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First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.
If I read the diagram in Altmann et al. correctly, neither the lower immune reaction in older people nor the different spike proteins in the B.1.1.7 variant suffice to invalidate the current Biontech vaccine – but a combination of both might. On the other hand McCarthy et al. give us hope that while the current generation of vaccines may need to be updated those changes might be limited and permanent without the need of recurrent new formulations as for influenza.
The different reports about the B.1.1.7 Covid variant are somewhat hard to reconcile. On the one hand it is said not to exhibit a more severe course of disease than the wild type, on the other there does seem to be a higher mortality. Figure 2 in Challen et al. may provide the answer. A large part of the variant’s higher infectiousness seems to lie in the longer duration for which infected persons stay infectious and figure 2 shows a longer term for which patients stay ill and may develop complications.
With Kusmierz & Toyoizumi’s and Thurner et al.’s Comment and Reply I finally understand Thurner et al. from the list of 2020-09-18. Of course for Reff=1 the exponential rise becomes a straight line and for values near one the summed cumulative curve becomes so straight you can’t tell the difference. While unquestionably correct that result is utterly trivial and meaningless.
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