Just want to note that we aren’t reading much about how the Sturgis rally spread havoc across the country. Apparently there were not a lot of cases at the actual rally. But the absence of crys of horror about Sturgis makes me think the media is disappointed by not finding a bunch of cases they could claim result from those nasty Trump-voting motorcycle gangsters. It is early, so maybe we will yet see Sturgis panic.
And just eyeballing the daily Minnesota data, almost all the deaths continue to be clustered in the old and very old. No change there.
All the mitigation of spread stuff is gradually being shown to be futile and in many cases to perhaps facilitate spread. It would be funny to watch all the backtracking if this weren’t such a waste of money and it didn’t mislead the public. This New York Times story details the research finding that all these plastic barriers we see everywhere not only don’t work, but may actually encourage transmission. (NYT Story)
A brilliant exposition of how people lie with incomplete and faulty statistical analyses. Read this in its entirety. When Alex Berenson and others spread lies about vaccine effectiveness, especially in Israel, this is exactly why my blood boils. Anyone with the most basic understanding of statistics and the importance of identifying and adjusting for confounders and biases would recognize the issue. The last chart shows the truth. (Israel Analysis)
And here we go with a bunch more vaccine and related studies. This one tracked what happened with antibodies for up to 6 months after vaccination in nursing home residents and staff. This group is among the most vulnerable. (Medrxiv Paper) By six months, antibodies had waned significantly in most residents. There was a similar, but not as significant a decline among the workers. Residents who had previously been infected had a lesser decline. My primary caution is that a full assessment of immune response would be better–B and T memory cells in particular.
This study also looked at immune response following infection among long-term care residents and staff. (Medrxiv Paper) It did track the full range of immune response and is much more positive in outcomes, noting that up to four months after infection, antibody levels remained strong and the T cell response also remained strong.
Now that booster terrorism is in full swing, I am looking for research on additional vaccine doses. This study took individuals who had received two doses of an mRNA vaccine and gave them a third dose of an adenovirus vaccine. At four months antibodies following two doses had lessened. Following the third dose they rose substantially again, above the level after two doses, and were effective against all strains. (Medrxiv Paper) However, there was not an extended followup after the third dose.
Prisons are a high risk environment for viral transmission. This study from California looked at vaccine effectiveness in that state’s prisons. During the study period, always an important qualifier, as vaccine protection often lessens over time, the vaccines had over 95% effectiveness against infection in fully vaccinated persons. But it was a relatively short followup period. (Medrxiv Paper)
And this study also examined spike antibody levels following vaccination. (Medrxiv Paper) 200 people who had been infected were followed for up to 11 months. According to this research, the antibody levels remained strong during the followup. Vaccination was said to result in antibody levels as high or higher than that from infection, although the two began to converge by four months. A combination of prior infection and vaccination resulted in the highest levels. Among other things the study indicates that it is important what assays you use and what type of antibodies they target.
Variant terrorism also continues. The one before Delta was Alpha, which was supposedly more deadly. This Israeli study, as has other data, does not support that conclusion. In fact, Alpha was no more likely to cause fatal illness in a person than was the prior dominant strain and the case fatality rate was likely lower. (Medrxiv Paper)
While I have been concerned about the misleading information regarding the extent of vaccine side effects, I also don’t want to minimize the fact that they occur and should be factored into risk/benefit calculations, particularly for younger persons. There clearly appears to be a cardiac risk for some people. This study looks at that issue. Note that while it finds a higher risk among young males, the amount of the risk is difficult to quantify because they relied solely on the reporting systems and did not investigate cases. (Medrxiv Paper)