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I've been pointed to a newsletter collection published by Steve Shafer covering COVID-19

He covers an impressive number of aspects: Incidence of COVID, vaccine, research.  He provides his own perspective, and not just provide links to other publications.  He reports on the world as well as the US.

I've only read the most recent report (5/19) but I'd recommend it.

Some highlights: New daily Cases per capita:  India is only 10th (and 22nd in daily deaths per capita).  6 South American countries, Sweden and the Netherlands, and Nepal all have more cases per capita.  In cases, Argentina is about 6x the US.

In his graphs of the US counties, I notice a similarity in the % dead per county and the current risk.  The middle of the country (and other low density areas) had both the highest % dead and the lowest current risk.

He shows graphs of case and death rates in the US, in Europe, and in an Asian Ensemble, that each have roughly the same population (318-355M).  The US & Europe have been dropping since December/January while the Asian Ensemble was low but has been growing.  The difference is small, which he terms as troubling.

His comment 8 is looking at herd immunity.  He shows a graph of recent increase/decrease of COVID (or death) by state versus % with antibodies ("immunity").   He doesn't see any correlation.

Comment 9 is about the origin of SARS-CoV-2.  (His conclusion is zoonotic transfer is most likely.)

Comment 10 is about preparing for the next potential pandemic.

Comment 11 is about relatively high rates of severe illness in children in South America.

Comment 12 is about some cities in SA that reached herd immunity, and then saw outbreaks (presumably due to the differences in P.1).

Comment 13 mentions two new drugs.
Comment 14 is about alternating two different vaccines.  (Interestingly, my wife heard a news item about some doctor doing this on himself, and she brought the idea to me.)

Comment 16 is about the benefit of vaccinating in nursing homes.  Obviously, the number of cases is way down.  (To me, this is herd immunity PLUS gating who can bring the infection into closed communities.)  But I wasn't sold (yet) on the relative risk for an individual that was vaccinated vs one that wasn't.  There are many factors that need to be considered (were those most at risk individually also those that did not get a vaccination, etc.) This study's rate of asymptomatic infection was extremely different than a CDC study of healthcare workers. 71% vs 11% (In the CDC study, the workers had weekly PCR tests. In this study, the subjects got PCR tests when someone in the facility was found to have COVID.) That seems highly unlikely that each study properly accounted for symptomatic and asymptomatic cases.

]Comment 17 was about the presence of autoantibody reactions in COVID patients.
Comment 18 was about some protection from prior endemic coronavirus infections.

Regarding M_T's quote: "His comment 8 is looking at herd immunity.  He shows a graph of recent increase/decrease of COVID (or death) by state versus % with antibodies ("immunity").   He doesn't see any correlation."

I don't wish to be overly critical to an individual that has read so widely, collected and analyzed data, and shares the conclusions. I am forced to disagree with Comment 8. Mongolia and UAE show little correlation between vaccination and disease incidence. The same is true for the Seychelles and Peru (from separate news reports regarding outbreaks there after very high vaccination rates). Israel and the UK show a strong correlation. 

Mongolia, Peru, UAE, and the Seychelles all use Chinese vaccines and Mongolia uses both Chinese and Russian. As far as I know, detailed trial data has not been released for these vaccines. (Please correct me if I am wrong). A Chinese official stated that the vaccine was not very effective, but got into some trouble for that. Russia has a history of producing good vaccines, but why will they not release data?

There is a huge difference if the real world effectivness is 90% or 50%. I once read a report that a university in Peru concluded that effectiveness was about 50%. A politician claimed 33% and 15% depending upon the vaccine.  The WHO claims the vaccine used in Peru is effective. After looking up stuff in the media, it looks like a lot of politics and scandal was involved for anything related to Peru.  The first  link above quotes Turkey reporting 91%, Indonesia 65%, and Brazil 50%. (Yes, the issue is confounded by variants).

Given the transparency of M, P, JJ, and AZ and the lack thereof for the Chinese and Russian vaccines, I don't agree with Comment 8. Am I missing something?

????  Comment 8 for the May 19 posting was all about US states, not foreign vaccinations.

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If there is any correlation it seems almost that less immunity is associated with fewer deaths.
I'm wondering how valid the comparison of January rates to current rates is. Not all states had equivalent peaks in January and not all the states peaked in January. For example, Michigan was doing quite well in January. It peaked in Middle of April. Michigan's current rates are less than 20% of it's peak.