I am depressed, I admit it. I am tired of trying to constantly present facts, and data, and research and just watching completely insane policy, and then seeing people I respect for opposing some of those actions do stupid things like lie about vaccines. I just can’t give up though, so here we go with more.
Panic and hysteria abound. Idiocy is even more prevalent. The moronic governor of Oregon, last seen deciding that it was inequitable to expect anyone to actually learn math or science, has ordered people to wear masks outside, apparently because they are working so well indoors. There truly is no cure for stupidity.
Here is one sign of sanity, and you have to look to Europe for this, you certainly aren’t going to find it in Australia and New Zealand. Germany isn’t publishing or tracking incidence rates any more, they will rely on hospitalizations instead. Enough with the PCR nonsense. (Germany Story)
Meanwhile, the wave is abating in the South and parts of the Southwest, as seasonality and just time would suggest it would. Next up is to see if we get a renewal across the country as we head into November and December.
Here is my big fear for Minnesota. The state is insisting on a truly absurd testing program for schoolchildren. So I expect and you all should as well, that we are going to see massive numbers of “cases” that aren’t cases. We will see a zillion false positives and a zillion more low positives. We will see schools closed and children sent home. This is absolute pure evil on the part of teachers, administrators, school boards, DOH, and the IB. May you all rot forever in the worst hell you can imagine. Probably surrounded by CV-19 superspreaders with no masks, no plastic barriers and all right up in your face. But seriously, expect a spike in cases. And then we will hear about how Delta is hitting the young harder. All lies. Going to go bang my head on the wall for a while now.
And here is why I hate PCR testing reported without cycle number distribution, without calculation of likely false positive rates and without regular verification by sampling and culturing. Rice University delayed in-person classes because there were a bunch of “positive” tests. Oh no there weren’t. Because the results looked weird, the University retested 50 “positive” people. All but one were in fact negative. Look at the incredibly burdensome and damaging results of PCR testing run amok. (Rice U Story)
I hesitated to publish the data on the proportion of breakthrough cases in Minnesota. As I noted, it is tricky to figure that out, and Dave Dixon did a great job doing the best possible work. We tried to actually be conservative. Given that the lag in identifying breakthroughs is likely longer than that for non-breakthroughs, the proportion is likely higher. But I want to emphasize that I prepare and publish these analyses because the public should always be told the full truth, not some massaged version of selective facts. And if you give people everything and help them understand how to think about what they are seeing, you will actually get less hysteria. The state uses really dumb messaging tactics. They should help people understand comparative per capita rates, and the trends they should expect to see over time. They should provide more complete data to put things in proper context. But they are too busy treating the populace like idiots, which they must get from looking in the mirror too much.
As usual, there is conflicting research on vaccines and the level of protection. This study followed vaxed people for 6 months and found a strong and diverse B memory cell response that recognized all current variants. In addition, the researchers found that T cell responses were strong following mRNA vax. They said that the vax response appeared stronger than that from natural infection, but that the combination of infection and vax did appear to provide yet greater protection. (Medrxiv Paper) The study was done by reputable researchers in the US, but did involve relatively small numbers of patients and the group skewed young.
But this study from Israel finds, as have others, that immunity from infection appears more protective than that from vaccination. (Medrxiv Paper) A good design, comparing fully vaxed, not vaxed, and previously infected but not vaxed, although for some reason that I can’t fathom, they also included single vaccine dose recipients in this last cohort. Not infected but fully vaxed persons had a thirteen times greater likelihood of being infected with Delta compared to the unvaxed but previously infected (but remember who else is in that group). They also had greater risk of hospitalization. Adjusting for certain time limitations imposed in the primary analysis (which I also don’t understand) lowered the comparative effectiveness and demonstrated waning of natural immunity. And you have to read carefully, but it becomes clear that if you only compared the vaxed group with the completely unvaxed but previously infected persons, there is much less of a difference. In fact, it is clear that the combination of prior infection and even a single dose of the vaccine provides the strongest protection. So the study is being used by some people in a misleading manner. The authors made me suspicious because of the manner in which they hyped the results, but I still believe the bulk of the research supports the notion that natural immunity is at least as good as that from vax.
