Kris Errorsperson is retiring. She was congratulated for her outstanding work by various state officials and the likes of Dr. Osterheimlich Maneuver, who most recently was predicting that Omicron would overwhelm our health care infrastructure. He should have stuck to the vow of not predicting anymore. Should we celebrate Kris’s departure? I feel oddly depressed. Probably because it makes me reflect on her role in providing a constant stream of misinformation over the last two years. She is the consummate state employee–very pleasant and sounds like she is knowledgeable and competent but on closer inspection, just mediocre blandness and completely unwilling to challenge either her own biases or the political direction she is given. And a key participant in the catastrophic failure to consider the broader public health consequences of the measures she endorsed and pushed for so enthusiastically. She will be replaced by someone who is likely even worse.
It isn’t just me that thinks the level of population immunity is phenomenonally high. Here is the official CDC data on how many people have been infected. I think they may be over-estimating, but whatever the number, if you combine it with vax levels, we have a lot of immunity, but it isn’t stopping cases the way we count them. (CDC Data)
Minnesota steadfastly refuses to give out important data on the epidemic, like who really is being hospitalized for or dying from CV-19. Other states have been more responsive when pressed on the issue. Here is the link to the Massachusetts’ report on the topic. (Mass. Report). This is why Minnesota won’t report the data–for the last week around 50% of hospitalizations were incidental–admissions for another reason with an incidental positive test. No reason it would be any different in Minnesota.
Here is an illustration of the abject failure of our public health experts to take into account the total health of the country. Looking at six important preventive health services, researchers found that rates declined substantially during the epidemic and remain significantly depressed. This means delayed diagnoses and more disease, and ultimately deaths. A disgrace which will burden the country for years. (JAMA Study)
Suppposedly a booster will help prevent infection from CV-19. You couldn’t prove that by what I see with friends and hear from readers. But according to this study a booster restores protection against Delta and to a lesser extent, Omicron. I will take the under side on whether boosters maintain that efficacy for 6 months. (JAMA Study)
A well-designed study from Portugal examining relative hospitalization and death rates from Omicron and Delta at a time when both were circulating. A number of relevant factors were adjusted for, including prior infection. Omicron had far lower rates of hospitalization and accounted for no deaths. Over 80% of people who were infected with each variant were vaxed. People with prior infection had very low rates of infection. (Medrxiv Paper)
Also from Portugal, this study compared outcomes in Alpha and Delta infections, finding that Delta was more likely to result in hospitalization and death. (Medrxiv Paper)
This small study finds that after a booster dose recipients maintain a high level of T cell response to Omicron. (Medrxiv Paper)
A study from Japan on vaccine effectiveness against Delta. The study had a relatively short follow-up, so effectiveness against infection was high, even in the elderly. (Medrxiv Paper)
This study from prisons in California also finds lessening of effectiveness against infection in a few months post vax. (Medrxiv Paper)
Pfizer employees helped author this study of effectiveness of two or three doses of vaccine against Omicron. Two doses were basically non-protective against Omicron within a few weeks post-vax. Three doses had some initial effectiveness but also showed indications of lessening over time. (Medrxiv Paper)
And remdesivir is commonly used to prevent or limit hospitalization. It has required a hospital stay for administration but the FDA will now allow outpatient administration which should reduce hospitalizations which are only for remdesivir treatment. This study reviewed the research on effectiveness of remdesivir and found that it did appear effective in limiting serious disease. (Medrxiv Paper)