Anti-Vaxxers Could Bring Back Childhood Diseases


“The good old days”

…Replicated in some form or another in cities and towns across America, (there is) a growing grassroots movement of people who believe that vaccine mandates—for COVID, yes, but increasingly for other diseases as well—are an affront to their personal freedom. That represents a marked shift from pre-pandemic times, when vaccine opponents typically based their reasoning on medical concerns and were largely comprised of a few religious sects and a small number of left-leaning activists seeking explanations for rising rates of autism. As the anti-vaxx mandate movement gains political traction, particularly on the right, medical experts fear it could not only cripple efforts to eradicate COVID but could also lead to a surge in long-conquered diseases, from mumps to whooping cough to smallpox.

“There are some more conservative states where we are likely to see other non-COVID vaccine mandates under attack, and it is very worrisome,” says Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. “If we have some of these pediatric infectious diseases come back, it will be horrific.”

Yet what scares epidemiologists now is that many conservatives who denounce vaccine mandates are eliding the medical questions of whether they are safe. Instead, says David Rosner, a Columbia University historian who specializes in the intersection of politics and public health, they’re focusing on a political view that requiring them is wrong.

“We are at the beginning of a much more profound change that may lead to resistance to other vaccines but also may lead to disintegration of any sense of social obligation, social cohesion and social purpose,” he warns. “It’s part of the questioning of what the country is and what it represents. When you see this kind of breakdown and unwillingness to work together, even under the most obvious circumstances where we’ve had more than 650,000 people die, it feels like the beginning of a major dividing point.”

I usually end a post like this by saying “I try to differentiate between ignorance and stupidity”. I have no interest, however, in letting “Stupid” win this one. I’ve said this several times before. Let me repeat myself. I’m old enough to remember springtime and gathering together with the other kids in my neighborhood to figure out who died over winter from diphtheria or pneumonia or influenza.

And even if you’re ignorant enough to make a religious crusade of libertarian healthcare choice, I hope you’re not stupid enough to offer your children a better chance of dying before they’re old enough to vote.

Full COVID coverage from your insurance company is over in most states

…Most insurers have reinstated co-pays and deductibles for covid patients, in many cases even before vaccines became widely available. The companies imposed the costs as industry profits remained strong or grew in 2020, with insurers paying out less to cover elective procedures that hospitals suspended during the crisis.

Now the financial burden of covid is falling unevenly on patients across the country, varying widely by health-care plan and geography, according to a survey of the two largest health plans in every state by the nonprofit and nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

If you’re fortunate enough to live in Vermont or New Mexico, for instance, state mandates require insurance companies to cover 100 percent of treatment. But most Americans with covid are now exposed to the uncertainty, confusion and expense of business-as-usual medical billing and insurance practices — joining those with cancer, diabetes and other serious, costly illnesses….

The reintroduction of cost-sharing mainly affects people with private or employer-based insurance. Patients with no insurance can have 100 percent of their expenses covered by the federal government, under a special program set up by the government for the pandemic, with hospitals reimbursed for care at Medicare rates…

Covid patients with Medicaid, the government plan for lower-income people that is paid for by states and the federal government, continue to be protected from cost-sharing, insurance specialists said. Patients on Medicare, the federal plan for the elderly, could face out-of-pocket costs if they do not have supplemental insurance.

Not a lot of rhyme or reason to the inequality of cost from one patient to another. Not in the land billing itself as the strongest in the world. That mostly applies to killing folks identified as “enemies. As for modern healthcare, a very few local politicians may have sorted it out for you. Mostly they did nothing!

FDA Panel backs booster shot for Pfizer vaccine

The Covid-19 vaccine booster shot proposed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE should be given to older Americans and those at high risk, a panel of expert advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said, rejecting a request for broader distribution. [“Older” includes me]

While the recommendation isn’t binding, it’s a blow to the Biden administration’s plan to deliver third doses to all American adults in the coming weeks to stave off the virus’s spread. The FDA will have to decide in the coming days whether to follow suit or overrule its trusted scientific advisers and proceed with a broader booster authorization.

Pfizer had originally proposed approving a booster shot for everyone 16 and older. But the advisers rejected that idea out of concern that the data to support such a broad application was thin and there could be risks, especially for younger people.

No worries for me. Anytime I’ve had a bad reaction to treatment or vaccination, it usually showed up early. Penicillin in the first case. Shingles vaccine in the second category. Near as I can recall, never had a bad reaction to any other medication or vaccine.

We have our 1st Ivermectin death

Here in New Mexico:

The state’s acting Human Services Secretary David Scrase, MD, said it could take weeks to confirm whether ivermectin was the cause of the person’s death, but that he expects it will be confirmed.

“I’d like people to know, if they’re out there taking it, it can kill them,” Dr. Scrase said.

Officials were also investigating a suspected second case of a patient that is in critical condition after taking the ivermectin — a drug commonly used to treat parasitic worms in animals. The patient was being treated in an intensive care unit at one of the state’s hospitals, Dr. Scrase said.

