I am in California for a few days, where the mask force is strong. Walking in a state park yesterday, most people on the trail had masks, including some runners who looked ready to keel over. And this after even the CDC has acknowledged the lack of any outdoor transmission. A lot of people are idiots, sorry, but it is true. We are definitely rolling over on cases in Minnesota, as we are getting to less favorable seasonality and vaccinations continue to do their work. It appears to be the same in other states that were having case surges. Looking at the curves, for both Texas and Florida, the primary wave last summer started in early June and peaked in mid-July, amazing how similar the curves are. So again, I would watch those two heavily populated states as we get to early June and see if there is any case bump. Both have done a pretty good job with vaccinations and should have a high percent of all adults fully vaccinated by that time.
A ton of vaccine research being done, so I suspect research summaries will be heavy on that the next few weeks.
Look, vaccines work, don’t fall for anything that suggests otherwise. Here is a study in the US on the mRNA vaccines. (Medrxiv Paper) People who were fully vaccinated were over 95% protected against death and hospitalization, and even one dose conferred some protection.
This is a matched case control study from England. (Medrxiv Paper) Emergency hospitalizations were 51% lower and cases 55% lower among the vaccinated group who were at least 21 days past their first dose, and over 70% lower after over 30 days when most of the vaccinated group had received a second dose.
The vaccines work, and research is beginning to detail exactly how in the real world. The vaccines prompt helper T cell responses most quickly, followed by killer T cell ones. As have other studies, this one indicates that in people who were infected the response after one dose is similar to the response after two doses in people who hadn’t been infected. (Medrxiv Paper)
This Kaiser Foundation report shows nationally what we have been reporting here in Minnesota; the number and proportion of LTC deaths has declined dramatically. This is the most vaccinated and most fully vaccinated group in the country and even though their adaptive immunity tends to be weaker, the vaccines are showing a strong effect. (KFF Analysis)
And this study also occurred in nursing home residents and examined the development of the adaptive immune response following vaccination in those persons. (Medrxiv Paper) The researchers compared the response in this quite old group to that in a younger cohort. The nursing home residents generated a strong T cell response, particularly in those with prior infection, but it was weaker than that in the younger group.
This analysis in California examined whether the vaccines appeared to be effective in preventing infection by variants. (Medrxiv Paper) The study was conducted among partially and fully vaccinated health care workers. Very few so-called breakthrough infections occurred after full vaccination impact had occurred. And there did not appear to be any greater presence of variant infection than in the community.
Any time you give something to tens of millions of people you are going to see side effects. According to this paper, people who had a prior CV-19 infection, especially if they were the mythical long-haulers, were more likely to experience side-effects from vaccination. (Medrxiv Paper)
All the action in CV-19 infection occurs initially in the upper respiratory tract. There are immune system cells there and this research looked at the impact of having an infection on the adaptive immune response in nasal passages. (Medrxiv Paper) The study was conducted among hospitalized patients and found both acute phase immune cell reactions, but also long-term responses in the form of memory T cells and other components.
I could probably write summaries on research like this for at least the next five years, because the bad effects of the lockdowns on people’s health will continue for that long or more. This paper details the stark rise in overdose deaths during the epidemic, which continues to this day. Delayed or disrupted treatment of known users and stress and isolation encouraging abuse by others, all contribute to this problem. This is on the governors and public health experts, not the virus. (JAMA Article)
Argentina had one of the longest and strictest lockdowns in the world and it took a tool on mental health in the country, according to this paper. (Medrxiv Paper) Lot of good it did them too, they have the same per capita death toll as no-strict lockdown Sweden.