April 28, 2020

"Scientists at the National Institutes of Health’s Rocky Mountain Laboratory in Montana last month inoculated six rhesus macaque monkeys with single doses of the Oxford vaccine."

"The animals were then exposed to heavy quantities of the virus that is causing the pandemic — exposure that had consistently sickened other monkeys in the lab. But more than 28 days later all six were healthy, said Vincent Munster, the researcher who conducted the test. 'The rhesus macaque is pretty much the closest thing we have to humans,' Dr. Munster said, noting that scientists were still analyzing the result. He said he expected to share it with other scientists next week and then submit it to a peer-reviewed journal."

From "In Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine, an Oxford Group Leaps Ahead/As scientists at the Jenner Institute prepare for mass clinical trials, new tests show their vaccine to be effective in monkeys" (NYT).

Good news. Let's feel good about good news.

Also... I like the name Vincent Munster. It's like something from a screenplay about a scientist. But let's hope this story is too boring for a screenplay: They made a vaccine and it works.

79 comments:

320Busdriver said...

This is Very good.

If you can, try to see Tucker’s interview with Dr Scott Atlas from Stanford last eve. More good news.

Heartless Aztec said...

You combo'd Vincent Price and Fred Munster in one groovy sentence.

Fernandinande said...

White Female Oxford Professor Hopes White Male Scientists Don't Find Vaccine to Coronavirus

-->

I Teach At Oxford, But I Don’t Want It To Win The Coronavirus Vaccine Race

Fernandinande said...

"If my university is the first to develop the vaccine, I’m worried it will be used to fulfil its political, patriotic function as proof of British excellence."

Oh teh horror.

Unknown said...

Sounds cheesy to me.

Lincolntf said...

My father worked in Biotech his whole career. When he was fresh out of college, he took a company van to pick up a load of rhesus monkeys from Logan Airport. Rather than returning directly to the lab, he detoured to visit his girlfriend (later his wife and my mother) at Cape Cod. Long story short, the van with the monkeys broke down just over the Sagamore Bridge. Panicked and in a pre-cell phone era, he asked a State Trooper to drive him to a payphone from which he called his brother and two cousins in Worcester (about 2 hours away). They borrowed a couple cars (it's always "jalopies" when the story is told by my uncle) and they raced down to the Bridge, got a few monkeys each and headed back to Worcester. Dad stayed with the van until it was fixed, the monkeys ended up on the loading dock where they were supposed to be, my father got the van back to the lab that night, the bosses were none the wiser.

Temujin said...

Well, this is good news. Between this Oxford vaccine attempt and the one being worked on here in the US by Moderna, I'm confident we'll have something by fall. This will pass. And we will need to get back to life.

There will be a lot of unemployed people who will have to take a cut in pay to go back to work.

Rocketeer said...

This is actually very, very bad news. If the Oxford vaccine works, it will be seen as a blow to the EU, or a victory for Brexiteers, or something or other - so I have been told. An Oxford vaccine, even if it is 100% effective, simply won't be woke enough. And suffering and death is more bearable than an unwoke vaccine.

Howard said...

It's time to thank all of those animals that have done so much to make our lives better. Hopefully reincarnation will be good to them.

FleetUSA said...

I trust PETA will stay quiet. sarc.

RMc said...

Let's feel good about good news.

Naah. We're all gonna die, and it's all (politician)'s fault! Wake up, sheeple...!

Ralph L said...

George Allen Jr. approves.

TreeJoe said...

I enjoy some good news as much as the next person but a key understanding of clinical research is that this is PRE CLINICAL (not in humans).

The ability to innoculate is important. More important is that it doesn't create long-term safety effects that are anywhere close to as dangerous, let along more dangerous, than the disease itself is far more important.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Outstanding news! When people take a break from blamestorming each other we will look back and marvel at how quickly these therapies and vaccines were developed. Good will come of this episode. I’m glad Althouse has her radar picking up the good signals out there.

Robert Edick said...

Fred Gwynne's grandson?

stevew said...

Uncontroversial good news! Unless Trump touts it, of course.

I have it on good authority that Vincent is Herman's grandson.

Tjj said...

I sure hope, to be consistent,the Media will call Next year's flu season a pandemic.

Tjj said...

I sure hope, to be consistent,the Media will call Next year's flu season a pandemic.

Tjj said...

I hope, to be consistent, the Media will term next year's flu season a pandemic.

rehajm said...

Well...at least the monkeys can go back to work...

