2021-09-21 General

Mitigation Measures

The land border into the USA from Canada will remain closed to non-essential non-Americans until at least 21 October.


This preprint says that the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine has a vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic COVID-19 infection of 48% and 76% effectiveness against severe disease.

I think this is huge news, and am surprised it’s not getting more press.

  • For countries which are having trouble getting a good supply of COVID-19 vaccination, they could give people a MMR shot. It’s not as good, but it’s way better than nothing.
  • People who are not getting a COVID-19 shot because they are concerned about it being an unproven technology might be willing to get a measles booster. (Now, it’s not clear how many actually are concerned about novel technologies, given that they seem happy to get monoclonal antibody treatments, but it does remove an objection.)
  • Scientifically, this is very interesting: it might explain why kids are about half as likely to get COVID-19 as adults, and why younger kids are more protected than older kids.
    • It would be interesting to compare case rates in college-age people who are in/not in university, given that most universities in North America have measles vaccine mandates. (I know this in part because I had to get four measles vaccinations in four different decades.)

This preprint says that the J&J vaccine in the real world has effectiveness of 79% against infection and 81% against hospitalization, and that it’s stable over time. Note: those numbers were “corrected for under-reporting”, and without correction are 69% and 73%, respectively.

Johnson and Johnson announced that a second shot increased protection against infection to 94% in the US (75% globally), and 100% protection against severe cases.

This preprint says that people who had a COVID-19 infection and one shot of vaccine were more protected against COVID Classic, Beta, and Delta, than those who had two (or one or zero) shots.

This article says that India is going to start exporting vaccines to the rest of the world again instead of keeping them for its own residents. This is great news, as India makes a lot of vaccines.

Recommended Reading

This (long) article discusses how to get vax to poorer countries.

This comic gives a nice explanation of how SARS-CoV-2 infects a cell, including why the furin cleavage site is important.

This article and this article talk about the global supply chain issues caused in large part by COVID-19.

This article talks about why we know that it is extremely unlikely that there will be surprise side effects of the COVID-19 vaccinations years later.