My Pfizer vaccine is 90% effective, but why weren’t we told sooner?

Along with 40-some thousand other people around the world, I’m enrolled in the clinical trials for the Pfizer COVID vaccine. All has gone well for me, and I’ve had no side effects. Of course, I’ve followed closely the progress of the trials, and I occasionally receive updates from Pfizer.

Pfizer announced yesterday that its early review suggests that the vaccine is astonishingly effective – over 90%. The FDA has previously said that it will approve a safe vaccine that exceeds 50% efficacy.

These early Pfizer results are based on 94 COVID cases that have been identified in the tens of thousands of trial patients. The company’s 90% efficacy determination suggests that all or nearly all those cases occurred in the 50% of the patients who received the placebo, and hardly any or perhaps none at all occurred in the other 50% who received the actual vaccine.

Pfizer plans to manufacture over a billion doses in 2021. A dozen other companies are also in final testing of vaccines. Scientists say the Pfizer results bode well for the other vaccines.

The end of the pandemic is in sight. The stock market soared and scientists rightly congratulated themselves.

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Election post-mortem

Democracy is not necessarily the best, fairest or most effective form of government. Bear in mind that two and a half millennia ago in the first democracy, Socrates was sentenced to death by 500 Athenians.

In our own representative democracy, we just had an important election. Here are some observations on the state of our democracy. Spoiler alert: It’s better than in Athens, then or now.

First, most of the media and pollsters are both biased and incompetent. This is a very serious problem. If people don’t trust the media, and they don’t, for good reasons, where are they supposed to get the news? If they don’t get the news, on what basis are they supposed to vote?

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