This study from the CDC is an extension of a previous study involving vaxed and unvaxed frontline workers. (CDC Study) The extension covers the time period in which Delta became the dominant strain. 91% of infections among the unvaxed were symptomatic. 81% of infections among the vaxed were symptomatic. The vaccine was 80% effective in preventing infections during the entire study period, but appeared less effective further away from the vaccination date, but that finding had overlapping confidence intervals, indicating lack of certainty. In the Delta period, vaccine effectiveness appeared to drop. 95% of infections in the unvaxed and 75% in the vaxed in this period were symptomatic. So much for Delta leading to more serious disease. Note again that since Delta took over at a time when people were further away from their vaccination date, that is a confounder.
And although Delta is now the dominant variant, we still have people spreading Alpha terror. This study from Scotland claims it both was more transmissible and led to more serious disease, but data from the UK and the US for that matter, contradict that claim. (Medrxiv Paper) I have trouble understanding conflicting results, but in this study, hospitalized patients were over-represented in the sample to begin with and the study covers the front end of the Delta wave. The UK research clearly shows that Alpha appeared more transmissible and more serious initially but that this difference largely disappeared by the time Alpha was displaced.
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I would appreciate seeing your thoughts on Antibody Dependent Enhancement.
From https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/08/the_bad_and_the_ugly_about_covid_in_america.html —
“Antibody Dependent Enhancement (“ADE”) may be happening. One initial concern about making a Coronavirus vaccine was ADE. Now reports are beginning to come in from countries that are heavily vaccinated, such as Israel, that vaccinated people are getting sick and may have more serious illnesses than those not vaccinated. If the death rate of the vaccinated is higher than the unvaccinated this would be very scary.”
I have not seen any research suggesting that this is a widespread phenomenon resulting from vaccination. Infection with serious disease often involves the immune system over-reacting, but no evidence that vaccines prompt this. And all the research indicates that vaxed people who get infected have less serious illness than do the unvaxed.
Thank you for your continuing efforts.
For all of you AT fans:
Thank you for always providing scientifically based explanations of what we are not being told about the truth regarding Covid19. At this point I don’t know anyone who doesn’t share your depression due to seeing “no End” to this reign of terror over an endemic situation.
keep up the great work.
Still more twists and turns as the messaging and MSM create the illusion of full approval for what’s currently being jabbed. It’s just one tangle after another of inconsistent and deceitful communications from the entire system.
If they wanted to show the least bit of sincerity about their messaging, they would have canned Fauci 6 months ago. He’s the current face of the problem, it’s origins and it’s handling. Keeping this idiot employed to further this agenda cements the ZERO trust environment that’s ripping us apart. It also tells me that there’s no one in the system that they can trust to lead this tyrannical campaign. Their overall assumption of the general stupidity of the populous is both sickening and maddening.
I would be interested in your comments on the huge surge of cases and hospitalization in Florida. I am very dubious of this data and see it more as an organized attack on Ron DeSantis than any real problem, but I could be wrong.
Here is the reason for my questioning everything. We are apparently seeing a huge surge in cases. But cases of covid have to be related to the number of tests being performed. Back in December 2020 I went to be tested at one of the public testing places. They had a very efficient system, but the day I went it was a “good” day and only took me two hours to get through the line. They probably tested hundreds of people just at that site that day.
Today, that site is shut down (if it isn’t shut down you cannot notice it).
Further, Florida has over 60% of its people vaccinated (more than Minnesota). So, the number of people who are contracting these cases are from a much smaller population than before the vaccines existed. Herd immunity should also be impacting a plummeting infection rate, as all of the people who are vaccinated and who have been previously exposed should make it much more difficult for ANY virus to be spread.
Thank you for reading. It does appear that Florida had a large wave of cases, exactly the same time they did last year, so I expect seasonal factors were at work. Most of the cases appear to have been among the unvaxed. I am suspicious of hospitalization numbers because of ongoing issues about false attribution of hospitalizations to CV-19 and remdesivir use. But it is defintely true that the most of the media can’t wait to dump on Florida for political reasons. In any event, the wave there appears to be subsiding.