D.D. Driver said...

I think of Herman Munster.

Krumhorn said...

One or more effective vaccines for this reasonably seems inevitable. It’s really a question of how much time is required to clear the FDA for use. There are a number of good candidate already in testing.

All good news if we are looking to avoid future seasonal waves. The only difficulty is the logistics of manufacturing and administering hundreds of millions...even billions...of doses. A monumental task. Still, it’s good news compared to the early years of HIV.

- Krumhorn

zipity said...


Must. Not. Let. This. Happen.

Must keep up destroying economy, keep the population panicked.....

Only way to beat Orange Man Bad.

gilbar said...

don't you SEE how BAD this is?
Emily Cousens says WHITE MEN ARE EVIL!

Fritz said...

Next question, do the monkeys stay immune for any length of time?

David Begley said...

Victor Frankenstein is buried at sea in my screenplay. His wife was murdered on her wedding night by the Creature Victor made. Drama! Action! Romance! Comedy! Oscar!

Mr. Forward said...

Does a recess monkey really need an Oxford vaccine?

BudBrown said...

Hi gear,Til there was a vaccine! Yay.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Nancy says they should have developed it sooner

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Those poor lab monkeys

Fernandinande said...

I guess there's a news blackout, so to speak, about the scientific discoveries made by Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, the NIH Vaccine Research Center's coronavirus vaccine lead researcher and her team.

tcrosse said...

Vincent Munster's Dad

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

These scientists better hope Trump doesn’t say he’s optimistic about it.

Mr. Groovington said...

The Oxford group’s leader, Dr Sarah something, has been repeatedly optimistic about their drug, giving it an 80% chance of success.

However, the Brit Chief Science officer (who must know intimately what Oxford are up to) has recently thrown cold water on the possibility of a vaccine happening at all.

I love a wager, but am skeptical, so I’ll go bravely 20% long Oxford, 80% long Chief Science Officer.

Don said...

Just looked at a picture of the Oxford vaccine group. It is overwhelmingly women.

Nonapod said...

There's an interesting article here about the process of developing a vaccine and why it takes so long.

Lucid-Ideas said...

@Howard

I've studied comparative world religions (in an amateur sense, not professionally) for almost 20 years. I've read a lot of source material from India...Bhagavad...Upanishads, Tamil Song translations (some as old as 4-5k years old), as well as quite a bit of Balinese Hinduism source material, etc. Incidentally Balinese Hinduism is 10x more focused on reincarnation than Indian Hinduism.

Can I say that transmigration of souls is real? Of course I can't prove that, but I do believe in the soul and I believe animals have one, albeit lesser.

I hope that bunnies, monkeys, dogs, cows, and pigs etc. do get 'upped' next time around.

The Gipper Lives said...

"Dr. Vincent Munster"?

Your toying with me now.

RMc said...

When people take a break from blamestorming each other we will look back and marvel at how quickly these therapies and vaccines were developed.

No, people will credit the Good Guys (i.e. people like them) for therapies and vaccines, and will cite this as proof of just how awful the Bad Guys are. And the blamestorm will howl even louder.

The Vault Dweller said...

We should pass a law that prohibits vegans from using any vaccine or medicine that was tested using animals.

Rory said...

"Vincent is Herman's grandson."

Lily baby, Herman maybe.

Howard said...

Keep the angst alive. It's what frightened children do when they are in a pickle.

Lurker21 said...


I like the name Vincent Munster.

To be played in the movie by Fred Gwynne.

And this news doesn't come a minute too soon for New York City.

There's a hold up in the Bronx,
Brooklyn's broken out in fights.
There's a traffic jam in Harlem
That's backed up to Jackson Heights.
There's a scout troup short a child,
Khrushchev's due at Idlewild
Car 54, Where Are You?


Howard said...

Lucid: yeah I think the fact that there is something rather than nothing which is our universe plus the assumption of eternity, then anything is possible given a long enough timeline.

Of course the problem with believing that yes you realize that everybody gets their chance to be Hitler or Stalin

I also have a theory that many practitioners of fine art and religion are actually developing conceptual models of complicated physics.

Freder Frederson said...

To be played in the movie by Fred Gwynne.

Unfortunately, he died in 1993. I think his last role was the judge in My Cousin Vinny.

Freder Frederson said...

Well, this is good news. Between this Oxford vaccine attempt and the one being worked on here in the US by Moderna, I'm confident we'll have something by fall. This will pass. And we will need to get back to life.

