2021-06-02 General


This preprint says that in a very small study (26 participants) in Germany, a Pfizer boost after an AZ prime gave fewer side effects than the first dose (AZ). Based on in vitro measurements, AZ+Pf appeared to be at least as good as AZ+AZ. Antibodies were three times higher in AZ+Pf than AZ+AZ, and were good against the scary Beta and Delta strains.

Israel believes that there is a rare but genuine link between the Pfizer vaccine and heart inflammation in young men.

This preprint says that several different single-coronavirus vaccines (SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2, a “common cold” coronavirus) gave protection against several different coronaviruses. This gives hope for a pan-coronavirus vaccine.

This paper says that no, vaccines do not harm the placenta.

This article says that it looks like Sinovac is pretty crappy, with effectiveness against symptomatic infection right around 50%, at least in Brazil. However, other trials in other places showed an effectiveness of ~83%, and it does a great job of preventing severe illness.

This Letter reports that 2.6% of health care workers with one dose of AZ got COVID recently, and 1.6% with two doses plus two weeks, vs. 3.98% who were unvaccinated.


More info that the Delta strain (B.1.671.2) is taking over in India (from this tweet thread):

That thread also calculates a transmission advantage of about 78% over Alpha (B.1.1.7) for the Delta strain. Ulp.


This paper says that an “electronic nose” could sniff out COVID-19 at a better than chance rate (66.7% for symptomatic and 75.8% for non-symptomatic).

Mitigation Measures

It turns out that if everybody stays at home, crime rates drop.

This article says that zoos in Sri Lanka have seen 25% more births in the absence of voyeurs tourists.

If your loved one’s estate got a relief check from the Canadian government, you don’t need to pay it back. NB: My US-citizen mother got a US stimulus check even though she died the year before, and it was a real hassle to return it because the IRS offices were closed due to the pandemic for a while!

Possible Next Pandemics

This article says that a man has fallen ill with a novel strain of bird flu – H10N3. They haven’t seen human-to-human transmission, however. Yet.

Huh. Influenza rates are waaaaaaaay down from two years ago because COVID-19 mitigation measures work even better against influenza. Influenza has different major subgroups (“clades”), and it looks like one of the clades (B/Yamagata) might have just completly died out!