Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. Joined
    06 Mar '12
    Moves
    642
    09 Nov '20 16:101 edit
    It comes with several caveats including it has to be stored at -80C which makes distribution more problematic and hasn't yet gone through all the safety trials so we don't yet know for sure that its safe but if it proves to be safe then it promises to be about 90% effective;
    YouTube
    So hopefully it wouldn't be too long before we permanently get this pandemic under control.
  2. Joined
    07 Dec '05
    Moves
    16904
    10 Nov '20 01:36
    @humy said
    It comes with several caveats including it has to be stored at -80C which makes distribution more problematic and hasn't yet gone through all the safety trials so we don't yet know for sure that its safe but if it proves to be safe then it promises to be about 90% effective;
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWCLBraM4gE
    So hopefully it wouldn't be too long before we permanently get this pandemic under control.
    Nope. Up to 90%

    What is the % down to? If there is a maximum there must be a minimum.
  3. Standard memberDeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    Quarantined World
    Joined
    27 Oct '04
    Moves
    87173
    10 Nov '20 11:35
    @metal-brain said
    Nope. Up to 90%

    What is the % down to? If there is a maximum there must be a minimum.
    Where do you get that phrase from? Was it a research paper, the manufacturer's website, or a media outlet as "Up to 90%" can mean anything if it's the latter. As far as I can tell the preliminary results haven't been formally published. I searched Pubmed with the search terms "Pfizer covid vaccine trial" and "covid vaccine", no results newer than 10th Oct appeared and the ones that did related to safety trials.

    The form of words used in the BBC article was:
    The first effective coronavirus vaccine can prevent more than 90% of people from getting Covid-19, a preliminary analysis shows. [1] Bold my emphasis
    The real catch with this comes later in the article:
    However, the data presented is not the final analysis as it is based on only the first 94 volunteers to develop Covid so the precise effectiveness of the vaccine may change when the full results are analysed.[1]Bold face my emphasis
    It's not obvious to me what this means - does this mean it's based on the first 94 volunteers enrolled into the trial - in which case the sample is tiny - or does it mean it is based on the first 94 people in the trial to go on to develop covid despite having been immunized? I assume the former, but it does read as the latter. Possibly the word "anti-bodies" is missing.

    In my opinion there is some serious jumping of the gun going on here. The results are promising, but a sample size of 94 is going to have pretty big error bounds. I'm guessing what is meant by "90% effective" is that the vaccine is that the sentence "The vaccine is effective at producing acquired immunity against covid-19." has been shown to be true with a p-value less than 0.1 so they're 90% confident it works, but I'd need to read a scientific write-up to see what their actual claim is. The mass media have a tendency of using loose phrasing so it's not clear what the effectiveness claim actually is.

    [1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54873105
  4. SubscriberPonderable
    chemist
    Linkenheim
    Joined
    22 Apr '05
    Moves
    579970
    10 Nov '20 11:36
    @metal-brain said
    Nope. Up to 90%

    What is the % down to? If there is a maximum there must be a minimum.
    You seem to assume that a mximum require a minmum. This is not true. Look at an inverted Parabel (y=-x²😉, it has a maximum but not a Minimum.
  5. Joined
    06 Mar '12
    Moves
    642
    10 Nov '20 11:5813 edits

    Removed by poster

  6. Joined
    06 Mar '12
    Moves
    642
    10 Nov '20 19:322 edits
    @deepthought said


    [1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54873105
    I just read that link and spotted a small thing I don't like because one of its quotes is;
    "...The data shows that two doses, three weeks apart, are needed. ..."
    I'm sure that doesn't present a significant problem but, still, I would personally much prefer if it could be done with a single dose.
  7. Joined
    07 Dec '05
    Moves
    16904
    10 Nov '20 23:28
    @deepthought said
    Where do you get that phrase from? Was it a research paper, the manufacturer's website, or a media outlet as "Up to 90%" can mean anything if it's the latter. As far as I can tell the preliminary results haven't been formally published. I searched Pubmed with the search terms "Pfizer covid vaccine trial" and "covid vaccine", no results newer than 10th Oct appeared and t ...[text shortened]... ot clear what the effectiveness claim actually is.

    [1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54873105
    On the nightly news here in the US they report "up to" 90% when the story first broke. I am 100% certain of that.
  8. Joined
    07 Dec '05
    Moves
    16904
    10 Nov '20 23:30
    @humy said
    I just read that link and spotted a small thing I don't like because one of its quotes is;
    "...The data shows that two doses, three weeks apart, are needed. ..."
    I'm sure that doesn't present a significant problem but, still, I would personally much prefer if it could be done with a single dose.
    That is an odd coincidence. Sterilizing people so they cannot breed requires multiple doses.
  9. Joined
    06 Mar '12
    Moves
    642
    11 Nov '20 08:3710 edits
    @metal-brain said
    On the nightly news here in the US they report "up to" 90% when the story first broke. I am 100% certain of that.
    and of course all news media outlets and generalists always give completely accurate information and reports literally to the very last word and we should trust their every word of their news reports as completely reliable and accurate with absolutely no possibility they may have got just one small piece of information a bit inaccurate if not wrong. 😕
    Its a fair bet that the direct scientific report, not the generalists or news outlet reports, doesn't mention "up to" 90%.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2237475-covid-19-news-vaccine-hesitancy-may-undermine-fight-against-virus/
    "...Coronavirus vaccine candidate being developed by Pfizer is ‘more than 90% effective’ ..." (my emphasis)
    How can it be both "up to" 90% and "more than" 90% ?
    Obviously at least one of those two news reports must have got that part a bit wrong.

