Covid-19 Tracker: Science Fiction – Mission Local

Good morning, Mission, and welcome to Virus Village, your (somewhat) regular Covid-19 data dump.

Hospitalizations, recorded infections and positive rates are considerably down. R Number models show local transmission below 1, and current wastewater monitoring shows the virus slightly rising in the southeast and falling in the west.

The Biden Administration’s vaccine-only strategy for fighting covid has taken a decided turn for the absurd. The top vaccine regulator for the US Food and Drug Administration said the FDA has “extremely good data” showing that the shots are “safe and will be effective”. Where does that data come from? Apparently the FDA will authorize the boosters based on studies involving mice. Yes, this is how they evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the annual flu vaccine (who knew?). No, covid is not the same as the flu and the mice have not received four previous shots. Here’s a preliminary look at some of this booster’s pros and cons.

It would be funnier if the Administration was not expecting 100 million covid infections in the US this fall/winter. Boosters have not been popular among eligible Americans and with officials consistently signaling that transmission and circulation are of no concern, there is a question as to how many will choose to be boosted again.

While there are plenty of questions involving the new booster which Covid Tracker has previously linked to, here’s a new set of interesting questions without answers.

Confused as to whether or not to get the new booster and when? Join the club. Here are some ways to think through the problem

The Trump Administration pushed development of the initial vaccine with Operation Warp Speed. The Biden Administration seems to be content with Operation No Speed ​​when it comes to the development of a vaccine that might actually prevent infections. Note that Cuba has already begun clinical trials (with human subjects) on a nasal vaccine.

A couple weeks ago, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention loosened their covid guidelines giving no particular scientific reason. This was justified by a number of pandemic pundits as adjusting guidance “to meet where most Americans are“. Is this political science? Or simply what public health means today?

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