “one of the most spectacularly effective
          public health initiatives this country has ever undertaken.” 1 Because of the
          enormous benefits of vaccination to society as a whole, all fifty states require
          children to be vaccinated against the seven common childhood diseases—polio,
          measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping couch) and tetanus. 2
          Some states also require vaccination against hepatitis B, Haemophilus influen-
          zae type b, and varicella (chicken pox). Mandatory vaccination has resulted in
          a dramatic decrease of the incidence of these deadly diseases.
          The success of mass immunization, however, comes at a price. Many children,
          and sometimes their parents, suffer major injuries and death from the adminis-
          tration of vaccines. Although only a small percentage of the entire population
          experiences an adverse reaction to vaccination, this number of vaccine injury
          sufferers is not small. Since 1988, 5,773 people have claimed a vaccine-related
          injury or death. 3 As science progresses, physicians and researchers will continue
          to establish connections between vaccines and certain adverse reactions.

          Best to put aside a chunk of time as it is a long and complex read.

          • Drowsy M. Kram 5.2.2.1.1

            Less of an interest, more of a dependence. Thanks Rosemary, have had a read. Tbh, in a society as litigious as the US I can't imagine that compensation for vaccine-related injury and death would be more than a tiny fraction of total payouts for medical misadventure, even given the prevalence of vaccinations.

            Have there been any further analyses of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) since Davenport 'penned' her April 2000 report to fulfil a third year written work requirement while studying at Harvard Law School? She probably got a good mark for her report and presumably completed her programme of study.

            National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

            Vaccines save lives by preventing disease.

            Most people who get vaccines have no serious problems. Vaccines, like any medicines, can cause side effects, but most are very rare and very mild. Some health problems that follow vaccinations are not caused by vaccines.

            In very rare cases, a vaccine can cause a serious problem, such as a severe allergic reaction.

            In these instances, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) may provide financial compensation to individuals who file a petition and are found to have been injured by a VICP-covered vaccine. Even in cases in which such a finding is not made, petitioners may receive compensation through a settlement.
            https://www.hrsa.gov/vaccine-compensation/index.html

            As of November 2020, over $4.4 Billion has been awarded.

            Certainly interesting to consider the NVCIP as a vaccine-specific example of an ACC-type scheme. Over a 14-year period (July 2005 – June 2019) in NZ there were ~2,700 ACC claims for vaccine-related injuries. That's a (much) higher per capita claim rate than was seen in the US – wonder why, and whether that will change as the COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out?
            https://catalogue.data.govt.nz/dataset/vaccine-injury-compensation

            • Rosemary McDonald 5.2.2.1.1.1

              A cursory and very casual follow up search would indicate that the noted issues (in Davenport's report) with escalating a claim/complaint from VAERS to the Vaccine Court have not been resolved to the satisfaction of the small number of people who have suffered the expected serious injuries from vaccines. The system appears not to be functioning the way it was intended when the Act removed liability from the pharmaceutical companies and onto the government who mandates the vaccines.

              I have been trying to figure out why the vaccine hesitant lobby, especially in the US, are so strident and staunch. VAERS and the VICP was supposed to be an official acknowledgement that for the greater good of the community some individuals will be harmed by vaccines and should therefore be compensated and supported. It would seem that increasingly the injured have been dismissed, and the narrative that any adverse effects are mere coincidences has gained momentum. Bearing in mind that Davenport wrote that report two decades ago, the power of Big Pharma and the medical insurance companies has increased exponentially. The shitstorm in the US over a potential no fault universal medical insurance scheme left many of us in more enlightened countries baffled. I was shocked at how many seemingly rational Yanks found the idea abhorrent. 'The right to choose who, what where and when one seeks medical treatment is precious and you have the right to what you pay for etc etc'. This falls over with mandated 'treatments' like vaccines. No choice…so if things go tits up and a kid spends the rest of his life on a ventilator…and you can't sue the drug company because of the Act, who pays? Not the only reason for the rise and rise of the pro choice folks, but I suspect it has played a large part.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Childhood_Vaccine_Injury_Act

              https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/05/vaccine-safety-program/589354/

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Hadn't heard of "the vaccine hesitant lobby" – are they lobbying for the right to be hesitant about being vaccinated? Presumably there's no need for such a lobby group in NZ now, but maybe in the future?

                Which (if any) NZ political parties are ‘leaning‘ towards mandatory vaccination – all as bad/good as each other? I know the ‘Billy TK party’ was opposed.

