Minnesota is revising its data presentation almost every week now it seems. I assume the DOH is scrambling to get ahead of the eventual data releases they will have to make in regard to my and other data practices act requests. This week the big add was reinfection data. Now somehow, the DOH can miraculously attribute reinfections to the actual date of specimen collection but can’t do it for breakthrough cases? We know why that is. The reinfection numbers they are hoping to use to encourage people to get vaccinated, while the breakthrough infection numbers threaten that message. I am not holding my breath on getting dates for breakthru events voluntarily, we will have to sue. There were a few other reporting changes as well, including an addition about the number of actual people who have had CV-19 as contrasted to the total cases, which could include reinfections. It is not clear to me if reinfection cases who were fully vaxed are in both totals or just treated as a breakthrough or as a reinfection. We no longer get headline probable cases and we now have cumulative deaths in the headline. Not sure why or what is going on with that.
I suspect the way they added the reinfections is going to cause some analytic and charting headaches for a while. Dave is taking a few days in Florida and I am sure will have some thoughts on this upon his return. We did have 94 new breakthrough deaths reported this week, but the Governor assures us that none of those occurred in October, they couldn’t have because he said they didn’t. I will assure you, I believe with more credibility than the IB, that in fact a very large number of those deaths occurred in October and in September. We also saw a large number of breakthrough hospitalizations added. Over 600 in fact, if my math is right. I am sure none of those occurred in October either. Oh, and over 9500 new breakthrough cases. All of those are a very substantial proportion of all new events reported for the week. Very substantial, and Dave will get us an updated chart on his return. But this is an epidemic of the unvaxed.
As usual I find some cause for mirth in all this. The DOH is incapable of strategically thinking more than one step ahead and constantly puts itself in a corner that it then has to desperately get out of it. On breakthroughs it dragged its feet on sharing any data and tried to use the per capita rate distraction. But the reported numbers have gotten so large that they can’t fool anyone. And they allowed such a large lag on reporting breakthrough events that now as the latest wave is ebbing, the reported numbers look proportionately huge. If they had just given us date of event, they wouldn’t be in this box now. But as I said, they appear incapable of thinking the outcome of their messaging through, and even less capable of seeing the value of just being fully honest, transparent and accurate with the public. Stop with the stupid messaging.
Any readers who live in New Jersey and Virginia, you know what you have to do today, and any readers who have a school board election, you know what you have to do. You have to take back control of your children’s education and you have to send a message to progressives, well strike that, those morons are incapable of any intellectual effort so any message is wasted, send the message to the handful of Democrats who are frightened of losing their jobs in the next year or so. Nothing like losing your position of power to concentrate the mind on better policies.
Here is the CDC purporting to summarize the evidence on protection from either vaccination or infection against further infection. (CDC Brief) On the positive side, at least they acknowledge that prior infection may confer protection. On the other hand, it is clear that the whole brief is written to support the CDC messaging that everyone has to get vaccinated and that vaccination is superior to infection. I don’t think the evidence in any way supports that, I think that the evidence indicates that infection-induced immune responses are superior to those from vaccination. Note the section called Protection From Reinfection in Cohort Studies. Note the description of results from those studies. Note particularly the conclusion that studies show no lessening of protection after 6 months or any period of time. Compare that to what we observe in real life from vaccination after 6 months. The CDC attempts to minimize the vax research, what a surprise. But even it can’t avoid noting that infection and vax appear similar.
A paper in Nature estimates the impact of infection on antibody levels. Persons who had lower viral loads, few symptoms and were older were most likely to develop low antibody levels. Overall the researchers estimated that protection against serious disease should last for several years among those who did develop an antibody response following infection. (Nature Paper)
This study also looked at the adaptive immune response, but in this case to vaccination after 6 months. While there was a very substantial decline in circulating antibodies, the T cell response remained more vigorous over that period. (Medrxiv Paper)