Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Administrivia: Sidebar Update

 Cleaned up some dead links and changed links on the sidebar.

India's Vaccine Nationalism Disrupts COVAX And More

 The horrific scenes coming in from India have vaulted that nation to the top of the single-day COVID-19 death tally, not a statistic you want to lead the world in, and this is just the official totals. (For various reasons, the actual number may be substantially higher.) Unsurprisingly, then, the country that has done more to mass produce vaccines than almost anyone else has announced an export ban through October as doses are being diverted to combat disease in India. The ban will affect, at least, Johnson & Johnson (made by Biological E), AstraZeneca's Covishield (Serum Institute and Dr. Reddy's), Novavax (Serum Institute), and Sputnik V (Dr. Reddy's). While we don't know which countries are affected here, the Reuters report makes it sound like it will be mainly south Asian nations and anybody hoping to get vaccines via COVAX, the WHO's distribution network (140 million doses were diverted from the latter). There's some hope from the US:

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Monday his country would export at least 20 million doses of the Pfizer (PFE.N)/BioNTech , Moderna (MRNA.O) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) shots, on top of 60 million AstraZeneca doses he had already planned to give to other countries.

But those are drops in the bucket compared to demand. Vaccine nationalism was always going to be a problem, and anyone claiming otherwise hasn't been paying attention.

The Importance Of Good Vaccines

 Cases, and somewhat more ominously, deaths are ramping up in Bahrain, one of the most vaccinated countries on earth:

The country relied heavily on the Sinopharm inactivated vaccine, which apparently puts it at greater risk for future reinfection. Along with nearby United Arab Emirates, Bahrain is offering people who did not get a good antibody response a third dose of the vaccine, which is highly suggestive. A recent Chilean study cited by the British Medical Journal claims Sinopharm's jab was only 3% effective after the first dose, with higher figures after the second. Given the sketchy data surrounding Sinopharm's vaccine, it's not a surprise we're seeing irregularities like this.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The Southern States' Vaccine Reluctance

 Call it vaccine hesitance, call it reluctance, call it whatever you want, but it's painfully obvious that the southern states are lagging the rest of the country (and especially the northeast and west) when it comes to getting vaccinated for COVID-19. Because the CDC only reports vaccines actually administered, and not whether they're first doses, I assembled my own map of first doses by state:

The southern states particularly are doing poorly, in the main:

Outside of Virginia, no southern state is even at 50% of the population yet, and many are below 40%. This means there will likely be another wave of infections, albeit deaths will be limited because of greater vaccine uptake among older groups, even there. The CDC reports that more than 80% of Americans 65 and up have been vaccinated, though without individual state reporting on age demographics, there could be large regional holes.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

"I Continued To Cry For A Whole Month": Normalized Boy-Hate

 A couple months old story involving the usual (and in this case, literal) navel-gazing by Emily Ratajkowski, and not really on target for my "mothers shaming sons" tag ("feminists raising the enemy" it is), it really exposes the zeitgeist as to certain kinds of women airing their genuine loathing for men in public. The piece contains a story of a supposed friend whose gender reveal did not go so well for her mental health:

My friend who is the mother to a three-year-old boy tells me that she didn’t think she cared about gender until her doctor broke the news that she was having a son. She burst into tears in her office. “And then I continued to cry for a whole month,” she says matter-of-factly. After a difficult birth experience, she developed postpartum depression and decided that she resented her husband more than she’d ever imagined possible. She told me she particularly hated—and she made an actual, physical list that she kept in her journal, editing it daily—how peacefully he slept. “There is nothing worse than the undisturbed sleep of a white man in a patriarchal world.” She shakes her head. “It was hard to come to terms with the fact that I was bringing yet another white man into the world. But now I adore him and can’t imagine it any other way.” She also eventually learned to love her husband again. The sound of his perfect sleep next to her at night is now tolerable.

I get that some women have serious postpartum mental issues (and pregnancy can make you loopy as well). But this is extreme.

Monday, May 3, 2021

The States That Will Need Vaccine Bounties

 I recently came across a story about West Virginia offering young people a $100 savings bond as a bounty for getting the COVID-19 vaccines. It seems to me this will be necessary in a number of states, particularly in the south, intermountain west, and to some degree, even in the midwest. Here's a chloropleth map I just built of first vaccinations per 100 population:

(The CDC has a similar map, but it only tracks population-adjusted vaccines administered, which tells us little about the overall number of individuals vaccinated.) The states in trouble are Idaho, Wyoming, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Indiana. I expect to see these states follow suit presently.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

More On The J&J Vaccine "Pause" Causing Vaccine Hesistance

 A terrific and more detailed look at the aftermath of the "pause" causing people to walk away from vaccination by Dan Elton, looking at not just the total vaccination numbers, but the daily un-averaged figures, vaccination by age bracket, and the difference between the UK's approach (warn but keep vaccinating) and the US/EU approach ("pause" or outright ban). The post I wish I'd written (my less-detailed one here).