Big news, resulting in today’s double dip on the standard series, the FDA advisory panel has refused to recommend routine boosters in adults, contrary to what the incompetent Biden administration wanted. While I haven’t seen the full rationale, I strongly suspect it is because for most people, the vaccines are showing continuing excellent efficacy in preventing serious disease and there is little data on the effect of a booster.
I don’t want to forget to mention that our beloved CDC issued a report documenting an alarming arise in childhood obesity, which was already a problem among children. There is only one, and one only, explanation for this–closing schools, issuing stay at home orders, disrupting normal educational and social experiences–what did you think was going to happen? But by all means, especially in regard to children, let’s only focus on coronavirus, which does far less harm to children that all these mitigation measures.
And speaking of keeping children out of schools, this study from the UK looked at daily testing as an alternative to quarantining children, and staff, who may have had contact with a positive case. The design was a randomized trial by school. (Lancet Study) The two approaches were equivalent in infection rates but children missed less school with daily testing. But what is very noticeable is how few cases there were at all. I have a better idea, leave the kids alone unless they are truly symptomatic.
A new technical brief from the UK on variants of concern, which really is focused on Delta. As in the past briefs, it continues to be the case that Delta has lower rates of serious illness and the brief shows continued strong protection from serious disease by the vaccines. This brief again has household transmission data. For the original strains it was estimated at 16.6% secondary transmission, for Delta it is 10.4%. You would have to get more detailed data on vaccination status, etc. to make an apples to apples comparison, but it is still basically comparable to Alpha, which did occur when vaccinations were present in the population. (UK Brief)
The mask Nazis and nuts aren’t going to listen to anything but those little voices they hear in their heads, which have plenty of room to echo around given how little of the space there is given over to neuronal tissue. Here is another study showing the futility of believing that a mask will do anything to slow transmission of the virus. This study finds at best a 50% blockage of fine aerosols with virus. Just so you understand that, if you had 4 encounters in a day with someone spewing fine aerosols, the mask isn’t going to stop you from getting infected in two of them. And the authors suggest that the major variants are more present in fine aerosols. (JID Study)
This well-done study from the UK finds no greater, actually lesser, disease severity among children in the wave driven by Alpha than existed in the prior wave. (Medrxiv Paper) I think it is always to going to turn out that a new dominant variant is no worse than the prior one.
Every country has its own vaccine effectiveness studies. The Netherlands is heavily vaccinated and this study found that through August, out of all the hospitalized patients, only 5.7% were vaccinated. Vaccine effectiveness was high and basically identical during the Alpha and Delta waves. (Medrxiv Paper)