The Playground

  • Moreover, we must look critically at the approach as a continuous booster program year after year isn’t feasible either until we fully understand the impacts of the vaccine. The reality is that the current batch of early-stage vaccines on the market have durability challenges over time. This is normal as no such vaccine product can be perfect in the fact of such a highly mutating pathogen.

    This is inaccurate, even given the current uncertainty.


    The delta vaccine protection reduces over time, as for example the Flu vaccine also does, because no vaccines have a permanent effect, and some (like Flu) tend to be short lasting.


    That is entirely a separate phenomena from the fact that the current vaccine works less well against delta than against original COVID.


    We use Flu vaccines in spite of the need for a new shot every year - it is likely the COVID will be the same - though nothing is certain and one thing COVID has done is to push forward our development of new, better, vaccine technologies. So who knows?

  • Figures released by the Department of Health (DoH) showed that on Thursday this week, of those in Intensive Care Units (ICUs ) with Covid, 72% were unvaccinated, 8% had one dose and 20% had been double jabbed.

    These figures are particularly impressive, as indicating protection from serious infection, because in the UK, for age-groups mots at risk, 90% + of the population is vaccinated.


    So the protection is some 10X better than it looks from these figures.


    Of course I'm biassed: being triple vaccinated I hope it protects me...


    One caveat - numbers in ICU units are not identical to numbers admitted to ICU units. If, for example, the vaccinated die or recover quickly and the unvaccinated have a miserable long-drawn-out experience you might think it serves them right for making poor decisions, but whether you do that or not, it would make these figures less impressive.

  • Yes, good point. Risk groups is like 80% of the ICU cases here, probably long drawn out. These groups are much more isolated and most likely have much less exposure to germs in general and a vaccine probably has a very high effect. Also being in a risk groups and not taking the vaccines have some implications of what kind of person that is, like being really really rare, really sick, lost their willingness to live etc, riskier behavior etc

  • Incorrect. It goes to midnight GMT, 11/23/2021.

    Well I guess this is just bluster to promote more jabs!


    Health minister suggests fourth vaccine dose amid rising fears of fifth COVID wave


    chrome-distiller://ac2295d2-c85f-49b2-bf60-6447370f2f96_f4a7892f9c0d9bafbb03fbcfb7299ed90ef642cc48e66532e58e2ada6428ebda/?title=Health+minister+suggests+fourth+vaccine+dose+amid+rising+fears+of+fifth+COVID+wave+%7C+The+Times+of+Israel&time=113858859&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.timesofisrael.com%2Fhealth-minister-suggests-fourth-vaccine-dose-amid-rising-fears-of-fifth-covid-wave%2F


    Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said Wednesday that Israelis may need to get a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose at some point if cases climb again, as the country’s top coronavirus official warned that the country may already be seeing the start of a fifth infection wave.


    “It’s not unreasonable [to think] we’ll need a fourth vaccine,” said Horowitz in an interview with Channel 12, after Health Ministry data indicated that 9 percent of the new cases diagnosed Tuesday had received the third booster dose.


    Most concerns, however, have revolved not around triply-vaccinated adults, but children who have yet to be vaccinated. Israel began giving shots to kids as young as 5 this week, amid signs pointing to increasing infection rates among kids.


    Some commentators have referred to the current rise in infections as the “children’s wave.”


    Coronavirus czar Salman Zarka, who is spearheading the national response to the pandemic, said he believes Israel is already in a new wave of infections.


    “We’re not in between waves, we’re at the start of a new wave,” Zarka told the Kan public broadcaster Wednesday.


    “When we thought about the fifth wave, we didn’t think about an increase in cases like this one. We thought about a new variant imported from abroad, about what’s happening now in Europe,” Zarka said. “The increase now is too early and too fast. I don’t want to call it the fifth wave, or a new wave at all.”


    There were 605 new infections on Tuesday, around 76% of which were unvaccinated people. It wasn’t clear if the 9% of people who were infected after receiving a booster shot caught the disease after the two weeks needed for the dose to fully take effect.

