A little slow with stuff right now, I have another grandchild, a delightful little girl. Have to wonder, however, what kind of a world are we creating for these children. Anyway, duty calls, as ever, and the faithful servant always answers. So here we go with more research summaries, but first……I know a lot of you live outside Minnesota and I don’t know what it is like in other states, but Minnesota is bound and determined to make sure we don’t get an accurate picture of what is going on. We can’t get any useful information on breakthrough infections, on re-infections, on the real cause of hospitalizations and deaths attributed to CV-19 or any number of other important data points. And our local media does nothing to challenge this state of affairs. The local paper continues to highlight the messages of terror and fear, around hospitalizations in particular, while burying relevant information like the percent of those hospitalizations in fully vaxed persons and the number of hospitalizations attributed to CV-19 but really for some other cause.
Speaking of terrorization, the CDC notes that the epidemic, or more properly, the response to the epidemic has caused an increase in mental health issues in the population. No kidding and you are partly to blame. (CDC Study)
Anyone who is paying attention knows that lockdowns and other attempts to suppress the virus did not work. This article is a substantial review of the literature noting the methodological flaws in over-estimation of the benefits of lockdowns and more recent evidence that there is no correlation between mortality rates and stringency of attempts to suppress CV-19. A costly waste of time and destroyed of public physical and mental health is how they are best described. (IJEB Article)
More evidence of the lessening effectiveness of the vaccines over time, in a prestigious medical journal. The study comes from the Kaiser system. The headline is that effectiveness against infection declined from 88% in the first month to 47% in the fifth month of the study. Overall effectiveness against infection was 73% and against hospitalizations was 90%. Effectiveness was lower in the elderly. Now here is an important nugget. Effectiveness against infection by Delta, and subsequent hospitalization, was not notably different than effectiveness against other strains, in fact after 6 months, effectiveness against Delta-caused hospitalization was as good as that against the other strains. So recent case waves in the vaxed are not driven by Delta, but by waning. Finally, although not discussed by the authors, it appears that having prior infection is highly protective, vaccinated or not, and that the combination of vax plus prior infection is even more protective. (Lancet Study)
Yet another article tracking antibody level following infection. The usual findings applied here as well. Some reduced protection against variants in terms of circulating neutralizing antibodies; people with more severe disease had higher levels and some lessening over time, although even at 13 months there was generally a good response. (EJI Article)
I am not sure what the point of this study was but it purports to show that the rate of increase in CV-19 cases is unrelated to the level of vaccinations across a large of countries and counties in the US. If you don’t separate cases into those among the vaxed and unvaxed, you aren’t showing anything in regard to the effects of vaccination. And if you don’t account for changes in testing policies or levels and variation in those policies across areas, you have a serious confounder. And of course, the possibility of seasonal factors is completely ignored. So this is the kind of meaningless analysis that sometimes gets headlines but tells you nothing. (AV Article)
A study from Argentina looked at the antibody response following vaccination with a Chinese vaccine. Younger people and women had the strongest response. People with prior infection had a very strong response after one dose and no further strengthening after the second. People who became infected after either the first or second dose also showed a jump in antibody levels. And antibody levels waned over time. (Medrxiv Paper)
Kind of an interesting paper tracking the evolution of the virus within one immunocompromised patient who was infected for a year, showing internal mutation over that time. These patients could be a source of the arising of important variants, but I don’t know why they would disproportionately do so when hundreds of millions of people are being infected in total. (Medrxiv Paper)