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The Covid Data Speaks Loudly - Get Vaccinated, Stop the Herd Immunity Nonsense

Let's discuss the latest vaccination rates, deaths, and the fallacy of promoting herd immunity as a solution to anything.
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Vaccination Facts

Accused of Being Mainstream 

Burden of Proof

What a hoot, but totally expected.

My views on the Fed, gold, free markets, inflation, and monetary printing are hardly mainstream.

But anyone who disagrees with Trump or the anti-vaxxers immediately becomes a target of the conspiracy believers and the vaccine sceptics.

Covid’s Hidden Toll: One Million Children Who Lost Parents

Please consider Covid’s Hidden Toll: One Million Children Who Lost Parents.

A year and a half into the Covid-19 pandemic, contagious variants have been killing many in the prime of parenthood, a group that remains mostly unvaccinated in many parts of the world. From March 2020 to April 2021, an estimated 1.1 million children lost a primary caregiver to the virus, according to a recent study in the medical journal the Lancet.

Many of the most affected countries are in Latin America, which accounts for about one-third of coronavirus deaths despite having just 8% of the global population. On a per capita basis, Peru has been the hardest hit, with an estimated 10.2 children per 1,000 losing a primary caregiver, according to the study published in the Lancet. Mexico, Brazil and Colombia also are in the study’s top five.

That data stems from the Lancelet study Global minimum estimates of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and deaths of caregivers.

Herd Immunity Nonsense 

Think about the implications of the above from the standpoint of herd immunity.

Q: How many people have to die before the nonsense of herd immunity stops?
A: The unfortunate answer appears to the somewhere close to 100% of the vaccine skeptics.

Data Doesn't Lie

Overly Dramatic Presentation

I listened to about two minutes of lead-in drama (generally an indication hype and little else) before I threw in the towel. 

Cave graciously responded, one of the few times disagreements ever led to something useful.

According to Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche mass vaccination with non-sterilizing vaccines that result in very specific immunity creates selective pressure on the virus that leads to the escape and domination of more infectious variants. He also asserts that as a result establishing broad spectrum and durable natural immunity amongst the young and healthy members of the population is critical to achieving true herd immunity. He and Dr. Robert Malone both conclude that the vaccines being used should be reserved solely for those at high risk complemented by known effective treatment for the young and healthy when needed. This seems to be a more complex problem than just vaxxed versus unvaxxed that requires a more sophisticated strategy to ultimately resolve.

That is a position worth discussing. But I just did. Let's recap.

  • A year and a half into the Covid-19 pandemic, contagious variants have been killing many in the prime of parenthood, a group that remains mostly unvaccinated in many parts of the world. 
  • From March 2020 to April 2021, an estimated 1.1 million children lost a primary caregiver to the virus, according to a recent study in the medical journal the Lancet.
  • Many of the most affected countries are in Latin America, which accounts for about one-third of coronavirus deaths despite having just 8% of the global population. 

With that, I now repeat my Q&A.

Q: How many people have to die before the nonsense of permanent herd immunity stops?
A: The unfortunate answer appears to the somewhere close to 100% of the vaccine skeptics.

Unvaccinated People Were 11 Times More Likely to Die of Covid-19

The Washington Post reports Unvaccinated people were 11 times more likely to die of covid-19

WaPo is normally paywalled but its Covid posts aren't.

People who were not fully vaccinated this spring and summer were more than 10 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die of covid-19, than those who were fully vaccinated, according to one of three major studies published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that highlight the continued efficacy of all three vaccines amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant. 

A second study showed that the Moderna coronavirus vaccine was more effective in preventing hospitalizations than its counterparts from Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson. That assessment was based on the largest U.S. study to date of the real-world effectiveness of all three vaccines, involving about 32,000 patients seen in hospitals, emergency departments and urgent-care clinics across nine states from June through early August.

While the three vaccines were collectively 86 percent effective in preventing hospitalization, protection was significantly higher among Moderna vaccine recipients (95 percent) than among those who got Pfizer-BioNTech (80 percent) or Johnson & Johnson (60 percent). That finding echoes a smaller study by the Mayo Clinic Health System in August, not yet peer-reviewed, which showed the Moderna vaccine to be more effective than Pfizer-BioNTech at preventing infections during the delta wave.

What About Israel?

