On February 4, 2022, this report was posted online as an MMWR Early Release.
Kristin L. Andrejko1,2,*; Jake M. Pry, PhD2,*; Jennifer F. Myers, MPH2; Nozomi Fukui2; Jennifer L. DeGuzman, MPH2; John Openshaw, MD2; James P. Watt, MD2; Joseph A. Lewnard, PhD1,3,4; Seema Jain, MD2; California COVID-19 Case-Control Study Team (View author affiliations)
“Consistent use of a face mask or respirator in indoor public settings was associated with lower odds of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result (adjusted odds ratio = 0.44). Use of respirators with higher filtration capacity was associated with the most protection, compared with no mask use.”
Among 1,228,664 persons who completed primary vaccination during December 2020–October 2021, severe COVID-19–associated outcomes (0.015%) or death (0.0033%) were rare. Risk factors for severe outcomes included age ≥65 years, immunosuppressed, and six other underlying conditions. All persons with severe outcomes had at least one risk factor; 78% of persons who died had at least four.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:19–25. DOI:
So, if I’m reading this correctly, there were ZERO severe COVID-19 associated outcomes for fully vaccinated people with no risk factors (mostly before delta, mostly before boosters). Zero! Isn’t this a huge deal? Shouldn’t this be headlining newspapers? I don’t understand why it’s not in the news. And now with Omicron (milder infection) and boosters (better protection), current protection should be even better.
In this study, a severe COVID-19 outcomes is defined as:
– Diagnosis of acute respiratory failure – Need for non-invasive ventilation (a tight fitting oxygen mask) – ICU admission – Death
Interestingly, tracheal intubation isn’t listed here, but I guess that’s associated with the ICU.
This just one of the fascinating examples in this article of how epidemiologists tracked down very specific examples of COVID-19 spread in different situations:
Some really great shoe-leather epidemiology demonstrated clearly the effect of a single asymptomatic carrier in a restaurant environment (see below). The infected person (A1) sat at a table and had dinner with 9 friends. Dinner took about 1 to 1.5 hours. During this meal, the asymptomatic carrier released low-levels of virus into the air from their breathing. Airflow (from the restaurant’s various airflow vents) was from right to left. Approximately 50% of the people at the infected person’s table became sick over the next 7 days. 75% of the people on the adjacent downwind table became infected. And even 2 of the 7 people on the upwind table were infected (believed to happen by turbulent airflow). No one at tables E or F became infected, they were out of the main airflow from the air conditioner on the right to the exhaust fan on the left of the room. (Ref)
Apparently, the decision has been made at NASA that supersonic heavy load parachutes just won’t work. So instead, a rocket to Mars will enter the Mars atmosphere at supersonic speeds using the shockwave from a blasting “retro” rocket to plow through the air instead of the old fashioned heat shield (“retro” here meaning opposite the direction of travel, not old fashioned)
Given this decision it’s interesting that SpaceX’s last booster reentry intentionally started it’s reentry burn high to simulate supersonic reentry burn conditions in the Mars atmosphere. And NASA mobilized special thermal cameras to record this experiment (that otherwise would’ve cost NASA hundreds of millions to test/simulate)