I am driving to Florida so a little slower getting stuff out than usual, as Moronic variant terror engulfs us.
If you read the comments lately, and if you saw some of the emails I get, there are some people who apparently think they can browbeat me into saying the vaccines are terrible and dangerous. You must be kidding. Some have threatened to stop reading. Ohhhh, scary, boys and girls. I think I have revealed this before, but I am 71 years old, have been very fortunate in my business career, don’t monetize this blog in any way, and my entire goal is to help people look at data and research to understand the epidemic for themselves. I am fine with people not agreeing with me, but I prefer they do it because they actually have solid data and research that supports their perspective. You can replicate anything I do or Dave Dixon does. To tell me that if I don’t toe the line with the vaccine safety nuts, I will lose readers means absolutely nothing to me and what kind of integrity would I have if it did.
What it tells me about people who write those comments and emails is that they are entirely narrow-minded zealots who have no interest in reading or hearing anything that doesn’t fit their paranoid little delusions about some massive vaccine conspiracy that simply doesn’t exist. And they don’t want to look at the actual high quality research that shows no significant serious adverse events. When there is research that raises safety issues, like myocarditis, I review it. And God knows I was talking about vaccine effectiveness and reporting on breakthrough issues in Minnesota long before others noticed the issue. But I am really tired of getting the same email several times telling me that someone knows four people who dropped dead upon receiving the vaccine. Feel free to take that lunacy elsewhere.
This study from Europe again indicates that there is very, very little risk of serious disease to children from CV-19, undermining any concerns about their safety as a basis for restricting their activities and terrorizing them. Across ten European countries almost very few infected children were hospitalized and basically none died. (Medrxiv Paper)
This article is a good summary of what I have come to believe is true, based on other pieces of research attempting to understand why the epidemic moves as it does and why some people just don’t seem to get infected, and therefore are never a source of transmission. It is difficult to model these concepts about variation in the population network structure, immune system status, etc. (CSPI Article)
We are starting to get some early papers on the effects of the booster shots. I am very cautious in interpreting these as giving us information about the long-term effectiveness against infection, because of the decline we saw with the initial doses. This paper from Israel is a large study that compared infection rates in those who were boosted versus those who weren’t. The boosters appeared to significantly reduce the likelihood of breakthrough infection. But the follow-up period was at most around two months. (JAMA Article)
And this study in the VA has a similar design, comparing those with three doses to those with two, but carefully matching the populations on a variety of relevant factors. Good but not such great results here. People with the third dose had about half the risk of infection and hospitalization as those with only two doses. This was an older population, likely with a number of comorbidities. (Medrxiv Paper)
This editorial from the Lancet points out the obvious; that the fully vaccinated population is contributing to case loads and likely to transmission and pretending they aren’t isn’t good policy or medicine. (Lancet Article)