Victorian COVID deaths rocket as Melbourne reopens

Victoria has recorded 2189 new locally acquired COVID cases and 16 deaths over the past 24 hours:

By comparison, NSW recorded only 345 new COVID cases and five deaths:

The next chart plots daily cases across both jurisdictions, with Victoria’s remaining near peak levels:

Whereas active cases are plotted below:

A whopping 2.84% of tests in Victoria over the past 24 hours came back positive – close to a record high – according to COVIDBaseAU:

However, in brighter news, Victoria’s Reff has moved into neutral territory at 1.0 (meaning cases should remain stable):

By comparison, NSW’s Reff is below neutral at 0.74:

Melbourne officially reopened at midnight last night after 77 days of lockdown. It will be interesting watching how Victoria’s cases respond.

Unconventional Economist
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Comments

    • I think everyone agrees whether you are vacced or unvacced that the vaccine gives you a level of self protection but does not effectively stop transmission.

    • Here’s the source article.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8481107/

      Like a lot of epidemiology research, there is inadequate controlling of important variables. Before jumping on board, ask if this has biologic plausibility. Can the vaccine increase your risk of infection? Really?

      Countries with high vaccination rates (like Iceland and Israel quoted here)
      1. Can afford a well developed health systems
      2. Can afford a comprehensive testing program
      3. Have an educated population more inclined to get vaccinated. And tested
      4. Tend to have an older population. This increases there detection rate as elderly are more likely to get sick (and tested) while younger people will not ever get diagnosed.

      These international trends were much weaker when comparing data within USA (comparing counties). Even within a country however, there is link between vaccination and testing. Large urban centres that are democrat leaning are more likely to get vaccinated, and more likely to get tested. Rural areas that are more Republican and fair autonomy are more likely to eschew vaccines, and testing.

      Put simply, the more you look the more you find.

      The authors themselves note
      ‘”We should note that the COVID-19 case data is of confirmed cases, which is a function of both supply (e.g., variation in testing capacities or reporting practices) and demand-side (e.g., variation in people’s decision on when to get tested) factors.”

      I always accepted the vaccine does not reduce your risk of superficial infection / colonisation and hence onwards transmission. The vaccine reduces the progression to invasive disease and serious illness. That was the initial design brief for the vaccine. Stopping transmission was only ever a short lived dream that was ill-founded based on early data (most easy data from manufacturers is wildly optimistic).

      But that is very different to saying the vaccine promotes infection. That’s just silly.

      You take (or don’t take) the vaccine primarily to protect yourself. Not the person next to you. I don’t care whether the person next to me is vaccinated or not. No more than I care whether they have a healthy diet or smoke.

      • Except that the UK is breaking down data by vaccination status, and its now clear that you are more likely to be infected with Covid if you are vaccinated, in some age groups more than twice as likely.
        “The rate of a positive COVID-19 test varies by age and vaccination status. The rate of a positive COVID-19 test is substantially lower in vaccinated individuals compared to unvaccinated individuals up to the age of 29. In individuals aged greater than 30, the rate of a positive COVID-19 test is higher in vaccinated individuals compared to unvaccinated”.
        https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1027511/Vaccine-surveillance-report-week-42.pdf

        • It’s sampling bias. Nothing more.

          People have leapt onto this and claimed the vaccine increases you risk of infection, That is (almost certainly) nonsense.

          “In individuals aged greater than 30, the rate of a positive COVID-19 test is higher in vaccinated individuals compared to unvaccinated”.
          Yes. That statement is true. As far as it goes. But it doesn’t go far enough.
          They found a higher rate in those vaccinated WHO CAME FORWARD TO BE TESTED, than in those non-vaccinated WHO CAME FORWARD TO BE TESTED.

          All you have here is a pseudo-association – there appears to be an association between vaccination and getting infected.
          With random sampling (which is not done), this pseudo-association would most likely disappear. If it persisted, then you would have a real association (although still not causation).

