Following the Freedom Convoy

Following events as they are happening takes a bit of work, and this more so than most. It has the advantage of being stretched out in time, so the reader isn’t overwhelmed by a bunch of things happening all at once, but finding what, and why and when proved more difficult.

Here’s what I have found (incomplete, both due to the sheer amount of information, and my inability to read French).


Friday Jan. 14– Freedom Convoy Facebook Page Created

Sunday Jan. 16GoFundMe page created by Tamara Lich

Canadian Health Minister Defends the need for Trucker Vaccine Mandates (Global News)

Tuesday Jan. 18- BC truckers to join convoy across Canada in protest of mandatory vaccine (Western Standard)

Canada’s trucker vaccine rule is making freight and fruit pricier (Financial Post)

Thousands of Canadian truckers plan ‘Freedom Convoy’ to protest COVID jab mandates (Life Site News)

Thursday Jan. 20Routes and Times for the Convoy became available.

Adopt-A-Trucker set up on GiveSendGo, by Warroom Canada (actually probably happened sometime earlier)

From coast to coast, truck drivers agains COVID-19 vaccination regulations have gathered under the pan-Canadian banner ‘Convoy for Freedom 2022’

Thousands of truck drivers plan to slowly converge and meet on Parliament Hill on Jan. 28

‘Slow-roll’ protest planned by Quebec truckers against COVID-19 vaccination mandate (Global News)

GoFundMe was nearly $580,000 (Global News) at this time.

Saturday Jan. 22– First Convoy was scheduled to leave Prince Rupert, Canada at 7 AM

Also seems to have been the start of Worldwide Freedom Rallies, so that also accounts for some protests going on within Canadian cities.

Monday Jan. 24-Convoys were scheduled to depart from Calgary, Lloydminster, and Prince Albert for Regina

Anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown protests erupted all over Toronto this weekend (blogTO)

Truckers are the proxy protesters for a lot of angry Canadians (National Post, Opinion)

“Freedom Convoy” set to pass through Regina on trek to Ottawa (620 ckrm)

Alberta senator calls anti-mandate protesters a “systemic problem” (The Counter Signal)

Trudeau slams ‘fear mongering’ over COVID vaccine mandate for truckers (National Post)

Who’s Fuelling the Truckers Protesting Vaccine Mandates? (The Tyee)

The trucker caravan from the Edmonton, Alberta, area alone yesterday was said to be more than 40 kilometers in length before arriving in Calgary to head east to Ottawa.”

50,000 trucks heading toward Ottawa to demand an end to COVID mandates (Life Site)

Wednesday Jan. 26– Convoy scheduled to depart Kenora for Thunder Bay

(Posted Jan. 26- but may include video from prior days

Freedom Convoy 2022 was well received entering TB (Lake Superior News)

Transport minister concerned trucker convoy becoming a lightning rod for far-right fringe (National Post)

“Freedom Convoy” organizer says it’s not affiliated with extremist groups (Daily Hive)

Massive Crowds Cheer as Canadian Truckers Lead ‘Freedom Convoy’ Protesting Vaccine Mandates (CBN News)

Trucker convoy reaches Ontario amid fears of violence from fringe groups in Ottawa (blogTO)

“The small fringe minority of people who are on the way to Ottawa who are holding unacceptable views that they are expressing do not represent the views of Canadians who have been there for each other”

-Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
“…small fringe minority….”

Friday Jan. 28– Convoys depart for Ottawa- with only two routes scheduled to reach Ottawa on Saturday

Canada must confront the toxic ‘Freedom Convoy’ head-on (Washington Post, Opinion)

Support for Freedom Convoy heats up despite Trudeau’s chill (Post Media)

There’s a lot of trucks in Freedom Convoy 2022 but not nearly the 50,000 they claim (National Post)

Freedom Convoy spokesman Benjamin Dichter joins Tucker Carlson to discuss the huge trucker protest (The Post Millennial)

Canadian Freedom Truckers Inspire The World As they Get Closer to Ottawa To Stand Up To Trudeau (SGT Report)

Ottowa police warn residents to stay away as ‘Freedom Convoy’ arrives in the city (The Peterborough Examiner)

Trudeau concerned trucker convoy converging on Parliament Hill could turn violent (Vancouver Sun)

Convoys of Canadian trucks are en route to Ottawa for a protest against vaccine mandates. (New York Times)

