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Bank of Canada Rate Decision December 2021
December 19, 2021
6:59 am
Bill
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You're right, mordko, I just think people are "it's been 70 years of so of pretty much non-stop party time for the vast majority here in Canada so I'm rolling with that, I won't be around if the money runs out anyway". Real hard times for everybody have just never come around here, that's a fact.

December 20, 2021
9:59 am
RetirEd
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The media and politicians (for whom I have considerable respect - I'm no elite-basher) have switched to talking about lower hospital occupancy rates. But the high spreading rares and low morbigity/mortality mean we have entirely given up on actually eradicating the pandemic.

We need extreme vigilance and a push to get better vaccine effectiveness on delta and omicron variants. Pfizer is talking March at the earliest; others haven't said much about new vaccines, possibly because the spread is still at an early stage and understanding still emerging.

Simply keeping people alive and hospital beds available is a recipe for chronic COVID-19 spread, death and socio-economic disruption.
RetirEd

December 20, 2021
11:22 am
Norman1
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RetirEd said
The media and politicians (for whom I have considerable respect - I'm no elite-basher) have switched to talking about lower hospital occupancy rates. But the high spreading rares and low morbigity/mortality mean we have entirely given up on actually eradicating the pandemic.

That's not the situation at all. They are talking about slowing the spread and the hospitalizations instead of eradication because that's all that can be done in the coming weeks.

Preliminary data has been mixed about how many severe cases Omicron will cause. Try to slow the spread in case Omicron turns out to be not less severe enough.

The vaccines can eventually be recalibrated for Delta and Omicron variants. That will take months to do.

December 20, 2021
9:18 pm
Kidd
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It's really important, more so than ever, to watch the hospital numbers.

In ontario, 20% of those testing positive are UNVACCINATED. If 20% of ontario's population is unvaccinated, then the vaccine has become ineffective at stopping someone from catching covid.

Dec 20th. In ontario, 3,784 positives, of that 746 were UNVACCINATED.

https://www.cp24.com/news/ontario-reports-3-784-new-cases-of-covid-19-no-new-deaths-1.5714058

December 20, 2021
10:01 pm
Loonie
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These statistics can be confusing.
The vaccine worked very well for the first several months after second dose; that's why these people weren't sick earlier.

However, a couple of months ago or so, researchers in Israel and Turkey reported that effectiveness started to wane around 3 months, but their numbers were not very large and this warning sign did not result in action here (or any place else that I know).

The Israeli research proved accurate. So, we now have a situation where a lot of people (I don't know the numbers; not sure if they are public) had their second dose more than 3 months ago. Only in the last few days did the authorities in Ontario decide to allow a third dose after only 3 months. Prior to that, over the last few weeks, one had to wait until almost six months.

Now, people are desperate to get that third dose but there are no appointments available and they sometimes have to wait in long lines in the cold, including the old and frail.

So there are lots of people walking around with only 2 doses, so-called "fully vaccinated", and those doses have much reduced effectiveness because too much time has passed, not because they didn't work. Those people are definitely vulnerable to infection now, so it gives the impression the vaccine was ineffective. It wasn't; it just wore off over time.

We also don't yet have definitive results on the effectiveness of any of the current vaccines against omicron variant (although it seems clear it has some effectiveness), so that could also be an issue. The vaccines we have were developed pre-Delta. I'm sure they are working as fast as they can to ensure that we have vaccines that will protect against newer variants, but the fact is that it's a moving target and science is always trying to catch up.

I realize we're getting off topic, but it is such a crucial issue to our health that it simply must be addressed when it comes up.

December 20, 2021
10:40 pm
Norman1
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The vaccines target the spikes of the original COVID virus. The vaccines have been quite effective against that original one and the variants before Omicron.

Unfortunately, the spikes of the Omicron variant are significantly different. So, the antibodies don't match the Omicron spikes as well as the spikes of previous variants.

South African researchers found the current vaccines, without a booster dose, are only around 30% effective in preventing an Omicron infection.

December 21, 2021
1:28 am
HermanH
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Kidd said
In ontario, 20% of those testing positive are UNVACCINATED. If 20% of ontario's population is unvaccinated, then the vaccine has become ineffective at stopping someone from catching covid.

Dec 20th. In ontario, 3,784 positives, of that 746 were UNVACCINATED.

https://www.cp24.com/news/ontario-reports-3-784-new-cases-of-covid-19-no-new-deaths-1.5714058  

The same is happening in Alberta; 75% of new cases are from INOCULATED people.

The commonly held myth was that inoculation somehow prevented infection. It does not. The only protection offered is a reduced of chance of hospitalization and severe outcome (death.) The majority of hospital cases confirms this protection.

The inoculated have always been able to catch and re-transmit it as easily as anyone else.

December 21, 2021
5:35 am
Bill
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The other hope is that Omicron ends up being much less severe. If we're really lucky, for the vaccinated it'll be not much worse than a cold, so then infection rates don't matter. That would be great.

Booking a booster shot was no problem in my area until yesterday when it opened to 18+ so the older folks I know are either done or booked for soon. Now there's a long wait time, but that could change if they can ramp up.

December 21, 2021
7:11 am
Norman1
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HermanH said

The commonly held myth was that inoculation somehow prevented infection. It does not. The only protection offered is a reduced of chance of hospitalization and severe outcome (death.) The majority of hospital cases confirms this protection.

That's not the case. COVID vaccines had been able to protect against infection.

In Yale Medicine: Comparing the COVID-19 Vaccines… , the Moderna vaccine was found to provide 90%+ protection against infection.