          Those worried about the disease and who got vaccinated are more likely to worry about a minor symptom and get tested.
          Some occupations mandate vaccination, and mandate testing.

          There are a lot of subtle links between getting vaccinated and getting tested. These links will load the die in any non-random process.

          • Frank DrebinMEMBER

            Yes but more right handed people are also testing positive to Covid than left handed people.

            Correlation or causation ?!.

            Just to be safe I think we should round up all right handed punters and incarcerate them (disclosure: I am left handed).

  1. So nothing to see here. The NIH has now investigated the possibility that the funding NIH directed to WIV (via EcoHealth Alliance) did not lead to Covid 19. That’s a relief then.
    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3153206/us-agency-defends-funding-research-bat-coronaviruses-china-and
    “Funds from the National Institutes of Health – which were given to the US non-profit EcoHealth Alliance for research conducted with the Wuhan Institute of Virology – have come under increasing scrutiny in light of the theory that the virus could have escaped from the Chinese lab and questions about whether the genetic manipulation of viruses played a role.”
    “But an analysis by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a branch of the NIH, said the viruses in question were too distantly related to Sars-CoV-2 to have played any part in its emergence.”

    The whole timeline stinks.

    Have a look at this. Table half way down
    https://www.thelancet.com/article/S0140-6736(20)30251-8/fulltext
    So Chinese doctors purportedly obtained the virus from the lungs of a patient on December 26.
    30 years ago, I could get same day electron microscopy on kids with diarrhea (looking for rotavirus). It’s hardly cutting edge technology.
    If this study was genuine, the clinicians and researchers must ave been highly suspicious this was another coronavirus given their recent experience (SARS and MERS). And no one bothered to look at the sample under an EM? Bull. This simply doesn’t make sense to a clinician.
    Many other countries (including Australia and India) confirmed their early cases with EM.
    Coronavirus get their very name from their distinctive crown appearance under an EM.
    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/why-is-it-called-coronavirus#why-is-it-called-coronavirus
    On NYE, China advised the WHO there was a mysterious outbreak – cause unknown. This charade continued over successive days.
    China didn’t confirm it was a coronavirus until Jan 7 – 12 days after that sample. That 12 days was a critical head start.

    • The Wuhan CDC knew about the virus in late December, however the provincial government wanted to clamp it down : and arresting anyone who dared to raise the awareness of the virus spreading. The official government line back then was “only infectious from animal to human, not infectious between people”.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Wenliang

      The genome sequence for COVID-19 was sent to the WHO by a Shanghai lab in early January. The lab was subsequently closed down by the CCP.

      https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3052966/chinese-laboratory-first-shared-coronavirus-genome-world-ordered

      Beijing eventually sent a delegation to Wuhan to see what is going on at Jan 20, and then promptly shut down the entire country the next day.

      • They were trying to control the narrative at least as far back as January 1. A full week before they told the WHO the cause.

        Why destroy samples for public safety the week before you “discover” the cause.

        https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/how-virus-research-has-become-a-point-of-tension-for-the-u-s-and-china

        On January 1, Wuhan Institute of Virology’s director general, Yanyi Wang, messaged her colleagues, saying the National Health Commission told her the lab’s COVID-19 data shall not be published on social media and shall not be disclosed to the media.

        And on January 3, the commission sent this document, never posted online, but saved by researchers, telling labs to destroy COVID-19 samples or send them to the depository institutions designated by the state.

        Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has repeatedly called that a cover-up.
        Secretary Mike Pompeo:

        The party chose to destroy live virus samples, instead of sharing them or asking us to help secure them.
        Nick Schifrin:

        Last Friday, the Chinese government admitted to the destruction, but said it was for public safety.
        Liu Dengfeng (through translator):

        We released a guideline on January 3, aiming to prevent biohazards of labs and the occurrence of secondary disasters caused by unknown virus.

