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Coronamonomania Lives Forever, Part 31

By October 2, 2021Commentary

If you think I am kidding when I say this obsession will last forever, just look around at what is going on.  We are stuck on stupid; the notion that somehow we will make the virus go away.

And speaking of stupid, here are a couple of CDC studies.  Both purport to be about how making summer camps completely unfun at least keeps kids from getting CV-19, which is completely harmless to them.  But they contain some unintended, and obviously unhighlighted, gems that betray the foolishness of policies the agency promotes at the behest of its White House and teachers’ union masters.  In one study, which prattles on an on about the layered approach, which included gluing masks on children and staff and inserting multiple steel rods that made it impossible for them to get within ten feet of each other, we learn that one of the interventions was testing every two minutes, or something like that.  In any event much of the testing was done with rapid antigen tests, the same thing most schools push.  Here is the hidden gem.  The staff and most of the campers were vaccinated, and a large number also likely had prior infection, so you really wouldn’t expect many cases in this age group anyway.  Although they fudge the description a little, it appears that the antigen tests yielded 21 positives, of which only 6 were confirmed by PCR tests.  That is right, it was a false positive rate of over 70%.  You might recall that I have mentioned that in a low prevalence environment, even supposedly accurate tests have huge rates of false positives.  The exact same thing is happening in schools all across the country, only the rapid antigen positives are rarely checked with PCR tests.  Instead students are just sent home and schools closed.  (CDC Study)

The second CDC study on camps comes from Louisiana and since that was a Trump state as you might imagine the CDC is hellbent on pointing out what stupid hicks these people are.  The whole study is hype to begin with because a total of about 10% of attendees were supposedly infected (see the above study for how much you can trust testing).  Even among this young and recently vaxed age group we learn that there were two breakthrough infections (maybe, see again the testing caution).  But we also learn that one, and apparently the only one, camp that required indoor masking had a significant outbreak of 8 cases.  We also learn that last year when a statewide mask mandate was applied to camps, there were also multiple outbreaks.   I am puzzled by how that could possibly happen when masking is so darned effective against spread.  And we also learn that one camp that mandated vaccination among staff and workers had an even bigger outbreak among campers.   I have no idea what the point of this study is, but I do appreciate the acknowledgment by CDC that masks don’t work.  (CDC Study)

Here is an interesting presentation on research done by a private group on vaccine effectiveness among Medicare beneficiaries.  You just click on a slide to advance to the next one.  This group is all 65+ and a lot of 80+.  Effectiveness lessened over time, especially against infection.  We find also though, that prior infection had a clear protective benefit against subsequent reinfection leading to hospitalization.  At least one slide has a math error, but a lot of interesting data.  It looks to me like neither Delta nor older age within this already old cohort explains vaccine lessening effectiveness against infection, so it likely is purely an immune system effect.  In the week ending August 7, 60% of hospitalizations were in the vaxed, although the population was 80% fully vaxed, so there remains some effectiveness.  But with hospitalizations, there is a clear age effect, with noticeably less protection in the very old.  (Humetrix Presentation)

This is a large and fairly significant study of Moderna effectiveness against variants.  It also found lessening effectiveness over time in regard to Delta, less effectiveness in the old, but strong ongoing protection against hospitalization, even with the dread pirate Delta.   (Medrxiv Paper)

This study has a double whammy, it comes from Israel and details an outbreak in a hospital.  90% of the people infected were vaxed and of course, the infected staff had to wear N95 masks all the time.  As the authors note, the masks appeared to make no difference.  The patients were very sick to begin with and suffered some serious CV-19 disease, includng deaths.  The staff infections were all asymptomatic.   (ES Study)

According to this paper, adaptive immunity from infection is more broad-based and targeted than that from the mRNA vaccines.  The infection response included more antibodies to both subunits of the spike protein and antibodies that cross-reacted with the seasonal coronaviruses.  The study is somewhat small and the infected persons had mild illnesses, but the findings are consistent with other research.  (Medrxiv Paper)

Maybe boosters will work better than the original vaccine dosing at preventing infections.  This study on Moderna suggests that the immune response after a booster was stronger than that existing after the initial two-dose series.  (Medrxiv Paper)

