Netflix boss says staff can return to office when the majority are vaccinated

midian182

Posts: 7,157   +64
Staff member
A hot potato: Despite Covid-19 cases continuing to rise, companies are taking different approaches when it comes to employees returning to the office. Some have already called staff back, while others are sticking with a remote work policy until at least next year. In Netflix’s case, CEO Reed Hastings says his workers won’t be returning until the “majority” are vaccinated.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Hastings let it be known that he’s not a fan of working from home, believing that a lack of in-person interaction negatively impacts business. He was also asked whether companies will shift more towards working from home once the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

“If I had to guess, the five-day workweek will become four days in the office while one day is virtual from home. I’d bet that’s where a lot of companies end up,” said Hastings.

Vaccine development timeline, courtesy of The New York Times

The CEO was asked when his own workforce will return to the office. Interestingly, his plan is to wait until after a vaccine has arrived. “It’s probably six months after a vaccine. Once we can get a majority of people vaccinated, then it’s probably back in the office.”

Most scientists put the arrival of a Covid-19 vaccine sometime next year, though the bigger problem might be convincing people to take it; many fear a rushed development and testing time means the vaccine could be unsafe. Hastings said he wants “a majority” of people vaccinated before an office return, so it’s unlikely to be mandatory.

Most big tech firms have set 2021 as the date for worker returns. Microsoft isn’t opening its physical offices until next year, while Google said in July that employees could work from home for an additional 12 months. Amazon has also extended its remote working policy until January 8, 2021. Apple, however, began the first phase of reintroducing staff to its Silicon Valley HQ on June 15.

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Uncle Al

Posts: 8,238   +7,010
Very optimistic considering the basis for any vaccine is a minimum of 5 years. No doubt it can be rushed to market, but without the proper testing and screening the odds of performance issues go up as the length of time is shortened .....
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,948   +2,253
TechSpot Elite
Complete long-term analysis of finished Stage III trials will be needed before I take any vaccine that seems to be rushing through development. I really appreciate the rapid pace as it shows what can be done when you throw money at a problem, but there's no way to speed up the numbers game that is required for Stage III. That's just time and exposure.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,219
Complete long-term analysis of finished Stage III trials will be needed before I take any vaccine that seems to be rushing through development...there's no way to speed up the numbers game that is required for Stage III
Primary safety testing is Phase I. Phase III is about testing efficacy...even in the rare case of turning up an adverse event, it is generally in the 1:10,000 range, a low enough probability that it doesn't prevent dissemination of the vaccine.

In any case, I don't understand the logic that there's no way to "speed up the numbers game". Devote extra resources, and you can test 50,000 or even 500,000 subjects just as quickly as you can 500. By the time any vaccine comes to market, it will have been tested against far more than necessary to ensure a reasonable safety level.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,948   +2,253
TechSpot Elite
Primary safety testing is Phase I. Phase III is about testing efficacy...even in the rare case of turning up an adverse event, it is generally in the 1:10,000 range, a low enough probability that it doesn't prevent dissemination of the vaccine.

In any case, I don't understand the logic that there's no way to "speed up the numbers game". Devote extra resources, and you can test 50,000 or even 500,000 subjects just as quickly as you can 500. By the time any vaccine comes to market, it will have been tested against far more than necessary to ensure a reasonable safety level.

Yes, those resources will help but there are still a limited amount of them and a lot of different vaccines (70+), which is a good thing!

The part we can't speed up with testing this vaccine is the exposure numbers because we can't give people the vaccine and then expose them to covid. Instead we give a lot of people the vaccine in an area where covid is currently expanding (ie: India right now) and... wait. Wait for enough people to be exposed to the virus naturally and wait for the disease progression to continue through to it's endpoint. That's the part which will take a number of months as Phase III is just starting for some vaxes and not even yet for many others.

Even in India, there are 70-90K people being infected every day. But spread through a country of 1.4B and then there needs to be a lot of data collected to normalize the different populations to make sure you're seeing the vaccine's effects and not something else.

