Fact-Free Discourse – Vaccines

How many doses of the several available vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of covid, are available?

You would think that when people call for sending vaccines to India or to make them more available generally around the world, they would check that number. You would be wrong.

Searching brings up a number of references to “doses expected to be available,” but actual numbers from the production plants (and how many of those are there?) are not easy to find.

You would think that journalists would want to check these numbers before making statements like “America is awash in vaccines.” You would be wrong. I have not seen a single one quote numbers. Journalists are supposed to get facts like this to us.

Yesterday Dr. Tom Frieden, now President and CEO of Resolve To Save Lives and a former director of the CDC, wrote a Twitter thread with a link to those numbers and other important facts.

The Global Commission for Post-Pandemic Policy provides production numbers.

Total monthly production (April 1 – April 26) was 415,769,587 doses. The first billion doses have been given. The world population is 7.8 billion, requiring roughly 15 billion doses. (I’m using round numbers, don’t pick at them.) That’s fourteen billion more needed, which will require 34 months to manufacture at the present rate.

In that light, let’s look at what Frieden has to say. I am pulling tweets selectively. The whole thread is worth reading.

Vaccines will not crush the pandemic in the short term if there were enough of them, which there aren’t. Time delays are built into all aspects of the pandemic – time from infection to symptoms, more time to hospitalization and death; time to build or refit vaccine factories, time to get the vaccines to people, time for the vaccines to build immunity. If the entire population of India were vaccinated tomorrow, sickness and death would continue for months.

The most immediate action, for all of us, yes even privileged white American men who have been vaccinated, is to wear masks and continue social distancing.

I’m leaving out most of what he says about variants. It looks like the m-RNA vaccines are protective against them, and if not, can be made to be. The media love to scream THE MUTANTS ARE COMING, and that is one more of their disservices.

Cross-posted at Balloon Juice

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