Here’s the Latest Update After GoFundMe Froze Millions Raised for Canada’s Anti Vaccine Mandate ‘Freedom Convoy’ (Daily Wire)

What the truckers want (and why Ottawa can’t give it to them (National Post)

GoFundMe finally releases $6.3 million for Trucker Freedom Convoy (From the Trenches)

Sunday Jan. 30– Protests Day 2

Freedom Convoy: Truckers cause chaos in Ottawa after second day of protests (BBC)

Multiple criminal investigations underway for ‘desecration’ of Canadian monuments after protests against Covid-19 mandates, police say (CNN)

Freedom Convoy 2022 live updates: House to resume sitting, truckers plan new protests (National Post)

‘Freedom!’ Dutch Truckers Join Canadians in Convoying Against Lockdown Measures (Breitbart)

Convoy protesters make for ‘a really tough day’ at Ottawa’s Shepherds of Good Hope shelter: CEO (Calgary Herald)

Swastikas, other hate symbols displayed at Canadian protest against COVID Mandates (Times of Israel)

Interview with Canadian Member of Parliament Leslyn Lewis

‘Tyrant On The Run’: Internet Blasts Trudeau For Fleeing Capital As ‘Freedom Convoy’ Protest Heads His Way (Daily Wire)

CTV News “Heavy police presence monitoring trucker convoy in Ottawa”

Australian Freedom Convoy 2022 in pictures and videos (Faith Reporters)

Police Report No Violence as Thousands Stage Peaceful Protest in Canadian Capital Over Mandates (Epoch Times)

Justin Trudeau moved to a secret location as thousands in Canada protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates for truckers and other restrictions (Yahoo News)

Everything we know so far about the Nazi Flag guy (True North)

Convoy to DC 2022 (Marshall Report)

Saskatchewan premier issues letter in support of truckers: Police makes ‘no sense’ (The Gazette)

Convoy Organizers hold first press conference

Tuesday Feb. 1– Protests Day 4

Truck blockade continues at U.S. border as RCMP ready to make arrests, tow vehicles (Lethbridge News)

Freedom Convoy: Blockade at Alberta border crossing ‘unlawful’ (BBC)

Canadian police move against truck blockade at US-Canada border (Freight Waves)

Alberta towing companies reject requests to supply trucks to RCMP (Western Standard)

Canada ‘Freedom Convoy’: Ottawa police set up hate crime hotline despite admitting protests remain peaceful (Tribune Media)

Canada’s Freedom Convoy has perfectly exposed legacy media’s conceited bias (EU Times)

Freedom Convoy refuses to free Ottawa (National Post)

Shared by the Freedom Convoy 2022 Facebook Page

Israelis To Join Canada, Other Countries in ‘Convoy of Freedom’ (Israel 365 News)

Canada convoy: Truckers ban media as Trudeau refuses meeting and calls protest an ‘insult to truth’ (Independent)

After Over $10 Million Raised for Canadian Truckers, GoFundMe Freezes the Page (Pacific Pundit)

Thursday Feb. 3 Protests Day 6

Freedom convoy plans move to Winnipeg (The Carillon)

Freedom Convoy: No plans to call in military, says Trudeau (BBC)

RCMP and CBP say safety is top priority in the freedom convoy protests (Montana Right Now)

Freedom convoy’s GoFundMe suspended following complaints from Ottawa government (Rebel News)

Quebec Premier open to meeting with Quebec freedom convoy (Rebel News)

Facebook and GoFundMe Attack Freedom Trucker Convoy in Attempt to Derail Workers’ Uprising (SGT Report)

Justice Centre representing 2022 Truckers’ Freedom Convoy (Justice Centre)

How Canada’s ‘freedom convoy’ was overtaken by a radical fringe (National Post)

Freedom Convoy Feeding Homeless and Truckers

Toronto police, mayor say they won’t allow ‘Convoy for Freedom’ to negatively affect residents, businesses (

Toronto doing ‘everything we can’ to prevent repeat of Ottawa’s disruption at Saturday truck protests, Tory says (Toronto Star)

Blockade at Coutts Border Crossing

Saturday Feb. 5 Protest Day 8

‘Freedom Convoy’ supporters roll through Niagara (Niagara Falls Review)

Freedom Convoy: GoFundMe seizes funds of Canada ‘occupation’ (World Justice News)

Full text here

Crowds of demonstrators join rallies across Canada as Covid-19 trucker protests spread (CNN)

