Norway death reports; what do they mean?

The report that 23 people died in Norway within days of receiving their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was all over the news. What actually happened is a little different from the headline. All of the deaths were in frail, elderly patients in nursing homes. Sadly, each week in Norway 400 or soContinue reading “Norway death reports; what do they mean?”

The noise about fixing the Covid-19 vaccine rollout: can we get 100 million vaccine doses out in the next 100 days.

President-elect Biden outlined his plan on Friday for fixing America’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout.  Clearly the current vaccine initiative has been less than adequate. The biggest problem has been turning the entire distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines over to underfunded, overburdened state and local agencies. This has led to a fragmented, poorly co-ordinated and under funded rollout. TheContinue reading “The noise about fixing the Covid-19 vaccine rollout: can we get 100 million vaccine doses out in the next 100 days.”

COVID-19 caused a 12% increase in worldwide deaths last year.

Examining excess deaths is one of the most touted methods to estimate the impact of COVID-19 on health. A major advantage of evaluating excess deaths is that it gets around the problem of whether or not the death was appropriately attributed to COVID-19. Many have argued that COVID-19 deaths were overstated because deaths from otherContinue reading “COVID-19 caused a 12% increase in worldwide deaths last year.”

Dr. Redfield’s Pearl Harbor…

This blog has purposely avoided any political commentary in favor of focusing the discussion on the scientific and medical aspects of the pandemic. However, as we reach the end of the tenure of current public officials I think it’s important to identify problematic performance that has contributed to failures in the pandemic response. Over theContinue reading “Dr. Redfield’s Pearl Harbor…”

Feds are pushing more aggressive COVID-19 vaccine allotments; will that help?

The federal government announced several changes today that it hopes will improve COVID-19 vaccination rates across the country while at the same time rewarding states that are most aggressive in vaccinating their citizens. The most controversial change is in how vaccine doses are allocated to states. Currently, vaccines are given to each state based onContinue reading “Feds are pushing more aggressive COVID-19 vaccine allotments; will that help?”

Why you really need the second dose of a vaccine!

Not surprisingly there has been a big push to do away with the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccines. The concept behind this is to immunize twice as many people with a single dose of the vaccine. The United Kingdom has decided to take this approach and delay all second doses of COVID-19 vaccine potentiallyContinue reading “Why you really need the second dose of a vaccine!”

Good and bad news on new coronavirus vaccines.

Two new COVID-19 vaccines have recently made news. China’s Sinovac coronavirus vaccine was shown to be 78% effective against Covid-19 in Brazilian trials and offers total protection against severe cases of the disease. This raised hopes it could be used to immunize much of the developing world, and serve as an alternative to the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccineContinue reading “Good and bad news on new coronavirus vaccines.”

The CDC weighs in on allergic reactions to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Despite widely circulated media reports about allergic reactions to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, there has been no official review of the numbers and types of these reactions. The CDC has now published its review of data from the vaccine adverse event reporting system (VAERS) covering nine early days of the Pfizer vaccine availability. It provided interesting dataContinue reading “The CDC weighs in on allergic reactions to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.”

How is influenza different from COVID-19? What does that mean for the COVID-19 vaccine?

One interesting note today is that there has been almost no flu across the U.S. this winter. Emergency rooms that were overwhelmed with influenza last winter see none of it now and in fact, in most areas, they have not identified a single patient infected with Influenza A.  Why has COVID-19 continued to spread inContinue reading “How is influenza different from COVID-19? What does that mean for the COVID-19 vaccine?”