9 votes

Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of November 22

This thread is posted weekly, and is intended as a place for more-casual discussion of the coronavirus and questions/updates that may not warrant their own dedicated topics. Tell us about what the situation is like where you live!

14 comments

  1. [2]
    suspended
    Link
    My youngest son (8 yrs old) will be able to get his first jab in about one week from now.

    My youngest son (8 yrs old) will be able to get his first jab in about one week from now.

    8 votes
    1. guy
      Link Parent
      My two children, ages 6 & 11, just received their first dose 2.5 weeks ago. Both handled them well, with no appreciable side-effects. They'll receive their second shots this Saturday. Here's to...

      My two children, ages 6 & 11, just received their first dose 2.5 weeks ago. Both handled them well, with no appreciable side-effects. They'll receive their second shots this Saturday. Here's to having the entire family vaxxed!

      5 votes
  2. [4]
    skybrian
    (edited )
    Link
    Biden admin announces travel ban for South Africa and 7 other countries, citing new variant Other places with restrictions include Canada, the UK, and the EU.

    Biden admin announces travel ban for South Africa and 7 other countries, citing new variant

    The travel restrictions will begin Monday, affecting South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi, according to a senior administration official. The administration’s decision was in response to advice from Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the official said. Roughly a dozen countries took similar action on Friday.

    Other places with restrictions include Canada, the UK, and the EU.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      Belgium confirms case of new, heavily mutated Covid variant [...]

      Belgium confirms case of new, heavily mutated Covid variant

      Marc Van Ranst, who works with the Rega Institute for Medical Research, said a sample was confirmed as the novel B.1.1.529 variant in a traveler who returned from Egypt on Nov. 11. The patient first showed symptoms on Nov. 22.

      [...]

      The variant was detected in a small number of samples in South Africa, according to the World Health Organization. There were also reports on Friday morning that cases had been found in Israel and Hong Kong.

      7 votes
      1. moocow1452
        Link Parent
        BBC News: Covid: New variant classed 'of concern' and named Omicron. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-59438723 Omicron sounds like a supervillain name, so good branding.

        BBC News: Covid: New variant classed 'of concern' and named Omicron.
        https://www.bbc.com/news/world-59438723

        Omicron sounds like a supervillain name, so good branding.

        5 votes
    2. skybrian
      Link Parent
      Covid: Dozens test positive on South Africa - Netherlands flights

      Covid: Dozens test positive on South Africa - Netherlands flights

      Sixty-one people who arrived in Amsterdam on two flights from South Africa have tested positive for Covid-19, Dutch officials say.

      They have been placed in isolation at a hotel near Schiphol airport.

      They were among some 600 passengers held for several hours after arrival while they were tested for the virus.

      Dutch health authorities said Omicron, labelled on Friday as a variant of concern, was "probably found in a number of people" who tested positive.

      Other European countries, including the UK and Germany, have confirmed cases of the Omicron variant.

      3 votes
  3. [2]
    Akir
    Link
    So a while back, this study pre-print on COVID immunity was published on medRxiv. The reason why I'm bringing this up is that I have noticed that the anti-vaxxers are crawling all over the place...

    So a while back, this study pre-print on COVID immunity was published on medRxiv.

    The reason why I'm bringing this up is that I have noticed that the anti-vaxxers are crawling all over the place and using this as an excuse why people should not get vaccinated.

    This study has not yet been peer reviewed, so scientific consensus is still on the side of vaccines providing the best immunity.

    AFAIK this is the only study that posits that natural post-exposure immunity is better than vaccine-induced immunity, so any third-party article with this claim is likely talking about this study.

    So if you see anyone spouting this claim, please make sure to call them out about how this study may not be reliable and consensus still says that you're best getting vaccinated.

    4 votes
    1. spit-evil-olive-tips
      Link Parent
      yeah, "natural immunity" as an alternative to vaccination has been a really pernicious anti-vax talking point. (also, just calling it "natural" immunity is I think extremely misleading / very...

      yeah, "natural immunity" as an alternative to vaccination has been a really pernicious anti-vax talking point.

