We have new variants of Omicron every week it seems like; every one the scariest version yet. What we really have is new variants of lunacy, including from our public health experts and politicians. Some just seem to be looking for any excuse to go back to the futile and damaging policies they pushed from the start. How much longer before everyone accepts that this isn’t going away, we can’t stop it, it isn’t particularly dangerous, and we all need to have some kind of a real life, with all its risks and pleasures?
A few studies have found that infection with different variants may prompt an immune response that has greater or lesser effectiveness against other variants. According to this study, infection with Omicron 4/5 creates a response that results in broader cross-reactivity to other variants, in contrast to infection with Alpha, Delta and earlier Omicron strains. Unfortunately prior infection, like vaccination, appears to not be overwhelmingly effective against a second infection, particularly after some time has passed. I will again opine that what this suggests in part is that the immune system simply doesn’t perceive coronavirus as that great a threat and isn’t going to waste a lot of energy defending against them. (Medrxiv Paper)
What are the long term immune responses to being infected? As always with the immune system, this is highly variable between individuals, but this study suggests it differs significantly between children and adults following a mild infection. Children, particularly children under 3, have a receptor binding domain antibody response that appears to be stronger at all times than that found in adults, but all groups had a response that lasted for at least 10 months. (JAMA Study)
And this paper gives a detailed and outstanding summary of the overal immune response to CV-19 infection with an excellent breakdown by immune system component. (Imm. Study)
Researchers keep working on new vaccine approaches in the likely ethereal hope that for the first time a respiratory virus vaccine that has a persistent high effectiveness will be found. This study describes an intranasal vaccine, targeting both spike and nucleocapsid proteins, that supposedly had a “sterilizing” effect on attempted infection with CV-19. Sterilizing refers to such a strong immune response being generated that no real infection occurs. A vaccine that creates a strong localized response in the upper respiratory tract would obviously be beneficial, but what we have learned is to be extremely skeptical about the effect of any vaccine on transmission until there is at least a full year of follow-up data. This vaccine has so far only been studied in mice. (Medrxiv Paper)
A comprehensive and well-designed Finnish study looks at hearing loss following either vax or infection and finds no excess rates in either case. Another scare tactic bites the dust. Don’t know why it isn’t enough for the anti-vax nuts that efficacy against infection appears so low. They have to claim vax are killing thousands of people, are making women and men infertile, and on and on. Disgraceful conduct by people who claim to support a rational response to the epidemic. (Medrxiv Paper)
This paper provides an explanation for why some antigen tests may have accuracy issues. It isn’t the test per se, but the widely varying viral loads found depending on where the sample is taken from. The researchers suggest a combined sampling from multiple areas. Interestingly viral load did not correlate with symptom status. (Medrxiv Paper)