Now, we have the Omicron variant and the existing vaccines don't work as well against it. Without a booster dose, protection against Omicron infection falls to around 30% and protection against hospitalization falls to around 70%.

December 21, 2021
8:46 am
Vatox
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December 21, 2021
9:37 am
Bill
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Norman1, does your last phrase mean 30% of vaccinated people will end up in hospital? Or does it mean that their pre-omnicron rate of avoiding hospital has been reduced by 30%? I'm assuming the latter, just want to be clear.

December 21, 2021
10:37 am
Loonie
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Vatox said
The vaccines do reduce spreading, which is good.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2294250-how-much-less-likely-are-you-to-spread-covid-19-if-youre-vaccinated/  

This probably remains true to some unknown extent, but the article pre-dates omicron. Note too the final paragraph, which acknowledges effectiveness begins to wane after 3 months as I said above.

Another possible confounding factor may be that people who get double vaccinated are also more likely to follow other protocols which reduce transmission, such aas social distancing, masks, staying out of crowds. Ths makes it harder to establish the effectiveness of any single factor.

December 21, 2021
11:01 am
Norman1
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Bill said
Norman1, does your last phrase mean 30% of vaccinated people will end up in hospital? Or does it mean that their pre-omnicron rate of avoiding hospital has been reduced by 30%? I'm assuming the latter, just want to be clear.

The exact finding reported on December 14 in NPR: Vaccine protection vs. omicron infection may drop to 30% but does cut severe disease is that the Pfizer vaccine used to reduce hospitalizations by 90%. With Omicron now, the reduction is 70%.

Some of that 70% reduction remaining may not be from the vaccine alone. COVID swept through the South African population. Some estimate that 90% of the population there have survivor immunity from being infected or exposed to a previous variant.

December 21, 2021
11:19 am
HermanH
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Norman1 said

HermanH said

The commonly held myth was that inoculation somehow prevented infection. It does not. The only protection offered is a reduced of chance of hospitalization and severe outcome (death.) The majority of hospital cases confirms this protection.

That's not the case. COVID vaccines had been able to protect against infection.

I disagree.

Viral Loads Similar Between Vaccinated and Unvaccinated People

shows no significant difference in viral load between vaccinated and unvaccinated people who tested positive for the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2. It also found no significant difference between infected people with or without symptoms.

December 21, 2021
11:25 am
HermanH
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Vatox said
The vaccines do reduce spreading, which is good.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2294250-how-much-less-likely-are-you-to-spread-covid-19-if-youre-vaccinated/  

A significant point is missing:

the data used only went up to 24 March, before delta became dominant. The team is now using more recent data to work out the impact of delta

And Omicron is even more transmissible.

December 21, 2021
12:16 pm
Vatox
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HermanH said

A significant point is missing:

the data used only went up to 24 March, before delta became dominant. The team is now using more recent data to work out the impact of delta

And Omicron is even more transmissible.  

As always, I’ll simply say that it’s the best we have and the outcome is still better. In other words, if someone is thinking not to bother with vaccination because it may be less effective today, that’s wrong. It’s still the best choice along with safety protocols.

This thread is getting way off topic.

December 21, 2021
12:49 pm
Bill
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The Ontario top doctor just said on TV it appears as of now Omicron is about 4 - 8X more transmissible than previous variant, so that's a lot better than the possible 70X posited here earlier.

Also, he said it's too early to confirm it's not as severe, but there was no talk about possibility it's more severe. So I'll take that as another good indicator.

December 21, 2021
1:05 pm
Kidd
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BOc.

I thought the Bank of canada acted as an independent body, NOT controlled, dictated to, or influenced by, the federal government?

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-chrystia-freeland-to-announce-bank-of-canadas-new-mandate-on-monday/

Chrystia Freeland sent the BOc a mandate, stating what her's, and now theirs, inflation policy shall be. So let it be written, so let it be done.

(I am dying to use "mandate" in a joke but if i do, this post will be deleted.)

December 21, 2021
2:43 pm
Norman1
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HermanH said

The commonly held myth was that inoculation somehow prevented infection. It does not. The only protection offered is a reduced of chance of hospitalization and severe outcome (death.) The majority of hospital cases confirms this protection.

Norman1 said
That's not the case. COVID vaccines had been able to protect against infection.

HermanH said
I disagree.

Viral Loads Similar Between Vaccinated and Unvaccinated People

shows no significant difference in viral load between vaccinated and unvaccinated people who tested positive for the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2. It also found no significant difference between infected people with or without symptoms.

It is not surprising that, once infected and testing positive, there's little difference in viral load between the fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated.

Viral load when infected is not what the protection from infection numbers mean. 90% protection means 90% less people who get infected and test positive.

During the trials, half the participants are given the vaccine and half are given a placebo. They are all tested regularly for infection. 90% protection means that the number of people who got the vaccine and tested positive ends up being 0.1X of the number of people who got the placebo and tested positive.

December 21, 2021
6:02 pm
Bill
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Per Toronto Sun a few hours ago:
"Denmark’s Statnes Serum Institute looked at more than 143,000 cases between Nov. 22- Dec. 15 and found that people who contracted Omicron were nearly two-thirds less likely to end up in hospital. Just 0.5% of 18,941 Omicron-infected patients ended up in a hospital, compared to 1.4% of the 125,021 patients infected with other variants."

Also says hospitalization rates per cases are down in Denmark, UK and Ontario (15 of 4600 cases).

Hopefully more good news is coming. I'm feeling just a tiny tad more confident about the views I expressed in post #43.

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