    Horowitz said he doesn’t think Israel is entering a new wave of infection, despite the rising number of cases.


    “If we are entering a fifth wave, our strategy is to vaccinate as many people as possible and live alongside COVID,” he said.


    Channel 12 reported that the campaign to vaccinate children was off to a slow start, with just four percent of parents setting up appointments.


    Ilana Gans, chief of staff of the public health services department at the Health Ministry, said Wednesday that around 30,000 young children in Israel are booked in to receive coronavirus vaccines. Some 1 million children are eligible for the shots.


    “There’s no reason to wait with the children’s vaccination. The virus doesn’t wait. It can be dangerous to children,” Horowitz said, citing the virus’s acute symptoms and potential long-term effects, including concentration problems, anxiety and breathing difficulties.

    Also known as the “R-number,” the figure represents the number of people each confirmed patient infects, on average. Any number over 1 signifies that case numbers are rising. The infection rate had been below 1 for two months before hitting that threshold several days ago.


    At a meeting of the coronavirus cabinet Tuesday, the first in some two months, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett reportedly warned of possible restrictions to stem COVID-19 infections during the upcoming Hanukkah holiday.


    As of Wednesday evening, there were 6,606 active cases, including 122 people in serious condition. There have been 14 fatalities in the past week, bringing the toll since the start of the pandemic to 8,180.

  • Most concerns, however, have revolved not around triply-vaccinated adults, but children who have yet to be vaccinated. Israel began giving shots to kids as young as 5 this week, amid signs pointing to increasing infection rates among kids.

    It has begun in Toronto. On radio today I heard the mayor call children 5 to 11 who are getting vaccinated 'superheroes'. From

    90s kids TV icon visits Toronto vaccine clinic but children might not recognize him
    A Toronto COVID vaccine clinic for kids got help from a Canadian TV icon, but many kids may not recognise the giant spotted kangaroo. Last week, He...
    www.blogto.com


    But there are other fun things planned for kids at the five Toronto children's clinics, which open on Nov. 25. Kids will get a superhero vaccine "passport" when they enter the clinic and will pass through four clinic stations with custom stickers for each station. There will be activities and superhero selfie stations available.

  • Critique of vaccine analysis (there is basically now discussins of his work and he can't get a preprint out, being wiell published before, WTF)

    A revelatory video, very well worth watching. Covers basics like Simpsons paradox, but most surprising to me was the huge wave effect that a simple lag in weekly reporting can have on the shape of graph. The fact that this professor can't get even a paragraph's worth of critical review published is very telling.

  • A revelatory video, very well worth watching. Covers basics like Simpsons paradox, but most surprising to me was the huge wave effect that a simple lag in weekly reporting can have on the shape of graph. The fact that this professor can't get even a paragraph's worth of critical review published is very telling.

    I haven't seen anyone debunk his claim, which is what I'am looking for atm, It's quite new so we may need to wait fro this, but the silence is weird.

  • Well I guess this is just bluster to promote more jabs!

    At least until COVID is less dangerous (e.g. we have widespread use of safe and effective antivirals, or much better treatment for the way it produces systematic blood clotting) it seems reasonable to give it as much respect as we do Flu and have annual jabs?


    We know that vaccinations reduce hospitalisation and hence pressure on health systems.

  • Growth, reproduction numbers and factors affecting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 novel variants of concern in the UK from October 2020 to July 2021: a modelling analysis


    Growth, reproduction numbers and factors affecting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 novel variants of concern in the UK from October 2020 to July 2021: a modelling analysis
    Objectives Importations of novel variants of concern (VOC), particularly B.1.617.2, have become the impetus behind recent outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2. Concerns…
    bmjopen.bmj.com


    Abstract

    Objectives Importations of novel variants of concern (VOC), particularly B.1.617.2, have become the impetus behind recent outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2. Concerns around the impact on vaccine effectiveness, transmissibility and severity are now driving the public health response to these variants. This paper analyses the patterns of growth in hospitalisations and confirmed cases for novel VOCs by age groups, geography and ethnicity in the context of changing behaviour, non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) and the UK vaccination programme. We seek to highlight where strategies have been effective and periods that have facilitated the establishment of new variants.


