week ending 2022-07-14 General


This article reports that Moderna has been approved in Canada for kiddies between six months and five years old.

This article reports that an Alberta judge ruled that it was okay to require transplant patients to get a COVID vax, given the scarcity of organs and the much higher likelihood that unvaxxed organ recipients are likely to die from COVID.

This Moderna press release says that their bivalent Classic/BA.1 booster gave significantly higher antibody levels, even a month after boosting.

Mitigation Measures

This article reports that the federal government is starting up random testing of vaccinated arriving air passengers.

This article reports that 8.4 million people received at least some federal COVID-19 support.

Health Care

This editorial from the USA estimates that our universal single-payer health care system has saved 100,000 lives more than if we had has a US-style health system. 28% of those deaths would have been in people under 65. So go Canada!


This article says that, in a small study in Alberta, an anti-cancer drug called sabizabulin cut the risk of death by 55% for people who were already hospitalized. This is important because many of the really good drugs (like Paxlovid) need to be taken early.

With so much bad news in the COVID-19 domain, it’s nice to get wins: this paper reports finding two very potent monoconal antibodies and this paper reports finding seven very potent monoclonal antibodies. As far as I understand it, all of them target the fusion peptide near the furin cleavage site. (This makes me believe even harder in getting a Novavax booster, see this blog post, but it might just be because I am pattern-matching on “furin cleavage site”.)


This preprint from Qatar says that a pre-Omicron infection only had 15% effectiveness against a symptomatic BA.4/5 infection. An Omicron infection, by contrast, had a 76.1% effectiveness against BA.4/5.

This article reports on direct measurements in Ontario that find that infections with pre-Omicron variants give almost no protection from any Omicron strain.


This preprint from the UK found that BA.4/5 are more resistant to the innate immune system than BA.1 and BA.2 — more like Delta.

Reminder: as I have blogged about before, some research says that getting a live attenuated vaccine (e.g. measles, tetanus, or TB) gives your innate immune system a boost. It might be worth getting a tetanus or measles update now.

This article reports a study from Utah says that people who regularly fast (in this case, almost always from skipping lunch and supper on Sundays) were less than half as likely to be hospitalized with COVID. Note, however, that it’s observant Mormons who do this. They tried to control for things like smoking and alcohol consumption, but could they control for everything?


This report (from June) says that 7.5% of Americans have Long COVID. 😬

You might be wondering about pediatric hepatitis and whether it’s caused by COVID-19 or not. I haven’t said much about it because it was really not clear. It still is not. This article reports that it might be that there has always been some background noise of mystery pediatric hepatitis that we didn’t notice because nobody paid attention to it.

Until I see something more definite, I’m not going to post.

Recommended Reading

This article — beautifully written! — says that this is what it’s going to be like: we’re just gonna keep getting new variants, like the flu.

This very long article is about developing vaccines in low-income countries (focusing on the African mRNA development hub) and why it is so needed.