With 70+ different vaccines. It's quite a project.
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,851   +2,213
And so it begins. You want to continue to work? Get the vaccine, even though anyone with half a brain knows that just like with the flu shot, it won't be as effective as say a mumps, measles shot.
Why? Because those DON'T CHANGE unlike any corona virus (including the flu) which changes over time. That's why the CDC/WHO and others start in August trying to figure out which strain of the flu will be the one to concern yourself about during the flu "season" and most of the time they are wrong.
Now, your employment will be conditioned on getting a stupid shot. Might as well have a barcode stamped on your forehead to make it easier to scan you!
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,219
The part we can't speed up with testing this vaccine is the exposure numbers because we can't give people the vaccine and then expose them to covid.
Your original statement expressed trepidation at the safety of the vaccine. Now you're talking about efficacy. Assume the worst-case scenario of zero efficacy -- extraordinarily unlikely, given the results from earlier phases -- but assume it. You're still no worse off taking the vaccine than you are being without it. The notion that a "rushed" vaccine should be avoided for safety concerns isn't supported factually.

Also, even though a Phase III trial requires individuals to be naturally exposed to the virus, basic statistics still applies here. If you double the size of your trial group, you will double the number of people naturally exposed in any given period of time-- or, alternately, you will reach your desired statistical significance level in a much shorter time interval.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,948   +2,253
TechSpot Elite
Your original statement expressed trepidation at the safety of the vaccine. Now you're talking about efficacy. Assume the worst-case scenario of zero efficacy -- extraordinarily unlikely, given the results from earlier phases -- but assume it. You're still no worse off taking the vaccine than you are being without it. The notion that a "rushed" vaccine should be avoided for safety concerns isn't supported factually.

Also, even though a Phase III trial requires individuals to be naturally exposed to the virus, basic statistics still applies here. If you double the size of your trial group, you will double the number of people naturally exposed in any given period of time-- or, alternately, you will reach your desired statistical significance level in a much shorter time interval.

My trepidation is limited to certain governments which are suggesting actual target dates for vaccine completion which most experts in the field feel are wildly optimistic. What I prefer is the Stage III trials to be completed, published and analyzed by the rest of the scientific community before I'll be satisfied to take them. There needs to be both reasonable efficacy and safety.

My concern with the numbers part of the Phase III trials is that it may be difficult to generate the numbers of people for a particular vaccine if there are simply not enough people to go around to test. This is where the earliest vaccines to Stage III have a huge advantage, IMO.

They have the biggest pool of people to select from but the later vaccines to Stage III may find themselves with (too?) few eligible people as they're already in other trials. What sucks about that is there is no reason to assume the first vaccines will be better than later ones, but we may have problems determining that if the pools of people are smaller later on.

That said, if we end up with very small pools of people farther into the trials, that should be a good thing as it means (maybe?) that there are fewer people overall actually infected with covid.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,717   +1,322
I’m quite desperately seeking a return to normality at this point. Il take a rushed vaccine if it means I can start going to the office and on planes and holidays etc.

Besides I’ve had loads of vaccines in my life, including some more obscure ones for remote parts of the world and there’s nothing wrong with me so..
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,948   +2,253
TechSpot Elite
And so it begins. You want to continue to work? Get the vaccine, even though anyone with half a brain knows that just like with the flu shot, it won't be as effective as say a mumps, measles shot.
Why? Because those DON'T CHANGE unlike any corona virus (including the flu) which changes over time. That's why the CDC/WHO and others start in August trying to figure out which strain of the flu will be the one to concern yourself about during the flu "season" and most of the time they are wrong.
Now, your employment will be conditioned on getting a stupid shot. Might as well have a barcode stamped on your forehead to make it easier to scan you!

Influenza/flu is not a coronavirus. Seeing as they're different types of virus, any assumption you make about one doesn't necessarily apply to the other.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,948   +2,253
TechSpot Elite
I’m quite desperately seeking a return to normality at this point. Il take a rushed vaccine if it means I can start going to the office and on planes and holidays etc.

Besides I’ve had loads of vaccines in my life, including some more obscure ones for remote parts of the world and there’s nothing wrong with me so..

I agree, I want my normal back.

What I think is the most likely way that taking a vaccine could have a negative effect is if the vaccine is say, 70% effective (better than the seasonal flu vaccine) and it gives people overconfidence about their immunity, therefore still spreading the disease. Maybe 70% is good enough, I don't know.

I'd like to hear a few infectious disease researchers' opinions about how % effective a vaccine needs to be, and how many people need to get it, before we get that normal back with minimal/no covid spread.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,717   +1,322
Influenza/flu is not a coronavirus. Seeing as they're different types of virus, any assumption you make about one doesn't necessarily apply to the other.
I think they were referring to the common cold which can be caused by a type of coronavirus.
I agree, I want my normal back.

What I think is the most likely way that taking a vaccine could have a negative effect is if the vaccine is say, 70% effective (better than the seasonal flu vaccine) and it gives people overconfidence about their immunity, therefore still spreading the disease. Maybe 70% is good enough, I don't know.

