Minnesota has the highest case rate in the country right now, but somehow our Governor thought the situation wasn’t pressing enough to prevent him from going on a trade junket to England and Finland.
As usual, I am perplexed by the ongoing media incuriousity about obvious issues, like the number of events in fully vaxed people, why we are still having big case waves with such a high percent of the population vaccinated, why are we still wearing masks, how can Florida be doing so well right now, are there really many cases in children, and so on. But not going to happen anytime soon. It is, however, quite frustrating that the public does not get an accurate and full perspective on the epidemic from the primary media sources.
The UK has done a pretty good job of putting out useful data and has a running series of reports on vaccine effectiveness. The latest such report shows the now expected decline in effectiveness against vaccination, but continuing effectiveness against hospitalization and death. This week, if you track the effectiveness over time in the reports, appears to potentially show some benefit from a booster in the oldest groups, because effectiveness stopped declining in those groups. People on all sides pick at some of this data, but directionally it seems consistent with other research. One thing that is missing is the impact of the combination of infection and vaccination or just prior infection on comparative rates. (UK Report)
The priests of the mask religion are notorious for their devotion to research using the most unsound methodologies and analytic methods possible. Now imagine doing a meta-analysis of all those really bad studies, and you have this piece in the British Medical Journal, which really should know better. Garbage multiplied by garbage equals more garbage. I am not going to waste time on this paper, which by its own admission could not possibly disentangle the effects of multiple suppression measures occurring at the same time. (BMJ Article)
Another study claiming that raising vaccination rates in a county results in a significant decrease in cases and deaths. I don’t disagree with that, but these studies don’t factor in time from vaccination or have a long follow-up period and they don’t disentangle the effects of prior infection. (Medrxiv Paper)
This study did a good days-at-risk type analysis in regard to vaccine effectiveness among health care workers, with a long follow-up period. Obviously a younger group than those in which waning effectiveness is a particular concern. It found an overall vaccine effectiveness against infection of about 82% and against Delta of about 77%. But here is what is really notable: not one instance of reinfection among those with prior infection, demonstrating superiority of natural adaptive immunity. And the previously infected and then vaccinated workers had no breakthrough infections. (Medrxiv Paper)
Another paper on schools in Norway, finding limited transmission while schools were open, with some but not excessive mitigation of spread measures. (Medrxiv Paper)
Vaccinated health care workers who experienced a breakthrough infection had lower median viral loads than those who were not vaccinated, so they are presumably less infectious. 67% of infections were among the vaxed subset. (JID Article)