Covid Vaccine risks benefit analysis

Here is an expert on vaccines discussing the potential for a Covid 19 vaccine. Vaccines require extensive testing and novel vaccines present potential risks that need to be evaluated in long term testing. The risk versus benefit of the vaccine need be evaluated. It may be considered beneficial to accelerate the vaccination process in the higher risk population while not immunizing the lower risk population.


Great video! Highly informative and lively conversation. Thank you for sharing


I don’t know if this group works for this post but I think it relates. Why is it the United States doesn’t have money upfront in the terms of Millions for Epidemics and Pandemics and we monitor the actual probability of these events taking place? Because the way do after we have a problem on top of us isn’t working. Because after the disease passes you lose funding, and then you don’t have a safety net for the whole Country.

Thank you Michelle! Yes Dr. Offit is a leading expert on vaccines. As he says vaccines need extensive clinical trials. There are reason to suspect that due to the nature of Covid 19 that there could be possible problems making a vaccine or that a vaccine may have complications. We need to monitor the large population that have been infected to assess if they present any long term effects due to the infection.

It seems to me that like the Shingles vaccine that we would be best to only vaccinate the high risk population initially until a vaccine can be assessed properly for safety in the wider low risk population.


Here’s an interview with the Chief Medical Officer of Moderna, the company making an mRNA vaccine against Covid-19, which is the vaccine currently on the fastest development track and was mentioned by Dr Offit

Addresses some of the similar questions /discussion brought up in the video you posted

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Thank you Michelle! Very good interview. I think he is acknowledging what I was being said they cannot produce enough of the vaccine for everyone and that it makes most sense to focus on the most at risk and health providers.

It would be very risky and likely unwarranted to inoculate the low risk population until long term studies are performed on the vaccine. First Moderna vaccine technology is untested and requires validation but all vaccines in the pipeline should have long term validation before use in the wider population. The virus is causing some unusual thrombosis and also immune function and we need to understand that and monitor those infected with the virus to assess the potential safety of vaccination. There is the possibility that a vaccine may have long term undesirable side effects that must be determined prior to inoculating the general low risk population.

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I am cautiously optimistic that the time tested BCG vaccine may be beneficial to enhance immune responsiveness especially in the higher risk population to reduce severity of Covid infection. A very large percentage of people are asymptiomatic largely due to immune function. This bcg vaccine could be a very useful tool to protect the highest risk population until a safe effective vaccine is developed.

It’s just not 1918 and one should consider how many people would die in this age from the 1918 pandemic.

Thanks for posting that article, Scott. That was very interesting. @Randy and I have been discussing Christine Stabell Benn’s observations on another thread about vaccines. We were perplexed by her results, in particular, since there was a lack of mechanism. Now I find the hypothesized mechanism for the cross-benefit of the live BCG vaccine in that article you posted to be compelling, but I still have concerns about her observations with nonlive vaccines. I believe the methodological concerns of her studies would still stand regarding her conclusions about nonlive vaccines. I do not know what mechanism would be for her observations with nonlive vaccines.

I am intrigued by that study they are planning with live BCG vaccine to protect from Covid-19. It is great that they are running a prospective placebo controlled trial. However, the methodology is still a bit concerning, since the clinical endpoint is decreasing “unplanned absenteeism.” If they do see an effect there, they will not really know if they got covid-19 or not, which will not be satisfying. Unfortunately, they say their funding is too limited to visit or follow-up with the trial participants to find out why they were absent.

Eleanor Fish, an immunologist at the of the University of Toronto, says the vaccine probably won’t eliminate infections with the new coronavirus completely, but is likely to dampen its impact on individuals.

With the clinical protocol as briefly described in that article, they will not be able to clearly determine whether the vaccine improved outcomes and dampened the impact of Covid-19 on patients. Hopefully some of the other trials would have more detailed analysis, rather that simply “unplanned absenteeism”

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I think it likely that we will see several generations of vaccines before settling on one that works best in a few years, much like with zoster, where we had one vaccine that is 60% or so effective, and now have one that is 90% effective, but requires two shots. I need to get mine one of these days, have not done so yet.


Yes, Vaccines are contantly being tweaked. A recent example is the shingles vax. So even though I had the one-shot vax, I went for the the new two-shot package deal. btw, only people who have had chicken pox need to worry about shingles.

Thank you Michelle! What were the concerns with a live virus versus non live virus or protein?

I agree that this particular BCG study will not be ver conclusive if just measuring days missed. I think that there are others that are looking at the bcg vaccine for protective effects. It may be another weapon against the severity of the virus. It would be unprecedentated and very unwise to inoculate low risk populations with a Covid vaccine without long term studies of safety. I would not recommend my child to get this vaccine without extensive safety validation.

I am hearing of some potential breakthroughs coming up in the treatment and prophylaxis for the virus severity. Severe patients have elevated Vwf and indications of extreme oxidative stress that doctors are treating. This is not a classical pathway of a cytokines storm and seems specific to this viruses alteration of the Ace2 and Ras pathway. This mechanism would explain the presentation of the risk factors to the virus. This virus is a vascular disease attacking the endothelium not a epithealial disease like most respiratory illnesses.

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