You can certainly expedite clinical trials, but the fall is just overly optimistic. This is just the very first step.

Gilbert Pinfold said...

Fred Gwynne went to Harvard, and spent a career playing doofuses. And he cashed all the checks for it, too. Smart man.

Jack Klompus said...

But something goes horribly wrong and the scientists end up creating an unstoppable brood of Trogs that only Dr. Joan Crawford can stop.

Equipment Maintenance said...

Yvonne DeCarlo was a babe.

Inga said...

The more people working on a vaccine the better. Between the various countries doing so, one of them will come through with one. They found a vaccine for polio, the can find one for covid. Hopefully humans have learned something from this pandemic, on how to mitigate a pandemic while keeping the economy going. I hope that’s possible too.

Sebastian said...

"consistently sickened"

As in, infected? showing symptoms? needing invasive care? How sick do monkeys actually get?

Among humans, Wuhan virus is harmless to most, passing through without symptoms, nasty only to people with special conditions. How is it with monkeys?

Howard said...

Most vagins do it for health or the environment, not aminal rights. Having worked in the meat processing industry, it does make you think about the disgusting cruelty of it all. Like I said before pork kill plants are the worst. Also I am such a pussy I gave up hunting after killing my first pig and the motherfuker scream like a baby for about 10 seconds before he checked out. However, meat taste good. that's why I have developed a diet called vagin with benefits. I eat maybe one to two ounces of meat everyday usually as part of a homemade stock filled with a variety of root vegetables, rice and beans. This is my idea of what a thrifty caveman would do during an ice age when game is scarce.

Nonapod said...

When it comes to vaccine development basically the main hold up is phase I and phase II human trials that take many months and even up to a year. The long and the short of it is that if you're going to be injecting hundreds of millions of people with something, it'd better not end up being worse than the actual disease it's trying to prevent or you could end up with a worse healthcare nightmare on your hands than even the one we currently have.

Lurker21 said...


The story will be clear: China, once again, has unleashed a threat to civilisation. But the best brains of the UK have saved the world. - Emily Something, Women's Studies Lecturer at Oxford who teaches at Oxford but doesn't want Oxford to "win" the race to a vaccine

C'mon, Britain is due for a win now, to make up for all the other stuff.

And just remember, we'll always have the Opium Wars to kick you around for.

tim maguire said...

Fernandistein said...White Female Oxford Professor Hopes White Male Scientists Don't Find Vaccine to Coronavirus

There's no limit to how shitty some people can be in service to their politics. Our Dr. of the Day may be named Munster, but this woman is a monster.

tim maguire said...

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...These scientists better hope Trump doesn’t say he’s optimistic about it.

Sad to say, that was my first thought.

Gilbert Pinfold said...

A> Whitney Brown: "I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals; it's because I hate plants."

CJinPA said...

The prequel to "12 Monkeys."

n.n said...

Herman Munster. Let's improve viability and reduce collateral damage. Good luck!

rcocean said...

Ah, one of the Munsters. Surprising since Eddie and Herman were somewhat dense.

rcocean said...

strangely, having a vaccine that works is only the first step. It has to be tested on humans and immunize people without making them sick. You also have to be able to produce it at a reasonable cost, store it, and give it out by the millions.

Ken B said...

Inga “ Hopefully humans have learned something from this pandemic”

Well, the ones denying it surely won’t.

The first thing we need to learn is that there is no way, politically, we could have avoided this. Stringent measures to cut off Travellers and quarantine people would have worked if we had done them very early, probably mid January. We have the technology. But no government in any western country could have done it. Certainly not Trump. The reaction would have been an explosion. That's a problem in our politics we need to address.

Original Mike said...

"The story will be clear: China, once again, has unleashed a threat to civilisation. But the best brains of the UK have saved the world. - Emily Something, Women's Studies Lecturer at Oxford who teaches at Oxford but doesn't want Oxford to "win" the race to a vaccine"

You, Emily, could have studied virology for decades, built a lab, spent sleepless nights keeping it funded, then went into overdrive to produce a vaccine that the would desperately needs. But you didn't.

Bob said...

The Vault Dweller said, "We should pass a law that prohibits vegans from using any vaccine or medicine that was tested using animals."

No, just the opposite. We should mandate that vegans take the vaccine. Then they can claim their freedom of religion has been violated.

Tom T. said...

I thought good news about possible effective therapy was required to be kept secret from the public.

Bob said...

