The big investment banks have lots of money and hire lots of smart people. Researchers there do some good CV-19 data analysis. In a recent research note, their lead European economist finds that the supposedly wildly more infectious Delta variant, isn’t in fact much more infectious, looking at data from several large developing countries. (JP Morgan Story)
Don’t believe any crap you read about hospitalizations among children rising due to CV-19. What we do have is an RSV wave in children, which does cause serious disease and hospitalizations. Some of those children incidentally test positive for CV-19. According to the latest CDC data, PCR test positivity for RSV is almost 17% in the Upper Midwest, which includes Minnesota.
And there have been a lot of deaths so far in September in Minnesota and they are largely among the elderly, and I would bet that most of them were vaxed. In an interesting coincidence, through September 19, in 2020 there were 124 deaths in September. Through September 19 this year, there are 124 deaths, but due to reporting lags, there certainly will be more added for this year. Even DOH may be done adding deaths to September 2020.
And here is another sign of rampant testing among school aged children, we will get a chart up on this soon, but the percent of cases identified by rapid antigen tests as a portion of all tests has risen after schools opened. They now some days represent almost 20% of alleged positives. These are the tests primarily used in testing school-aged children. Literally insane, and I believe Mn DOH intentionally ignores the effect of testing in school-aged kids and cherrypicks comparison periods to terrorize parents.
On to the research, opening with a study finding that the Delta variant did not appear to affect vaccine effectiveness, suggesting that it isn’t really any more infectious. The authors monitored case levels and progress in vax levels over time in several US states and counties. They found that while vax levels rose significantly during the study period, and Delta gradually became dominant, there was no significant change in vax effectiveness from the beginning of the study period to the end. Here is the money conclusion (this is for you, Star Tribune reporters who keep using the phrase “highly contagious” in relation to Delta) “There is no evidence that the advent of the Delta variant has caused any more “breakthrough” infections per infectious exposure to occur than would have occurred had it never arrived in the U.S.A.” (Medrxiv Paper)
This study found that among nursing home residents, a history of CV-19 infection prior to vax led to an apparent 50 times reduction in risk for subsequent breakthrough infection from Delta. This was due to increased antibody levels following vax in the prior infected group. (Medrxiv Paper) In a summary below, I will ask the question whether the increased protection might just be due to timing in part. I think it is at least partly better antibody and T cell range against multiple parts of virus.
Somewhat related to above study, in this research the time between doses of Pfizer vaccine was lengthened from the current 3 to 4 weeks to 16 weeks. The extra time raised the antibody response in people without prior infection, but not in those with prior infection. A couple of points from the study. One is that this poor, hopefully not intentionally, bad vaccine design. A maximal dosing interval should have been identified in the research. The second is that people with prior infection really only need one dose and that the time interval from infection to vax may be a factor in their better immunity. A study exploring this would be useful. (Medrxiv Paper)
How many people in the US have had CV-19 infections? We know it is more than the reported cases, and recent research has been suggesting about 2x. This study made estimates of prevalence for every state and included total immunity, that from prior infection and vax. Most states are between 40% and 60% total immunity. Their infection rate for Minnesota, however, must be too low, as it barely accounts for the number of reported cases. In total immunity, Minnesota is ranked 32. (Medrxiv Paper)
This study from Nevada traced about 330 people with breakthrough infections. Hospitalization was rare and there were no deaths. Cycle numbers were said to be the same for breakthrough and non-breakthrough infections, but given the likely larger proportion of asymptomatic and untested infections among the vaxed, this is very likely to be misleading. In addition they did not age adjust for cycle number averages or medians. And at the same time Delta cycle numbers were the same as those for other strains. (Medrxiv Paper)
This paper from Massachusetts covers several points regarding deaths. First, following initiation of vaccination, there have been no excess deaths in the state, in fact there is a death deficit. This likely is due in part to pull forward effects. Second the authors believe that even before vax began, there was over-attribution of deaths to CV-19. (Medrxiv Paper)
A paper from Missouri finds that higher levels of vaccination among nursing home staff were associated with fewer infections in residents, but higher levels of vax among residents did not appear linked to fewer cases. (Medrxiv Paper)
Another study comparing antibody response and durability following vax and comparing it to natural infection immunity. Antibody levels following infection waned over 14 months, and the rate of decline was greater in those with initially stronger responses. Vaccinees, however, had an even faster decline, suggesting infection led to a stronger immune response. (Medrxiv Paper)
And more research on whether other vaccinations, in this study the MMR one, are associated with any protection in regard to CV-19. These authors found that while the measles, etc. vaccine did not protect against infection, it did appear to limit serious illness, with a 50% reduction in symptomatic cases. This was a randomized prospective study, so pretty well-designed. (Medrxiv Paper)