2021-09-24 General

Mitigation Measures

This US CDC report says that counties with school mask mandates had lower absolute pediatric case rates (16.32 per 100K/day vs. 34.85 per 100K/day) and a lower increase in cases after school started.


This (different) US CDC report says that counties without a mask mandate in schools had a 3.5x higher chance of an outbreak in schools than counties with mask mandates.

Vaccines

I should say that there continue to be lots of studies which come out, like this one from Malaysia, which say that vaccines work, and work well. I stopped posting each of them because, frankly, it gets dull. I do make an effort to keep the vaccine effectiveness page updated with all the studies, but I admit that there are so many I haven’t gotten 100% of them.

The impression that I have of the state of vaccines is that:

  • Yes, there is some waning in protection from infection, but that there really isn’t much decline in protection from hospitalization or death.
  • Spikevax’ effectiveness is more durable than Comirnaty against infection, but not much different against hospitalization or death.
  • Vaxzevria and J&J do a surprisingly good job in the field. It seems like those get better over several months, while the mRNAs get slightly worse.
  • There is no one best vaccine and no dog among those four: they have different strengths and weaknesses.
  • Among vaccines used elsewhere, Sinovac seems like it is not as good as the four mentioned above.
  • There are even better vaxes coming. Novavax and Clover should get approved soon, and those look really really good. The NDV-HXP-S vaccines are slowly making their way through trials. GBP510 started Phase 3 trials three weeks ago.
  • Changing the formulation to focus on Delta isn’t a good idea yet, because that could make other strains (*cough* Beta *cough*) even more evasive.

Origins

This article says that researchers have found three viruses in bats in Laos which look extremely similar to SARS-CoV-2, including being able to bind to the human ACE-2 receptor. One of the three is 96.8% the same as SARS-CoV-2.

Recommended Reading

This Twitter thread reminds the reader that “mild COVID-19 case” as it is used by doctors does not mean it is “of minor importance”, it means “not hospitalized”. It can still kick your ass and be called “mild” by doctors.

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