Howard said, "This is my idea of what a thrifty caveman would do during an ice age when game is scarce."

A "thrifty caveman" would have no access whatsoever to "root vegetables, rice and beans" during an Ice Age. Might just be a reason game is scarce. Thrifty cavemen might be scarce, too.

Lurker21 said...


If New York had elected Grandpa Munster when he ran for governor would he have done a better job than Cuomo?

Probably not. His crisis would have been 911, and he definitely couldn't have handled that.

He would have ended up better than Spitzer, though.

His second wife, Karen, would have kept him in line.

Birkel said...

Individuals working to cure problems.
Now the CDC will delay life saving treatments for years.

And we need to relocate manufacturing back to America.
I would support a 100% tariff on Chinese produced goods.
Or 1000%.

Kevin said...

It's a good thing Trump didn't mention this in his press conference.

The headline would have been: Trump Suggests Sex With Monkeys to Ward Off Coronavirus.

Jeff said...

having a vaccine that works is only the first step. It has to be tested on humans and immunize people without making them sick.

No, it only has to cause less illness than the virus itself does. That's a pretty low bar, one we know the Moderna vaccine will pass, and most likely most of the other vaccine candidates out there.

What nobody seems to realize is that we don't need to find the one true vaccine that is better than all the others. We just need something that works. Even if it doesn't work for everyone. There's no reason why we shouldn't just take the three or four most promising candidates, do a quick Phase I trial for safety and then just administer all four of them to anybody who wants them.

It doesn't have to be 100 percent effective. If it's only 60 percent effective and you give it to everyone, that's herd immunity right there and the virus peters out. The lockdowns can end immediately.

Of course, it seems an awful lot of people like the lockdowns, or are hoping to use them to achieve some other end. But that's a separate issue.

320Busdriver said...

Dr Scott Atlas of Stanford

Also, by continuing the lockdowns, he says, the powers-that-be are actively delaying the process that must take place for things to get back to normal. Herd immunity, according to Atlas, is the only way to move forward without a proven treatment or vaccine.

“Infected people without severe illness are the immediately available vehicle for establishing widespread immunity,” he wrote in The Hill. “By transmitting the virus to others in the low-risk group who then generate antibodies, they block the network of pathways toward the most vulnerable people, ultimately ending the threat. Extending whole-population isolation would directly prevent that widespread immunity from developing.”

Sheridan said...

David Begley - "Drama! Action! Romance! Comedy! Oscar!" No sex? No conscience confliction? Did the monster kill Victor's wife after she ridiculed his tiny member or did she claim that Victor dead was better than the monster un-dead? People want to know!

Sheridan said...

Hamilton, MT is beautiful. And lots of good laboratory work on Covid-19 is proceeding not just in Hamilton but in other locations in MT as well. That means more blue-staters will want to move here, dammit. Stay home! Go to the beach! Ride the subway! Just leave us alone in our own version of paradise.

Michael McNeil said...

This is my idea of what a thrifty caveman would do during an ice age when game is scarce.

Game isn't scarce in an ice age. On the ice, yes — but vast, unglaciated regions such as Siberia then supported great herds of mammoths, mastodons, and other “megafauna” — much like the savanna of Africa supports large animals today. The end of the ice age destroyed all that high latitude biological richness.

Jim at said...

Good news? We can't have that!
There's a panic to push.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Hamilton, MT is beautiful. And lots of good laboratory work on Covid-19 is proceeding not just in Hamilton but in other locations in MT as well. That means more blue-staters will want to move here, dammit. Stay home! Go to the beach! Ride the subway! Just leave us alone in our own version of paradise.”

Anyone here wanting to move there can contact me. Just bought our subdivision, and will be putting lots back on the market when we get back up there (Still moving into the new house in PHX). We are roughly 100 miles WNW from Missoula, which puts us another 30 or so miles from Hamilton. My partner’s complaint about the Bitterroot valley, where Hamilton is located, is that it is too open. She prefers where we live which is in the middle of a very thick forest of larger evergreen trees than I was used to in CO. Essentially the same trees (Ponderosa Pine, Spruce, and Fir), just taller, since there is a lot more water.

Don said...

So does the government have a nuke situated there a la the Andromeda Strain?

AndrewV said...

My aunt and uncle have a ranch not too far from Hamilton, MT. I'll have to check in and see if they know what's going on just down the road from them.

Sheridan said...

We got nukes but they're atop Minuteman III missiles and located outside Great Falls which is about 250 drive miles from Hamilton.