      • Sacha 5.2.3

        Cmon, we all know by now that autism causes vaccines.

      • Incognito 5.2.4

        How on Earth did you perceive the quoted text in my comment as “propaganda from the "all vaccines good" brigade”?

        Since you failed to follow up with “studies (peer reviewed, solid science stuff) which show a causal relationship between childhood vaccines and the onset of autism” you have not made a positive contribution at all to this topic here, as far as I am concerned.

        Here’s a local link for you to peruse and they are not in bed with vaccine manufacturers, to my knowledge, although some may want to cast doubt on that too:

        https://www.altogetherautism.org.nz/altogether-autism-says-no-links-vaccinations-autism/

        In addition, you have set up a strawman with regard to Covid-19 vaccination and autism. As such, you have not done anything to help with that either.

        Your last sentence is another strawman and an even bigger one:

        Vaccines are not safe or effective for everyone so there must be choice.

        I am so tired of these misleading and counterproductive ‘discussions’; in circles we go, round and around sad

        • KJT 5.2.4.1

          "Wearing <seatbelts> are not safe and effective for everyone, so there must be choice!!!!

          Noting that refusing to wear a seatbelt, can only harm the person concerned.

          Anti-vaccers can cause harm to a whole society.

          For example if not enough people vaccinate and covid continues to mutate.

          • Incognito 5.2.4.1.1

            Not sure where you going with this. The seatbelt analogy is not a good one, IMO. If a driver doesn’t buckle up and doesn’t insist on their passengers buckling up either nor on putting small children in a proper car-seat that is properly restrained in the back then they most certainly endanger others as well.

            The “choice” issue is an ethical and logistical minefield without being clear and specific. For example, to vaccinate or not, which vaccine, et cetera. Who makes these ‘choices’, for whom or on behalf of whom, how and on what grounds? What about informed consent? That’s a form of choice, isn’t it?

            Thus far, Government has said that Covid-vaccination will not be mandatory. That leaves many ‘choices’ on the table …

            • weka 5.2.4.1.1.1

              it does. One of them is for NZ, the govt, MoH, NGOs, and people arguing about it on the internet, to work with concepts of informed consent and trust people to do what is right. If the covid vaccines need dishonesty, camouflage or coercion, that's a real problem. I don't think they do, and that we'd be way better off focussing on open information sharing alongside general upskilling of science literacy in the general population. I also think that increasing holistic literacy amongst scientists, medical people, and pro-med public would help enormously.

              • McFlock

                Having spent a chunk of my life trying to stop stupid people from doing things dangerous to themselves and others, no matter how stupid the action or how open, caring, and sharing people are with as to why the person should not do that stupid thing, there is always a fool who frankly needs distraction, deception, or coercion to stop them doing that stupid and dangerous thing. And these are adults I'm talking about, when most four year olds I've met would know better.

                But I also go with incognito's point about the degree of danger someone's choices represent. If 90% vaccination would effectively stop clustered outbreaks, who cares if 3% of people freeload off its protection.

                • weka

                  not sure what you are trying to say tbh McFlock (given you're replying to my comment).

                  Obviously there are stupid people in the world, and I've long argued that going hard against anti-vaxxers is counter productive because the number of people is relatively small that can't be encouraged. This is my understanding of the MoH position as well (pre-covid too).

                  • weka

                    and, congruent with my previous comment that we're better off giving people full information in ways that they can understand (than say, making it obscure, or pressuring people via 'trust us we know what we are doing' messages, or 'if you don't do this you're a bad person' messages).

                    • McFlock

                      Except some types of information can't be delivered in ways everyone can understand. Hell, I doubt people at different ends of the process from developing to distributing the same vaccine can understand everything the other person does. Sooner or later everyone has to trust someone.

                      Material isn't "made obscure", by and large. It's generated by and for people who will actually understand and use it. Then it's standardised and put into safety data sheets to go to patients, for example.

                  • McFlock

                    For most vaccines, antivaxxers don't affect the suppression of the disease in question as much as, say, access to primary healthcare (if at all).

                    But if that proportion changes with a covid vaccine, then the problem might just be how to jab enough of them to stop them being a danger to others.

                    • weka

                      yes, and better to get to grips with this now. Because the problem isn't anti-vaxxers, it's people who are unsure about the covid vaccines. Calling them anti-vaxxers is part of the problem.

                      Fastest way to turn vaccine hesitant people into anti-vaxxers is to try and force them, ridicule them, or talk about how to jab them against their will for the good of the country. Try running that last one in communities of people who already feel abandoned by society and see how you get on.