    Design We have algorithmically linked the most complete testing and hospitalisation data in England to create a data set of confirmed infections and hospitalisations by SARS-CoV-2 genomic variant. We have used these linked data sets to analyse temporal, geographic and demographic distinctions.


    Setting and participants The setting is England from October 2020 to July 2021. Participants included all COVID-19 tests that included RT-PCR CT gene target data or underwent sequencing and hospitalisations that could be linked to these tests.


    Methods To calculate the instantaneous growth rate for VOCs we have developed a generalised additive model fit to multiple splines and varying day of the week effects. We have further modelled the instantaneous reproduction number Rt for the B.1.1.7 and B.1.617.2 variants and included a doubly interval censored model to temporally adjust the confirmed variant cases.


    Results We observed a clear replacement of the predominant B.1.1.7 by the B.1.617.2 variant without observing sustained exponential growth in other novel variants. Modelled exponential growth of RT PCR gene target triple-positive cases was initially detected in the youngest age groups, although we now observe across all ages a very small doubling time of 10.7 (95% CI 9.1 to 13.2) days and 8 (95% CI 6.9 to 9.1) days for cases and hospitalisations, respectively. We observe that growth in RT PCR gene target triple-positive cases was first detected in the Indian ethnicity group in late February, with a peak of 0.06 (95% CI 0.07 to 0.05) in the instantaneous growth rate, but is now maintained by the white ethnicity groups, observing a doubling time of 6.8 (95% CI 4.9 to 11) days. Rt analysis indicates a reproduction number advantage of 0.45 for B.1.617.2 relative to B.1.1.7, with the Rt value peaking at 1.85 for B.1.617.2.


    Conclusions Our results illustrate a clear transmission advantage for the B.1.617.2 variant and the growth in hospitalisations illustrates that this variant is able to maintain exponential growth within age groups that are largely doubly vaccinated. There are concerning signs of intermittent growth in the B.1.351 variant, reaching a 28-day doubling time peak in March 2021, although this variant is presently not showing any evidence of a transmission advantage over B.1.617.2. Step 1b of the UK national lockdown easing was sufficient to precipitate exponential growth in B.1.617.2 cases for most regions and younger adult age groups. The final stages of NPI easing appeared to have a negligible impact on the growth of B.1.617.2 with every region experiencing sustained exponential growth from step 2. Nonetheless, early targeted local NPIs appeared to markedly reduced growth of B.1.617.2. Later localised interventions, at a time of higher prevalence and greater geographic dispersion of this variant, appeared to have a negligible impact on growth.

  • Authors Argue COVID-19 Vaccine Makers Must Share Pricing for Public Good


    Authors Argue COVID-19 Vaccine Makers Must Share Pricing for Public Good
    An American Osteopath as well as a Canadian public health researcher recently secured a publishing slot in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine
    trialsitenews.com


    An American Osteopath as well as a Canadian public health researcher recently secured a publishing slot in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine making the case for more cost transparency with the COVID-19 vaccines. The paper correlates pharmaceutical pricing to real-world vaccine inequity. Their core driving principle: a vaccine with high costs is essentially the equivalent to no viable vaccine for a great number of low-and-middle-income (LMICs). The authors propose that these vaccines should be a “public good” given the globally integrated, public nature of the pandemic not to mention the extensive public underwriting. Reports that Pfizer could generate $100 billion in the first two years of monetization clearly indicate not only windfall profits but also ethical, moral, and even legal implications. Enforcing secrecy can reinforce a lack of trust. Does the overall public health benefit?


    The authors argue that governments shouldn’t stand for vaccine producer secrecy—particularly in cost. Already inequality of access grows, and reinforced secrecy worsens the situation.


