Covid-19 Thread: 2023 Breaking News

Looks like the U.S. House will vote today on a Republican plan to eliminate the Covid-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers. Not only that, the bill would ban all future vaccine mandates. When something worse than Covid comes along, it’s essential to stymie effective control measures.

One of Kentucky’s sleazier Congressturds, Thomas Massie is thrilled at the prospect.

Thankfully, this travesty has zero chance of being approved by the Senate and signed into law by the President.

It does reinforce the reality that the G.O.P. has embraced not only its role as the anti-science party, but also the Freedom To Sicken And Die Party.

… I didn’t think there was a federally-enforced COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. Thought it was strictly up to the individual healthcare systems (but that 99.9999% went with a mandate similar to other mandated vaccines).

“Under the CMS rule announced in November 2021, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities must ensure staff are fully vaccinated or risk losing Medicare and Medicaid funding.”

Thanks for the link, Jackmannii. I see that it’s tied to federal funding, so a passive – if strongly compelling – enforcement mechanism.

I did some cursory Google searching, and the answer to the question of whether or not there is a 3rd Pfizer booster is unclear to me. Is there? If so, I think I want it if it covers Omicron. Any info would be appreciated.

How many shots you should have taken depends on when you have started taking them. I started moderately early so I have the two basic shots in February and March of 2021 and three boosters in October 2021, April 2022 and September 2022–thus 5 all togther. The last is called the bivalent booster:

My impression is that the plan from now on is to have an updated booster yearly similar to the flu shot–but no final decision has been made.

Thank you!

As I write this only one person has clicked on the article about Biden ending the Public Health emergency in May. Note that:

Under both the national emergency and the public health emergency, both the Trump and Biden administrations implemented and extended programs that aimed to provide relief when it came to paying for health care, COVID-19 tests and treatments and making monthly student loan payments.

It also included a controversial border program that made it easier to expel foreign nations, citing public health protections amid the pandemic.

And note that Moderna and Pfizer have both announced plans to quadruple Covid vaccine costs. There are a huge number of people with inadequate insurance coverage–thus I expect substantially more people to NOT get vaccinated and NOT get Covid treatment because of financial issues–and thus a lot more people will die as a result.

The initial couple of doses of vaccine are by far the most important, and everyone has had ample chance to get them, except children. And while vaccination helps children, too, they can generally fight off their first infection just fine, and develop immunity without the vaccine.

Yes, a few people will die because they are priced out of getting a booster. But so long as Medicaid and Medicare continue to cover them, that number will be pretty small. Our healthcare payment system is totally messed up. But this is a tiny problem in a country where diabetics are routinely priced out of getting INSULIN.

I’m not sure if this is breaking news, but Nature just published a very nice summary of vaccines and the leading research into new vaccines, without a lot of math or deep science needed to understand.

The next generation of coronavirus vaccines: a graphical guide (

I don’t remember if this was previously mentioned here, but:

My dad died in 2019 and indeed also has multiple causes listed on his death certificate.

While I do believe that UHC should be a part of our lives, I have to doubt those numbers.

The shots were free to everyone who was willing to roll up their sleeves. The same sort of person who refuses to get vaccinated usually doesn’t trust medical advice they receive from anywhere but a trusted source…and usually that trusted source is not medically trained. UHC would not have changed anything about that and probably would have hurt because UHC would be administered by the government.

Of course, I live in crazyland and folks out this way aren’t known to be rational critical thinkers. Except for me, of course.

Johns Hopkins is shutting down their covid tracker, on March 10.

The site, which Blauer and Gardner note was created and run largely by women, cost $13 million and eventually drew more than 2.5 billion views, Blauer says.

But now that the threat of the pandemic is receding, states are reporting data less frequently and the CDC has ramped up the agency’s data reporting, the university decided it was time to shut it down.

672,789,882 total cases
6,853,693 deaths

In the U.S.
102,849,008 total cases
1,120,904 deaths

The idea that kids can do without Covid vaccines because they typically fight off initial infections well, has been taking a hit. Children’s immunity to Covid after infection is far from robust.

“The price that children pay for being so good at getting rid of the virus in the first place is that they don’t have the opportunity to develop ‘adaptive’ memory to protect them the second time they are exposed to the virus,” says lead author Professor Tri Phan, Head of the Intravital Microscopy and Gene Expression (IMAGE) Lab and Co-Lead of the Precision Immunology Program at Garvan.”

“Because children haven’t been exposed to many viruses, their immune system is still ‘naïve’. And because they don’t develop memory T cells, they are at risk of getting sick when they become reinfected. With each new infectious episode as they get older, there is a risk of their T cells becoming ‘exhausted’ and ineffective, like the T cells in older people. This is why we think it’s important to vaccinate children,” he says."

WHO abandons plans for crucial second phase of COVID-origins investigation

Sensitive studies in China were intended to pinpoint the source of the pandemic virus.

Oh, i think that was seen even early on. I’d forgotten that. Thanks for posting the correction.

" The findings may be a small silver lining to the explosive omicron outbreak of last winter. With so many people infected, many most likely still benefit from that protection against severe disease, Murray said."

I still want a re-upped vaccine as often as I can wrangle one.