      • I’m not convinced that Wenliang guy existed.

        If so, he led an extraordinary last few weeks
        Became concerned about a cluster of mysterious pneumonia cases
        Discussed with colleagues over social media
        Was arrested by Police, interrogated, and forced to sign an confession / apology
        Then immediately caught Covid
        Became critically ill with Covid
        Wasn’t intubated. The consensus from Chinese clinicians from the outset was to “go early, go hard” and intubate. This “advice” was catastrophically wrong. But it was the prevailing advice. As Wenliang was not intubated, he was able to talk on friends about his condition (which would not have been possible had he been intubated).
        Died from Covid
        Then didn’t die, and announcement of death retracted
        Then did die after all

        He was only 35. Extraordinarily young to die from Covid – especially the original strain

        Sorry, I don’t but it. Seems like propaganda to garner worlds attention than a tragic martyr.

        Wuhan published information of 4 doctors under 40-50 who al died from Covid. That seems ….. statistically implausible.
        It did however spook the world into race for sufficient PPE.
        Note this gem. State sponsored propaganda
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSTDmkftc1I

  2. Lord DudleyMEMBER

    F#ck this. I’m out of here. Leith and David permit these lying anti-vaxxer idiots to brigade and run wild in the comments section. Guess what… if you have a blog that hosts anti-vaxxers without suspending them, then IT IS AN ANTI-VAXXER BLOG. In the same way that a bar that allows nazi-punks in is a nazi-punk bar.

    I’m out of here forever. Byeeee!

    • Calm down mate. So you want us to block commenters now? Really?

      We get attacked left and right for censorship (something we rarely do). And then when we don’t censor, people like you attack us. We cannot win.

      How can you claim that we are an anti-vaxer site when our posts strongly support vaccination? Both Dave and I are fully vaxed, as our our families and have stated so publicly. Heck, only yesterday I put another article up showing the efficacy of vaccination.

    • If you’re talking about Claw’s post of the rubbish from Mercola, the next thing you see is people calling it out as rubbish, which seems to be an argument for keeping comments the way they are.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      Good riddance ya totalitarian loving fckwit! You will never succeed in crushing our freedoms. LOLOLOL

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      It’s hard to see that sort of rubbish posted time and again. You will be missed LD.

      Edit: It would be telling to see where in the world the anti-vax comments are posted from.

      • reusachtigeMEMBER

        Yeah by the chicken sh1ts! Who else is gonna defend youse sissies while ya lay under ya beds wearing a mask and wetting ya nappies huh bloke? LOLOLOL

        • Arthur Schopenhauer

          Lol! Lack of relations parties getting you down? Still not allowed in NSW.

          I feel for you Reus! 😍

          • reusachtigeMEMBER

            They’re back on in force bloke! I’m pro-vax by the way. Aiming to be sex-tuplet vaxxed ASAP. I’m fine to risk stds but I’d rather not be knocked out of action for a while with the China Virus. It’s party time!

    • Yeah, I’m not wildly impressed with the direction MB is going.
      Between anti vaxxers and that right wing extremist Avi guy, I’m not enjoying where this blog is going.

      But its everybody’s right to support what they want – or not.

      • C'est de la folieMEMBER

        With all due respect there are very real questions to ask about vaccination, and about the vaccination strategy being shoved down everyones throats (‘mandated’ if you will) and where it is taking us.

        As for the Avi guy, he may well be a right wing nutter but on the issue which saw him on these pages he wasnt that right wing at all. The people protesting (peacefully) outside CFMEU headquarters were mainly CFMEU Members, and other people protesting in other circumstances were given a belting by cops. Sure there were nutters in their midst, but that still shouldnt be justification for the cops going biffo

  3. The best news is that all that hard work in NSW will be undone by Victoria passing on the Covid-19 back to the origin state. But hey at least we are all free now! Let’s see how long this lasts. In the interim I’m still being cautious – get my second jab in a couple of weeks (I am waiting full 12 weeks for AZ for max efficacy) and will still limit social interaction going forward. Since I have a 1 year old boy who has no vaccination available.

