2022-02-08 General


This case studies paper says that they saw four pediatric appendicitis cases with COVID-19. Now, four cases is not many, but it was almost a quarter of their appendicitis patients, while the rate overall was only 8%. They also note that it’s reasonable to expect that COVID-19 could infect the appendix, as it also has ACE2 receptors on it. (They also point out that pediatric COVID-19 cases frequently present with gastrointestinal distress, so this paper is also a caution to doctors that they should not let GI distress distract them from possible appendicitis!)

This preprint says there can be a lot of SARS-CoV-2 in the testes, even after the infection appears over.


This paper reports on a study where they made vaccines by attaching various pieces of the virus to a chimp or human adenovirus:

  1. Just the COVID-19 spike protein (S),
  2. the nucleocapsid (N) plus the RdRp protein, or
  3. the spike protein plus the nucleocapsid plus another COVID-19 protein (RdRp).

They found that:

  • A single dose of S/N/RdRp with the chimp adenovirus delivered nasally to mice worked significantly better than intramuscular chimp-S/N/RdRp, intramuscular human-S/N/RdRp, or nasal human-S/N/RdRp. The results were the same with COVID Classic, Alpha, and Beta.
  • Intranasal chimp-N/RdRp worked as well as intranasal chimp-S/N/RdRp in as measured by mortality, but the chimp-N/RdRp mice had significantly more lung damage than the chimp-S/N/RdRp mice. Mice who got intranasal chimp-S did worst on basically all measures.

This article reports that Johnson & Johnson is going to temporarily stop making its COVID-19 vax at its plant in the Netherlands so that it can make an experimental respiratory syncytial virus drug for human trials. This isn’t a huge deal for wealthy countries, who have kind of snubbed J&J for the mRNAs, but it’s a big deal for poor countries who depend on the cheap vax which doesn’t require extreme refrigeration. J&J says that it has a surplus of doses and that the NL plant isn’t going to be down for long. I have my doubts, but we’ll see.

This study looked at the reduction in risk of infection against Delta and Omicron given by various combinations of infection and vaccination:

against Deltaagainst Omicron
Infection with no vax ever78%25%
Fully vaccinated (1 or 2 shots)76%33%
Boosted (2 or 3 shots)93%68%
Fully vaxxed, then infected91%62%
Infected, then fully vaxxed95%58%
Fully vaxxed, then infected, then boosted97%76%

Note that an infection with no vaccination only gives you 25% protection against an Omicron infection!

Great news! This paper says that an mRNA flu vaccine was still effective (and had no worse side effects) after freeze-drying and storing at high temperature. They tested the vax at 12 weeks at room temperature and 24 weeks at 4C. This is a flu vax and not a COVID-19 vax, but there’s no obvious reason why it wouldn’t work for a COVID-19 vax.

Usually mRNA vaccines are wrapped in lipids to hide them from the immune system, but this means they need to be injected. This paper found that if you slip the mRNA into a Semliki Forest virus (which only causes disease when transmitted by mosquito), people can take it orally and the virus takes care of smuggling the mRNA payload into the cells.


This report from England says that:

  • The risk of reinfection was 16x higher in the Omicron period than in the Delta period.
  • Unvaccinated people were about twice as likely to get reinfected as vaccinated people.
  • People with high viral loads in their first infection were less likely to get a second infection.

Mitigation Measures

The author of this paper tried to find research which showed that wearing masks harmed children’s development, and couldn’t find any.