Vaccines for young children; air travel safety
One thing to keep in mind about that 80.3% figure: it refers to VE across both cohorts -- 6 months to 2 years and 2-4 years. However, the immunobridging goal was met in the 6 month - 2 year cohort even with two doses; it failed to be met only for kids 2-4 years old. Thus, it's possible the VE is substantially lower for the 2-4 year old age group.
There are non-nefarious reasons for presenting the data this way: some of the kids likely aged out of the younger cohort during trial. Still, I've already heard of pediatricians planning to order only the Pfizer vaccine due to its "higher efficacy." That's unfortunate, and not only because it relies on a misreading of the data (insofar as we can even call a press release data). The two months kids wait for their third shot are two months in which they can be infected. Also, the immune response elicited by Moderna's vaccine may be a bit more durable, based on what we see in adults. Thus, it's unclear how much more protective opting for Pfizer over Moderna would actually be in real-world conditions.
Relatedly, I'm sure you saw Moderna's announcement today of promising preliminary data on its bivalent vaccine targeting Omicron. Assuming regulators decide an updated vaccine is required, I'd like to know what the plan is for getting it to kids. I sure hope the question is addressed at the VRBPAC meeting later this month. We can't wait 18 months again.
This is a great post, and thanks for the timely deep dive on the safety of airplanes and air travel. I'm going to review the NYT article, and probably skip travel this month that I had hoped to do. Europe is a variant mess, and the guy sitting next to me shoulder to shoulder on an overcrowded flight can now breathe directly into me without a mask on. Such a sick culture.
I actually flew back from the UK in March with a (pre-positive test) case of COVID-19. I presume it was some version of Omicron, though my virus was not sequenced. (Is it weird that I wished I had been infected in South Africa, because they would have done the sequencing? I think it is.)
I emailed American Airlines on 28 March to let them know I had flown while infected, and to warn my seat neighbors to get tested and isolate until the results came back, to protect their family, coworkers, and friends.
I finally got a response from AA on MAY 30. Yes, they didn't get to my message for 5 weeks.
I booked tickets for another flight in September last week. I assure you, I did not choose to fly American.
Wondering about long Covid. Does the likelihood of getting long Covid go up if one has Covid more than once? That is to say, do the odds of long Covid per course of Covid get worse the more times one gets Covid, or does it stay about the same 20% or so each time?