While ivermectin’s use in humans is FDA-approved at very specific doses for some parasitic worms, as well as some topical formulations for head lice and skin conditions, the drug is not an antiviral. The FDA has warned against using it to treat COVID-19, though some physicians have still prescribed it to treat COVID-19.

No doubt, other states facing the same problem, the same conclusion. Ignorance ain’t the same as stupid. The results can be the same.

World’s largest employer will require COVID-19 vaccination


Bloomberg News/AP/Lolita C. Baldor

The Pentagon will require members of the U.S. military to get the COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 15, according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press. That deadline could be pushed up if the vaccine receives final FDA approval or infection rates continue to rise…

The memo is expected to go out Monday…

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s decision comes a bit more than a week after President Joe Biden told defense officials to develop a plan requiring troops to get shots as part of a broader campaign to increase vaccinations in the federal workforce. It reflects similar decisions by governments and companies around the world, as nations struggle with the highly contagious delta variant that has sent new U.S. cases, hospitalizations and deaths surging to heights not seen since the peaks last winter…

Austin said in his memo that the military services will have the next few weeks to prepare, determine how many vaccines they need, and how this mandate will be implemented. The additional time, however, also is a nod to the bitter political divisiveness over the vaccine and the knowledge that making it mandatory will likely trigger opposition from vaccine opponents across the state and federal governments, Congress and the American population.

It also provides time for the FDA to give final approval to the Pfizer vaccine, which is expected early next month. Without that formal approval, Austin would need a waiver from Biden to make the shots mandatory…

The decision will add the COVID-19 vaccine to a list of other inoculations that service members are already required to get. Depending on their location around the world, service members can get as many as 17 different vaccines.

No surprise that the military has sufficient courage to challenge the pimps and populists infesting Congress, state legislatures and local politics in the GOUSA. Gung Ho!

p.s. That comment is only about politicians. The lowest form of life on Earth.

War against pandemic changes course

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the Delta variant of COVID-19 is equally contagious whether it’s contracted by a vaccinated or unvaccinated person…This means that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people are equally capable of transmitting the virus to other people.

Health officials need to acknowledge that “the war has changed,” one CDC slide said. “Given higher transmissibility … universal masking is essential to reduce transmission of the Delta variant…”

…vaccinated people are eight times less likely than unvaccinated people to contract COVID-19. Vaccinated people are also 25 times less likely to be hospitalized or to die from the coronavirus…Symptomatic breakthrough infections seem to be happening among 0.0098 percent of all fully vaccinated people, according to an ABC News study of cases reported by the CDC last week.

Folks have to understand that guidance from health officials has to change when more up-to-date testing against this new variant shows different results from the earlier virus. Of course, the response has to change, too. Here in New Mexico, we’re in the top ten of states with an adequate vaccination rate. Though some vaccinated folks – including my wife and I – had stopped wearing masks, we WILL BE WEARING MASKS this morning when we go to town for our weekly grocery shopping.

Given everything included in the phrase “Santa Fe Style” – I expect virtually everyone we see shopping at Trader Joe’s will be masked.

Unvaccinated are “variant factories”

Unvaccinated people do more than merely risk their own health. They’re also a risk to everyone if they become infected with coronavirus, infectious disease specialists say.

That’s because the only source of new coronavirus variants is the body of an infected person.

“Unvaccinated people are potential variant factories,” Dr. William Schaffner, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told CNN Friday.

“The more unvaccinated people there are, the more opportunities for the virus to multiply,” Schaffner, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said.

“When it does, it mutates, and it could throw off a variant mutation that is even more serious down the road.”

This ain’t news. The failure of sufficient immunization ain’t news either. Both are repetitive examples of mediocre health education in our school systems. Altogether, the sum of cowardice of government, politicians in and out of office, to confront superstition, religion and just plain ignorance in our society.

Covid is already deadlier this year than all of 2020

A return to a sense of normalcy in the U.S. has been boosted by the country’s relatively high vaccination rates, with 53% of the population having received at least one dose. By contrast, some of the world’s poorest countries are yet to register a single dose…

Speaking on Tuesday during a news conference on the pandemic, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said the highly transmissible delta variant was the “greatest threat” to the nation’s attempt to eliminate Covid.

Delta, first identified in India, now makes up about 20% of all new cases in the United States, up from 10% about two weeks ago, Fauci said. He has previously warned the country must avoid falling into the trap of believing the coronavirus crisis was over and no longer needed to be addressed…

Health experts are concerned about the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant. The Covid variant first identified in India is thought to be on track to become the dominant strain of the disease worldwide.

Former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Thursday that the spread of the delta variant in the U.S. was “highly concerning,” noting its prevalence in the country is currently doubling every 10 to 14 days.

Sadly, most Americans fail at understanding public health questions at rates similar to their understanding of mathematics. Worth worrying about.