  4. Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

    UK deaths are rising. New mutation? Vaccination wearing off? Weather effect? More activity? A mutation bypassing the vaccinations would lead us back into lockdowns and March 2020. The fact we aren’t preparing for it by building quarantine and are instead rushing to import new Qantas enabled mutations from India etc shows you that there is zero leadership in this country just vested interests. The Southern Canton/County Economic Zone model remains in force no transformation of the model just BAU as quick as possible.

    • Latest UK weekly report shows a 43% increase in hospitalisations (rolling number, low week 4 number drops off to be replaced by much higher week 1 data). 52,000 new cases yesterday. 86% of adults testing positive for covid are vaccinated. I still reckon the UK Govt will chicken out and be back in lockdown by Xmas.

      • I think that the UK are likely to end up in lockdown maybe not by Christmas, but def b4 winter’s over. Not that far from their old record number of cases now and rising steadily, and if they end up going over by a lot they’ll start to catch up to their old deaths records, especially as now things are moving slower they’ll stay at the higher case levels for a longer period.

    • Frank DrebinMEMBER

      Why India in particular ?.

      You know they are opening up flights to everywhere in the world.

      • Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

        You’re right mutation could come from anywhere. Only mentioned India as it birthed delta and I heard Joyce banging on about direct flights to India on the radio this morning. Now mutations more likely to come from highly vaccinated countries that have opened up.

        • Frank DrebinMEMBER

          Very good question but is the opposite also true in that if you grow up amongst all those mad diseases is your immune system a lot stronger than us pampered Westerners ?. The weak get weeded out pretty quickly in that environment.

          Also not hearing much noise about Africa which you would logically expect would be bit hard by Covid. They seem to be sailing through ok although maybe that’s just my biased news sources….

          • My sister left Botswana because things were not good early on. South Africa we saw the rioting but South Africa is also approaching summer and lots of Africa is hot with warm weather so perhaps helps? They don’t get rainy miserable winters like the Northern Hemisphere and Melbourne/Tas do.

            I think we just don’t hear much about it, I saw some Pacific Islands were really up shyte creek too because of Covid especially with tourism dollars drying up, but I have heard Australia was sending some vaccines to places like PNG. I guess smaller populations may also be an advantage.

            I know that when I went to Syria I got a Felafel at a place (my sister and her friend also) and we all got sick, they were pretty bad at first, where as I felt off, but for months I felt like I was low on energy after. I was checked for all manner of parasites but nothing came back. So yeah, I think they must have stronger immune systems as a result in places like that. Since all the locals seemed to be eating there.

          • Reus's large MEMBER

            Ivermectin is a commonly used drug there for parasites, they are also using it to treat covid too which is why you are not hearing about whuflu there, same as why some provinces in India have whuflu under control, they used ivermectin with huge success. Indonesia too. That is why there is no reporting on those places anymore.

  5. My primary induction (Pfizer 1st Jab) into the Hive Mind Borg Collective occurred today.
    Resistance WAS Futile.
    I will receive my secondary induction in three weeks.
    So far so good.
    Undoubtedly, follow-up programming; oops I mean, boosters, will be required so as to remain within The Collective and ensure that full Assimilation is successful.

    • 3 weeks? So long as you know that clinical recommendation is 6 weeks, 3 weeks is the political spin.

    • Well I (and 7-8 of my colleagues) are getting boosted this weekend. We are 8 months out from 2nd shot, and there is some (limited) evidence that efficacy does fade by that time. I’m not convinced it is the right thing to do, and I was initially reticent. It seemed to make more sense to get bosted in Autumn – likely with an updated vax. But I’m not convinced its wrong either.

