Category Archives: Healthcare

The other complication of vaccine passports

I have a list of the dozen or so countries that have announced “vaccine passports”, plus businesses considering requiring vaccine passports soon.

Once they start requesting a digital vaccine passport certificate (Via your cellphone), you know this will quickly expand to proof of vaccination for many other diseases too. For many of us, that could be a problem because vaccines are a modern invention and many adults never had the vaccinations now given routinely to children.

Today, kids in the U.S. will receive vaccinations for 14 to 17 diseases.

I was vaccinated for smallpox (which is no longer one of the required vaccines) and polio. And nothing else.

As an adult I’ve had tetanus, Shingrix and an annual influenza vaccination. That’s it.

Supposedly I had measles, mumps and chicken pox as a child (but not rubella). Today, the CDC expects us to have lab proof of having had childhood diseases or proof of vaccination – especially for measles and especially if traveling internationally.

In our façade of achieving a zero risk world, our vaccine passports will soon expect us to have a record of our entire immunity profile. And if missing a key vaccination, we may find ourselves denied boarding, denied entry to a country, or even denied entry to a restaurant, museum, event or concert.

But for many of us, there is no past documentation of vaccinations or that we had many of childhood diseases and now have immunity. Our option is to get tested (which is expensive), then get vaccinated if we did not have the disease, plus get new vaccinations available now (for example Hep A/B).

Yesterday I had my blood drawn for an MMR serology test. Pending results, I may be vaccinated or not for any of those.

I will get a Covid-19 vaccination once I am eligible. My state has moved its forecast of Fall of 2021 to “eligible to try and sign up starting in June”. It may then take 2 or 3 months to get a time slot for actually getting vaccinated.

Note – I AM NOT an anti-vaxxer. There were only 2 vaccines when I was young and I was told I had most of the childhood diseases. The year my parents said I had measles, the CFR of measles was 2.1%, higher than that of Covid-19…

Predictable: University of Pennsylvania gave vaccinations to family members of employees

The vaccine privilege race continues unabated:

A second Pennsylvania health system has acknowledged that it gave the COVID-19 vaccine to employees’ family members, but said it halted the program after discussions with the state Department of Health.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System said that its Chester County Hospital ran a “lottery system” for family members of employees who otherwise met the state’s eligibility requirements.

Source: Another Pennsylvania health network vaccinates employee kin | Times Leader

Health care systems are significantly corrupt due to their administrators, who get away with this by hiding behind the good deeds and goodwill of their medical staff.

These behaviors have occurred nationwide including Overlake Medical Center and others which offered out of line vaccinations to those who donated to their hospital foundation.

Ouch: “People Have Stopped Going to the Doctor. Most Seem Just Fine”

Do Americans really need the amount of treatment that our health care system is used to providing?

….

Despite the complexity of disease today, ailments sometimes do get better by themselves. And in some cases, scheduled surgeries weren’t necessary in the first place.

Source: People have stopped going to the doctor. Most seem just fine.– The New York Times

It might also be too early to know the consequences.

Four separate doctors told me, using nearly identical wording: “Time heals most things, in spite of, not because of, what we inflict on our patients”. Unfortunately, there is no great algorithm to optimally determine when we need to visit a health care provider.  While some visits per person per year went up in decades in the past, the US Census thinks they went down by 2010.

Pandemic fatigue: Signs of mental depression

They might have added – but did not – how the 15-days to flatten  has turned into “forever”. Public health messaging based on fear and threats, rather than  hope has led to complete loss of trust in institutions and experts.

Pandemic depression is a very serious, society-wide mental health catastrophe:

Depression can show up in a lot of different ways. Don’t ignore these subtle changes when it comes to your mental health.

Source: 10 Signs You’ve Developed Depression, Even If You Don’t Feel Sad | HuffPost Life

Good news surge continues: Israeli hospital claims may have found cure for COVID-19

Small study – now seeking a larger study – details sketchy:

Preliminary testing shows that 29 out of 30 virus patients in serious condition that were administered the drug, dubbed EXO-CD24, once a day made a full recovery within five days; similar treatment announced by Hadassah Medical Center

Source: Israeli hospital claims may have found cure for COVID-19

The randomness of high risk medical condition definitions

Left out of most lists of “underlying health conditions” that qualify for early vaccination is “age” which is likely the #1 highest risk factor. Some states handle this separately by qualifying, based on age 80+, 75+ or 65+.

