The Skeptics Guide #806 - Dec 19 2020


Stephen bella joining me this week or partner bella. Everybody cara santa maria. Hattie j novella guys. End evan bernstein. Good evening folks. So what have we got to episodes. Left in twenty twenty ara and one regular episode. That'll be next week and then we're doing the year you so if you haven't done it yet please go to our website and give us your feedback on what you want us to talk about during the year in view your favorite segment. Your favorite gassed biggest news item. Skeptical hero skeptical jackass all of the usual stuff. Give it to us and we'll put together for a year. Have you show. Yes if you if you want to go to the to our homepage and then just put in slash. Wrap up twenty twenty and that'll take you to the form which you can fill out and we'd really appreciate it couple of quick cova news items are mentioned before we go onto the full news items so the vaccine's being rolled out the pfizer vaccine and didn't take long a healthcare worker in alaska had a serious allergic reaction to the vaccine to the by. What happens ample access like be staying reaction. Yeah ok though. She's okay but surely she have never gotten vaccine because they could have been totally predicted previous no begins by so to people in the uk who started getting the vaccine before the us atom talking about had allergic reactions but they had a history of allergic reactions. This woman had did not have a history of allergic reactions so this was a serious allergic reaction in somebody without prior history. So that's new. And that's not a good thing and that oh to vaccine. And how likely is that owed to just like you know the fact that we develop allergies throughout the lifespan. So any vaccine has this. Potential and people are allergic to components in vaccines. Yeah you're just like any drug drug and you're going to give a drug to millions of people. A certain percentage of them are going to have allergic reactions. Yeah this is a new vaccine. You know thought. Like i don't know how much overlap there is in in atrovent. Whatever between this vaccine. And previous i my understanding was not much because this is the marnie vaccine and it's really different. It's not like there's a products or other things like that you know where you're going to other vaccines so in any case and this is not surprising. It's good that the the patient did well. She get absorbed overnight. It this is not gonna change anything. There still rolling out the vaccine. It says the recommendations are that people and this was already the recommendation that people observed for fifteen twenty minutes after they get their shot shots just to make sure they're not going to be someone who gets a reaction and then and you just observe longer if somebody has an has known right allergy. But here's the other thing is that in the clinical trial. They excluded people who had known allergic reactions. And so we're just typical you do that and clinical trial you. You don't want to see like how are healthy subjects going to respond and you. You may exclude somebody. Who has would put them at a high risk group. We've talked about this. In the context of clinical trials in general the the strength of a double blind placebo controlled. Trial is that you control all the variables so you could isolate the variables of interest that but that goes hand in hand with a weakness. Which is the more you control those variables. The less the outcome is generalize to general population. So now this is a perfect example of that. You know forty thousand. People got the vaccine without an allergic reaction but none of them had any history of prior allergic reactions. Now i take a sample of people and you're going to have people who have allergies gained also people with really serious other medical conditions. People were pregnant women but yeah. It's often that you you remove all of those people from your sample to reduce the risk and then with covert. It's such a tough thing right. Because the people who need it most are the people who have certain types of sicknesses. I'm wondering how broad their their clinical sample was with vaccine. So there's definitely going to be side effects cropping up again when you go from forty thousand to millions eventually to hundreds of millions eventually billions. Maybe whatever you're obviously statistically you're gonna more things are going to crop up. But still as i mentioned i believe last week. The risk of this happening the risk of you being one of those people who gets a serious allergic reaction is still less than the risk of getting the corona virus and having a serious complication. and again she did. She's fine one night in a hospital. They treated her and she's fine. So but i'm sure you know probably won a million people or something is probably going to have a serious about the rate of serious reactions to thousands of people like her then but the case. I mean that's why we have a vaccine core like you know. We have mitigation effects for this because drugs have side effects and sometimes people get sick but again. This is a public health issue. So i promise you though. Three hundred thousand people are not going to die from the vaccine right. That's exactly that's the point that we have to emphasize or or get sick or get hospitalized or anywhere near it exactly. There's also been a good news. We have to see journa- plays out. Wolman is approved by the fda this week but the fda approved an instant at home tests for covid. Oh very cool like a paper test. The pregnancy test. I at home still not still not where we were we needed to be. But it's a nice first step for the testing because it's about thirty bucks which is going to be expensive for a lot of a lot of people. Maybe their insurance cover that you know what we need what we need to aim for something so quick and easy and inexpensive that we could do it every day. Barely even thinking about a smartphone. Like when you're brushing your teeth bam to test every day.

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