                    • weka

                      I'm already trying to reassure people that the covid vaccine won't be mandatory. People who don't trust the govt, what you are going to do? Lock them up?

                    • McFlock

                      What am I going to do about someone who mistrusts the government more than a fecking global pandemic, and yet still prefers the term "hesitant"?

                      pfft. Not my problem. Which is lucky for them, I guess.

                      Because if we have outbreaks and vaccinated people don't spread it, I would totally support applying a level 4 lockdown only to unvaccinated people rather than the entire population (as we would have to do if there was a community outbreak today).

            • KJT 5.2.4.1.1.2

              I think it covers things rather well.

              We do not allow people to endanger others in many other facets of our lives, but people are still demanding the "right" to endanger others by not vaccinating in places where there are vulnerable people, such as schools, hospitals and old age homes. Not to mention making eradication, using vaccination, much less possible.

              No different from those who are demanding their "right" to travel or import cheap labour and expose us all to heightened risk of covid, and the subsequent health and economic risks.

              • Incognito

                Rights & freedoms are not absolute and there’s a constant tension between individual and collective rights & freedoms.

                Is somebody without a facemask on public transport endangering other passengers?

                Is somebody walking around with a gun endangering others?

                Is somebody walking around with a loaded gun with the safety switch on or off endangering others?

                Is somebody shooting a gun in the air endangering others?

                I think it is too easy to lose perspective, which is why science is a good foundation to ground us and use as a starting point. However, it cannot decisively or exclusively answer ethical-moral questions, which often don’t have a simple/binary answer anyway, which makes them even more difficult to address.

                Education, information & advice, good political & democratic processes, trust & leadership, and robust civic/public debate, et cetera, are key.

                • KJT

                  Coercion should be the last resort.

                  However if your actions are endangering many others lives and welfare, then we have a right to limit it with law.

                  In New Zealand you cannot carry a loaded gun into a school, do the equivalent of "yelling fire in a crowded theatre", drive through a town at a hundred k, or many other things that endanger others.

                  We have seen in the USA, what happens when "individual freedom" is carried to ridiculous extremes. Where the "right" to carry a loaded gun into schools overrides students right not to be shot. The "right" of GOP legislators' to avoid wearing a mask, kills People, and many other examples. Even in the USA, you are not "free" to carry an RPG, into town.

                  Working in an old peoples home if covid is around, unvaccinated, Once vaccines are available and travel resumes, is little different from walking in there and spraying bullets around.

                  In fact, employers that allowed employees to do that could already be prosecuted under the HSE act.

                  • weka

                    there's a significant difference between an action that endangers others (yelling fire in a crowded theatre) and non-action that this based in self care (choosing not to vaccinate).

                    I think there is a compelling case for workers in old people's homes in places where covid is in the community to be vaccinated. But, and this is important, covid vaccines aren't yet at the point of giving the kind of protection to society that you are implying, so I also think that retirement homes and hospitals in those places can choose to not hire unvaccinated staff, and if they choose to not let existing unvaccinated staff work that there needs to be a process other than just firing people.

                    In NZ of course, it's a different matter. And if the choice is open the borders with forced vaccinations, or keep them closed longer while we find better solutions, then that needs a public rebate where the left doesn't surrender long held medical and public health principles of consent, not to mention ones around people's livelihoods.

                    • KJT

                      Not vaccinating is an action that endangers others.

                      As the recent outbreaks of measles, shows.

                    • weka

                      travelling is an action that endangers others. Why weren't the borders closed to prevent spreading measles from NZ to Samoa?

                      Also, my understanding is that in NZ it's not the intentional non-vaccinators that are the problem, it's inequitable access to vaccination that has left NZ vulnerable to measles. So voting in neolib governments endangers others, let's force people to not do that 😉

                  • Incognito

                    This convo is lacking a tangible outcome.

                    As with your seatbelt analogy, the loaded gun was too, a metaphor in some ways; the facemask was and wasn’t.

                    Clearly, different jurisdictions deal with things differently and as they see fit. There’s no one size that fits all.

                    The Law is a blunt instrument and is not a prescription of good and considerate behaviour, IMO.

                    I would not recommend working in elderly care unvaccinated when Covid-19 is around. However, this is exactly the situation here in NZ now, because it is actually well contained and rollout hasn’t started yet.