Makeshift Restaurant Built Amidst Downtown Freedom Convoy Protest

As ‘Freedom Convoy’ hits Toronto,other cities, the anti-mandate movement is larger and faces more opposition than ever (Toronto Star)

‘Beginning of the end’: GoFundMe faces avalanche of backlash after yanking Freedom Convoy campaign (BizPac Review)

GoFundMe Reverses Plans on ‘Freedom Convoy’ Donations, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Promises Investigation (MSN)

Republican leaders commit to investigating GoFundMe because the company took down the Freedom Convoy’s fundraiser (Blaze Media)

Here’s How the so-called Freedom Convoy is still raising ‘thousands of dollars’ per minute even without GoFundMe (Toronto Star)

Elon Musk Responds to GoFundMe Canceling Freedom Convoy Fund For Canadian Truckers (Daily Wire)

Freedom Convoy: Media SMEAR Campaign (SGT Report)

Toronto sees massive Freedom Convoy protest packing city’s downtown (Rebel News)

Farm Tractors in Toronto to Support the “Freedom” Convoy (Nouspique)

Ottawa declares ‘state of emergency’ amid continuing blockades and raucous protests over covid measures (MSN)

Watch: Driver Deliberately Hits 4 Protesters in One Of The Many Canadian ‘Freedom Convoy’ Protests (Clash Daily)

Man plows SUV into Freedom Convoy protesters (News Wars)

Hit-and-run injures protesters at Winnipeg freedom rally (Rebel News)

February 5th, Ottowo

Monday Feb. 7 Protest Day 10

Backers of ‘Freedom Convoy’Cite Overcoming Communism in Their Support of Canadian Truckers (Singapore Daily News)

Breaking: Ontario Superior Court grants injunction against honking in downtown Ottowa (Rebel News)

Breaking: Ontario Liberals threaten to Confiscate trucks from peaceful protesters if they don’t leave Ottawa (The Post Millennial)

UK Freedom Convoy tells GB News: ‘We’re not far-right, we want the freedom of choice’ (Global News)

Trucker convoy: Statement calls police fuel confiscation ‘inhumane’ (Vancouver Sun)

Freedom convoy protesters in Ottawa are carrying around jerrycans in protest to the arrests of individuals with fuel on their person

The Freedom Convoy has been peaceful and respectful, despite claims to the contrary (Life Site)

Freedom Convoy movement spreads across the globe (European Renaissance)

Ottawa is canceling police officers’ days off as the Freedom Convoy protests continue. Some have worked 2 weeks without a break. (Insider)

GiveSendGo fundraiser for Freedom Convoy hits $4.5 million after GoFundMe shuts page down (The Gazette)

Saturday January 15th- requirements for entry into Canada changed for unvaccinated (or partially vaccinated) truck drivers. While Canadian truck drivers can still enter Canada (and be subject to testing and quarantine requirements), those that are not Canadian will be turned away at the border.

COVID-19 vaccine mandate, ongoing labour shortages challenging for Manitoba trucking industry (CBC News)

Monday Jan. 17Truckers Protest Vaccine Mandate at the Emerson Border Crossing

Steinbach Online

Wednesday Jan. 19Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) releases statement on Protests- in short, they do not support them.

The trucking industry was caught by surprise on Jan. 12 when the Canada Border Services Agency sent a statement to media saying that unvaccinated and partially vaccinated truck drivers crossing into Canada from the United States would remain exempt from the vaccine mandate that had long been expected to come into force last weekend.

The federal government reversed that the next afternoon with a statement that said the information shared the day before had been sent in error.  The exemption would still end Jan. 15, meaning truck drivers would need to be fully vaccinated if they wanted to avoid a two-week quarantine and pre-arrival molecular test for COVID-19 before crossing into Canada.

Freedom Convoy Truckers Protesting Covid Mandates Travel to Ottawa (Discover Weyburn)

Friday Jan. 21Truck convoy to pass through Toronto in protest against vaccine mandates (blogTO)

A GoFundMe has raised more than $800,000 to support the truckers, and fundraiser organizer Tamara Lich demands the government stop all mandates.”

President of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, Mike Millian, discussed the vaccination requirements in both the United States (beginning Jan. 22) and Canada

Convoy of truckers against vaccine mandates ready to roll on Ottowa (Toronto Sun)

Sunday Jan. 23– Convoy was scheduled to leave Prince George at 7 AM, bound for Calgary, while another departed for Calgary from Vancouver.

