COVID-19: Disappointing Vaccination Results in Israel

The various available vaccines likely have different efficacy and adverse effect profiles

Israel has a very high COVID-19 vaccination rate: 78% of those 12 and older are fully vaccinated, nearly all with the Pfizer/BioNTech product. Yet they’re having a major surge with the delta variant.

Remember, the EUA vaccines were sold to us originally as preventing severe disease and death. We know they don’t prevent much infection, if any.

An article at Science notes that: “As of 15 August, 514 Israelis were hospitalized with severe or critical COVID-19, a 31% increase from just 4 days earlier. Of the 514, 59% were fully vaccinated. Of the vaccinated, 87% were 60 or older.”

Why the surge? One theory is that immunity conferred by the vaccine is waning over time. Israel is recommending a booster shot for those over 50 and six months past the original 2-shot vaccination.

The article concludes:

Yet boosters are unlikely to tame a Delta surge on their own, says Dvir Aran, a biomedical data scientist at Technion. In Israel, the current surge is so steep that “even if you get two-thirds of those 60-plus [boosted], it’s just gonna give us another week, maybe 2 weeks until our hospitals are flooded.” He says it’s also critical to vaccinate those who still haven’t received their first or second doses, and to return to the masking and social distancing Israel thought it had left behind—but has begun to reinstate.

Aran’s message for the United States and other wealthier nations considering boosters is stark: “Do not think that the boosters are the solution.”

Given the known and unknown risks of the vaccines, if I were one of the tyrants mandating vaccination I would rescind my order.

Steve Parker, M.D.

1976 Swine Flu Debacle: Any Parallels to the Current Pandemic?

It’s probably just a matter of time before YouTube disappears this video since it is subversive to the MSM and political narrative. Don’t focus too much on Guillain-Barre Syndrome. The important points are misleading propaganda, the hasty roll-out of the swine flu vaccine, government malfeasance, and apparent lying by a former head of the CDC. Enjoy!

I thank WordPress for not censoring me. I hope it’s not because my readership is so minuscule that I’m not on their radar screen!

Another Scientific Article in Favor of Ivermectin for COVID-19

elderly man, face mask
Big Pharma won’t make much money from ivermectin sales

New Microbes and New Infections, volume 43, September 2021

The five authors conclude that ivermectin (IVM) is effective in both treatment and prevention of COVID-19. They write that it cuts mortality of the disease by somewhere between 20 and 67%. “Six of seven meta-analyses of IVM treatment RCTs reporting in 2021 found notable reductions in COVID-19 fatalities, with a mean 31% relative risk of mortality vs. controls.” The authors are not saying it’s a miracle cure for everyone.

Preventative doses reduce the incidence of symptomatic COVID-19 between 20% (150 microgram/kg weekly) and 50% (12 mg dose (~150 microgram/kg) given once for 42 days of coverage).

We have plenty FDA-approved drugs with similar efficacy numbers.

How does IVM work? “A likely biological mechanism has been indicated to be competitive binding with SARS-CoV-2 spike protein sites….”

A few excerpts:

Recently, Dr Satoshi Omura, the Nobel co-laureate for the discovery of IVM, and colleagues conducted a comprehensive review of IVM clinical activity against COVID-19, concluding that the preponderance of the evidence demonstrated major reductions in mortality and morbidity. Our review of that evidence, updated with consideration of several new studies, supports the same conclusion.

IVM has been used safely in 3.7 billion doses worldwide since 1987 and is well tolerated even at much greater doses than the standard single dose of 200 μg/kg. It has been used in randomized controlled trials for COVID-19 treatment at cumulative doses of 1500 μg/kg, 1600 μg/kg and 3000 μg/kg over 4 or 5 days with only small percentages of mild or transient adverse effects.

Why not RTWT? Note the Peruvian experience. Also see the post-post-postscript (PPPS) and post-post-post-postscripts (PPPPS) below if you want to be totally and uncomfortably mystified.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: One of the five authors (TJB) “is a principal in Topelia Therapeutics (Ventura, California), which seeks to commercialize cost-effective treatments for COVID-19, including IVM. All other authors report no conflicts of interest.” Some of you will also discount the reliability of this article because P.A. McCullough is one of the authors.

