Minnesota DOH officials got busted for messaging to justify some of the limits they put on youth sports. Sports activities are critical to children’s physical health, to their social development, to keeping them from engaging in less positive activities and to keeping them sane during the epidemic. But DOH decided to use these activities as a punching bag in the terror campaign, trying to claim that young people were infecting people in nursing homes. I don’t know why anyone is surprised by this. As is typical with politicians, all they think about is messaging, not substance or public good, and the IB is a master of messaging, at least in volume. I am going to put up a separate post with a copy of one of the emails showing that the request came directly from the Governor. Jackass. You can read these emails at this link. (AN Story)
More information on vaccination rollout effects, this time from Qatar. (Medrxiv Paper) The Pfizer vaccine was used there and the rate of infection in different time periods following vaccination was reported. As other studies have shown, in Qatar the vaccine was over 90% effective after full vaccination and had an even greater effect on severe disease.
A bunch of quick research summaries. Two interesting studies reaching opposite conclusions on different vaccine side effects, using a similar approach, but different data. The first, from JAMA, deals with facial paralysis. (JAMA Article) The researchers used what is called a disproportionality analysis and the World Health Organization pharmacovigilence database to assess whether people receiving the CV-19 vaccines were suffering unduly from this side effect. CV vaccines were compared to all viral vaccines and to flu vaccines separately and with a broad and a narrow definition of facial paralysis. There was no finding of any greater risk from CV vaccines than the others in any of the analyses. Now, I think the best way to do these analyses is to use large claims and/or EHR databases to avoid the kind of selective reporting bias found in systems like VAERS.
The second study was in regard to clotting issues. (Medrxiv Paper) A similar analysis method was used, but this study used VAERS, which relies on provider and patient reports, and is therefore subject to substantial selective reporting bias, particularly in light of the intense attention to CV-19 and vaccines. The paper finds that the vaccines are associated with a greater rate of reported (which is the operative word) clotting issues. But the authors note that the VAERS data is not recommended for adverse event rate analysis. So why did you use it? And the authors note that there are 611,000 first strokes a year in the US. The population is around 33o million. That is a .19% rate a year. So why not use an analysis that compares that rate to the rate of adverse events compared to people vaccinated. If you do that, there is no indication that vaccines are causing strokes beyond the background rate.
I kind of liked rapid antigen tests because they seem to do a better job at identifying people who might actually be infectious. I am not sure after reading this paper. (Medrxiv Paper) The setting was an emergency room in Switzerland which was testing everyone for screening purposes prior to admission. The rapid antigen tests were compared with PCR test results on the same samples. The PCR tests said 7 people were infected. The rapid tests identified only two of these as positives, but worse, it identified two people as positive that the PCR test said were negative. Pretty inaccurate. Now the authors describe PCR testing as the gold standard, which I find laughable. In addition, they said the rapid test missed the PCR test positives that had low viral loads. I don’t see cycle number information, but here is my guess. The PCR test positives were likely false positives or low ones only picking up fragments. The PCR tests were done on the same asymptomatic persons, so are just as likely to be wrong as the rapid test. Sloppy research and reasoning.
Can’t let a day go by without mentioning the harms from the terror campaign and lockdown. A study in Miami confirms the increase in domestic abuse during the epidemic. (Medrxiv Paper)
I only mention this paper because it relates to transmission. The authors sought to identify the possibility of transmission on solids. They used an “artificial finger” to determine if CV-19 could be picked up in droplets deposited on various types of solid surfaces. Seriously? (Medrxiv Paper) They claim to find some transfer, but it actually was very minor, only on a few surfaces and only when the droplets remained wet. Useless.
Here is a good site to follow on CV-19 responses. (CS Site)