Making sense of Covid-19 with Silman: my blog

What do the numbers mean !

Pfizer vs AstraZeneca vaccine: first comparative data

The number one question that people in the UK when chatting to each other in the past few weeks is “Which vaccine did you have?”! Yesterday (22nd February) the Scottish Government published preliminary data from their first 1.1 million people who had been enrolled in the national vaccine roll out programme.  This programme, like the rest of […]

New Israeli data show good protection after one dose of Pfizer vaccine

New data published yesterday in the Lancet appeared to show that there is very good protection from becoming infected with Covid-19 two weeks after one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.  In this post I describe the results, what are their limitations and what they mean.  I also relate the results to similar data from AstraZeneca.  What did […]

Mixing vaccines: taking two doses of different vaccines seriously!

This week has seen research supporting the idea that having the two doses from different vaccines would be more effective than two doses of the same vaccine.  This idea is being taken seriously and thus this week there were announcements of two trials: In the UK with AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines as the different doses In […]

New data on AstraZeneca vaccine:

What’s the same, what’s new and what we still don’t know Yesterday (2nd February) the Lancet released a non-peer-reviewed publication on further analysis evaluating the results from the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine. I believe some of the media coverage was misleading!  Data were provided which address 3 specific questions:  What is the level of protection […]

Vaccines in the elderly: yet more data today!

It’s been a very busy day keeping track of all the news emerging this afternoon, UK time, on the different vaccines! In this second but short post today, I provide an update on the European decision on the AstraZeneca vaccine and give very brief comments on the Janssen and Novovax vaccines. EU decision on AstraZeneca […]

Why children need to be vaccinated and why this might not happen (quickly enough)

Most readers of this blog have focused on vaccines for themselves and their elderly relatives: widespread vaccination for children seems a long way off.  New data are very clear: children contract and transmit the infection, if anything, more easily than adults. In this post I summarise the recent data from both sides of the Atlantic on […]

Could one dose of vaccine be sufficient? Some interesting new data

Media yesterday reported on research published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine. That study looked at the immune response to one versus two doses of vaccine and suggested that we might only need one dose to get immunity to the virus.  In this post I critically review these data and examine how they […]


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