                    However, an introvert living on their own compared with somebody who flats with a bunch of others and who attends several large parties during weekends are not quite the same, are they? How would the Law deal with that?

                    To wrap up, if we can achieve a high level of community immunity, through sufficient uptake of voluntary vaccination, we’ll have achieved a milestone. However, special rules & regulations will and should remain in place for some time still, IMO (cf. my comment @ 5 at the beginning of this thread). Exactly which and for how long remains to be determined and will depend on vaccine uptake, effectivity, duration of immunity, virus variants, and other considerations, no doubt.

                    Could personal hygiene and scanning might have to stay indefinitely.

                    The most likely outcome is, IMHO, that Covid-19 will become another endemic disease much like the flu and it will cause fatalities and incur an economic cost. The tricky issue is how and when we relax controls knowing these facts, which will be an ethical dilemma of enormous proportions that can only be addressed properly in a non-partisan apolitical way, not too dissimilar to the euthanasia issue. I don’t think NZ and its politicians are ready for this one yet …

                    • weka

                      I don't think we're ready either (many people seem to think things will be going back to normal soon), but fortunately we have some time to upskill.

                      Ironically, I think covid made the EoLC Bill debate poorer.

                    • Incognito []

                      Ironically, I think covid made the EoLC Bill debate poorer.

                      A lot of things have been pushed to the background and/or crowded out by Covid. Can you elaborate? I believe the debate as such is done and dusted!?

                • weka

                  Education, information & advice, good political & democratic processes, trust & leadership, and robust civic/public debate, et cetera, are key.

                  This is a much more interesting debate for me. How could we do these things well, rather than 'how can we force people into something they're not sure about'?

                  • Incognito

                    All these factors are important and have to work in concert. Much of it will have to be driven ‘from above’ by Government but grassroots conversations are equally important, if not more so. Trusted community figures all need to step up and do their bit. Yet, we have to respect people’s choices and allow them to opt in without undue pressure or worse.

                    As we see other countries improving, which is not all due to vaccination rollouts, more people may feel assured of the benefit that considerably outweighs the risks even though people tend to focus on direct negatives for themselves. For example, many might think that they will suffer an anaphylactic shock, which is very rare and manageable anyway in most cases. A sore arm and/or flu-like symptoms are the most common and most likely adverse events.

                    There were more than 1.35 million doses of influenza vaccine distributed in 2019, the highest number of doses ever delivered annually.

                    https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/PUArticles/March2020/Influenza-vaccine-2019-what-to-expect-this-year.html

                    That link contains very useful information on adverse events and I’d imagine it won’t be too different with any Covid-19 vaccines although people are undoubtedly more ‘primed’. BTW, the flu vaccination includes children, of course, which is not likely to be the case with Covid-19 vaccination.

                    • weka

                      Opt in is a good concept, and in conjunction with building trust a good way to go imo. Do we know yet what kind of population % vaccinated is needed for a country like the UK that has widespread infection?

                      The problem with the adverse reaction issue is that people in the vaccine concerned communities generally believe that the stats are inaccurate. This will be doubly so with the covid vaccines because of the short time period in development and use.

                      I'm naturally part of communities that are vaccine hesitant, non-vaccinators, or anti-vaxxers. People are scared and stressed. That fear and stress needs to be attended to as part of the package.

                    • Incognito []

                      Have you had a look at that link in my comment?

                      It shows 5 years of flu vaccination in NZ with over 6 million doses distributed and the number of adverse events reports following vaccination. I doubt that the numbers are 100% accurate AKA perfect, they never are – just think of the under-reporting of Covid deaths across the World – but I think they tell us enough about what’s going on in reality.

                      There’s no rational reason to believe (!!) that Covid-19 vaccination is fundamentally different from flu vaccinations based on first principles of these vaccines and based on clinical trials and overseas rollouts. Sure, the stats are being collected as we speak, but I’d imagine the levels of scrutiny are sky-high and reporting numbers might go up for that reason alone, in addition to the so-called nocebo effect (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nocebo).

                      Here are a couple of relevant links for those who have time:

                      https://www.statnews.com/2020/10/13/placebo-response-a-hidden-risk-to-covid-19-trials/

                      This loss of confidence may lead to a huge nocebo effect and mass psychogenic illness upon being vaccinated. Such psychogenic illness has been described repeatedly in cases of mass vaccination. [4][5][6]

                      https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4924/rr-8

                      Only an honest & upfront well-designed multi-pronged information and education campaign will help to get some but not all scared and stressed people over the line. And that’s ok.

