2021-07-30 General

Variants The US CDC changed its advice about masks, advising people to wear them more, because of what they’ve found about Delta. They were particularly shook by info from a big outbreak (~900 people) in Providencetown, MA. The study looked at 469 cases in more detail. (Here is the US CDC’s report on it, if… Continue reading 2021-07-30 General

2021-07-28 General

Vaccines On 21 July’s General blog post, I reported a study which suggested that vaccine effectiveness waned over time. This tweet thread (by one of the original authors) says they don’t think that’s accurate: that they got the denominator wrong. The vaccines still work well. Pfizer has released six-month data. Tl;dr: the vaccine works really… Continue reading 2021-07-28 General

2021-07-15 General

Variants This article says that Delta, while more contagious, does not lead to more severe consequences. It points out that if Delta were more severe, then deaths per case would have increased recently, while it has not. On the other hand, this preprint says that Delta does cause more severe illness in Canada. Ah, science:… Continue reading 2021-07-15 General

2021-07-13 General

Vaccination Half of eligible Canadians have gotten their second dose, woohoo! Transmission This study looked at viral loads over time and found three interesting things: The total infectiousness (load integrated over time) was very different between different people. The viral load went up in saliva before it went up in nasal mucous. They suggest that… Continue reading 2021-07-13 General

2021-07-12 General

Vaccines This article reports COVID-19 patients who got a flu shot had significantly fewer complications than patients who did not. COVAX is getting 100M doses immediately from Sinopharm and Sinovac. This is great news. It’s not enough, of course, but double what COVAX has distributed already. (There’s another 390M coming later, which is also great… Continue reading 2021-07-12 General

2021-07-07 General

Vaccines A few days ago, there was a Israeli Ministry of Health report saying that Pfizer was only 64% effective against the Delta strain, which was far lower than other studies had found. It looks like the study in Israel was against all infection, including asymptomatic infection, while the others were against symptomatic infection. That… Continue reading 2021-07-07 General

2021-07-01 General

Testing You might have heard of “Lateral Flow Tests”. They are a type of rapid test which has been deployed widely in the UK. This study evaluated six different brands of lateral flow tests and found that they are less sensitive than PCR tests, but most of them are still pretty good. Long COVID This… Continue reading 2021-07-01 General

2021-06-29 General

Note: It was hot again today, so today’s postings are going to be short. I’ll try to catch up in the next few days Deaths This report suggests that COVID-19 deaths in Canada were wickedly undercounted. NB: I haven’t had time to do a deep dive into it yet, but I would like to. So… Continue reading 2021-06-29 General