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)