We now have confirmation that it is only politics that is driving a particular political party to desperately start pulling down CV-19 mandates and restrictions. A number of stories have relayed concerns arising from focus groups conducted by this party. If you were actually in touch with the populace instead of being driven by your internal fantasies and ideologies, you wouldn’t need a focus group to figure that out. As I said yesterday, too little too late. People will be happy to see the restrictions go, but won’t forget which party was all in on torturing children and putting women out of work, spreading epi-terrorism and making live miserable for everyone.
Minnesota DOH continues to just have some goofy reporting. Some delays on hosp reporting showing up. We got a death today from a year ago, you just have to wonder how this happens.
This study found that use of vax mandates, i.e., the isolation of supposedly non-immune individuals to limit transmission, basically made zero difference in transmission rates across a wide variety of countries. (Medrxiv Paper)
This study from the Netherlands finds that neither vaccination nor prior infection was particularly protective against Omicron, with vax having a slight advantage. Both sources of adaptive immunity were equally effective against Delta. The study included a time at risk element, which is good, and the protection from each appeared to wane over time. A booster somewhat restored protection against Omicron. Being both infected and vaxed boosted protection. In general, protection of any type lessened with age. (Medrxiv Paper)
The study also compared protection from prior infection and vaccination, finding both to be highly effective both against subsequent infection and serious illness. This was a matched cohort design. Contrary to what Minnesota and other data shows, this study found a higher rate of reinfection than breakthru infection, but there are some potential biases in the design and data. Over time, however, prior infection looks much more protective than vaccination. (Medrxiv Paper)
Prior infection protection against subsequent Omicron infection was reported in this paper from Qatar. While protection against Alpha and Delta infections was very high, it was only 55% against Omicron, including after adjustment for time from prior infection. Protection against hospitalization or death, however, was extremely high against all variants, including Omicron. (NEJM Article)
Another paper from Qatar looking solely at mRNA vaccine protection against Omicron. Protection against infection was lower than against prior variants, was restored somewhat by a booster, but then lessened again. Protection against serious disease was higher and remained fairly high, with a booster again showing an increase in effectiveness. (Medrxiv Paper)
This study from Mexico suggests that prior infection generates a stronger and more durable B cell response than does vaccination. (Medrxiv Paper)
Remember when the geniuses (that is sarcasm, these people have been revealed to be morons by their epidemic responses) who run our governments and public health agencies decided that keeping kids and young people from playing sports would reduce transmission opportunities? This large study at a number of universities finds absolutely no difference in positivity rates among student-athletes versus non-athletes. (JAMA Article)
A study from Norway uses household contact tracing to determine that Omicron was somewhat, but not hugely, more transmissible than Delta. Vaccination did not provide significant protection against infection. The authors attribute apparent faster transmission to declining vaccine effectiveness rather than inherent differences in the variants. (Medrxiv Paper)
Another study suggests that boosting with a different vaccine than used in the original doses may increase protection. (NEJM Paper)