Covid-19 Diary : Thursday 28 October, 2021

A recent study by Pfizer “proved conclusively” that their vaccine is safe for children aged 5 – 11.  The trial involved 2,268 children.

None of the children came down with myocarditis.  So, obviously, no risk of this side-effect of the vaccine, right?

Ummm – would you still say that if you knew that the risk is in the order of 1 in 5,200?  Or perhaps, even higher (it seems, the younger the child, the greater the risk the 1/5,200 is for mails aged 12-17.

A cynic might think that Pfizer deliberately kept the trial size down so as to minimize the chance of some of these uncommon complications appearing…..  which is why trials are normally conducted with very much larger groups of subjects.  But apparently, Pfizer doesn’t need to follow normal rules when it comes to proving the safety of their vaccine.

There’s been a number of apps developed to allow us to store our vaccination status on our phone.  In theory, the apps do two things that the “official” CDC vaccination records do not.  First, it is harder to cheat and duplicate an app-based vaccine record – these access your stored-online medical records to validate your claim you’ve been vaccinated (you did know that your vaccination has been added to county, state, and probably federal databases, didn’t you?).

Second, it spares you the hassle of carrying the CDC vax record with you, the bother of losing it, etc.

That’s all good, but earlier this week, one of the common apps stopped working.  So, picture this scenario.  You’ve been waiting in line for admission to a ball game, or to the reception for your friend/son/daughter’s wedding, or whatever.  When it is your turn to show your vaccination status, you turn on your phone, only to discover the vaccination app has stopped working, and you’re refused entrance.

I pointed out the unfortunate nature of that on Twitter, which evoked a chorus of people snidely suggesting I should carry the CDC vax record with me too.  If you still need to do that, too, “just in case”, where is the benefit or sense in the vax record app?

How you respond to the news that the Biden administration is to speed up authorization of at-home Covid test kits might depend on if you see your glass half-full or half-empty.

If you’re a glass half-full person, you’ll acknowledge the need and be pleased to see the Biden administration moving to respond to it.

But if you’re a glass half-empty person, you’ll express amazement that this wasn’t done 20 months ago (or, if not then, in January when Biden came into office).  Fast testing has always and universally been acknowledged as one of the keys to outbreak control; there have been at-home testing technologies available, and the “gold standard” PCR testing has been shamefully slow and is always expensive and inconvenient.

How is it that the linked article is still using the future tense to describe future actions to make at-home testing more sensibly available (and hopefully more moderately priced)?  As is the case with so many of our meds, the kits we’re paying $25 or more for cost as little as a tenth that in some other countries.

I was delighted to see earlier this week that Amazon actually has some test kits available for sale at present.  But rather than delivering the same day, as they’ll do many other things, they are currently saying delivery will be somewhere between 5 – 13 days after ordering.  How much use is a test kit that you don’t get for five days?

This is, of course, all the reason to have test kits already at home for “just in case” use.

Current Numbers

The minor country list saw Georgia push Gibraltar down a place, and Slovenia do the same to Bahrain.

Belgium jumped two places in the major country list, and Portugal pushed Spain down a place.

There were no shifts in the death rate list.

The case activity last week table had the usual wild swings.

In Europe, the UK is no longer in the top country table.  It enjoyed a 9% drop in cases from last week, which was also the biggest drop for any 1 million or larger country in Europe.  Romania was close behind with an 8% drop, and Moldova at 2%.  All other countries had rises, from as mild as 5% for Spain to as severe as 101% for the Czech Republic, 92% for Hungary, and 73% for Denmark.  Germany had a 33% rise, and France a 14% rise, the same as Albania and Portugal.  Europe as a whole saw a strong 16% rise in cases over the last week.

Closer to home, the US reported an 8% drop in cases.  Mexico had a 10% drop, and Canada a 17% drop.

The world as a whole had a 3% rise in cases.

Top Case Rates Minor Countries (cases per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Montenegro (222,055)Montenegro (227,338)
2Seychelles (220,928)Seychelles (222)
3AndorraAndorra
4Gibraltar (172,932)Georgia
5GeorgiaGibraltar (176,465)
6San MarinoSan Marino
7St BarthSt Barth
8MaldivesMaldives
9BahrainSlovenia (158,095)
10Slovenia (151,089)Bahrain (155,505)

 

Top Case Rates Major Countries (cases per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Czech Republic (160,114)Czech Republic (162,800)
2USA (138,441)USA (139,956)
3UK (126,425)UK (130,726)
4Netherlands (120,152)Netherlands
5ArgentinaBelgium
6Sweden (114,444)Argentina
7BelgiumSweden (114,944)
8FranceFrance
9SpainPortugal
10PortugalSpain
11BrazilBrazil
12Colombia (96,653)Colombia (96,850)

 

Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Peru  (5,956)Peru  (5,961)
2Czech Rep  (2,849)Czech Rep  (2,859)
3Brazil (2,819)Brazil (2,830)
4ArgentinaArgentina
5Colombia (2,461)Colombia (2,465)
6Romania (2,280)Romania (2,435)
7USA (2,260)USA (2,290)
8BelgiumBelgium
9MexicoMexico
10Italy (2,183)Italy (2,188)

 

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

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Latvia  8,584Latvia  9,387
2Georgia  7,734Estonia  8,463
3LithuaniaLithuania
4EstoniaSlovenia
5RomaniaGeorgia
6SerbiaSerbia
7UK  4,756Croatia
8SloveniaRomania
9ArmeniaBulgaria
10SingaporeArmenia
11BulgariaSingapore
12Mongolia  3,569Slovakia  4,339

The rest of this newsletter is for the very kind Travel Insider Supporters – it is their support that makes all of this possible, and it seems fair they get additional material in return.  If you’re not yet a Supporter, please consider becoming one, and get instant access to the rest of the Diary Entry, all the additional material on previous diary entries, and much extra content on other parts of the website too.

If you’re a contributor, you should make sure you’re logged in to the website, and when you are, you’ll see the purple text and balance of the newsletter below on the website.  If you’re not logged in, or reading this via email, you need to log in on the website first.

Items below include the White House vaccine mandate changes, Denver’s zoo suffers a Covid outbreak, the danger of Covid “brain fog”, Vitamin D, should young children be vaccinated, will a fourth shot soon be available and even required, overlooked possible vaccine complications, overlooked good things about vaccines, a careful look at vaccine number paradoxes, UK numbers and the mystery of sudden changes from rising to falling and vv new case rates, lessons from Ireland and Florida, and the new rules for visiting the US.

SUPPORTER ONLY CONTENT

……….

END OF SUPPORTER ONLY CONTENT

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

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

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