Covid-19 Diary : Thursday 16 December, 2021

I was expressing surprise on Sunday about how it seemed that Omicron was disproportionately infecting people who had already been vaccinated.  A reader wrote in to explain why that might be – due to a concept known as “Original Antigenic Sin” – a well known situation where excessive amounts of certain antibodies can actually reduce immune resistance.  This concept is explained here and differently here.

This has been a risk/concern expressed by many about the rush to vaccination, but one that has been shoved aside by those eager to sell more vaccines and their enablers.  After all, what do they care?  They have, and still have, the extraordinary gift of blanket immunity from being sued, no matter what outcomes might ensue.

I have to say that the more insistent and shrill the “get vaccinated again and again” people become, the more suspicious I in turn become.  Why is it that no matter what latest twist and turn, and no matter what next disappointment in the vaccines is revealed, their only response is to insist on more of the same?  The vaccine doesn’t work?  Take some more.  The vaccine fades?  Take some more.

In any other context, that is an approach that would be parodied on Saturday Night Live and the late night television talk shows.  But instead, everyone puts on their adult/serious face and lines up for more doses of something that, as every day passes, continues to disappoint more and more.

The vaccine love also seems to be disproportionately showered on one vaccine only – the Pfizer vaccine, with the Moderna vaccine doing a good job riding along on Pfizer’s coattails.  In the extra material, below, I look at two recent unfair treatments of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  As for the other 25 vaccines that have been approved around the world, none of them have been approved in the US – perhaps because the other vaccine manufacturers see that “the fix is in” and they’d have no chance of being approved in the US, no matter what the underlying science of their vaccine may be.

It is also worth repeating the astonishing “go slow” nature of the trials for newer and possibly better vaccines.  The promising Novavax Phase 3 trial started on December 27, 2020 – almost exactly a year ago.  But it is not expected to be complete until June 30, 2023!!!

Add the time subsequently for the results to be analyzed and an approval submission to be generated and then considered, and the soonest we might see it on the shelf of a local pharmacy is probably this time in 2023 – two years from now.  Who only knows how many “booster shots” of mRNA chemicals we’ll have been given by then….

A two and a half year trial, while our present vaccines are struggling to hold back the tidal wave of Covid cases and deaths – the CDC is predicting 2200 people will be dying, every day, in the US alone by 8 January.

Why were the earlier vaccines approved on the basis of phase three trials that were more like two and a half months in duration, but now the FDA is apparently requiring two and a half year trials?  Seriously, that’s a question that needs to be asked and asked until a cogent honest answer is received.  The current vaccines are a bust.  We urgently need better ones, but we’re slow-walking possibly better vaccines as if there is no crisis and no desperate need for them.

The other extraordinary thing is the go-slow approach to early-treatment drugs.  This doctor suggests there was/is a deliberate policy to suppress early treatment drugs so as to promote mass vaccination (and remember that the drug companies couldn’t get their emergency use approvals if there were credible treatment drugs available).

The FDA is now getting the CBP to intercept shipments of ivermectin from overseas when they come in to the country.  Why is the FDA so obsessed with keeping a safe known proven drug (or, as they prefer to call it, “horse dewormer”) away from us?

At the same time, the FDA is now slow-walking the evaluation and approval of what is perhaps the most credible “big pharma” early treatment drug to date – Pfizer’s Paxlovid, which claims to be almost 90% effective at stopping infections in the early stages.  The FDA have received Pfizer’s request for approval, but haven’t even set a date for their committee to review the request.

Do they have no sense of urgency?  Have they not seen the CDC projection of 2200 deaths a day by 8 January?  How many of those deaths will be needlessly occurring because neither Paxlovid nor ivermectin is freely available?

Current Numbers

Andorra claimed the top spot in the minor country list.  Portugal and Argentina swapped places in the major country list.

Poland and Belgium swapped places in the death list.  And the usual set of swings in the active cases over the last week list.

Numbers seemed generally lower in the new case table, although the world as a whole showed a teeny 0.5% increase in cases.  In Europe, total cases reported dropped 1% for the last seven days compared to the seven days earlier.  Worst risers were Spain at 77%, Italy at 37%, Denmark 36% and the UK with 32%.  At the other end of the scale, Slovakia dropped 39%, Austria 35% and Romania 34%.  France rose 7% while Germany fell 19%.

In North America, Canada shot up 45%, the US apparently rose a mere 2%, and Mexico dropped 7%.  The Covid rate in Mexico last week was 1/20th of the rate in the US, and 1/8th the rate in Canada.

Africa reported a 59% increase in cases.  South Africa was up 54%.  Zambia rose 654%, Burundi was up 581%, Kenya 415%, and a number of other countries were also reporting rises in excess of 100% for the week.

Top Case Rates Minor Countries (cases per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Montenegro (253,453)Andorra (265,337)
4Gibraltar (221,605)Gibraltar (228,145)
7San MarinoSan Marino
10Maldives (167,363)Maldives (168,886)


Top Case Rates Major Countries (cases per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Czech Republic (214,057)Czech Republic (221,526)
2Netherlands (164,558)Netherlands (170,840)
3Belgium (162,792)Belgium (169,777)
4UK (155,866)UK (162,237)
5USA (151,399)USA (154,078)
6France (123,788)France (129,203)
7Sweden (120,322)Sweden (122,339)
12Brazil (103,279)Brazil (103,395)


Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Peru  (5,991)Peru  (6,004)
2Czech Rep  (3,178)Czech Rep  (3,252)
3Romania (3,014)Romania (3,046)
4Brazil (2,871)Brazil (2,875)
6Colombia (2,496)Colombia (2,502)
7USA (2,442)USA (2,470)
10Mexico (2,263)Mexico (2,272)


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

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Slovakia  10,986Denmark  9,117
2Czech Rep  9,758Czech Rep  7,454
3Belgium  9,608Belgium  6,998
6DenmarkUK  6,408
12Slovenia  5,323France  5,420


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 Biden administration discovers Omicron, a couple of weeks after the rest of the world, the first Omicron infected person has now died (is this good or bad?), the first person with Omicron in the US was infected before the first person was officially recognized as such in South Africa, a new thing to worry about with the virus(es), more symptoms of Omicron, another hospital slow-walks saving a patient’s life until threatened with $10k/day contempt of court fines, two more over-the-counter possible virus treatments, undeserved and unfair hate being lavished on the J&J vaccine (makes you wonder why), Omicron and vaccine stats, and Canada’s unreasoning fear of the rest of the world.




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.



2 thoughts on “Covid-19 Diary : Thursday 16 December, 2021”

  1. David, Thank you again for your thoughtful remarks. I don’t always have enough time to completely read an article and if I skimmed one and missed your mention of Robert Kennedy, Jr’s book “The Real Anthony Fauci,” forgive me. If you haven’t read it, I think you would find it worth your time. I have never seen a better documented book, nor would I expect to enjoy a book so much that was written by a dedicated liberal. Regards.

    1. Hi, Paul

      I don’t often have time to read everything I write, either! I completely understand how the deluge of data can be overwhelming.

      Yes, Robert Kennedy jr’s transformation/revelation is astonishing. I must try to find the time to read his book.

      Best seasonal wishes, as always….. David.

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