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Container Ship Backup Containment November 11, 2021

Posted by geoff in News.

With the Biden administration on the job, there’s absolutely no reason to fret about the container ship backup at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports:

Yup, no reason at all.

More Damning Vaccine Efficacy Data November 6, 2021

Posted by geoff in News.

[I am not a physician or involved in any way in the medical profession. Any comments I make are solely on the basis of the article I’m discussing, and should not be construed as medical advice or counseling. While I make disparaging marks about COVID-19 vaccines based on the article’s data, my family and I are fully vaccinated (though now I’m wondering why).]

Instapundit.linked to a new study of almost 800K VA patients, whose data was used to assess the efficacy of the CoV-2 vaccines. While the results differ from the articles that were discussed in previous posts, they do show quite clearly that the vaccines suck at preventing Delta variant infections, and that they don’t offer much benefit. I should mention that the authors claim that their analysis supports how important vaccinations are. I’m not seeing it.

Let’s go to the charts:

I’m not clear on the precise definition of “Hazard Ratio,” but I take it to be the relative likelihood that you’re going to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Relative to what? I dunno. I’m also confused about the x-axis, which should be numbers (like “2 months after full vaccination”) not months (what does “May months after full vaccination” mean?).

In any case you can see that Moderna loses a third of its protection, Pfizer loses half, and Janssen (J&J) is pretty much spent.

This next chart shows the cumulative likelihood that you’ll be infected. You can see the steep decline in starting in late July as the Delta variant becomes prevalent:

These curves make it seem like the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are really helping reduce the chance of infection. But if you look at it another way, once the Delta variant hit, the difference between being unvaccinated and fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine is . . . two and a half weeks.

Yup – vaccinated folk just wait 2.5 weeks and the odds of being infected are the same as those who weren’t vaccinated at all. For Pfizer you just wait 2 weeks, and for J&J it’s about a week and a half.

So let’s talk about death. the charts below compare the likelihood of survival of people under 65 (left chart) with those at or above 65. First, a note about the curves. Most people are in the high risk period of the illness from 1 – 4 weeks after infection. After that period has passed, the slopes of the curves should be the same (i.e., they all go downhill at the same rate).

If they don’t go downhill at the same rate, either there are lingering effects from the infection, there are confounding factors, or the data and/or data analysis are wonky. Looking at the left-hand, under 65, chart, it looks like the slopes are pretty much the same after 10 weeks. On the right-hand chart, however, the slopes of the unvaccinated and vaccinated are quite different. I suspect this is due to comorbidities, which may have been more prevalent in the unvaccinated group. Comorbidity charts can be found in the paper.

But here’s the message from the charts: If you are less than 65, have no comorbidities and you get COVID-19, the difference in the probability of surviving is 1%. So if you have concerns or medical conditions that make you hesitate to get vaccinated, you’re not missing much. In the higher-risk group (65+), you’re about 7% 21% (Update: I read the number wrong, so you’re 21% more likely to survive with a vaccination) more likely to survive if you get vaccinated.

A second point is that there doesn’t seem to be any spike related to the Delta variant in the later months, which suggests that it’s not very lethal.

A Caution About the Data. Or at least my interpretation of the data. Here are my concerns:

  • The study starts in February, but the general population wasn’t allowed to get the vaccine until April. So almost all of the vaccinated data for the first two months involved people who were 65+.
  • The fact that the vaccines looked worse as more people got vaccinated is not comforting.
  • This study ran for 7 months, so the data on deaths, which spans 6 months, is biased toward the shorter times. That is, if you track someone who received a positive PCR test in the first two months, you’re fine. But if they tested positive at the end of month 4, you can only track them for 3 months. That bunches up the data towards the left-hand of the chart. Combine that with the smaller number of vaccinations in the early months, and the right hand side of the vaccinated curves on the death charts is very lightly weighted.
  • As mentioned above, the study seems to conflate calendar months with months from or to an event (like positive PCR result). It’s like they assumed that everybody who was vaccinated was fully vaccinated at the beginning of the study (Feb 1).