I'd like to hear a few infectious disease researchers' opinions about how % effective a vaccine needs to be, and how many people need to get it, before we get that normal back with minimal/no covid spread.
I don’t give a dam how effective it is against the virus. I’m 33, not overweight (although definitely heavier from lockdown), I have no pre existing conditions, I don’t smoke, before the pandemic I went scuba diving all the time, travelling, quad biking, bit of rugby in the winter. The chances of me dying from covid are minuscule. In fact I wonder what’s more dangerous to me, a rushed vaccine or Covid!

What I care about is how effective it is on politicians! At the moment none of what I described above is possible. I just play PC games, or watch films, go for a walk in a crowded country park at the weekend with my girlfriend. It’s miserable and unhealthy both physically and mentally.

But I’m not holding my breath. No pandemic Or even epidemic has ever ended with a vaccine as far as im aware.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,219
My trepidation is limited to certain governments which are suggesting actual target dates for vaccine completion which most experts in the field feel are wildly optimistic.
Most talking heads you see on TV, at least. The actual researchers developing the vaccines say otherwise. The Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine -- currently in Phase III trials in four separate nations -- is expected to be complete this year, and manufactured and distributed in million-dose quantities by January, a full year earlier than those talking heads were predicting.

And in any case, this still doesn't address your earlier assertion, which is that the safety of these vaccines would somehow be "compromised". Phase III is all about efficacy. All these vaccines currently being tested are already demonstrated to be safe. Political reasons exist to make people believe otherwise, but generating fear and uncertainty around these vaccine programs is a dangerous route to take.

it may be difficult to generate the numbers of people for a particular vaccine if there are simply not enough people to go around to test...the later vaccines to Stage III may find themselves with (too?) few eligible people
There are nearly 8 billion people in the world. Assuming 20,000 per Phase III trial, that's enough people to simultaneously test 40,000 different vaccines. There are less than 200 currently being tested, so we've a ways to go before we run out of test subjects.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,219
Maybe 70% is good enough, I don't know.
Current flu vaccines run 40-50% efficacy rates most years. And, even though the common flu is significantly more deadly to children than Covid, we find that good enough to protect them well enough to send them back to school.
 

seeprime

Posts: 598   +747
Very optimistic considering the basis for any vaccine is a minimum of 5 years. No doubt it can be rushed to market, but without the proper testing and screening the odds of performance issues go up as the length of time is shortened .....
70% of vaccines are manufactured in India. The largest one is already producing tens of millions of five different vaccines. The US government paid 1.2 billion dollars to Astra-Zeneca to have them do this for their Oxford vaccine. It's already in stage three testing where results will be assessed early, to determine how fast the product can be shipped and used safely. Check out Operation Warp Speed, if you're interested. Many companies are following this rapid path to a usable vaccine that is shown to make at least 50% of recipients produces T-cells and antibodies that fight Covid-19.
 

TheBigFatClown

Posts: 968   +393
Why do we need a vaccine that has proven itself less deadly than most viruses before it? The actual virus itself also produces T-cells and antibodies. And most people don't die. If they hadn't been conditioning people to social distance and wear masks we would already have herd immunity. This is about nothing more than money, power, control. That's all folks!

Hydroxychloroquine has been proven as a very effective treatment for people who are "suffering" from COVID-19.

Cases mean nothing, death rate is what matters. But what do you hear on television 24/7? "Oh My God, Sweet Baby Jesus, 15 new COVID-19 cases today. We're all gonna die!!!!"

Uh....yeah....go get yourself some ritalin.

@Shadowboxer Getting a flu shot every year weakens your immune system.

https://doctormurray.com/does-the-flu-shot-increase-covid-19-risk/

I'm advised by the website to double-check my post before submitting. Where's the preview option?

If I worked for Netflix right now I wouldn't be going back. If everybody did this the company would be forced into bankruptcy. Of course, I'm not sure how many employees it takes to run a company that does nothing more than serve up movies anyway.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,948   +2,253
TechSpot Elite
Most talking heads you see on TV, at least. The actual researchers developing the vaccines say otherwise. The Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine -- currently in Phase III trials in four separate nations -- is expected to be complete this year, and manufactured and distributed in million-dose quantities by January, a full year earlier than those talking heads were predicting.

And in any case, this still doesn't address your earlier assertion, which is that the safety of these vaccines would somehow be "compromised". Phase III is all about efficacy. All these vaccines currently being tested are already demonstrated to be safe. Political reasons exist to make people believe otherwise, but generating fear and uncertainty around these vaccine programs is a dangerous route to take.