      The other guys saw it different however. They reckon there will be another strain in the Northern hemisphere winter, and this will get in fairly quick through open borders. Besides. they reckon we will be getting another booster by Autumn anyway.

      CDC has gone with boosters, and the rest of the world will follow. Its a matter of time.

          • Steve you say you have decided to do something, but you’re not convinced it is the right thing to do. I wish you well.
            I’m reading reports that the lymphadenitis after the booster is affecting daily living for 7-10 days. Would be interested to continue to read your honest opinions however you proceed. Cheers.

          • @ Gareth – all of those have known outcomes, while the Vacc has 0 known outcomes in the short, medium and long term outcomes for young people.

          • I’ll let you know. No reaction to # 1 or 2, so not expecting anything.

            I have seen a few complications from vaccines (eg fluid around the heart). But have also seen from C19. If you are of the view (as am I) that infection at some stage is pretty much inevitable, you can consider the side effects irrelevant.

  6. https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer-and-biontech-announce-phase-3-trial-data-showing

    All trial participants previously completed the primary two-dose series of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and then were randomized 1:1 to receive either a 30-µg booster dose (the same dosage strength as those in the primary series) or placebo. The median time between second dose and administration of the booster dose or placebo was approximately 11 months. Symptomatic COVID-19 occurrence was measured from at least 7 days after booster or placebo, with a median follow-up of 2.5 months. During the study period, there were 5 cases of COVID-19 in the booster group, and 109 cases in the non-boosted group. The observed relative vaccine efficacy of 95.6% (95% CI: 89.3, 98.6) reflects the reduction in disease occurrence in the boosted group versus the non-boosted group in those without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Median age of participants was 53 years, with 55.5% of participants between 16 and 55 years, and 23.3% of participants 65 years and older. Multiple subgroup analyses showed efficacy was consistent irrespective of age, sex, race, ethnicity, or comorbid conditions.

    Drug company trial. Probably won’t be quite as good in real world. But suggests the original recipe holds up well against delta.

    BOHICA. Boosters are coming.

    On September 22, 2021, a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine was authorized for emergency use by the U.S. FDA for individuals 65 years of age and older, individuals 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe COVID-19, and individuals 18 through 64 years of age with frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2. On October 20, 2021, a booster dose of the vaccine also was authorized for emergency use by the U.S. FDA in eligible individuals who have completed a primary vaccination with a different authorized COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, a booster dose of the vaccine is authorized in the European Union and other countries, with recommendations for populations varying based on local health authority guidance.

    • What was the absolute risk reduction? They’ve said over 10,000 individuals. Let’s call it 10k for simplicity. In the trial period, the incidence in the booster group was 0.05% (5 cases), and the control group was 1.09% (109 cases). An absolute risk reduction of developing a case (I note there is no comment about preventing illness) of 1.04%.

      • I read it as 10,000 total divided 1:1, but it reads ambiguous.
        Boost = 5/5000 = 0.1%
        No boost = 109/5000 = 2.18%
        ARR = 2%
        NNT = 50. Over a 10 week period

        The case is far from compelling.
        But it’s coming. We didn’t buy those 125 million shots for nothing.

        • Fair point regarding the split. Poor form concealing the absolute risk reduction either way, although it’s to be expected from a drug company with a reputation like Pfizer. As for the government giving public money away to the drug companies – they can’t make us use their products. No care about aspirating pre-injection, or gloves anymore… but signed, written consent? Meticulous attention.

  7. Yes the goalposts have shifted and the endpoint is now whether you get sick – not whether you become infected / colonised with the virus.

    I think we have pivoted to a concept where the vax turns C19 into just another mild resp infection that spreads fairly easily. A nuisance. But not highly damaging to the individual or society.

    The science to date is balanced such that either decision on boosters is reasonable and hence opinion is equally divided. My colleagues are split on this. Rochelle Walensky (CDC Director) has recently decided to overrule her own scientific advisors and came down on the side of boosters.