week ending 2022-07-07 General


This paper says that they have found a really good blood marker (IL-2 release) for Long COVID.

This paper from Italy found that risk of Long COVID decreased as the number of vaccines increase. (It was still 16% with three vaccines, however, still not good.) It found that things that decreased your risk (compared to young healthy women) were:

  • being male dropped the risk to 65% (of that of young healthy women);
  • two vax doses dropped it 25%;
  • three vax doses dropped it 16%.

Things that increased the risk were:

  • older age increased the risk to 123%;
  • allergies to 125%;
  • increasing comorbidities to 132%.

Note that this study had a small sample size, so don’t take it as gospel.

Mitigation Measures

This preprint made a physics-based model of aerosol travel between two people and found:

  • Both people wearing masks was 80% better than one person masked.
  • The infected person coughing increases the transmission risk by 85%.
  • The infected person increasing their activity level (with i.e. exercise) increases the transmission by 99%.

This article reports that the Government of Canada doesn’t want to ditch the ArriveCan app, that they think it gives good data. The article also mentions that the mandatory random testing, which got put on hold and was supposed to return on 1 July, is now deferred until mid-July.


This Research Letter from the US found that the incidence of croup in juvenile COVID patients was more than twice as high during Omicron than as during Alpha or Delta.


This article reports that Health Canada expects to decide on Moderna’s wee-kiddie vax in mid-July, and that it got an application from Pfizer on 23 June for their wee-kiddie vax.

This article reports that CureVac (a big German pharma company) is suing BioNTech (and by extension, Pfizer), saying that they infringed on some of their mRNA intellectual property. (BioNTech, unsurprisingly, insists that claim is bullshit.) The good news is that CureVac is not trying to block production of the vax.

This study from China found that neutralizing antibody titres against Omicron were 30x higher in people who had a 4-6 month interval between dose2 and does3 (of a protein subunit vax) than people who had only a one month gap.

CEPI (heavily funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) has given money to two more pan-coronavirus projects. (CEPI previously gave money to nine other places:  MigVax, the University of SaskatchewanAffinivaxSK bioscience, BioNet, DIOSynVax, NEC Corporation, India’s Translational Health Science and Technology Institute/Panacea Biotec, and one more that I couldn’t track down.)

  • This study has really good preclinical data from a vaccine with eight different spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) proteins. (The RBD is the part which actually attaches to the cell’s ACE2 receptor and gets the cell to let the virus in.) CEPI gave them USD$30M.
  • This article says that CEPI is giving USD$2.5M to Norwegian company Codiak to work on a pan-coronavirus vaccine.

This paper found that in a clinical study of people who were taking methotrexate (a common immunosuppressant used for arthritis, some skin conditions, lupus, etc), the study group which stopped the methotrexate for two weeks after a booster had antibody levels slightly more than twice as high as the ones who kept taking it.

This study from Southern California measured Pfizer effectiveness against BA.1 and BA.2:

Variantagainst# shotsVE
BA.1ER admission229%
BA.1ER admission <3 months post-vax374%
BA.1ER admission >3 months post-vax365%
BA.1hospitalization <3 months post-vax380%
BA.1hospitalization >3 months post-vax376%
BA.2ER admission216%
BA.2ER admission <3 months post-vax359%
BA.2ER admission >3 months post-vax35%
BA.2hospitalization <3 months post-vax374%
BA.2hospitalization >3 months post-vax370%

Yes, that really does say that the effectiveness of three shots against hospitalization with BA.2 is only 5%.

Buried in this article is the news that Moderna submitted a request for approval to NACI for its bivalent booster on 30 June and that Pfizer is working on an application.

This article says that Canada is (was?) set to throw out almost 14M doses of AstraZeneca because it couldn’t find any takers. Buried in the article was also news that 1.2M of Moderna expired and got tossed.

This is clearly disappointing, but I find a little hope also in it: there is so much vax available in the world right now that supply is not the limiting problem. (And that there’s enough good vax that people don’t want our sloppy seconds.)

Could the Moderna vax have gone elsewhere in a perfect world? Probably, but we don’t live in a perfect world.

Canada overbought to make sure that it would have enough — regardless of which vax was available — and it succeeded at that. If they had failed to secure an adequate amount for its own citizens, the outcry would have been much worse.


This article reports that federal public health officials thinks BA.4/BA.5 accounts for almost 30% of all COVID-19 cases now.

Wondering what comes after BA.4/BA.5? It’s probably BA.2.75, which is currently circulating in India. This thread has more info about it.