This study tracked immune response following Pfizer vax in health persons.  Both antibody levels and T cell activity declined substantially by 6 months.  (Medrxiv Paper)

Health care workers were vaccinated early so they have some of the longest follow-up periods.  This research letter in the New England Journal of Medicine finds a stark decline in vaccine effectiveness against infection after a few months.  But no breakthrough case resulted in a hospitalization.  (NEJM Letter)

A study from Washington state allegedly finds that variants of concern, including Delta create a greater risk of hospitalization among the unvaccinated but not among the vaxed.  I don’t believe it.  First of all, there were almost no vaccinated people when the original strain was dominant.  And we have the usual issues with unrepresentative sampling due to varying detection rates and the failure to account for prior infection.  (Medrxiv Paper)

The pre-existing immune system state of an individual obviously will have a lot to do with whether they are infected on exposure and how serious any illness is.  One part of that pre-existing state may be the adaptive immunity resulting from prior seasonal coronavirus infection.  This paper finds that while it doesn’t appear that the antibodies from those seasonal infections do much to stop CV-19, an infection or vaccination seems to pump up those seasonal CV antibodies.  (Medrxiv Paper)

This was largely a modeling study, so not sure about the findings, but an interesting approach to understanding aerosols and spread in restaurants, suggesting great heterogeneity among individuals, largely dependent on viral load.  (Medrxiv Paper)

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Abhijit Bakshi says:

    “…in the week ending August 7, 60% of hospitalizations were in the vaxed, although the population was 80% fully vaxed, so there remains some effectiveness.”

    Some effectiveness is not what we were promised. Some effectiveness is not why the jackbooted authorities and corporate tyrants are trying to jam this needle into everyone’s arm. It’s supposed to have world-saving effectiveness. (Which unfortunately stops working when one of the unclean, I mean unvaccinated, people is nearby but which is otherwise VERY ROBUST.)

    “Maybe boosters will work better than the original vaccine dosing at preventing infections. This study on Moderna suggests that the immune response after a booster was stronger than that existing after the initial two-dose series.”

    Indeed. Let’s just keep sticking needles in everyone and see what happens! Maybe it’ll do something good, maybe not, who’s to say, but let’s make sure we go ahead and do it anyway.

    Anyway, and all snark aside, I’m slightly heartened to see that at least the declining effectiveness over time aspect of this episode of profound human foolishness is moving into the mainstream.

  • DuluthGuy says:

    We’ve had college football going on for a month in this country with crowded stadiums of up to 110k people. While those have been outdoors, you still have lots of people sitting very close to one another. Now we’ve had the NFL going on for a few weeks and the Vikings played their first home game last Sunday indoors. While masks were recommended, it looked on TV like virtually nobody was wearing one. In addition, the Eagles played st the Xcel Center in St. Paul. Shouldn’t we be seeing significant hospitalizations (not “cases”) of these people if this is so dangerous?

    If anyone hadn’t figured it out yet, masks are completely for show and there’s a lot of people who have a vested interest in keeping this going as long as possible. Go out and live your lives, pull your kids from any ISD that insists on masking, and get involved at the local level to make changes. Also don’t buy anything from the many corporations out there that have bent over to the Nutballs.

  • Rob says:

    Using a crummy PCR test as a confirmation of another crummy test is a riot! The false positive rate of PCR tests is high so if they aren’t giving the cycle counts on those confirmation PCR tests then those were likely false positives too.

  • Dan says:

    “ antigen tests yielded 21 positives, of which only 6 were confirmed by PCR tests “

    Kevin, I guess PCR comparison was what the study offered but without cycle # isn’t that also meaningless? Why do I never hear about the most valid test? It seems like after this much time there’d be a valid test method that would consistently be used in at least some studies but I don’t recall hearing about anything other the PCR tests. Even then there’s no consistent cycle #. Thanks

  • Ellen Stevenson says:

    I highly recommend Dr. & Mrs. Breggin’s book We Are the Prey.

    Yesterday people were protesting mandates in Seattle.

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