2023-05-21 General small

Vaccines

This preprint from India found that a nasally-administered adenovirus-vectored vaccine gave mice good protection against BQ.1.1 and XBB.1.5.


This preprint from China found that in mice, one Omicron booster after two COVID Classic vaccinations wasn’t as effective as one would like due to imprinting on COVID Classic (aka “original antigenic sin”). The good news is that more boosters seemed to clear the original imprinting on COVID Classic. In humans, repeated Omicron infections also cleared the imprinting. What this means to you? Get two bivalent boosters, at least. (NB: I am still not sure how a second Novavax compares to a second bivalent, given that Novavax already had quite broad protection.)


This paper from UK found that vaccines’ effectiveness dropped faster in people who were obese than in people who were not.


This paper from USA found six monoclonal antibodies which bind to the ACE2 receptor (in mice, anyway) in a way that prevents a wide variety of coronavirus (COVID-19, SARS, and some bat and pangolin coronaviruses) spike proteins from binding to them (and hence getting into cells) but does not prevent the ACE2 receptors from doing their regular job (near as they can tell). This means, in theory, that those monoclonal antibodies could be injected like a vaccine to provide several months’ worth of protection.


This paper from USA found six monoclonal antibodies which gave good protection against COVID-19. Three protected monkeys completely from COVID Classic, and one also protected monkeys against SARS, BA.1, and the bat coronavirus SHC014.


According to this tweet from Health Canada and PHAC, today Health Canada authorized Moderna‚Äôs BA.4/5 bivalent booster for kids 6 to 17 years of age. That’s corroborated on a gov.ca website, but what I found interesting was that I couldn’t find ANY news articles about it. People just don’t care, I guess.

Mitigation Measures

This paper from Switzerland found that masks reduce infectious aerosols. The transmission risk was 80% lower when kids in schools masked.


This article reports that the US has dropped vaccine mandates for foreigners entering the country.

Pathology

This paper from the UK found 49 different genetic markers associated with more severe cases of COVID-19. This is partly useful to figure out who is likely to need more help, but mostly because it gives clues to what drugs might be useful.

COVID-Related Excess Death and Sickness (CREDS)

This article reports that the number of people diagnosed with atrial fibrilation has increased by 50% in the past ten years.


This paper from Brazil found that COVID-19 can take up residence in the liver, where it induces high blood sugar (which is probably why the diabetes risk goes up after a COVID-19 infection).

Recommended Reading

This blog post talks about the Hospital-at-Home movement. It’s US-centric, but some things will translate to Canada — like that a huge number of COVID-19 infections come from hospitals.


This article is one piece of anecdata from two people who feel like meditation helped him with Long COVID. Correlation is not causality, but it was interesting that the language they used — “rebooting” the autonomic nervous system — is very similar to the mental model I constructed from the reports of some great successes with stellate ganglion blocks. This review article discusses what is known about using alternative mindfulness/meditation therapies for Long COVID and ME/CFS.


This article looks at what went right with the pandemic.