It is categorically impossible to know exactly when an effective vaccine will be available in advance. Anyone who says otherwise is pulling the wool over your eyes 1/n
sure you can have a pretty good idea of when enough data will have been collected to get a read on how effective the vaccine is, but you don't know in advance what the data are going to tell you 2/n
It might be good news, it might be bad, it might be mixed (eg good in some age groups, others not so much). Unless there has been a dreadful breakdown in all the things we do to make trials secure and reliable, you won't know until the data are analyzed 3/n
Among those things that ensure reliability is thoroughly investigating adverse events. Doing this is a Good Thing. We need to ensure vaccines are safe. However it will delay things such that again, it's not predictable exactly when results will be available 4/n
So if someone confidently tells you they know when a trial will report results, you know they are either not telling the truth, don't understand how vaccine trials work, don't *care* how vaccine trials work or whether the resulting vaccine is safe, or maybe all of the above 5/end

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More from @BillHanage

12 Sep
The last few weeks it has been clear the U.K. is sliding into a pandemic resurgence, and is very poorly placed to deal with it 1/n…
Why? Because testing has collapsed. The plans, focusing on symptomatic contacts, were flawed IMO, but even these cannot now get a test 2/n
Meanwhile schools are back, with minimal fig leaves of infection prevention. Without testing asymptomatics we will never know how many outbreaks there are there, but schools *will* add to transmission… 3/n
Read 11 tweets
10 Sep
This is the tweet I pinned back in March. I want to say a few things about panic and preparedness 1/n
In an emergency, it is reasonable and responsible to minimize panic. However this is not done by denying the existence of the emergency - at best that delays the panic and at worst it magnifies the panic once the truth becomes clear 2/n
Instead earn trust. Honestly present the reality of the situation and reassure people that you are working to control it and minimize the fallout. Work with expert risk communicators 3/n
Read 6 tweets
24 Aug
Some things worth noting about this. 1) it really does look like a reinfection if the sequence is that different and typical of what is circulating in Spain 1/n…
2) so this shows that reinfection is possible, it doesn't tell us how common it is. That will be a function of how much immune protection exists, and exposure to the virus (depends on current prevalence) 2/n
3) Hong Kong keeps a close eye out for things like this, so it's maybe not surprising it was reported from there. Should remember that when thinking about how common reinfection is 3/n
Read 6 tweets
14 Aug
This is a phenomenal article on the potential of different sorts of testing, and the ways that we are limited by demands for sensitivity and specificity. There's one important thing it misses out, which I will come to later in this thread 1/n…
Different sorts of questions need different sorts of tests. The US has got hung up on tests and testing, to the extent that it can seem some people think that testing is on its own a sufficient pandemic response. It’s not. It’s just keeping score 2/n
The crucial thing is not the test itself it is what you do in response. For instance to ensure appropriate treatment of cases in a healthcare setting, you want a very sensitive and specific test – meaning you can trust the result because getting it wrong matters 3/n
Read 17 tweets
9 Aug
This is part of a long and excellent thread that is worth reading in its own right. I am almost entirely in agreement. With the exception that I want to write more about the risk of airborne transmission in superspreading 1/n
Superspreading likely follows a "Series of Unfortunate Events" (great show) however we also think that the transmission of this virus is driven by superspreading events, so they must be common enough to make up for the many that do not transmit 2/n
And those superspreading events are hard to explain without some recourse to airborne/aerosols. Look at this from @kakape quoting @ChristoPhraser… 3/n
Read 15 tweets
3 Aug
Some thoughts on early to mid pandemic dynamics in the US and the UK

Yesterday I criticized the criticism in this (meta!). But it is worth pointing out that this is after the UK gleefully (irresponsibly?) opened pubs on the 4th of July weekend.… 1/n
The UK and the US offer similar models of pandemic response. Both are bad.

In both, leaders have sought to minimize the consequence of the pandemic, suggesting it will go away ‘magically’ or that normality will be resumed ‘by Christmas’. Both have been mugged by the virus 2/n
Let us start with the US which I know best. We have had months of case counts rising which were predictably followed by deaths. And I do mean predictably look at this (quoting me, predicting it )… 3/n
Read 14 tweets

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