    Most of the news outlets I have seen just say "90% effective" just as if that's not "up to" 90% in particular nor "more than" 90% in particular but rather just approximately 90%.
    For example;

    https://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/coronavirus/covid-vaccine-candidate-for-gp-des-90-effective-pfizer-reports/
    "...Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, of which the UK Government has secured 10m doses for use ‘by the end of the year’, is ‘90%’ effective, the company has announced today...."

    which is why in my OP I said "...about 90% effective..."
  10. Joined
    06 Mar '12
    Moves
    642
    11 Nov '20 22:30
    @humy said
    and of course all news media outlets and generalists
    my above misedit;
    "generalists"
    should have been;
    "journalists"
    My spell checker doesn't check to make sure the statement makes sense.
  11. Standard memberDeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    Quarantined World
    Joined
    27 Oct '04
    Moves
    87173
    12 Nov '20 04:26
    Further to the above: I found a page on the BBC website [1] that answers some of the questions. I also googled Pfizer and found their press release [2], as well as links to more detailed, but not particularly helpful, information on the study design [3]. The trial was placebo controlled, meaning that participants were randomized to the vaccine or an injection of saline. The study is blinded so that the participants did not know whether they had taken the vaccine or not. This prevents behavioural differences between the groups.

    94 of the 43,538 study participants have tested positive for the virus. The press release [2] does not say how many of these were in the placebo group and how many in the treatment group.

    The press release contains the following statement:
    The case split between vaccinated individuals and those who received the placebo indicates a vaccine efficacy rate above 90%, at 7 days after the second dose.

    The document does not state what the case split was. However it does say the efficacy rate is above 90% so the words "up to" are inaccurate.

    Given the number of people in the study there is no reason to believe that there are any safety concerns, although RCTs normally require a five year follow up.

    [1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51665497
    [2] https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer-and-biontech-announce-vaccine-candidate-against
    [3] The trial protocol is here, it's 146 pages long and contains no actual results.
    https://pfe-pfizercom-d8-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/2020-11/C4591001_Clinical_Protocol_Nov2020.pdf
  12. Joined
    06 Mar '12
    Moves
    642
    12 Nov '20 07:581 edit
    @deepthought said
    it does say the efficacy rate is above 90%
    That's great news. It was previously unclear to me whether that was 90% minimum or 90% maximum or 90% approximately (my first guess) because I seemed to read many completely contradictory reports on that but of course it being 90% minimum is best.
  13. Joined
    07 Dec '05
    Moves
    16904
    12 Nov '20 09:381 edit
    @deepthought said
    Further to the above: I found a page on the BBC website [1] that answers some of the questions. I also googled Pfizer and found their press release [2], as well as links to more detailed, but not particularly helpful, information on the study design [3]. The trial was placebo controlled, meaning that participants were randomized to the vaccine or an injection of saline. ...[text shortened]... ults.
    https://pfe-pfizercom-d8-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/2020-11/C4591001_Clinical_Protocol_Nov2020.pdf
    I'm simply telling you what the news media in the USA reported when the story first broke. They said "up to" and I am not mistaken.

    "The document does not state what the case split was. However it does say the efficacy rate is above 90% so the words "up to" are inaccurate."

    Nope. Up to 90%+
    Above does not negate "up to".
    Your interpretation is an incorrect assumption.

    Perhaps you should find a better source of information. The BBC is known for spreading pro-war propaganda. Pfizer is not going to be honest if it hurts profits, so you should find the study from an unbiased source. Maybe from a peer reviewed science journal or something like that.
  14. Joined
    06 Mar '12
    Moves
    642
    12 Nov '20 10:075 edits
    @metal-brain said
    I'm simply telling you what the news media in the USA reported
    and we are simply telling you the news media may and probably have often reported it wrong.
    "The document does not state what the case split was. However it does say the efficacy rate is above 90% so the words "up to" are inaccurate."

    Nope. Up to 90%+
    Above does not negate "up to".

    "up to 90%+" implies it CAN be below 90%
    "above 90% " implies it CANNOT be below 90%
    Thus a scientific report that says "above 90% " is clearly NOT implying exactly the same thing as "up to 90%+" and the two claims of "up to 90%+" and "above 90% " are NOT entirely consistent with each other.
    "above 90% " DOES negate that "up to".
  15. Joined
    07 Dec '05
    Moves
    16904
    12 Nov '20 11:27
    @humy said
    and we are simply telling you the news media may and probably have often reported it wrong.
    "The document does not state what the case split was. However it does say the efficacy rate is above 90% so the words "up to" are inaccurate."

    Nope. Up to 90%+
    Above does not negate "up to".

    "up to 90%+" implies it CAN be below 90%
    "above 90% " implies it CANNOT ...[text shortened]... nd "above 90% " are NOT entirely consistent with each other.
    "above 90% " DOES negate that "up to".
    That is not consistent with news reports here in the USA. If you are right the news media was wrong to report "up to" 90%, which they did.

    Maybe the news reports were wrong. They call Biden the president elect even though he technically is not, so that is possible.
Back to Top