    Donald Wright with the School of Osteopathic Medicine, Rowan University in New Jersey and Joe Lexchin, Faculty of Health, York University in Toronto wrote:


    “Governments must stop being partners in secrecy, and as purchasers, they should demand public, verifiable reports on net costs, after direct and indirect taxpayers’ subsidies, in order to set globally affordable cost-plus prices for these global public health goods. Until that happens, the question will be raised about whether both governments and companies are committing ‘crimes against humanity.’


    Lead Research/Investigator

    Donald Wright, PhD, School of Osteopathic Medicine, Rowan University


    Joe Lexchin, MD, MS, Faculty of Health, York University in Toronto


    Call to Action: TrialSite Community—what do you think?


    SAGE Journals: Your gateway to world-class research journals
    Subscription and open access journals from SAGE Publishing, the world's leading independent academic publisher.
    journals.sagepub.com

  • While breakthrough infections seem the norm, reinfection from previous infection IS rare!!!


    Reinfection from Covid-19 is rare, severe disease is even rarer, a study of people in Qatar finds


    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2108120


    Qatar had a first wave of infections with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from March through June 2020, after which approximately 40% of the population had detectable antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. The country subsequently had two back-to-back waves from January through May 2021, triggered by the introduction of the B.1.1.7 (or alpha) and B.1.351 (or beta) variants.1 This created an epidemiologic opportunity to assess reinfections.


    Using national, federated databases that have captured all SARS-CoV-2–related data since the onset of the pandemic (Section S1 in the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org), we investigated the risk of severe disease (leading to acute care hospitalization), critical disease (leading to hospitalization in an intensive care unit [ICU]), and fatal disease caused by reinfections as compared with primary infections in the national cohort of 353,326 persons with polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR)–confirmed infection between February 28, 2020, and April 28, 2021, after exclusion of 87,547 persons with a vaccination record. Primary infection was defined as the first PCR-positive swab. Reinfection was defined as the first PCR-positive swab obtained at least 90 days after the primary infection. Persons with reinfection were matched to those with primary infection in a 1:5 ratio according to sex, 5-year age group, nationality, and calendar week of the PCR test date (Fig. S1 and Table S1 in the Supplementary Appendix). Classification of severe, critical, and fatal Covid-19 followed World Health Organization guidelines, and assessments were made by trained medical personnel through individual chart reviews.

    Of 1304 identified reinfections, 413 (31.7%) were caused by the B.1.351 variant, 57 (4.4%) by the B.1.1.7 variant, 213 (16.3%) by “wild-type” virus, and 621 (47.6%) were of unknown status (Section S1 in the Supplementary Appendix). For reinfected persons, the median time between first infection and reinfection was 277 days (interquartile range, 179 to 315). The odds of severe disease at reinfection were 0.12 times (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.03 to 0.31) that at primary infection (Table 1). There were no cases of critical disease at reinfection and 28 cases at primary infection (Table S3), for an odds ratio of 0.00 (95% CI, 0.00 to 0.64). There were no cases of death from Covid-19 at reinfection and 7 cases at primary infection, resulting in an odds ratio of 0.00 (95% CI, 0.00 to 2.57). The odds of the composite outcome of severe, critical, or fatal disease at reinfection were 0.10 times (95% CI, 0.03 to 0.25) that at primary infection. Sensitivity analyses were consistent with these results (Table S2).


    Reinfections had 90% lower odds of resulting in hospitalization or death than primary infections. Four reinfections were severe enough to lead to acute care hospitalization. None led to hospitalization in an ICU, and none ended in death. Reinfections were rare and were generally mild, perhaps because of the primed immune system after primary infection.


    In earlier studies, we assessed the efficacy of previous natural infection as protection against reinfection with SARS-CoV-22,3 as being 85% or greater. Accordingly, for a person who has already had a primary infection, the risk of having a severe reinfection is only approximately 1% of the risk of a previously uninfected person having a severe primary infection. It needs to be determined whether such protection against severe disease at reinfection lasts for a longer period, analogous to the immunity that develops against other seasonal “common-cold” coronaviruses,4 which elicit short-term immunity against mild reinfection but longer-term immunity against more severe illness with reinfection. If this were the case with SARS-CoV-2, the virus (or at least the variants studied to date) could adopt a more benign pattern of infection when it becomes endemic.4


    Laith J. Abu-Raddad, Ph.D.

