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    • With promising news of Pfeizer’s new vaccine, the question is becoming who to vaccinate first: your responsible and vulnerable sweet grandma, or her irresponsible frat bro of a grandson?

      Science seems to say the bratty virus-denying mask protester. What do you say?

    • Without having read the article, this makes some amount of sense. Roughly speaking, based on our behavior everyone of us has a probability of catching the virus, and (assuming we did catch it), a number of people we will transmit the virus to.

      Multiply those two values together, and you get an estimate for how many people each individual would infect in the long run. One might think of this as a "personal R value", because averaging these values over a whole population would result in something similar to the "R value" we're currently talking about.

      Obviously, this value grows if either of the input values increases, and is highest for reckless people with many contacts and lowest for a cautious recluse.

      Now, if you could pick just one person from a population and set its "personal R value" to zero, which one would that be? If you pick "sweet grandma" because she didn't do anything wrong and deserves it, you're helping her - but if her "personal R value" is something like 0.1 (low probability of catching the virus, few people to transmit it to), while there's someone else running around with a value of 20, taking grandma out of the equation won't do much as far as the overall pandemic is concerned, while taking out the potential superspreader does.

      That being said, I don't think we can look at this as just a number's game. While vaccinating superspreaders first would be the best way to quickly stop the pandemic, it is also the most improbable way out of the situation we're in. After all, if these people would be willing to help, they could just change their behavior and stop being superspreaders in the first place.

    • I read that article

      While I definitely see the the logic of vaccinating the super spreaders ( assuming they agree to vaccination ) or maybe even if they don't agree to vaccination, it does seem like rewarding bad behaviour, doesn't it ?? - While grandma may not put as many people at risk, her risk of dying or suffering greatly, without vaccination, seems much higher.

      I will take the Pfizer vaccine as soon as it is offered to me - I want to travel again.

      An interesting topic that is certain to cause some interesting online discussions, I would submit.

      A side note/thought -- Vaccinating superspreaders may help a great deal, but if coronavirus illness gets established in mink or other domestic/wild animals, like in Denmark, vaccinating people might not be adequate to totally protect human populations due to the potential for a wild species safe harbor. Maybe? It seems coronavirus is capable of infecting a significant number of mammalian species - minks, foxes, ermines, tigers, cats, dogs - and maybe others we are not aware of just yet.

    • Coincidentally this came up when talking with my Mom today. We both agreed that people most likely to contract the virus should get the vaccine first. Going so far as to make getting vaccinated a requirement to travel out of State.

    • I worked at a tech company where Larry Brilliant came around now and then, the famed virologist who helped eradicate smallpox and who gave the first TED talk warning of pandemics.

      I heard him say the other day that we got lucky with Covid 19 because it isn't as lethal as it could be. What will we do when one comes along that is much more lethal? He said we're treating this like once we have a vaccine, we're good for another 100 years, but his expectation is they are coming faster and faster and as long as we have animal agriculture, they will continue to accelerate.

    • Every few years actually - SARS, MEARS, Zika, Ebola, SARS Cov 2, H1n1, H5N1, Swine flu, the list goes on. Even Rabies has increased in many places, so zoonotic diseases continue to swirl around the world.

      We have been very fortunate. Imagine if SARS Cov 2 was just twice as lethal, and just as infectious, how much worse this present epidemic might have been.

    • H7N9 apparently has roughly 50% mortality in humans. We've been following it for years, apparently, because China has had 3 small outbreaks of it, mostly from workers who interact with poultry.

      This was written in 2017 when not many people in the west thought pandemics were much of a thing:

    • who to vaccinate first: your responsible and vulnerable sweet grandma, or her irresponsible frat bro of a grandson

      Only potential problem I see with this prioritization, it's who will catch them and hold them while they're being inoculated..