It is good to know that your work may have a little impact every now and then. Thanks to Dave Dixon’s great analytics and charts on breakthrough case proportions, we see a story today in the Star Tribune that confirms that breakthroughs are about 30% of current cases in Minnesota.
Okay, here we go with yet more research summaries, again fairly vaccine heavy, which is okay since that is the topic du jour.
But we will start with a study criticizing much model-based CV-19 work. One of the authors is Dr. Ionnaidis, who has been a pain in the ass to CV-19 “expert” terrorists everywhere, because he is far more rational and easily debunks their absurd projections regard deaths and the benefit of lockdowns. The paper focuses on models regarding the effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions developed at Imperial College and finds that they are “non-robust”, i.e. worthless, and very dependent on the assumptions fed into the model. I have always kept in mind statistician William Briggs admonition that models only tell you what you tell them to tell you. (PubMed Paper)
More work is starting to become available on the proportions of infections and other events after vaccination. Unfortunately the analyses don’t usually also separate those who are unvaxed but had a prior infection, or those who were both vaxed and had a prior infection. And we see less quality research on reinfections. This study, compiled by the CDC, looks at hospitalizations in breakthrough cases. (Medrxiv Paper) The study ran from January 1 to June 30. During this period hospitalizations among the fully vaccinated rose to 16% of the total. Those vaxed and hospitalized, as should be expected, were older, in poorer health and more likely to be LTC residents that unvaxed hospitalized patients. Hospitalization rates were 17 times higher overall among the unvaxed than the vaxed. Remember as well that this likely understates the protective effect of vaccination, as many of the unvaxed probably had prior CV-19 infection protection. The ratio declined with age, again as you would expect. From near the end of June to the end of July, that overall ratio declined to 10 times, which again, reflects the overall shift in the population from unvaxed to vaxed status. In the world of setting realistic expectations, people who were originally susceptible to serious CV-19 disease remain the most susceptible after vaccination. And because of that we just need to stop all the reporting on CV-19 and accept that it will be part of our lives, just like flu has been.
This is another smaller study on the same topic from India, finding that vaccination was again associated with lower rates of hospitalization and death. (Medrxiv Paper)
The most important group to track vaccine effectiveness in is the frail elderly. This research comes from Portugal and examined a group of 65 plus year-olds. Effectiveness was calculated at 94% and 96% for hospitalization and death respectively, for those aged 65 to 79 and 80% and 81% for those aged 80 and over. (Medrxiv Paper)
Researchers are beginning to assess the difference in antibody and T cell development following infection versus vaccination. This study examined those responses in both the blood and the mucosal tissues. It appeared that infection may prompt stronger responses in those mucosal tissues. (Medrxiv Paper)
And this paper compared antibody development after administration of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, in previously infected and uninfected persons. Previously infected persons consistently had higher antibody levels. Moderna produced higher antibody levels than did Pfizer. Antibody levels declined with age with both vaccines. (JAMA Study)
This was a systematic review of the protective effect of infection in regard to reinfection. It is an important topic in comparing vaccine adaptive immunity to that from infection. (Medrxiv Paper) Synthesizing prior research, the authors find a very low rate of reinfections, with an overall protection from infection of over 90%. Like the protection from vaccines, that from infection likely lessens over time, but it remained strong for up to 10 months in this subset of studies.
Even in China, which tries to portray a picture of everything’s great at all times, researchers are reporting a high incidence of mental health issues among children during the epidemic. (Medrxiv Paper)