Covid-19 Diary : Sunday 3 October, 2021

Can we agree that, and notwithstanding the benefits it conveys, the vaccine has failed to live up to our hopes and dreams?  As I type this, heavily vaccinated Washington State, where I live, is back in some vague degree of lockdown, masks are required indoors for everyone, and in “large” outdoor events too, for everyone, vaccinated or not.

But weren’t the vaccines supposed to stop us getting infected, or passing infections on to others?  Well, the revised truth is that no, they are only to prevent us from being hospitalized and/or dying, a year ago we were hoping the Covid vaccines would be like almost all other vaccines – they would stop us from getting infected, and would stop us from passing infections on to others.  Wrong, and wrong.   Both expectations failed to be met.

However, at least we can agree that the vaccines have succeeded in reducing hospitalizations and deaths, right?  Well, even that doesn’t seem so certain now.  Assorted states, most recently Alaska, are featuring in scare headlines about running out of hospital resources and doctors having to make “life and death” decisions about who they treat and who they don’t/can’t treat.

Ah yes, the vaccine apologists will say.  It is only the unvaccinated who are in hospital.  But not only is that wrong, but it ignores the promises of “herd immunity for all” that the vaccines were also promised to give us.

There’s another excuse, too.  The vaccines are working well against the original virus, but no-one expected the new Delta variant which is a game changer.  That too is wrong – the Delta variant was out there and rising before the first jabs started going into people’s arms in December.  And now, ten months later, we’re still using the same vaccines as we were then, notwithstanding the pharmaceutical companies boasting that with their new mRNA vaccines, they can create new designer vaccines in days to respond to new virus threats.  Indeed, the official chronology of the present mRNA vaccines tells us they were created in just a few days, and then all the months that followed were patiently going through the rigmarole of trials and procedures.

So why not new vaccines for the new virus strains?  Why are we still using vaccines that are now 18 months out of date?

The vaccine apologists also will tell us that, even if the vaccines aren’t quite as good as we’re hoping, at least they’ve not killed anyone.

Except even that is far from clear – remember this chart, showing vaccine related deaths reported through the VAERS database?

One last claim – the longevity of vaccine protection, has been slowly fading, in a wonderfully synchronized manner alongside the gaining of permission for the pharmaceutical companies to boost their sales by 50% by selling us third doses.  This article claims that in seven months, the vaccine generated antibodies have almost completely vanished for many people.

I’m not saying these are reasons to not be vaccinated.  Even seven months of limited protection has some value, and for older people, the risk of virus death remains higher than the risk of vaccine death.  But I am saying we need to be honest with ourselves.  The vaccines the FDA have approved are massive disappointments that don’t come within a country mile of meeting the hopes and expectations we were encouraged to have for vaccines a year ago, and has not allowed our society to return to normal.

But, that is all water under the bridge.  Looking forward, why is our response to the colossal failure of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines a doubling down and a determination to more rigorously force people of all ages, even those totally not at risk, to get vaccinated, and with the same identical vaccines that have failed the rest of us who have already been vaccinated?

Meanwhile, we’ve new vaccines that seem curiously stalled in their trialing due to lack of resources, vaccines that on the face of it seem to be safer and more beneficial.  The current count has 22 different vaccines approved, 49 vaccines in the final (third) phase of trialing, 57 more in the second phase, and another 37 in phase 1.  But in the US, there are only three vaccines approved, and one of those three (the least radical, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) has been deprecated and is sometimes hard to find.

I’ll certainly agree that some of the other 19 vaccines are of no relevance or interest – they are of very dubious provenance.  Others are only available in limited numbers, but that’s a problem that could quickly be changed if the government were to do the same thing it did for its favored vaccines and pharmaceutical partners and toss billions of dollars to get the vaccines into fast mass production.  And the same thing with those 49 vaccines in the third phase of trialing – couldn’t we fast-track a few of those?

Why are we pretending that our only remaining problem is the few people in the US who haven’t yet been vaccinated?  That is not our problem.  Our problem is that the vaccines never worked well, are being beaten by the Delta variant, and stop working at all way too soon.

Something that the official statistic about how many people have been vaccinated distorts is that in the key age groups (say, 50+), we have vaccination levels closer to or even over 80%.  The national average of 55% is lowered due to people in younger age groups not yet having had a chance to be vaccinated.

This is shown in this table.  The unvaccinated “problem” is with age groups that have only recently been approved to be vaccinated, and only by one of the three vaccines, and, to be blunt, in age ranges where the vaccine benefits are much less clear when measured against the vaccine risks.

Why is it the Covid vaccine is so much more dangerous than – without exception – every other vaccine being given to Americans – look up again at the VAERS data.  And why are we being forced to pretend this is not so?

Most of all, why aren’t we eagerly seeking out safer vaccines, rather than increasing our risk exposures an unknown extra amount by currently allowing (and, for sure, soon enough mandating) third doses, and perhaps six or seven months after, a fourth dose, and maybe an ongoing schedule of twice-yearly doses into the future?

Current Numbers

Georgia moved up two places in the minor country list.  In the major country list, the UK rose strongly, up two places.  It seems likely to displace Netherlands within the next week, but it will be some time before it threatens the US for second place.

