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Coronamonomania Lives Forever, Part 7

By August 20, 2021Commentary

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)


Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Jeanne says:

    Dear Kevin, thank you so much for this blog! As for media disappointment re: Sturgis, they can salivate over Trump’s rally in AL this weekend. In seriousness, I have two teen boys and feel very conflicted about vaccination. Both very healthy, normal weight, etc. I assume their vaccine efficacy would wane over time too (probably not as much) and the risk/benefit ratio is hard for me to square — but the pressure is unrelenting. Would appreciate your thoughts on this…

  • Abhijit Bhakshi says:

    In Canada, just north of Minnesota, the ruling party is now promising to ban non vaccinated people from taking domestic flights or trains.

    Fundamental human rights are being crushed by Big Pharma and vaccine insanity.

    But by all means let’s continue this discussion about “how effective are the vaccines?” and forget they are now a pretext for dividing our societies against one another.

  • Thanks so much for your blogs, which I just recently found when you were mentioned in Powerline. Excellent work and well referenced. You are on top of the key CV issues. Thanks to you I found Jeffrey Morris’ blogs, so lots of good reading there for me to catch up on, too.
    I have a few Qs.
    1. How is is established when a positive CV test is due to delta variant (DV)? My understanding is that DNA sequencing is needed to distinguish DV. Here in HI it is claimed that 90-95% of our current “cases” are DV, but the state capacity to do sequencing is 50-100 samples/wk. Is CV prevalence guesswork or extrapolation? Is there a DV-specific quick assay?
    2. Given that the 60% of those vaccinated have completed their final shots ranging from weeks to 7-8/mo ago & those already infected that are “breakthrough” range form perhaps 3-16/mo previously infected…….How can these differing lag periods and current CV Ab levels be accurately compared?
    3. Are the breakthrough infections attributable to DV primarily? If so, what value would a booster have if designed vs the original CV strain vs the current range to newly emerging variants?
    4. In terms of those previously infected with CV and then receiving one of the vaccines….are these any restudies or evidence that they are more protected from breakthrough cases……and, does this group of infected+immunized have any increase in adverse reactions to the vaccine?
    5. Did you weigh in the lab leak vs. animal origin issue? Given the 2-3 yrs+ work In Wuhan funded my Dasik and work from Barik messing with CV genetics and testing in cell & animal models……you would think it would be very important to get detailed info on the Spike protein and other CV functional features to get info regarding emerging CV variants and what we should mot be worried about. Although the original aim of GoF research was vaccine development……now this lab & experimental info could be put to good use in the current pandemic setting. Why no interest from the CDC and NIH? Wouldn’t Moderna and Pfizer like to see the unpublished Wuhan and Baric work to provide insights into future vaccine formulations? I just don’t get it. I was 15yrs in biomed research with a PhD. We were trained to be curious, ask Qs, and seek out threads of knowledge leading to new information. Biomed research in 2021 is all science fiction + political science. Plus, researchers that know the truth can’t speak out.

    Yes, it’s kind of sad the people like Berenson that are always on TC misrepresent the Israel vaccine data. But, this is just what you get with the MSM…even from those you like best…..Berenson was at least useful in fighting masks and lockdowns. The best you can trust anything you see in TV is 50% (at best), even TC often falls below this level, sadly.

    • Kevin Roche says:

      People are sampling swabs to determine relative prevalence of a strain, so assuming their sampling is random, and they have a good sample size, the prevalence estimate is probably close. I have trouble reconciling a lot of the antibody studies, both after infection and after vaccination. People use different assays and different antibody targets. It would be nice to feel like we had a really accurate picture of how long the total adaptive immune response is effective. I will say that it appears that infection provides a broader and possibly more lasting response than does vaccination with the current vaccines. But I wish the research were clearer. And government agencies could definitely give us much better data on both infections after vaccination and after infection, because that would be the best comparator. Match up the cohorts by age and other factors and see which group has more infections and more serious illness. The research does clearly suggest that being infected and then getting vaccinated may provide the strongest protection of all. The infections after vaccination now are generally Delta, but that is because Delta is the dominant strain. I suspect they would occur even if it were Alpha. I don’t think we will ever have smoking gun proof that the virus was manipulated in the lab and escaped, because the Chinese aren’t going to cooperate, but I now lean more to the side that that is what happened. Clearly they were collecting and manipulating coronavirus, including some from a cave that were close to CV-19. In general, the inexpensive ability to manipulate organisms scares the hell out of me, bigger threat to humanity that nuclear weapons. Imagine what Iran or North Korea must be doing.

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