2021-07-23 General

Vaccines

This article says that data from Israel shows that the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine against infection (not against severe disease!) might be waning.

Take that with a big grain of salt, however. There are a number of reasons why this should not be scary to you, even if you got the Pfizer vax.

  • It was a really small study.
  • It doesn’t align with other studies, especially extremely high-quality data out of England. One possible reason for an actual difference (if there is one) is that Israel used a short dosing interval (3-4 weeks) and England used a long one (generally around 8 weeks), as this thread points out.
  • Vaccine effectiveness always compares vaccinated people to unvaccinated. (Otherwise, the biggest effect is from how much virus is circulating at that moment.) In Israel, case counts went up a lot in Tel Aviv, which was highly vaccinated, but it hasn’t yet reached some occupied areas and some ultra-orthodox areas, both of which have low vaccination rates. In other words, the vaccinated areas have been hit hard and the unvaccinated areas happen to have not been hit yet. This would make the math look like the vaccines are wearing off.
  • The first people to get vaccinated in Israel were the oldest people. Their immune systems might not be as good as younger people’s.
  • The variant mix might have been slightly different earlier than later.

The European Medicines Agency approved Moderna for children over 12 years old. Yay!


This article has a really nice visualization of how vaccines change risk, using data from England:


This article says that the European Union’s drug agency has approved Moderna for people over 12 years old.

Variants

Delta is bad, it causes lots of cases very quickly. However, something really strange is going on: it seems to also be dropping everywhere, all at the same time. Here, for example, is everywhere in England. Note that the drop doesn’t seem to correlate with how many people were infected, and note that England ditched basically all of its mitigation measures on 19 July.

The same downturn seems to be happening in other countries which have been hard hit.

I really don’t think that Bill Gates used 5G to tell to microchips in the vaccine to ramp up the protection (besides, that wouldn’t help unvaccinated people). I doubt that UV levels increased dramatically all around the world at the same thin. Maybe Delta’s rise was so fast and so scary that lots of people got scared at the same time? That does also sound far-fetched, but I don’t have a better answer.

Maybe humans everywhere have a similar “oh shit” response to a major spike in cases?

Transmission/Schools

This study found that daily contact tracing of schoolchildren was just as good as making them isolate if they’d had contact with an infected person.

Recommended Reading

Did we just get lucky with Ebola? The author is British, but most of what they say applies to the US and to Canada as well.

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