    Hiam Chemaitelly, M.Sc.

    Weill Cornell Medicine–Qatar, Doha, Qatar

    [email protected]


    Roberto Bertollini, M.D., M.P.H.

    Ministry of Public Health, Doha, Qatar


    for the National Study Group for COVID-19 Epidemiology


    Supported by the Biomedical Research Program and the Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Biomathematics Research Core at Weill Cornell Medicine–Qatar; the Ministry of Public Health; Hamad Medical Corporation; and Sidra Medicine. The Qatar Genome Program supported the viral genome sequencing.


    Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org.


    This letter was published on November 24, 2021, at NEJM.org.


    Members of the National Study Group for COVID-19 Epidemiology are listed in the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org.

  • We use Flu vaccines in spite of the need for a new shot every year

    I guess you mean you or may be your fellows. I know nobody that takes flue vaccines...Strange people...


    Governments must stop being partners in secrecy, and as purchasers, they should demand public, verifiable reports on net costs, after direct and indirect taxpayers’ subsidies, in order to set globally affordable cost-plus prices for these global public health goods. Until

    These folks ignore reality. FM/R/B governments run a private company for their buddies profits. How can you believe that the state works for the public ?? This only happens under pressure. But now we have a Covid totalitarian state that ignores all your rights and benefits. That is what I say since one year. You/we are just cattle!

  • The odds of severe disease at reinfection were 0.12 times (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.03 to 0.31) that at primary infection (Table 1). There were no cases of critical disease at reinfection and 28 cases at primary infection (Table S3), for an odds ratio of 0.00 (95% CI, 0.00 to 0.64). There were no cases of death from Covid-19 at reinfection and 7 cases at primary infection, resulting in an odds ratio of 0.00 (95% CI, 0.00 to 2.57).

    As expected 100'000 better protection than gene therapy (vaccines)... Where can I get it?

  • I guess you mean you or may be your fellows. I know nobody that takes flue vaccines...Strange people...


    These folks ignore reality. FM/R/J/B governments run a private company for their buddies profits. How can you believe that the state works for the public ?? This only happens under pressure. But now we have a Covid totalitarian state that ignores all your rights and benefits. That is what I say since one year. You/we are just cattle!

    You have it backwards, they are giving you present day reality and asking that governments be more transparent with the public on how they spend mine and your money. In other words, they agree with you, just more in a politically correct way.

  • I guess you mean you or may be your fellows. I know nobody that takes flue vaccines...Strange people...

    In the UK, in recent years, half of the employers I have worked for have paid for a yearly seasonal flu jab. I do not know the numbers, but I think they get good take up of this. Personally I've taken up this, but now I qualify for an NHS one as I'm over 50.


    Additionally most school children also now get a nasal spray version.


    I don't know about Switzerland, but this article suggests its quite a lot of people who get it there every year:

    Switzerland to ramp up seasonal flu vaccinations to cut Covid-19 co-infection risk (lenews.ch)

    There might not be any crossover with your "normal" social sphere.

  • There seems to be a dependency between flu vaccination and probablity of getting sick with Covid....


    Impact of the influenza vaccine on COVID-19 infection rates and severity
    With a unique influenza season occurring in the midst of a pandemic, there is interest in assessing the role of the influenza vaccine in COVID-19 susc…
    www.sciencedirect.com


    Highlights

    • With vaccines against COVID-19 not yet broadly available, there is interest in assessing the role of the influenza vaccine in COVID-19 susceptibility and severity.

    • The odds of testing positive for COVID-19 was reduced in patients who received an influenza vaccine compared to those who did not by 24%.

    • Vaccinated patients testing positive for COVID-19 were less likely to require hospitalization or mechanical ventilation and had a shorter hospital length of stay.

    • The influenza vaccine should be promoted to reduce the burden of COVID-19.