“The average number of new cases in Harrison County reached five yesterday, a 10 percent increase from the day before. Since January of last year, at least 1 in 14 people who live in Harrison County have been infected, and at least 1 in 652 have died.”

 Hopkins Cited:

1. Major Coronavirus Variant Found in Pets for First Time (Science) Two reports released this week have found the first evidence that dogs and cats can become infected by B.1.1.7, a recent variant of the pandemic coronavirus that transmits more readily between people and also appears more lethal in them. The finds mark the first time one of the several major variants of concern has been seen outside of humans.

NIAID: AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine data may be outdated

NIAID’s statement, issued just after midnight on March 23, said that its data and safety monitoring board expressed concern that AstraZeneca’s announcement was based on “outdated information from that trial, which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data.” The data and safety monitoring board notified AstraZeneca and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority of its concerns.

U.S. Health Officials Question AstraZeneca Vaccine Trial Results

In a two-page letter to AstraZeneca and federal authorities on Monday, an independent panel of medical experts that was helping oversee the vaccine’s clinical trial in the United States said the company had essentially cherry-picked data that was “most favorable for the study as opposed to the most recent and most complete.”

But the independent oversight board said in its letter that the vaccine’s efficacy may have been between 69 percent and 74 percent. The letter reprimanded AstraZeneca for an overly rosy description of the trial data. (J. Harris: That’s not too bad if accurate. The FDA and the company have had communication trouble for a year or two — but so have other people.)

 The company said on Tuesday that the interim results appeared to be “consistent” with more recent data collected during the trial. AstraZeneca said it would immediately share its latest efficacy data with the monitoring board. The company said it would reissue fuller results within 48 hours.

Many millions of people have received the AstraZeneca shot worldwide, including more than 17 million in Britain and the European Union, almost all without serious side effects. In an effort to increase public confidence, many European political leaders have gotten the injections in recent days. The AstraZeneca vaccine has also been administered in the past week to leaders in South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

Ageism: a social determinant of health that has come of age 

Globally, ageism affects billions of people: at least one in two people hold ageist attitudes against older adults,5 with rates much higher in lower-income countries (figure). In Europe, the only region for which data about ageism are available for all age groups, one in three people have experienced ageism, with rates highest among 15–24 year olds.

The Global Report on Ageism makes three recommendations for concrete actions that all stakeholders can take to combat ageism. First, invest in effective strategies to prevent and respond to ageism. Second, fund and improve data and research to better understand ageism and how to address it. Third, build a movement to change the narrative around age and ageing. The promise of the Decade of Healthy Ageing can only be fully realised if ageism is recognised as a social determinant of health and tackled.

Vaccination and non-pharmaceutical interventions for COVID-19: a mathematical modelling study

“Effective vaccines with high uptake are likely to be an essential element in the long-term control and potential elimination of COVID-19. However, experience with other diseases has shown that elimination is difficult and generally requires a targeted multi-strategy approach.35 The same is likely to be true for SARS-CoV-2, with eradication unlikely to be feasible in the short-term and requiring a global perspective. Although mass vaccination will inevitably reduce R and disease prevalence, other measures, such as intensive test, trace, and isolate strategies, will be needed to target pockets of infection. Maintaining low levels [KEEPING THE LEVELS LOW] of infection is likely to be key to the success of test, trace, and, isolate strategies and in reducing the risk of vaccine escape.37 Ultimately, whether we achieve the eradication of SARS-CoV-2 is likely to depend on the long-term natural history of the infection and the public health importance attached to this goal.

(J. Harris: Except for the summary (maybe) this very long, virtually incomprehensible British statistical article is saying “it ain’t over ’till the fat lady sings” and the singing isn’t going to start just because we vaccinate a lot of people. To eradicate Covid will take a long time and will require testing, tracing, and quarantines, and I would suggest masks, distance, and good sense….

I wonder what statisticians talk about at cocktail parties? With whom? Do they even get invited to parties? Come to think of it, who goes to parties anymore, anyway?




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Gun Control and Drunk Driving

Sen. Jon Kennedy of Louisiana in a floor debate on tightening gun restrictions used the analogy of the number of people killed annually by drunk drivers.

He made a point, but not a valid one when linked to gun safety measures.

However, this country could easily and quickly put a severe dent in the drunk driving problem in the country.

Impose tougher restrictions: First offense, $10,000 fine, 30 days in jail and confiscation and public sale of vehicle; second offense, $25,000 fine, year in jail and confiscation of vehicle.

There might be a bunch of drunks walking around but durn few drunk drivers.


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