Covid-19 updates

This is Joseph

I wanted to highlight two recent covid-19 articles. The first is about vaccine gloom and doom. There are many dangerous infectious diseases that have been banished by strong public vaccination programs. Here is a good example:

Measles. Has a 25% hospitalization rate and 1-2% case fatality rate (and not a lot of occult infection). That is pretty similar to the US case fatality rate for covid-19. The R0 reported for measles varies a lot (as we expect given how the context of R0 changes) but is pretty consistently reported as > 10 and commonly said to be between 12 and 18.  The MMR vaccine has similar efficacy for measles as the mRNA vaccines do for covid-19. There is some age dependence, which makes it hard to be sure of the actual effectiveness in practice, but it is not any different than ranges seen for different vaccines strategies for covid-19. The median R0 for covid-19 has been estimated as 5.7, which seems high but is a good scenario for comparing to measles. 

Do we fear measles enough to go into lockdown? I am not saying we can't learn from this and improve a lot of public health practice but I agree that it doesn't seem to match this message:

But the message from public health officials, the framing of it by the media, strikes me as bizarrely dour. It’s basically something like, “don’t expect to get anything like your normal life (Read more...)