                      IIRC, a vaccination rate of 60-70% is what other countries are aiming for, which is also the figure I think MoH has mentioned, coincidentally 😉

  3. Muttonbird 6

    Bridges is heading further down the free speech rabbit hole. He's lost now.

    Simon Bridges says banning gay conversion therapy is an attack on free speech.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2021/02/simon-bridges-says-banning-gay-conversion-therapy-is-an-attack-on-free-speech.html

  4. greywarshark 7

    Hooray for some progressive moves on housing for people (with a small 'p' who have small income and assets) that will break through the inflationary predatory housing market.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/435842/applicants-wanted-for-200-000-queenstown-units

    "Under our leasehold model, [the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust] the households are buying in at around 50 percent of what it cost us to purchase the unit from the developer. So some of those one-bedders are down as low as $200,000," she said.

    The average two-bedroom unit cost about $320,000.

    The 25 apartments were part of the Secure Home programme. Households essentially bought the construction costs and paid a ground rent of 1 percent of the land value, about $40 to $50 per week…

    "They are one and two-bedders, whereas historically we've built more standard three-bedroom homes so they've been a bit more expensive and that's reflected in the purchase price. So this changes the people we are able to help."

    The apartments were not freehold.

    The trust offered a 100-year lease which cannot be transferred or sold on the open market, but if families wanted to move the trust would buy the house back at the original purchase price, plus inflation. The home could then be bought by another applicant on the trust's waiting list.

    Scott said applicants who were eligible for the government's First Home Loan would only need a 5 percent deposit, making the programme even more affordable.

  5. greywarshark 8

    Airport management – bums in the air?

    Wellington: <!^!>

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/435831/wellington-airport-s-expansion-plans-at-odds-with-city-s-zero-emissions-plan-environmental-group-says

    The development is part of the airport's 2040 "Master Plan" – the blueprint for accommodating a forecasted 12 million passengers passing through every year…

    That's nearly double the number of passengers which came through in 2019.

    (Forecast by whom?? Which 'grounded' business specialists alive and thinking could come up with this figure with all the closely approaching hiccups to fuel, climate change amelioration and, not to mention controls on spreading diseases, pests and insects round the planet!)

    And while their expansion plan was conceived pre-Covid-19, in a statement, the airport said the impact of the last 12 months was not slowing it down.

    "While Covid-19 has delayed timeframes, all industry forecasts expect these growth levels to return in future.

    "As an infrastructure provider, it's our responsibility to plan for long term requirements well in advance."…

    The capital has committed to being net zero emissions by 2050, and a more than 40-percent reduction by 2030….

    While international air travel might have ground to a halt, Wellington Airport's $1 billion expansion plans are getting ready for takeoff.

    The airport is currently consulting with the public on some of the early development, which will see the airport grow out into the neighbouring suburbs.

    (Consultation – pah!)

    • They need to sort out a bus service into town before they do anything. No more Flyer. Went through in the holidays and had to walk out of the terminal area to catch the number 2 bus. What major city airport doesn't have a transport service to the city centre?

      • Treetop 8.1.1

        25 years ago I was on a near empty Miramar then no 2 bus going into the city and a man was standing up counting landmarks outside. He saw that I noticed him and he said he was doing some analysis for light rail from the airport into town. It is 20 years since I have lived in Wellington and there appears to not even be a bus service from the airport into town.

        I know that Intercity buses drop airport passengers off but limited hours. Also some people can board the bus at the airport for long distance travel.

    • Treetop 8.2

      When it comes to Air NZ it is about making as big a profit as possible. They have money for an expansion and the council have a 34 per cent stake in the airport.

      With the shit out at Moa Point and now golf course land being taken for the expansion and a city council which has finally realised that they are well behind the 8 ball with damaged sewage and water pipes.

      No wonder the capital has the problems it has. Just start another venture. There could be toxic waste buried where the airport expansion is going to go.

    • Pat 9.1

      Orr has been telling them since he took the job that distributional has to be addressed by Gov policy

    • Nic the NZer 9.2

      This is a rather unfortunate narrative mostly driven by groups of economists trying to explain why their theories hold water.

      You should understand that QE is basically just a way for the RBNZ to lend to the government, despite maintaining the market pricing mechanism. Of course Robertson was very careful to highlight that the RBNZ was not directly funding the government, which is conveniently considered taboo, and incidentally produces no risk income to NZ financial institutions. Under QE they get a small income from buying off the DMO and then selling to the RBNZ when it buys in the secondary market. Despite the missdirection this allows the RBNZ to keep interest rates on govt debt down.