A few US states and some countries prioritize at age 60+, age 55+ and age 50+. The odds of dying from Covid-19 may be 8x to 24x greater for those near age 65 versus those below age 50, and the odds of death are sharply higher for men than for women.

Nebraska lists medical conditions that will qualify for COVID-19 vaccinations in Phase 1B

  • Asthma
  • Cancer (Currently have Cancer)
  • Cerebrovascular Disease affecting Blood Vessels
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Chronic Liver Disease
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Chronic Lung Disease
  • Diabetes Type 1
  • Diabetes Type 2
  • Down Syndrome
  • Heart Conditions such as Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Disease or Cardiomyopathies
  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
  • Neurologic Conditions (such as Dementia)
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Thalassemia (a Type of Blood Disorder)
  • Weakened Immune System due to Solid Organ Transplant (Kidney, Liver, Pancreas, Heart, or Lung)
  • Weakened Immune System from Blood or Bone Marrow Transplant, HIV, using Steroid or Other Medications

Oregon Qualifying High Risk Medical Conditions

(Oregon just copied the CDC recommendations)

  • Cancer
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease)
  • Down Syndrome
  • Heart Conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies)
  • Immunocompromised State (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Missouri is the same as Oregon, except Smoking is removed from the list.

Continue reading The randomness of high risk medical condition definitions

More surging good news

President Joe Biden announced his administration was in talks with Moderna to buy an additional 200 million doses, for a total of 600 million, therefore ensuring the United States would have at least two shots for nearly every citizen.

Source: Moderna to Deliver Another 200 Million Doses by Summer | Hamodia.com

“by summer” for whatever that means.

But … epidemiologists are working hard to cure the surge in good news. They have models.

How many people pick up Covid-19 *in the hospital*?

A statement released by his family revealed that he had been tested regularly for COVID-19 between December 9 and January 12 and each test returned negative.

“He was admitted to hospital on January 12,” the statement read, “Whilst in hospital he received a pneumonia diagnosis. In addition, as with other patients, he was tested regularly for COVID-19.

“On January 22, Tom was discharged from hospital back to the family home where he felt most comfortable. Unfortunately he was left still fighting pneumonia and tested positive for COVID-19 that day.

Source: Captain Sir Tom Moore tested negative for coronavirus after returning from Barbados, family

My wife is a retired R.N. Before that career, she worked as a biochemist for a pharma company developing monoclonal antibody diagnostic tests to detect both therapeutic drugs and drugs of abuse.

When we saw the hospital patient counts rising, she remarked that many of the patients diagnosed with Covid-19 might already have been in the hospital for something else. Most patients are tested frequently – and perhaps we were not so much seeing a rise in incoming Covid patients but seeing many existing patients re-labeled from non-Covid to Covid patients – and since they obviously had comorbidities (why they were in the hospital to begin with) – they may stay longer, taking up hospital beds.

She noted infection control has always been a serious deficiency in hospitals and the spread of disease in hospitals is a well known problem.

I saw a news report some time ago that suggested 40% of hospitalized cases in North Dakota contracted Covid in the hospital – but I could never find the underlying source of that figure so I never posted it here. Since there is no attribution for the 40% figure, I do not consider it reliable.

BUT – I make observations and ask stupid questions. How many patients contracted Covid-19 in the hospital is a reasonable stupid question.

 

Predictable: Hospitals give out vaccines to the favored

Oh to be among the vaccine privileged:

But many hospitals interpreted the recommendation broadly, inoculating their entire staff — public relations departments, administrators, programmers, laboratory scientists and, sometimes, their boards. They offered vaccines to psychiatrists who were seeing their patients on Zoom. They vaccinated radiologists who were reading films at home. Some of those immunized were at the upper end of the medical income totem pole, people who had sat out the pandemic at country homes.

Source: Wealthy, powerful are jumping the COVID-19 vaccine line and here’s why that matters: Commentary – oregonlive.com

Hospital administrators’ behavior has been appalling. Stanford prioritized administrators before front line ER doctors. Overlake Medical Center offered a front place in line to those who had donated $10,000 or more to the hospital. Good Samaritan Hospital did a quid pro quo with a local school district, signing up teachers way in advance of when they were authorized to be vaccinated. This has gone on all across the country.