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Evaluating Mitigation of Spread Alternatives and Vaccination

By May 9, 2020Commentary

And another paper on the effect of different mitigation of spread measures.  (Medrxiv Paper)   There are a couple of key points I have attempted to consistently make as this epidemic has proceeded.  One was that it was only a serious threat to the frail elderly and the second was that mitigation of spread measures should be analyzed incrementally, with the costs and benefit of each weighed.  This paper attempts to disentangle the effects of specific aspects of mitigation of spread efforts, such as school closures, business closures, prohibiting mass gatherings, stay-at-home orders and wearing masks.  They identified whether a measure was implemented and the timing of implementation of any of these orders in various European countries.  Their main variable of interest were cases and deaths.  Case numbers, as we know, shouldn’t be used because they do not accurately reflect the number of infections.  And I am not sure the data on mitigation measures is granular enough for a good analysis.  But the results may be directionally helpful.  School closures and prohibiting mass gatherings appeared to reduce cases.  Business closures and mask wearing did not seem to have a significant effect.  Stay-at-home orders were actually associated with more closings.

Speaking of mitigation of spread measures, this paper provides a comprehensive list of all approaches that could be taken, but no analysis of the harms or benefits of any of them.  (Medrxiv Paper)

I mentioned last nite the CDC report on vaccinations.  Ordering of vaccines for children has dropped by over 3 million doses.  Ordering for measles vaccines dropped by over 400,000 doses.  Our Governors have so frightened the population, even though there is no risk to children from coronavirus, that parents are afraid to take their children to the doctor.  This will end up killing a number of children, more than the coronavirus, and causing serious disease in others.  Nice work by the Governors.

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