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Coronamonomania Lives Forever, Part 88

By January 16, 2022Commentary

For those of you who were following me on Facebook, I don’t pay attention to it so I missed that I have been suspended, but what is hilarious is it is because I supposedly was posting sexual solicitations–but the posts they list are all the ones you see here.  Apparently what happens is that anyone can complain, and the epidemic terrorists are targeting people like me, not complaining about content but making up shit and then Facebook doesn’t even bother to look at the posts.  Now that I know about it I have, as you can imagine, written scathing emails to Facebook, so hopefully someone will actually look the posts, but I have also demanded that they apologize and identify to me the people who complained and punish those persons.  I am hoping that with a change in Congress we will get a law passed that allows people to sue these companies who are trying to enforce an ideology and stifle totally legitimate speech and expression of opinions.

Remote school was hard on children and their parents.  No one could seriously doubt that.  This paper is just more evidence, from Massachusetts.  Yet here we go with even more school closures.  Teacher sickness is no excuse, the schools have literally been given tens of billions of dollars and have now had almost two years to prepare for this.  (JAMA Letter)

This meta-review of studies on cases in children finds lower risk in any setting than exists for adults and lower risks at school than at home.  But let’s keep closing schools.  (NIH Study)

And this global study again finds very low risk of any serious illness among healthy children.  (JAMA Paper)

John Ionnaidis has been a thorn in the side of people who engage in lousy health care research since long before the epidemic and has carried on his work during it.  For those of you who wonder why I don’t focus more on treatments, this paper by him explains one reason–it is a lot of work to figure out whether the studies are any good.  He finds that most studies finding an effective from various highly promoted treatment are of poor, no, let’s be honest, bad quality, and that when better studies are done, the supposed positive effect disappears.  (Medrxiv Paper)

The NBA has this ridiculously intensive testing program, but it makes for good study data.  Obviously a non-representative population, but….  Looking at Omicron versus Delta, there was a slightly lower duration of positive testing, viral loads were lower and by day 7 only 13% had a cycle number under 30.  This is a highly vaxed population so hard to say if difference is due to vax or inherent nature of this variant.  (Medrxiv Paper)

Another study finding that being infected before vax creates a stronger, more durable immune response than occurs in those without a prior infection.  In addition, those with infection and vax had an astoundingly lower rate of breakthrough infection than did those with vax alone.   (SSRN Paper)

Same essential finding in this paper looking at neutralization of different variants by vaxed persons versus infected ones versus the combination.  Lower neutralization of Omicron among the prior infected and vaxed, but the combination was pretty good.  (Medrxiv Paper)

Another paper suggesting that mixing vaccines, including at the booster stage, creates a better immune response.  (Medrxiv Paper)

The UK vaccine surveillance report is out.  A reader pointed out to me that it actually was released in an initial version and then quickly that one was pulled and another version released.  The difference between the two was that one included persons who had been boosted and one didn’t.  As the reader explained:  “Today, as part of its weekly release of the “COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report”, the UKHSA released data that appeared incorrect or incomplete. These data are listed in Tables 9 through 12 of the report, and include Covid cases, hospitalizations, and deaths by vaccination status. Sites, such as The Daily Sceptic have been criticized for using these data to calculate vaccine effectiveness numbers, based on the relative rates published in Table 12 for the unvaxxed and fully vaxxed. I noticed something peculiar almost immediately looking at the case rates in Table 12. Specifically, when comparing the case rates of vaxxed versus unvaxxed for the oldest age groups, the vaccine effectiveness seemed unusually high compared to recent weeks. I then went back to Table 9 to look at the raw numbers to try to figure out what was going on. What I immediately noticed is that the case totals were not equal to the sum of the individual columns by vaccination status [“Unlinked”, “Not Vaccinated”, “Received one dose (1 to 20 days before specimen date)”, “Received one dose, ≥21 days before specimen date”, “Second dose ≥14 days before specimen date”]. When I looked at the number of “missing cases” per age group, I noticed that the percent of missing cases increased with age group, from about 0.1% for the under 18 all the way up to about 72-84% for ages 60 and up.

That stratification made me suspect there was something about booster shots associated with the missing data, and after looking at the booster uptake chart in Figure 7c, I became pretty confident that’s what was going on. My assessment is that the UKHSA has been tracking cases, hospitalizations, and deaths for boosted people (as it should!) and that they inadvertently released data for “Vaxxed but not boosted people” in their update today. Normally when they release the report, I suspect they combine the “Vaxxed but not boosted people” and “Vaxxed plus boosted people” in the single “Second dose ≥14 days before specimen date” column. My suspicion was all but confirmed a couple hours later when the file at the UKHSA site was quietly replaced. If I had not retrieved the original file when I did (and thankfully downloaded it), I would never have known.”