On August 26 I brought up the possibility that that Pfizer was less effective. I was criticized for that suggestion, now confirmed.

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I would like to show some of the ridiculous replies to my suggestion but unfortunately the account was suspended. I would rather make fun of them than see the account suspended. 

CDC's Finest Hour

The Wall Street Journal editorial board comments on CDC chief Rochelle Walensky’s Finest Hour.

Last month White House officials and agency heads said they planned to make boosters available on Sept. 20. They were right to prepare, but boosters hadn’t been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration. Two senior career FDA officials told reporters they are leaving the agency because they disagreed with the White House booster plan.

Resignation is an honorable path if you can’t support a policy, but that doesn’t mean the dissenters are right. The preponderance of evidence supports boosters. Vaccine efficacy against infections has declined significantly for people who were vaccinated early this winter. Israel’s experience over the summer showed that more breakthrough infections were resulting in severe illness.

An FDA outside panel last week hedged by backing boosters only for those over age 65 or at “high risk.” FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock on Wednesday endorsed this recommendation, but she defined “high risk” broadly to include workers who might have higher Covid exposure.

But experts on a CDC advisory panel on Thursday disagreed with her decision. Some said young, healthy people were at low risk for severe illness, so boosters weren’t necessary. 

Dr. Walensky overruled the CDC advisers and affirmed Dr. Woodcock’s recommendation, which is broad enough that most people who want a booster should be able to get one. The government will leave individuals to assess their own benefits and risks.

A booster shot costs the government $20 compared to $2,100 for a monoclonal antibody treatment. A non-ICU Covid hospitalization costs $33,525. Add the health and economic benefits of fewer infections, and the cost-benefit analysis seems clear. The CDC has made many mistakes during the pandemic, but Dr. Walensky made the right call on boosters.

Cost Comparison

  • $20 for a shot.
  • 2,100 for a monoclonal antibody treatment. 
  • $33,525 for a non-ICU Covid hospitalization.
  • How much for an ICU Covid hospitalization? 
  • What price do we put on a death?

Monoclonal Antibody Treatment

CBS Miami reports more than 10,000 people in Florida have received the monoclonal antibody treatment to try to prevent severe illness from COVID-19.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has pushed to set up mobile clinics offering monoclonal antibody treatment as a way to relieve pressure on hospitals dealing with a surge of patients infected with COVID-19.

That report was as of August 25.

On September 25, CBS Miami reported Florida Begins Buying Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Doses Directly.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that the state has begun purchasing doses of a monoclonal antibody treatment directly from the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, after the federal government last week took control of distribution of the COVID-19 treatments produced by other companies.

DeSantis said the first purchase was for 3,000 doses of the drug sotrovimab, which was given emergency-use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May.

The governor said last week that he would pursue a direct-purchasing agreement with GlaxoSmithKline, as the state is unable to directly buy doses of Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatment.

Monoclonal antibodies are man-made proteins that act like human antibodies in the immune system. The treatment provides a temporary, but immediate boost to the immune system which can help reduce chances that a patient will develop serious complications.

“To put it in perspective, the most recent shipment that we’re scheduled to receive for the entire state of Florida is a little less than 18,000 doses of Regeneron. Our state sites just a few weeks ago were doing well over 30,000 doses just in our sites, that doesn’t even include any of the hospitals,” DeSantis said Thursday during a news conference in Tampa.

Meanwhile, DeSantis said the future of some state-run monoclonal antibody sites may be in jeopardy.

We may have to be making decisions soon about how many of the sites can remain open. We’re making decisions about how many doses each hospital is going to get. And these are not decisions we should be having to make,” DeSantis said.

Staggering Irony

Florida (the nation in general) is running out of $2,100 monoclonal antibody treatments because too many stubborn people are getting sick because they refused a $20 shot that is guaranteed to save lives.

As a side note, it seems to me that if DeSantis can suggest rationing, so can I. 

Tiered Hospital and Insurance Rates

Priority procedures are clearly needed. Once ICUs hit a certain capacity threshold, hospitals should consider rationioning them to the vaccinated.

The same applies to monoclonal antibody treatments. 

In general, insurance companies ought to be able to charge higher rates for those who participate in dangerous activities.

Smoking, refusing vaccinations, and being grossly overweight should all be grounds for higher rates.

Thanks for Tuning In

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