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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Covid19 vaccine(s)? Science?

"...It’s better to get a cancer diagnosis from a radiologist than from a Ouija Board. It’s better to learn about the age of the universe from an astrophysicist than from a Rabbi. The New England Journal of Medicine is a more reliable source about vaccines than the actress Jenny McCarthy. These preferences are not ideological. We’re not talking about Fox News versus The Nation. They are rational, because the methods of science are demonstrably superior at getting at truths about the natural world.

I don’t want to fetishize science. Sociologists and philosophers deserve a lot of credit in reminding us that scientific practice is permeated by groupthink, bias, and financial, political, and personal motivations. The physicist Richard Feynman once wrote that the essence of science was “bending over backwards to prove ourselves wrong.” But he was talking about the collective cultural activity of science, not scientists as individuals, most of whom prefer to be proven right, and who are highly biased to see the evidence in whatever light most favors their preferred theory.

But science as an institution behaves differently than particular scientists. Science establishes conditions where rational argument is able to flourish, where ideas can be tested against the world, and where individuals can work together to surpass their individual limitations. Science is not just one “faith community” among many. It has earned its epistemological stripes. And when the stakes are high, as they are with climate change and vaccines, we should appreciate its special status."


WHY should we trust science? Again, here's why.


We'll see.

"...Both vaccines also have a good safety profile so far. They have the usual vaccine side effects such as irritation at the vaccine site, fatigue, fever, and aches. So far no serious adverse events that would doom the vaccine. The FDA wants at least two months of safety follow up for at least half of the subjects enrolled in each trial, and this will happen by the end of November. Then the FDA will review the data and consider granting an emergency use authorization (EUA). Final approval will come later after the trials are complete. This means the companies will be able to start manufacturing and distributing millions of doses by the end of the year. Significant vaccination of the general population will likely not happen until the Spring of 2021, with life returning to normal by the Winter of 2021 if all goes well."
Some good news for a change.

BTW, I just checked JHU, 2.2 million new US Covid cases in November thru the 17th.

Charitably, assume that perhaps 25,000 of those losses were inevitable even given an actual A+ federal response effort.


Pretty cool cover art. Click the imsge.

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