2021-06-21 General


This paper details a clever US study where they looked at COVID-19 cases in households which had recently had a birthday vs. households which had not recently had a birthday. They found 31% more COVID-19 case in households with birthdays than without, and the effect was much stronger in households with a child birthday than an adult birthday.


There are certain classes of people who don’t always develop good immunity after a vaccination — solid organ recipients, some cancer patients, etc. It makes sense that those people would want to take an antibody test after getting a vax.

Unfortunately, a lot of antibody tests look for antibodies to a piece of the COVID-19 virus (the nucleocapsid or “N”) which is not on the spike, and most of the vaccines only give the spike protein. That means the N-antibody tests cannot tell if you’ve gotten a vax.

Therefore, if you (or someone you love) are in one of the have-a-hard-time-making-antibodies classes, make sure that any antibody test you/they take looks for spike protein antibodies (and wait two weeks for the antibodies to form)!

Cuba has had two of their vaccines give good preliminary results. Soberana got 68% efficacy with the second of three doses, while Abdala has finished Phase 3 trials and achieved 92.28% efficacy with its 3-dose scheme.

I have talked about the UK’s Com-Cov study — also known as “the big mix&match study” — and how frustrated I was that their results weren’t appearing as fast as I thought they should. Well, apparently the prelim data was from a Phase 2 study (i.e. “safety”), while I had thought it was a Phase 2/3 combined (i.e. safety and efficacy), but no.

The Phase 3 results are supposed to be out sometime this month, but I haven’t been able to find any firmer estimates.


The US/Canada border is starting to re-open slowly and incremetally. Starting July 5, Canadian citizens and PRs won’t have to quarantine when entering Canada by land or air if they’ve been double-vaxxed and have a negative test.

In the US, they are seeing an unseasonably high number of “common colds”, especially among little kids, especially respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Usually those happen in the winter, but it seems like the kids didn’t get sick last year, so they are getting it now.

People are quitting their jobs (at least in the US). This article talks about retail workers quitting; this article talks about school superintendents quitting. Apparently, if you heap abuse on people, they quit! Who knew? (And apparently people like not having multi-hour commutes. Who knew?)