The Minnesota Department of Health held another pointless briefing yesterday. A lot of equity talk in regard to vaccination. Differences in vaccination rates have nothing to do with access and everything to do with the behavior of people, who either don’t want to be vaccinated or don’t care. Equity BS always ignores the role of personal behavior and responsibility. If you don’t address that, you are always going to have what looks like lack of “equity”. But then again equity is just a messaging way of saying everyone should end up the same regardless of behavior. That works really well in all aspects of life, including health. There was also discussion of the partnership with the Minnesota consortium on electronic medical records. I just want to note that this group has access to and the state could easily provide information on issues like the distribution of cycle numbers in positive tests, the real reason for hospitalizations and more accurate attribution of deaths. But instead it is wasting time on chasing “inequities”. And God forbid the state should release any data inconsistent with the IB’s terror campaign. The uber-annoying state epidemiologist droned on about variants, mitigation measures and travel, all in the interest of maintaining the terror.
I would like to note in response to questions that the underwhelming Dr. Fauci has never been a member of the Axis of Evil because he is too pathetic to be in that group, membership in which has a humorous element. At least Dr. Osterholm has the decency to acknowledge that he is uncertain about some things and that the science is uncertain. Fauci has been wrong and contradicted himself time after time, with nary a twinge of conscience about the damage he has wreaked on the country. He has his own special category and I suspect there is a very warm special place in hell waiting for him and his sanctimonious, smug, egotistical attitude. Lifetime government bureaucrat because he was incapable of working in the real world.
Finally, death reporting is goofy, to say the least. About once a week I look at the CDC date of death reporting for Minnesota. We are continuing to see significant additions from weeks ago, and this week, a death was added back to April of 2020!!
If you are worried about the effectiveness of vaccines, this study won’t completely allay that anxiety. (Medrxiv Paper) Older people generally have weaker immune systems and they generally have less of a response to vaccines. That appears to be true with CV-19 vaccines as well. Antibody response to the Pfizer vaccine was assessed in those under 60 and those over 80. Even after the second dose, over 30% of those over 80 did not have neutralizing antibodies compared to only 2% of those under 60. Would really need to assess B and T memory cells, but does suggest that vaccines are going to leave many of the very old vulnerable.
This is one of those kind of staggering statistics. Scientists in Colorado tested the distribution of virus across all cases. They found that a mere 2% of people had 90% of all virus particles. (Medrxiv Paper) The study was done using samples from over 70,000 asymptomatic people at a University. Among the positives, viral loads were generally quite low. The dangers of mass asymptomatic testing revealed again. But also that only a few people actually have substantial enough viral loads to make them infectious.
This study also came from a university setting and tried to assess viral load and transmission risk. (Medrxiv Paper) Contacts of students who tested positive were tested. The viral loads of those index cases who appeared to transmit were compared with the loads of those who did not transmit. The spreaders had a somewhat lower median viral load. Asymptomatic cases had a noticeably lower viral load than did symptomatic ones. While the authors tried to minimize the impact of the finding, it is clear that people with higher viral loads are indeed more likely to be transmitters, according to this study. Only makes sense.
Some Japanese scientists did a supercomputer analysis of the effect of double masking. It doesn’t work, actually may make things worse by forcing more leakage around the mask. (JT Article)
In this study from Denmark a national sample of the entire population was used to assess the relationship between viral load, transmission risk and age. (Medrxiv Paper) Because of the size of the study, it appears pretty good, although the risk of transmission was assumed in a household was assumed, not traced. And since time of test in relation to symptom development was not tracked, and viral load declines over time, time of testing could be a confounder. There was an almost linear relationship between viral load as represented by cycle number and transmission, with lower cycle numbers obviously leading to much more transmission. In addition, for the same viral load, there was less risk of transmission for children versus adults, with the relationship again being almost linear.
This paper suggests that asymptomatic children have similar, but lower, viral loads to symptomatic ones, but that symptomatic adults may have higher loads. Children’s viral loads declined faster than adults’. (Medrxiv Paper)