Covid News Daily: December 2
A compilation of some of the highlights of Covid news for today. I won’t have the time or energy to do these every day, but I want to try it as an experiment to see how many of my subscribers appreciate this type of content.
German Lockdowns for Unvaccinated
The big news today is that Germany has announced strict lockdowns for the unvaccinated. eugyppius also reported on the impending vaccine mandate in Bavaria facing employees of hospitals, universities, etc.
Pfizer Internal Safety Documents Released
Following a FOIA request for data from Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency, some internal Pfizer safety documents have been released. My understanding is that Pfizer receives adverse events reporting that is separate and independent of the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). In this document they report on adverse events from December 1 - February 28, but redacted the total number of doses for which these adverse events correspond, so it is difficult to calculate rates of events, or probabilities:
According to Mathew Crawford over at Rounding the Earth, the fatality rate from this data can be conservatively estimated at 430 deaths per 1,000,000 people injected. His piece on this document is here.
Austrian Politicians Quit
Perhaps the weirdest news of the day because I don’t know what to make of it. I started following Austrian politics after WEF Young Global Leaders groomed politician (and once youngest world leader) Sebastian Kurz resigned as chancellor back in October. The circumstances of his resignation were suspicious and mostly kept quiet. Well, today he announced he is stepping away from politics entirely.
But wait, it gets weirder. The replacement chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg, announced his resignation today too. It is worth noting he hasn’t even been on the job for 2 months. And this is after Austria became the first country to announce plans to mandate vaccines under threat of fine or incarceration.
But wait, there’s more. Austria’s Finance Minister quit today too: https://www.teletrader.com/austrian-finance-minister-gernot-bluemel-resigns/news/details/56863812
Something strange is going on in Austria and I don’t have a clue what it is.
Omicron Increases Reinfection Risk by Up to 3x
The new South African ‘Omicron’ strain of Covid-19 is still poorly understood, but it is spreading fast and likely to result in winter waves of Covid throughout the world. It is causing some panic from public health officials and politicians to close borders, reinstate mandates and lockdowns, and increase the pressure to get vaccinated. The sheer number of consequential mutations at the spike protein is conspicuous, and not plausible from a natural evolutionary process. There are reports that the disease from Omicron is mild, but it is probably too soon to know that for sure. Something to keep an eye on, though, as it looks like both vaccine immunity and natural immunity could become far less effective against Omicron than they were against Delta.
A new preprint article found that for Omicron, the risk of reinfection was much higher:
The estimated hazard ratio for reinfection versus primary infection for the period from 1 November 2021 to 27 November 2021 versus wave 1 was 2.39 (CI95: 1.88-3.11).
This could mean the end of natural immunity as a way to get out of vaccine mandates.
Vaccine Effect Driven by Reporting Newly Vaccinated Deaths as Unvaccinated?
This article came out yesterday, but I missed it and you probably did too. Professors Norman Fenton and Martin Neil have shown how a 1-week post-vaccine attribution of vaccinated deaths as unvaccinated deaths causes a statistical anomaly that makes the unvaccinated mortality rate spike, which is where the apparent vaccine mortality benefit comes from. We all know by now that one does not ‘count’ as being vaccinated until 14 days post-vax, so the real-world data is actually a 2-week misattribution of vaccine deaths; plenty of time for the statistical anomaly to arise.
Omicron and Alpha SARS-CoV-2 Diverged…5 Years Ago?
Something is weird about Omicron. It is a heavily mutated form of SARS-CoV-2 relative to Alpha. There are, in fact, 50 mutations between the two viruses. Given the estimable mutation rate of a genome, one can use the number of mutations to estimate the length of time two genomes diverged since they shared a common ancestor (LCA=last common ancestor). This is not a perfect science, and requires some assumptions, and there are some knobs a geneticist can turn to dial in the estimate. Ethical Skeptic has done a preliminary estimate that showed 10.3 years of independent evolution is necessary to account for the differences between Omicron and Alpha, which pins the LCA at ~5 years ago. It’s hard to know what’s going on here, but something doesn’t add up with Omicron.
I’m sure there’s plenty of news today I missed, so please feel free to use the comment section for anything from today you see as worth sharing. If you want more of this content, let me know. If you don’t, also let me know.