So we can see effectiveness in vaxed but not boosted and in vaxed and boosted.  As you would imagine, the vaxed and boosted have lower rates of infection and of hospitalizations than the vaxed alone.  (UK Report)

Join the discussion 10 Comments

  • Rob says:

    I found the Ionnaidis paper if little value. For starters, he completely ignores ivermectin, corticosteroids, and monoclonal antibodies. This limits him to studies that had already been criticized over a year ago for being RCT’s designed to fail because the administration of the antivirals occurred far too late in the patients’ illness. Administering those treatments within the first week shows effectiveness, but lumping the bad RCT’s and the good RCT’s together in a meta-analysis only winds up giving you great insights like “the average American has one testicle.”

  • Kevin Roche says:

    you have to be skeptical about everything. I know the ivermectin research is very inconclusive and I keep pointing out to people that the mechanism of action is implausible for a virus. Ioannidis is absolutely top notch and has been recognized for years as a valued research debunker. He took a lot of crap early on for opposing lockdowns and saying the IFR was very low, but he has been proven right.

  • dell says:

    Covid freedom march in DC, January 23rd.

    I came across an announcement of a mandate protest:

    “On Sunday, January 23, Defeat the Mandates DC is organizing a historic march in Washington DC, joining dozens of other countries across the globe that same day in a global protest of the increasing human rights infringements occurring as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

  • S_M says:

    Can you elaborate a little bit more on this statement: I know the ivermectin research is very inconclusive and I keep pointing out to people that the mechanism of action is implausible for a virus”?

    I’m not sure what you mean when you say “…the mechanism of action is implausible for a virus”. I am thinking you are referring to ivermectin; I wasn’t aware that the research is inconclusive. To be fair, though, I’ve not done any real looking into Ivermectin myself other than the occasional odd graph showing the effect (?) administering ivermectin has had in certain parts of India and Mexico.

    Thanks in advance, and keep up the great work. The mathematics and statistics that you couple with the data you give is most enlightening.

  • Kevin Roche says:

    Actual studies on use of ivermectin in CV-19 patients do not consistently show any benefit. The stuff about India is largely made up and untrue. This compound is used against parasites and bacteria and works by blocking certain chemical channels that are not present in viruses. I don’t care if people take it or not, but they shouldn’t be lied to about likely effectiveness or lack thereof.

  • Darin Kragenbring says:

    Mr. Roche,

    Regarding therapeutics: I was disturbed to go back to the “pre-Covid” 2019 Johns Hopkins Pandemic Preparedness plan (page 51)

    and find that not only antivirals but also monoclonal antibodies were recommended to be used until a vaccine was developed. I have read (not closely) some people claiming 100,000’s of lives could have been saved if therapeutics had been more widely used. Given the health and age profile of the average decedent, I am dubious of those types of claims. I am, however, concerned that two years into the pandemic monoclonal antibodies remain in short supply and I am somewhat suspicious of how the EUA for the vaccines may have been hindered if there were effective therapeutics. Could you comment on monoclonal antibodies specifically and generally if more emphasis should have been placed on therapeutics while the vaccines were in development?

    Thank you.

  • Kevin Roche says:

    Therapeutics are obviously important for people who get sick, but the vaccines can prevent serious illness, so in some ways the preventive approaches are more important. Monoclonals are hard to develop in advance because you have to know the sequence you are making the antibody against, and it obviously takes time to actually manufacture them. That is a very complex manufacturing process.

  • Instead of giving us your usual blanket statements from authority (“Actual studies on use of ivermectin in CV-19 patients do not consistently show any benefit. The stuff about India is largely made up and untrue. “) why don’t you explain to us what the truth really is?

    – Summarize the specific assertions of fact you claim are “made up and untrue” about India.
    – Summarize your specific assertions of fact about what happened.

    Or, you know, go back to shilling for the pharmaceutical companies.

  • Kevin Roche says:

    I have made it clear I am not spending time on therapeutics. And you can do your own research. I am sure if you google you can find some non-RCT observational study that says Ivermectin is a wonder drug and use that to support your belief that therapeutics mean you can avoid getting vaccinated.

  • joe Kosanda says:

    Ivermectin – seems to have made the round as a valid treatment for covid – My take is that it works only as a placebo.

    India’s covid waves have been much shorter and less volume that most other regions of the world. India apparently has high usage in the general population. If ivermectin plays a role, it would be a factor in reducing covid’s ability to get a foothold into the body (at best)

    The reason I am dubious of ivermectin as a good treatment is due to the huge disparity in the results of the studies vs the huge delta between India’s waves and the waves in other countries. The studies on Ivermectin vary between modest/moderate benefit to nuetral/no benefit. If Ivermectin actually produced a benefit, then the studies would show benefits approaching / results similar to the huge delta in the india waves. In other words, the relatively small and short covid waves in India are very likely due to other factors.

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