      (also, just calling it "natural" immunity is I think extremely misleading / very effective branding - if you catch covid, are kept alive in the hospital by a ventilator and a pile of drugs and various other artificial methods, once you get discharged from the hospital you supposedly have "natural" immunity)

      however strong someone's post-infection immunity is, being vaccinated plus having post-infection immunity will be stronger. so these studies comparing "is post-infection immunity comparable to vaccine-generated immunity?" really only serve to benefit people who want to wriggle their way out of just getting vaccinated.

      how long SARS-CoV-2 immunity lasts is an interesting epidemiological question...but for the purposes of planning out when people should get vaccine boosters. not as an excuse for people to skip getting vaccinated at all.

      the other thing none of these anti-vax (or "i'M nOt aNTI-vAx I'm juSt aNTI-ManDATe") people talk about with regards to "natural" immunity is that if you want 1 million people to have post-infection immunity, you need to infect 1 million + X people, where X is the number of people who will die as a result of 1 million covid infections. if the fatality rate is 1%, you've killed 10,000 people. if the rate is 0.1%, congrats, you've killed "only" 1000 people.

      suppose, hypothetically, post-infection immunity was equal to vaccine immunity, and there was scientific consensus on that. it wouldn't matter, because you still have all those deaths (as well as long COVID and other sequelae) as a side effect of your "natural" immunity.

      early on in the pandemic, we had the "just let everyone catch covid" crap, eventually formalized into the Great Barrington Declaration. the push for "natural immunity" as a replacement for vaccines is just the updated version of that.

      7 votes
  4. spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    Exemptions for sale: How a central Washington doctor helped workers dodge vaccine mandate

    Exemptions for sale: How a central Washington doctor helped workers dodge vaccine mandate

    A three-month KING 5 investigation found Elperin repeatedly signed and sold those mask and COVID vaccine exemptions to residents across Washington state, in some cases with no questions asked. The doctor wrote exemptions for patients who did not provide a legitimate medical reason to receive one, including people who sought to evade local and state pandemic-related mandates. Charging each patient from $150 to $200 for the forms, Elperin potentially raked in tens of thousands of dollars from medical exemption sales a month and profited from state, local and private company policies intended to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

    “About 90% of Dr. Elperin’s patients every day were COVID exemption patients,” Jamison said. “Anyone off the street could get it. There was no medical history reviewed….It was just like, ‘Here’s a piece of paper.’”

    Elperin signed 20% of all exemptions filed at Ellensburg’s largest employer, Central Washington University, where proof of vaccination is now required for all students and employees. About one of every five of the 85 vaccine and mask exemptions submitted by the university’s students and staff came from Awake Health, according to public records.

    3 votes
  5. skybrian
    Link
    With hospitals full, Central California pleading to send COVID-19 patients to LA […]

    With hospitals full, Central California pleading to send COVID-19 patients to LA

    Officials in the San Joaquin Valley are expecting a difficult winter. Vaccination rates are still relatively low, and in Fresno County, the region's most populous county, the COVID-19 hospitalization rate is quadruple what is being seen in L.A. and Orange counties, and more than quintuple that of the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Hospitals are consistently operating above capacity, and emergency rooms are still so packed that ambulances are stuck waiting outside hospitals to drop off patients, said Dale Dotson, operations coordinator for the Central California Emergency Medical Services Agency.

    Some hospitals are so crowded that ambulance patients suffering from strokes or cardiac-type symptoms are diverted to different facilities than typical to ensure that there's enough staff available to take care of them when they arrive. Hospitals and ambulance providers continue to report struggling with staffing, Dotson said.

    […]

    For every 100,000 residents, Fresno County has 22 COVID-19 patients in its hospitals; while L.A. and Orange counties have six, and the San Francisco Bay Area, four. Some experts say it's a sign of concern when the COVID-19 hospitalization rate is five or worse.

    2 votes
  6. skybrian
    Link
    Harvard Epidemiologist Michael Mina Resigns, Appointed Chief Science Officer at eMed [...]

    Harvard Epidemiologist Michael Mina Resigns, Appointed Chief Science Officer at eMed

    Mina — who has been a major proponent of the usage of at-home Covid-19 antigen tests — said in an interview he was drawn to the equity-driven mission of eMed, a company that provides at-home medical testing and interpretation guides for diagnostic results.

    [...]

    He also pointed to the company’s potential in increasing the speed by which patients receive care, thus maximizing treatment benefits for individuals. With Covid-19 antiviral drugs, in particular, their effectiveness wanes within a few days after symptoms arise, making rapid testing all the more important.

    1 vote