How is the delta variant identified? My understanding that there really is no Covid19 nor delta variant test. The PCR also is positive for flu. The delta variant can only be identified through genomic sequencing.
Is it true that the novel corona virus as no been isolated by anyone?
I share your frustration and am grateful for your efforts. IMO, after the first several months and beginning around May -June of 2020, Covid became more about politics than science. Our lives are controlled too much by unelected bureaucrats whose primary purpose is an increase of their budgets. I am not immune to the fact that many have lost their lives and the suffering Covid has wrought. Thank goodness for the Swedish example.
“But they are too busy treating the populace like idiots”. Perhaps that’s because the majority in Minnesota are idiots? The IB is still polling very well and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins the next election. The longer this goes on the less hope I have for this state. The mask nazis are winning the school masking debates all over the Twin Cities again.
Regarding Israeli preprint you linked:
“ although for some reason that I can’t fathom, they also included single vaccine dose recipients in this last cohort.”
I think you need to read this again, they had three separate cohorts and they didn’t mix them.
“ In model 1, we examined natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity by comparing the likelihood of SARS-CoV-2-related outcomes between previously infected individuals [who have never been vaccinated] and fully vaccinated SARS- CoV-2-naïve individuals. These groups were matched in a 1:1 ratio by age, sex, GSA and time of first event.”
Cohort 3 described:
“ (3) previously infected and vaccinated individuals, including individuals who had a positive SARS- CoV-2 PCR test by February 28, 2021 and received one dose of the vaccine by May 25, 2021,” [completely separate cohort, not mixed]
“ And you have to read carefully, but it becomes clear that if you only compared the vaxed group with the completely unvaxed but previously infected persons, there is much less of a difference. ”
Again, I think you need to “read [more] carefully” it doesn’t say that at all. The data doesn’t say that nor the conclusions:
“[Never-infected-vaccinated individuals] had a 13.06-fold increased risk for breakthrough infection with the Delta variant compared to those [previously-infected-never-vaccinated].”
This study demonstrated that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity.”
“ bulk of the research supports the notion that natural immunity is at least as good as that from vax.”
No, it supports the notion that natural immunity is much much better than vaccine induced immunity, for very obvious reasons I might add.
I am super-confused by your statements, sincerely.Happy to be corrected, but I think you misread.
If there is no pure infected but not vaxed comparator group how could you conclude that infection alone is better than vaccination. They may describe three cohorts but they only ran two regressions. I will check the study. What this and other studies do show is that the combination of vaccine and infection seems to provide the strongest protection. You will note in the same post the study that looked at actual immune cell populations and found that vax did provide as strong a protection, looking at the cell pops. While that is relevant, I do think the real world studies of infection and serious outcome rates is more meaningful. I keep seeing headlines saying that this study says getting infected is 13 times more protective than vax, and that is not what the study found.
see this Science mag article describing the study. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/08/having-sars-cov-2-once-confers-much-greater-immunity-vaccine-no-infection-parties. As I noted, the infected but unvaxed only had half the risk of the vaxed of being infected. The thirteen times less number comes from the infected and vaxed group.
Can you catch us up on the status of other drug options research that target the other proteins and mechanisms of replication vs. just the S(pike). I’ve found several university research articles outlining their conceptual work on alternative ways to mitigate corona virus’s replication, but nothing on the state of these developments.
For those who are concerned about the mRNA / Spike Protein targeted vaccines, and may be waiting for alternatives, what’s that landscape look like? The realist cynic in me believes that most other research was purposefully squashed, unfunded, if it was in competition to the current Pfizer and Moderna jab schemes.
What is the mechanism by which the malaria drugs, Rem’d and Ivr’m retard the progress of the virus? Is it similar to other non-S protein effects?
no indication that any research was quashed, in fact their is a robust pipeline of both vaccines and therapeutics, particularly antibody therapies.
