A brief addition to my comment about Michigan yesterday. The state also has one of the worst vaccination rates, which may also aid the case surge there. And a further note on inflation, the producer price index yesterday was projected to jump but it rose much more sharply than projected. This is the measure of what inputs are costing businesses. The psychology of inflation in that once businesses know they have to raise prices, they begin to do so, and other businesses follow suit, and then it is off to the races and the consuming public comes to expect inflation as well. It is going to get very ugly in the next few months. Meanwhile our decrepit federal government just keeps spending more and more money.
A series of studies on the effect of vaccination. The first comes from Spain and looks at the impact of vaccination on nursing home residents, nursing home staff, and health care workers. It found an 85% to 96% reduction in all three groups, with bigger drops in hospitalization and mortality, particularly among nursing home residents. People can carp all they want about the vaccines, the fact is that they are amazingly effective. (SSRN Paper) The next study came from England and was also done among vaccinated LTC residents. (SSRN Paper) The study found that even one dose of two of the vaccines led to a significant decrease in infections among residents compared to those who were unvaccinated. And the third paper comes from Israel and was done with health care workers at a large medical center. It again found that the vaccine was associated with reduced infections and infectiousness. (SSRN Paper)
Another study from Israel looked at the impact of vaccination on common variants. It found that a higher proportion of cases involved variants among those vaccinated than unvaccinated persons, but the absolute numbers were not high. The big flaw in the study is that the measuring period stopped one week after the second dose. That is too early to really assess the effects of vaccination. (Medrxiv Paper)
This study looked at the antibody response to vaccines in the senior living residence population in the Pittsburgh area, but did not include nursing home residents. (Medrxiv Paper) Among this somewhat higher functioning group, all developed antibodies, but at varying levels. Age was generally associated with weaker antibodies, as was male sex. (Just say you identify as a woman and I am sure those antibodies will get stronger.)
I won’t let up on the absolutely despicable actions of those responsible for closing schools to a real education. This paper, sponsored by the the National Academy of Sciences, verifies that “virtual” learning is bullshit and not actual learning at all, and that minority and low-income children are the most affected. (PNAS Paper) The study comes from the Netherlands, which had very favorable conditions for remote education. Notwithstanding that, there was almost no progress made by children on educational goals. Imagine how much worse it was in the US.
Another study that warns of the dangers of false positive test results in a low and declining prevalence in the population, with particular application to the spread of vaccination. (Medrxiv Paper) I am sure the geniuses at the Minnesota Department of Health have studied the research carefully and are taking steps to limit false positives–not.
For unknown reasons, Denmark has had a relatively mild epidemic. A large-scale antibody study determined that through December about 1.5% of the population had been infected. Infection rates were higher in young adults, but seriousness of disease was heavily weighted toward the elderly. There were about twice as many unreported infections as reported from test results. (Medrxiv Study)