No changes in the death rate list, although the US seems certain to rise one place during the next week, and perhaps another place in the week that follows.

The final table, of Covid new case activity last week, had generally moderating numbers.  The UK fell one place, and the US dropped off the list entirely.

In Europe, there was an overall 8% increase in cases, with Latvia leading (62% increase), followed by Romania (58%) and Poland (44%).  Fallers included Spain (32%), Norway (23%) and both Switzerland and Albania at 21%.

Canada had an 18% fall in cases, and Mexico had a 22% fall.  The US had a 23% fall.  The world as a whole enjoyed an 11% drop in cases.

Top Case Rates Minor (population under 10 million) Countries (cases per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Seychelles (214,503) Seychelles (215,385)
2 Montenegro (206,392) Montenegro (211,244)
3 Andorra Andorra
4 Gibraltar (163,722) Gibraltar (165,479)
5 San Marino San Marino
6 St Barth St Barth
7 Bahrain Georgia  (155,232)
8 Maldives Bahrain
9 Georgia Maldives
10 Aruba (143,637) Aruba (144,743)

 

Top Case Rates Major (population over 10 million) Countries (cases per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Czech Republic (157,391) Czech Republic (157,798)
2 USA (131,227) USA (133,514)
3 Netherlands Netherlands
4 Argentina UK (115,620)
5 Sweden Argentina
6 UK  (112,171) Sweden
7 France France
8 Belgium Belgium
9 Spain Spain
10 Portugal Portugal
11 Brazil Brazil
12 Colombia (96,051) Colombia (96,233)

 

Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Peru  (5,940) Peru  (5,946)
2 Czech Republic (2,837) Czech Republic (2,839)
3 Brazil Brazil
4 Argentina Argentina
5 Colombia Colombia
6 Belgium Belgium (2,198)
7 Italy (2,166) Italy (2,171)
8 USA (2,119) USA (2,159)
9 Mexico (2,109) Mexico (2,134)
10 Tunisia (2,066) Tunisia (2,081)

 

Top Rates in New Cases Reported in the Last Week (new cases per million) for Countries over one million population

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Mongolia  5,871 Serbia  5,745
2 Serbia  5,220 Mongolia  4,814
3 Cuba Lithuania
4 Israel Romania
5 Lithuania Latvia
6 UK 3,447 Estonia
7 Malaysia UK  3,475
Slovenia Cuba
9 Estonia Slovenia
10 Georgia Georgia
11 USA  2,540 (est) Singapore
12 Romania  2,379 Israel  2,415

 

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Items below include surprising new claims about the Chinese origin of the Covid virus, is Dr Daszak finally to face the consequences for his lop-sided advocacy of China as blameless, contrasting the response to Merck’s untested, unknown, expensive anti-Covid drug with that to ivermectin, Dr Fauci states the obvious yet again, vaccination rate updates, digital proof of your vaccination status, and Alabama’s strange way of responding to the virus.

SUPPORTER ONLY CONTENT

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END OF SUPPORTER ONLY CONTENT

Please stay happy and healthy; all going well, I’ll be back again on Thursday.

Please click here for a listing of all our Covid-19 articles.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Covid-19 Diary : Sunday 3 October, 2021”

  1. lifegotinteresting

    Your vaccine summary is articulate and spot on, but with apologies, should also be fairly obvious to anyone who has looked at the results and studies with a fair and open mind. Those people should include literally thousands of virologists, epidemiologists, doctors and government scientists.

    Yet I haven’t seen any of these reach these conclusions and suggest a course of action based upon them. I see, yet again, decisions and pronouncements that result from inertia, politics, and partial truths. The lack of courage and desire to really solve the problem is something that I have sadly observed in other personal business dealings that I had in Washington in the past, but I never thought a mass casualty public health event like this would fall into the same swamp of politics, corruption and self-interest.

    There are some people involved in this affair that could legitimately be considered mass murderers on a scale rarely seen …

    1. David Rowell – Seattle, WA, USA – New Zealander now living in the United States.

      Many of us have seen a lack of interest in “solving a problem” – especially when the problem and solution are seen through varying political perspectives. But public health, surely, is apolitical? How can there be a difference of perspective when it comes to resolving the pandemic in the best way possible?

      But, while the questions are so hard to comprehend, the statistics supporting the need to answer the questions are impossible to deny. Accusing anyone of being a mass murderer is a very extreme statement to make, and more often a rhetorical hyperbole, seldom supported by the facts. But here we are, currently, fast approaching 750,000 deaths, in the US alone. That’s way more than the total deaths in every war we’ve fought since the Civil War (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war ). Where’s the outrage? Where are the protest marches?

      If every other country was equally suffering, then of course, we’d just have to accept it as an inevitable consequence of the virus. But that is not the case. As a very relevant example, our neighbor to the north – Canada’s death rate is one third ours (per million people).

      We could be doing better. Most countries in the world are doing better than us. We should be doing better. We have been utterly betrayed by the people we rely upon for leadership in a medical crisis – both the “experts” and the politicians.

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