“If there is no pure infected but not vaxed comparator group how could you conclude that infection alone is better than vaccination. ”
There is a “pure infected but not vaxed comparator group”, what are you missing?
“I keep seeing headlines saying that this study says getting infected is 13 times more protective than vax, and that is not what the study found”
It darn well is exactly what the study found!
“see this Science mag article describing the study.”
From the article you linked: “The study…. found in two analyses that people who were VACCINATED in January and February were…. six to 13 times more likely to get infected than UNVACCINATED people who were PREVIOUSLY INFECTED with the coronavirus.
Kevin, what are you missing? The article ,you linked says exactly what you say it doesn’t say.
VACCINATED/UNVAX PREV INFECTION = 13x
PREV INFECTION NO VAX/PREV INFECTION +1VAX = 2x risk
VAXXED/PREV INFECTION +1VAX = 26x risk
I am not trying to be pedantic or hard on you, but if you want to be an authoritative source, you can’t get something so important and so fundamental wrong.
I’m not sure if the problem comes from reading error, or math error on your part, but it is profound. Are you just trying to read too much too fast?
I would strongly encourage you to fix it and make a correction for the benefit of your own credibility.
I see part of the problem. you are referring to the time limited model, where as I am referring to time unlimited model, partly because it appears that in the inf/not vax to inf/vax comparison, that is the model they used. You can’t compare results from different models. i would also be cautious because there were different cohorts in the two different comparisons. So your 26x is something the authors don’t even suggest, I assume for that reason. Finally given the small absolute numbers of events, as you would expect, the confidence intervals are very large, close to overlapping, so caution is warranted.
“you are referring to the time limited model”
It’s the time-matched model, just like age-matched, gender-matched, etc. It is the model with the most careful apples-to-apples data selection, fewest confounders, and the highest quality risk ratio calculation, consequently. Time-matching IMPROVES the quality of the results, not reduces them. It’s the most important and highest powered result in the study, not something undermined later in the paper.
“So your 26x is something the authors don’t even suggest”
They don’t suggest or refute, it’s a simple reflection of the published numbers, If each RR is valid by itself, then the product of the RRs is valid. That’s the math. You argument is with math, not with me.
At least you have now conceded that the paper correctly shows a 13-fold risk reduction, and that the articles quoting it are correct instead of mistaken, as you had previously suggested.
“Finally given the small absolute numbers of events….. the confidence intervals are very large”
Model 1 had 32,000+ carefully matched subjects out of a pool of well over 100,000 eligible subjects, I don’t know why we have to assume it’s “underpowered”. I am not saying different cohorts won’t vary or different population pools won’t show different results, but it is a highly illuminating result, that is the best data out there so far.
Because of this data, and because of the known functioning of the immune system, and because these results line up with past proven vaccine-versus-natural infection dynamics, it should be the dominant assumption — that natural infection provides meaningfully more effective immunity than the Pfizer vaccine — unless and until it is knocked of it’s perch by something dispositive.
It does not show a 13x reduction in the time unlimited model, it shows half that. Why would you think the time limited model is better? I think the authors highlighted that because it is more sensational. I am a big fan of natural immunity, but the studies on relative protection are somewhat mixed–I posted on the cell study in the same post. I didn’t say the study was underpowered, but the confidence intervals tell you that the rareness of the events which were the endpoints is affecting the analyses. For hospitalizations example, that is an incredibly low number of events out a population of 16,000 or 14,000. As I am sure you know, the lower the number of measured events, the more likely any difference could be random. I am puzzled by the insistence that natural immunity must be so much better–would you suggest that uninfected persons get their immunity by infection as opposed to vax? other than children, I wouldn’t.
and the infected to infected/vax is the time unlimited model, it couldn’t be the time limited one, because by definition both groups are infected, you can’t compare time of obtaining immunity.
“It does not show a 13x reduction in the time unlimited model, it shows half that.”
Correct, but the time-matched (not time-limited) is better data, in fact the best-matched data in the paper.
There it shows a 13x risk ratio, that’s damn important.
“Why would you think the time limited model is better?”
Because it (time-matched, not time-limited) does two very important things.