I never mentioned "compromised" so I don't know why you are quoting it here. But to your point, Phase III is primarily about efficacy (though also to get data about long-term and rare side-effects) and that's what I was referring to. I'm not interested in something that's been pushed out without having enough randomized data about it's efficacy.

There are nearly 8 billion people in the world. Assuming 20,000 per Phase III trial, that's enough people to simultaneously test 40,000 different vaccines. There are less than 200 currently being tested, so we've a ways to go before we run out of test subjects.

Those numbers are less sueful for testing as less than 0.4% of people worldwide have tested positive. Wasted effort on >99% of the people out there. You need concentrated areas of disease expansion to get enough people who will be infected to get that good efficacy data. So all the vaccine makers will be competing for those areas and the ones who test in areas of lower disease spread (because they're slower to Phase III) will necessarily need to wait longer to get results from enough people to make their efficacy conclusions.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,948   +2,253
TechSpot Elite
Current flu vaccines run 40-50% efficacy rates most years. And, even though the common flu is significantly more deadly to children than Covid, we find that good enough to protect them well enough to send them back to school.

True, children are safer with covid than the flu. The problem with covid is the risk to the people around them, not only the school staff but their families after the children are exposed to school staff, and vice versa.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,219
To your point, Phase III is primarily about efficacy (though also to get data about long-term and rare side-effects) and that's what I was referring to. I'm not interested in something that's been pushed out without having enough randomized data about it's efficacy.
So you agree the vaccine will be safe; you simply don't want to waste time getting stuck with a needle for a vaccine that might not be wholly effective? OK, fair enough. In any case, the point is moot, as Phase II trials will be concluded, and no virus which fails to show adequate efficacy will be approved.

Those numbers are less useful [ed] for testing as less than 0.4% of people worldwide have tested positive...You need concentrated areas of disease expansion to get enough people who will be infected...
You realize that we continually develop vaccines for diseases far more rare than Covid? And that the essentially every epidemiological expert agrees that the number of actual Covid cases worldwide is far higher than the official lab-tested-positive count?

Still further, and more importantly, when a Phase III trial encompasses 30,000 people, you expect several hundred of them to come into contact with Covid within just a couple of months, allowing you to reach three-sigma statistical significance without having to wait years. THAT is the benefit of a large Phase III. Past vaccines have used much smaller pools of individuals, generally being exposed to much rarer diseases. Of course that takes far longer. The situation today is different.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,948   +2,253
TechSpot Elite
Still further, and more importantly, when a Phase III trial encompasses 30,000 people, you expect several hundred of them to come into contact with Covid within just a couple of months, allowing you to reach three-sigma statistical significance without having to wait years. THAT is the benefit of a large Phase III. Past vaccines have used much smaller pools of individuals, generally being exposed to much rarer diseases. Of course that takes far longer. The situation today is different.

Ah, that was the information I didn't have. I didn't realize that you only needed several hundred exposed to the disease, I was assuming more on the order of several thousand to get that statistical significance.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,219
You may find this news from today apropos. It demonstrates the care being taken during at least one Phase III trial:

"....AstraZeneca, which has been developing a vaccine with the University of Oxford, temporarily put its late-stage study on hold while it investigates whether a recipient’s “potentially unexplained” illness could be a side effect of the vaccine. The drugmaker said in a statement Wednesday that the symptoms could point to the autoimmune disease transverse myelitis, but that there is "no final diagnosis" at this time..."
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,530   +4,918
Very optimistic considering the basis for any vaccine is a minimum of 5 years. No doubt it can be rushed to market, but without the proper testing and screening the odds of performance issues go up as the length of time is shortened .....
Absolutely. Forcing anyone to take a vaccine that is not known through clinical trials to be safe, is, IMO, insane. People here thought the anti-vax crowd was crazy for other vaccines, I cannot imagine how big the anti-vax crowd will be for this "vaccine" especially if the FDA gives in to political pressure and approves it before it is known through clinical trials to be safe.
 
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Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,219
Absolutely. Forcing anyone to take a vaccine that is not known through clinical trials to be safe, is, IMO, insane.
What flavor kool-aid are you having today? Primary safety assurance is done by Phase I trials, which have long been complete. Phase III is primarily for efficacy testing: in the case of Pfizer's vaccine, that has been in progress since July IIRC. Nearly 40,000 people have received their vaccine, of which a grand total of one person had a serious medical event -- and that turned out to be unrelated to the vaccine.