PPS: One thing I noticed while reading some of the references for the main article is that some investigators define COVID-19 infection as a positive PCR or a new positive antibody test, regardless of symptoms. Do you care much if you feel fine but one of those tests are positive? Most folks don’t. (I’ll admit those tests may have some clinical and public health research applications. Remember that if the cycle threshold on the PCR test is set too high (over 25-30?), the test is wildly inaccurate. Next time you get a COVID-19 PCR test, ask for the cycle threshold. You won’t get an answer.

PPPS: One of the pre-print articles cited by the authors was withdrawn by the publisher (Research Square) In July 2021 and is under investigation (by the publisher, I guess). Click for details at The Guardian.

PPPPS: From Cochrane July 28, 2021:

“Based on the current very low- to low-certainty evidence, we are uncertain about the efficacy and safety of ivermectin used to treat or prevent COVID-19. The completed studies are small and few are considered high quality. Several studies are underway that may produce clearer answers in review updates. Overall, the reliable evidence available does not support the use of ivermectin for treatment or prevention of COVID-19 outside of well-designed randomized trials.”

One Third of Americans Infected with SARS-COV-2 by the End of 2020

From Science Daily:

A new study published in the journal Nature estimates that 103 million Americans, or 31 percent of the U.S. population, had been infected with SARS-CoV-2 by the end of 2020. Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health researchers modeled the spread of the coronavirus, finding that fewer than one-quarter of infections (22%) were accounted for in cases confirmed through public health reports based on testing.

Cincinnati Facing a Nursing Shortage Due to Vaccine Mandate

Photo by Cedric Fauntleroy on Pexels.com. A healthcare hero putting her life on the line, whether or not vaccinated

A hospital bed is worthless unless there are support staff to service that bed’s occupant. Hospitalized COVID-19 patients need nurses, PCTs (patient care technicians), respiratory therapists, physicians, pharmacists, and housekeeping. In this circumstance, nurses and respiratory therapists are more important than physicians.

From Cinncinati.com:

Pushback against area hospital systems’ mandates for employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 continues with the latest coming from more than 100 nurses who say they’d quit before complying. 

A number of UC Medical Center nurses, responding to a union survey, indicated they would leave their jobs if the hospital system’s vaccine mandate is finalized. 

The Ohio Nurses Association survey was conducted immediately after UC Health and other area hospital systems announced they would mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for their employees. The survey, done Aug. 5-12, was made public Wednesday. Results show that 136 of 456 nurses who responded – balked at the mandate. The medical center has more than 1,500 nurses.

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2021/09/01/survey-shows-nurses-quit-over-uc-health-covid-19-vaccine-mandate/5680714001/

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: To avoid the hospital, you need to stay as healthy as possible, which includes regular exercise and weight management. At least change your weight category from obese to overweight. I can help.

Prediabetes May Not Be a Meaningful Diagnosis for those over 70

Hmmm…

When physicians identify a patient as having prediabetes, we usually tell them they are at increased risk for actual diabetes in the next few years, and recommend steps that should reduce the risk of progression. A recent study of older folks (average age 76) suggests the risk of progression isn’t very high. In fact the odds are greater for a return to normal blood sugars, or death. The report is a little confusing because the authors used two definitions of prediabetes.

Question:  What is the risk of progression to diabetes among older adults with prediabetes (based on glycated hemoglobin level of 5.7%-6.4%, fasting glucose levels of 100-125 mg/dL, either, or both) in a community-based population?

Findings:  In this cohort study of 3412 older adults, the prevalence of prediabetes (mean [SD] age, 75.6 [5.2] years) was high and differed substantially depending on the definition used, with estimates ranging from 29% for glycated hemoglobin levels of 5.7% to 6.4% and fasting glucose levels of 100 to 125 mg/dL to 73% for either glycated hemoglobin levels of 5.7% to 6.4% or fasting glucose levels of 100 to 125 mg/dL. During the 6 years of follow-up, death or regression to normoglycemia from prediabetes was more frequent than progression to diabetes.

Meaning:  Prediabetes may not be a robust diagnostic entity in older age.

Source: Risk of Progression to Diabetes Among Older Adults With Prediabetes | Geriatrics | JAMA Internal Medicine | JAMA Network

Steve Parker, M.D.

High Glycemic Index Eating Associated With Premature Death and Cardiovascular Disease

Naan, a type of flat bread with a high glycemic index

Haven’t we know this for years? From New England Journal of Medicine:

Most data regarding the association between the glycemic index and cardiovascular disease come from high-income Western populations, with little information from non-Western countries with low or middle incomes. To fill this gap, data are needed from a large, geographically diverse population.

