2021-07-31/08-01/02 General

Okay, I’ve been gone for a few days. First there wasn’t much news, then I was busy. Some general trends in articles I have noticed recently:

  • There have recently been a number of articles expressing frustration and/or sadness that we thought we had the pandemic licked, and now Delta comes to get us.
  • I have seen quite a few articles and tweets from health care workers (mostly in the US) who either just quit or are about to quit. It hard but gratifying to work in healthcare when innocent people were getting sick. However, taking care of people who didn’t have the sense to get vaccinated AND who are sometimes downright hostile to the health care professionals is too much for them.
  • There are a lot of articles and tweets of the form, “Yeah, there are Delta breakthroughs, but the vaccines are still really really good!”
  • There are still lots of places which are having terrible outbreaks.
  • There are a few jurisdictions which have started to give third doses to immunocompromised people. Meanwhile, most people in poorer countries haven’t even gotten one dose.
  • Many businesses in the USA are mandating that their employees get vaccinated or wear masks/get tested regularly. Quite a few countries are requiring proof of vaccination to go to various indoor places.
  • The ratio of long to short articles seems to have increased. I have the sense that with less news, writers are doing more long analysis pieces. There are lots of graphs like the one immediately below from San Diego County:

Vaccines

Pfizer/BNT announced the results of their six-month extended study. It’s still incredibly safe with extremely high efficacy: 91.1% against symptomatic cases and 96.7% against severe cases. The efficacy did drop, however. Between two and four months post dose2, the efficacy dropped to 83.7%.


This tweet gives an interesting way to think about vaccination and risks: “In Ontario, a vaccinated person is just as likely to get COVID-19 as an unvaccinated person is to be hospitalized.”

Variants

This preprint found that there was no difference in viral loads in COVID-19 patients who had and had not been vaccinated, suggesting that vaccinated people with COVID-19 are just as contagious as unvaccinated people.

This preprint also found that viral loads were similar at diagnosis, but also found that the viral loads decreased much more rapidly in vaccinated people than unvaccinated people.

This preprint from Qatar matched breakout cases with comparable unvaxxed COVID cases (by age, reason why tested, etc.) and found that viral loads in vaxxed people was lower than in unvaxxed people.

Yeah, it’s confusing.

Long COVID

This article says that young kids have symptoms longer than 8 weeks in only 1.8% of the cases, much much lower than the adult rate. With young kids still ineligible for vaccination, it’s very encouraging that the percentage is so low.

Recommended Reading

This article talks about it’s good to wear a mask even if you’ve been vaccinated.


This article talks about how symptoms vary across age and gender.


This article reviews what we know about Long COVID in vaccinated people.


This article is US-focused and talks about how Republican vaccine refusers don’t care about getting respect from Democrats, really what they want is to not get ostracized by their peer group.


This thread explains why we have to keep masking and vaxxing, even though we thought we were done.


This article talks about many facets of the Delta variant.


This article talks about herd immunity and why it is difficult to pin down.

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