First it eliminates the noise created by different rates of infection at different calendar times based on the waxing and waning of waves of infection in the general population.
Secondly it equally accounts for the phenomenon of waning infection in both the vaccine and the natural infection cases.
Time-matching is a feature to improve the quality of comparisons in the same way that age-matching, gender matching, health status-matching and every other matching is done in the service of improving the probability of obtaining results that reflect the underlying reality.
“For hospitalizations example, that is an incredibly low number”
I didn’t refer to the data on hospitalizations, I referred to the data on “infections”.
“I am puzzled by the insistence that natural immunity must be so much better.”
“insistence”?! I’m only insisting on fidelity to numbers and facts and objectivity. Reality doesn’t care about my insistence or your insistence on anything. It is what it is. Decisions should be based on true facts. It seems like some folks want to play up the efficacy of Pfizer when it doesn’t hold up. Doesn’t mean it’s worthless, but let the numbers fall where they fall.
I’m not the one insisting on natural infection being better than the Pfizer vaccine, nature is insisting on it, and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it or anybody for that matter.
“would you suggest that uninfected persons get their immunity by infection as opposed to vax?”
I would suggest that everybody be allowed to make their personal decision based on fully transparent current and quality information that’s available at the time without, any additional qualitative or politically driven exportations.
I took Moderna many months ago and feel fine about it; I’m not against the vaccines at all but I am totally against vaccine mandates, first and foremost because it’s completely unjustified in the case of people who had prior infection, as well as many other cases. But the authorities won’t let go of any case because as soon as they let go of that cohort then they think they’re going to have to let go of other cohorts.
There are many valid and individual reasons to take or not to take a vaccine, and if one takes a vaccine, deciding which one to take. To me it looks like Pfizer is on the low end of enduring efficacy and I probably wouldn’t take that one.
I’m not going to take any boosters because I have a jumpstart on immunity from my vaccine that will endure at the cellular level even though I know the antibodies will fade. It is very likely I will contract a case over the coming year to 5 years, and it will be milder because of lingering cellular immunity, but not because of remaining circulating antibodies. I will modify my decisions if and when better information, treatment, vaccines, etc. come on the scene such that I should update my algorithm to take into account all then available information.
i guess my question is why are you insisting on natural-infection-induced immunity NOT being better than Pfizer’s vaccine-induced immunity, when nature is telling you that natural-infection-induced immunity IS BETTER?
That’s a better question than yours.
I think we are done, you will interpret the study as you see fit. i am obviously not, and have clearly stated a number of times, that i am not saying vaccine immunity is superior to infection-induced immunity, on the contrary I have several times stated why I that natural adaptive immunity might be better, including before the vaccines started being used, when I noted that it was likely a defect to focus only on spike protein. And I have also made it clear that I oppose vaccine mandates in general. This study is clearly being over-hyped given its limitations, and I am never, ever, going to accept something just because it may fit with my current belief. Belief is what is causing us problems, data and research are what we need, but data and research have a habit of being incomplete and changing and sometimes even being wrong.
“I think we are done”
I am not trying to start a fight with you. Whether you can admit it or not, you initially misunderstood, and misreported what the study showed. I asked you to issue a correction. You refused to admit misreporting or correct your misreporting.
You now hide behind the statement “data and research have a habit of being incomplete and changing and sometimes even being wrong”
Everyone stipulates that. It’s not an excuse for failing to correct your mistakes on accurately reporting the results as they come out. Just because you think it is “overhyped” is not a reason for misreporting the study’s actual findings.
“I think we are done” is correct because you have identified yourself as having the weakness of being unable to admit and correct mistakes, and to be accurate, which disqualifies you as a source of scientific and authoritative information.
Natural infection being stronger than the Pfizer vaccine is not controversial and your inability to see this reality which is obvious to a general high school biology student is pretty embarrassing for someone trying to pose as an authoritative source.
I just deleted your bookmark
I am sorry you feel that way. people can disagree about how to interpret research and what the limitations of a particular study may be, but obviously I am not going to accept what I perceive to be an inaccurate criticism of my review of the study