The Minnesota DOH is really screwed up in its reporting and has a huge backlog of PCR tests. So I expect we will see some mammoth increase in non-cases over the next few days as everyone decided those sniffles must be CV-19. My guess is that hospitalizations will also rise because there will enormous numbers of incidental positives on admission for another reason, but DOH still won’t come clean on that. I also very firmly predict that the vast majority of these new cases will be revealed to be in the vaxed. Testing lunacy=case lunacy=widespread panic=misuse of health resources=we never get out of this. You have to understand, the virus is going to be here and it will constantly show up in people’s noses so if we don’t stop testing we will have cases forever.
I exhausted my ranting last nite. Now I am just depressed about our abysmal public policy. So on to the research.
According to this study from the UK, the vaccines were less effective in preventing transmission of Delta than Alpha and their effectiveness lessened over time. Same old song. (NEJM Article)
One uncertainty has been whether vaccination created protection against infection or transmission by lowering viral loads or via some other mechanism. The comparison is somewhat difficult because we don’t know who gets tested in each group and whether there are more asymptomatic infections in either which leads to less testing. This paper explores the question and finds that there is about half the rate of culturable virus in nasal samples from the vaxed compared to the unvaxed, but that this difference lessens after the usual few months, suggesting that certainly by 9 months or so post-vax, cultured virus and thus infectiousness may be similar in the two groups. The length of infectious period may still be shorter in the vaxed. (Medrxiv Study)
At least the UK tries to study these things instead of ignoring the opportunity to actually collect and analyze data. The public health agency looked at the effect of masks in schools and found none. Here is a story on the study. (UK Story). Note that the BBC, a bastion of wokism, uses the same “inconclusive” word that DOH did in its matched cohort study. In this context inconclusive means “didn’t work”. And here is the actual study. Please note that it finds potential harms to learning from mask-wearing and that there is no significant difference in absences whether mask-wearing was required or not. (UK Study)
And here is the latest UK vaccine surveillance report. The UK is likely about 100% Omicron now. The report shows the same trends for weeks now. The rates of infection between vaxed and unvaxed is generally the same, but rates of hospitalization and death are much lower in the vaxed. Of note in this report is that vaccine effectiveness against infection with Omnicron after about 5 months is zero. A booster temporarily restores effectiveness but shows the same rate of decline as the original two doses. The vaccines appear to retain effectiveness at preventing hospitalization in Omicron cases. (UK Report)
A CDC-published study finds that breakthrough infections are more likely with Delta than its predecessors and viral loads are somewhat higher. The role of time from vaccination was largely ignored and likely is a significant confounder. (CDC Study)
And here is another CDC-published study finding that CV-19 patients actually had fewer complications than did influenza patients. Just not sure how that can possibly be, since we are repeatedly told that CV-19 is so much worse than flu. (CDC Study)
Another paper on vaccine durability. The usual findings, including some lessening of effectiveness against hospitalization but not ICU use. (Medrxiv Paper)
For what its worth, this research from Israel finds that vax was associated with a substantial reduction in self-reporting of “long” CV-19 symptoms, which appear to be largely imaginary and consistent with rates of long-term symptoms from other illnesses. (Medrxiv Paper)
Another reason to exercise caution before vaxing children. This study finds a small number of cases of multi-inflammatory syndrome after vax, but given the miniscule risk from CV-19 to children, it is worth considering. (Medrxiv Paper)
Another study showing that people with prior infection have a stronger response to vax than do those without prior infection. (Medrxiv Paper)
Testing is a problem. This paper in a small group of people tested daily claims that those with Omicron were infectious for several days before a rapid antigen test picked them up as positive. The authors are concerned about the effect of false negatives, I am concerned about why we are testing people with colds or no symptoms at all. (Medrxiv Paper)