METHODS

This analysis includes 137,851 participants between the ages of 35 and 70 years living on five continents, with a median follow-up of 9.5 years. We used country-specific food-frequency questionnaires to determine dietary intake and estimated the glycemic index and glycemic load on the basis of the consumption of seven categories of carbohydrate foods. We calculated hazard ratios using multivariable Cox frailty models. The primary outcome was a composite of a major cardiovascular event (cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, stroke, and heart failure) or death from any cause.

RESULTS

In the study population, 8780 deaths and 8252 major cardiovascular events occurred during the follow-up period. After performing extensive adjustments comparing the lowest and highest glycemic-index quintiles, we found that a diet with a high glycemic index was associated with an increased risk of a major cardiovascular event or death, both among participants with preexisting cardiovascular disease (hazard ratio, 1.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.25 to 1.82) and among those without such disease (hazard ratio, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.11 to 1.34). Among the components of the primary outcome, a high glycemic index was also associated with an increased risk of death from cardiovascular causes. The results with respect to glycemic load were similar to the findings regarding the glycemic index among the participants with cardiovascular disease at baseline, but the association was not significant among those without preexisting cardiovascular disease.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study, a diet with a high glycemic index was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death.

Source: Glycemic Index, Glycemic Load, and Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality | NEJM

The Advanced Mediterranean Diet (2nd edition) is low glycemic index.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Cancel Culture: LinkedIn Cancelled Me

Boo hoo waah. They “restricted” my account and wouldn’t even take the time to tell me why. LinkedIn wants a photo of a government-issued ID before they’ll communicate with me. Ef that.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet Recipes

Ketogenic compatible

Check out Diet Doctor for over 60 low-carb Mediterranean diet recipes! Diet Doctor usually provides carbohydrate counts, so you can fit these into the Low-Carb or Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet.

Click on “recipes” at left for my own low-carb Mediterranean diet recipes.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If you have The Advanced Mediterranean Diet (2nd Edition), you already have the ketogenic Mediterranean Diet!

Maintain Vigor as You Age With the Mediterranean Diet

Winning against gravity, for now…

The opposite of vigor is frailty. Aging is a life-long fight with gravity. If you’re frail, you’ll lose the battle sooner. In the study at hand, frailty was measured by exhaustion, weakness, physical activity, walking speed, and weight loss. The Mediterranean diet was linked to decreased frailty. From the Journal of the American Medical Medical Directors Association way back in 2014:

Abstract

Background and objective: Low intake of certain micronutrients and protein has been associated with higher risk of frailty. However, very few studies have assessed the effect of global dietary patterns on frailty. This study examined the association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) and the risk of frailty in older adults.

Design, setting, and participants: Prospective cohort study with 1815 community-dwelling individuals aged ≥60 years recruited in 2008-2010 in Spain.

Measurements: At baseline, the degree of MD [Mediterranean Diet] adherence was measured with the Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS) score and the Mediterranean Diet Score, also known as the Trichopoulou index. In 2012, individuals were reassessed to detect incident frailty, defined as having at least 3 of the following criteria: exhaustion, muscle weakness, low physical activity, slow walking speed, and weight loss. The study associations were summarized with odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence interval (CI) obtained from logistic regression, with adjustment for the main confounders.

Results: Over a mean follow-up of 3.5 years, 137 persons with incident frailty were identified. Compared with individuals in the lowest tertile of the MEDAS score (lowest MD adherence), the OR (95% CI) of frailty was 0.85 (0.54-1.36) in those in the second tertile, and 0.65 (0.40-1.04; P for trend = .07) in the third tertile. Corresponding figures for the Mediterranean Diet Score were 0.59 (0.37-0.95) and 0.48 (0.30-0.77; P for trend = .002). Being in the highest tertile of MEDAS was associated with reduced risk of slow walking (OR 0.53; 95% CI 0.35-0.79) and of weight loss (OR 0.53; 95% CI 0.36-0.80). Lastly, the risk of frailty was inversely associated with consumption of fish (OR 0.66; 95% CI 0.45-0.97) and fruit (OR 0.59; 95% CI 0.39-0.91).

Conclusions: Among community-dwelling older adults, an increasing adherence to the MD was associated with decreasing risk of frailty.

Did you notice another good reason to eat fish?

I wonder why the research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Medical Directors Association?

Steve Parker, M.D.