      So the question is how this is supposed to have raised house prices? Well the RBNZ and treasury (and Don Brash) would have you believe that the government can either slow down or accelerate inflation by adjusting the OCR or just expanding the monetary base (which is what QE does). That has been demonstrated to be not actually compatible with how commercial banks lend (bank lending is constrained by creditworthy borrowers, not by the available liquidity which they can anyway borrow at the OCR as required). Looking back you will be able to observe much higher interest rates didn't constrain bank lending earlier and lower interest rates didn't accelerate inflation to be compatible with the RBNZs target rates for many years. Unfortunately now we are to believe its suddenly working as expected, but just in one price area and now due to QE (which of course doesn't explain house price rises across the prior 2 decades). Unfortunately we (the public) are expected to understand this through the idea that the RBNZ sets the amount of money in circulation and this determines the inflation rate because thats the going concept presented by economic theory.

      Now the discussion between the RBNZ and treasury sides is actually about something else. What is being discussed is that if your lending institutes are getting a good level of service (via responsive RBNZ monetary policy) and govt policy is not doing something to limit lending into the housing market then we have seen decades of house price rises well ahead of inflation. The RBNZ have been saying that monetary policy has very limited ways of halting that. This is true but I don't think Robertson wants to get Labour involved in an economic holy war to make it clear investors and probably a large cohort of first home buyers are not welcome to housing market capital gains, there are very few votes in that you see.

      So what actually happened across 2020. What happened was a large part of NZs middle class was locked down and kept on salary with nowhere to spend it. This created a kind of forced savings regime (yes, savings rates went well up). During this time the motivated ones organised their finances (and many got parental help) and once lockdown ended had a brief look around got into the housing market with enthusiasm. The parental help has allowed further expansion in the borrowing here as family syndicates have the finances to borrow more.

      Now say that the govts lockdown spending had instead been funded directly by the RBNZ, which is an internal accounting adjustment entirely inside the govt books. What difference would there have been? None actually. The same people got locked down, forced to save and got into the housing market with the same gusto. In fact the same argument would also have been made about RBNZ policy causing housing market price hikes too.

      This is because the underlying counterfactual being presented is why didn't the govt lock everyone down with insufficient subsidy to keep the economy afloat and thereby crash the housing market at the same time (which would obviously be very unfair for all involved), but might have got National elected.

      So as a result of all this we are treated to a debate where none of the main players will give a really straight answer but everyone knows exactly how the game is played regardless.

      BTW I think shinking loan term limits back to 20 years (from 30 presently) will halt price rises though it may take two decades to achieve if you want it to be fair to existing borrowers. But that would not be popular with commercial banks.

      • Ad 9.2.1

        Well said. Good naming of family syndincates.

      • Pat 9.2.2

        "The RBNZ have been saying that monetary policy has very limited ways of halting that. This is true but I don't think Robertson wants to get Labour involved in an economic holy war to make it clear investors and probably a large cohort of first home buyers are not welcome to housing market capital gains, there are very few votes in that you see."

        Not only are the Government unwilling to address housing affordability for fear of losing votes (i wonder how much they have spent on focus groups?) despite the rhetoric they have consistently added fuel to the fire by encouraging the expectation of continued capital growth, ruled out any prospect of removing the tax advantage and been very careful not to provide social housing in a disruptive quantity…..never mind any of the truly radical responses available.

        It will be interesting to see what non action they come out with in the months to come, though it's entirely possible the market may take a turn for the worse before hand despite their 'efforts'.

      • RedLogix 9.2.3

        An interesting wrinkle on this here in Australia, the Fed govt has a scheme that will pay the LMI (Lenders Mortgage Insurance) for first home buyers. This allows them to get into a home with only 5% equity rather than the usual 20%.

        • Pat 9.2.3.1

          Dont be surprised if our lot dont increase the grant for first homebuyers here…which will add more fuel to fire not to mention consign a whole new cohort with unsustainable debt.

          One trick ponies both

          • bwaghorn 9.2.3.1.1

            Oh its sustainable if they work 50 hours ,and do cashies all weekend and sell weed like the work mate of a freind does so he can pay the mortgage.

            • Pat 9.2.3.1.1.1

              maybe….at current interest rates.

              And if everyone is selling dope to pay the rent who's buying?

              If something is unsustainable it by definition wont be sustained … the only questions are how and when it ends.

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