Hundreds of truckers headed to Ottawain ‘Freedom Rally’ convoy against vaccine mandate (CBC News)

At this point- I might recommend muting youtube, otherwise there is a lot of honking.

Rallies also occurred at overpasses.

GoFundME over $2.5 Million (CBC News)

Tuesday Jan. 25– Convoys were scheduled to depart from Regina for Kenora

‘Freedom Rally’ truckers convoy hits Ontario- picking up Conservative political support as it rolls (Toronto Star)

Funds frozen after millions raised for truckers protesting vaccine mandate (CTV News)

Trucker convoy might not get the $5 million it raised to protest vaccine mandates in Canada (blogTO)

Trudeau Is Ignoring The Freedom Convoy Because He Knows His Agenda Is Failing (National Telegraph, Opinion)

Canadian Truckers Lead ‘Freedom Convoy’ To Ottawa To Protest Vaxx Mandate (Daily Wire)

Thursday Jan. 27– Several Groups rolling on thursday; The group from Thunder Bay scheduled bound for Sault STe. Marie, with additional groups departing from St. Johns, Enfield, Riviere-du-Loup, Windsor, Sarnia, Niagra and Toronto

Canadian ‘freedom’ truckers massive vaccine mandate protest convoy may smash world record (Fox News)

Canadians Furious After Trudeau’s ‘Fringe Minority’ Comment As Thousands of Truckers Head to Capital (Daily Wire)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is isolating after learning of COVID exposure (Toronto Star)

Freedom Convoy plans to gridlock Ottawa until all vaccine mandates repealed (Edmonton Journal)

Elon Musk tweets in support of Canadian truckers ahead of ‘Freedom Rally’ protest (MSN)

Large Amount of support for Freedom Convoy (Lake Superior News)

This trucker thing probably isn’t going to end well (National Post)

Polls Show Popular Support for Trucker Convoy in Canada Despite Trudeau’s Claim it Represents ‘Fringe Minority’ (American Greatness)

Saturday Jan. 29– Last two convoys scheduled to arrive in Ottowa

Freedom Convoy: Why Canadian truckers are protesting in Ottawa (BBC News)

Trucker convoy rumbles into Canada’s capital carrying COVID and mandate beefs (Freight Waves)

Canada’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ of up to 50,000 truckers begins to arrive in Ottawa ahead of a weekend of protests against the vaccine requirements to cross (Canada Free Press)

Washington Post political cartoon labels trucker convoy as ‘fascism,’ which ignites fierce firestorm: ‘Devoid of wit or truth. Shameful and pathetic.’ (Blaze Media)

Demonstrators descend upon Sask. Legislative Building for ‘solidarity convoy’ opposing vaccine mandate for truckers (CTV News)

Fact Check: Canada truck convoy not an official Guinness World Record (Yahoo News)

Freedom Convoy 2022, Saturday: Thousands pack Parliament Hill for protest (National Post)

Terry Fox statue defaced with “mandate freedom” amid Ottawa Protest (Daily Hive)

Province in Canada bans gathering along highway ‘in support of the 2022 Freedom Convoy’ (BizPac Review)

Trudeau Flees as trucker convoy Enters Ottawa (The Week)

Trucks traveled great distances to be in Ottawa, so did police snipers (Toronto Sun)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau silent as thousands join truckers’ protest in Ottawa (National Post)

Justin Trudeau and his family flee Canadian capital Ottawa as up to 50,000 ‘Freedom Convoy’ anti-vaccine mandate truckers arrive at his office -days after he dismissed them as a ‘small fringe minority’ (Daily Mail)

The “Freedom Convoy” is being prepared in Europe (French Daily News)

Ottowa Freedom Convoy Peaceful (Lake Superior News)

Monday Jan. 31– Protests Day 3

Is Freedom Convoy Coming to America? (Transportation Nation)

Freedom Convoy Organizer Tearfully Tells of Canadians Helping Truckers (Daily Wire)

“Freedom Convoy” draws support and criticism (Toronto Star)

More than $9 million raised for so-called Freedom Convoy (Daily Hive)

Pierre Poilievre defends #TruckersForFreedom Protest”

Soup kitchen harassment to confederate flags: Controversial moments at Canadian trucker convoy protest (Independent)

Freedom Convoy dismantles stereotypes about who is opposed to vaccine mandates (National Post)

Washington Post, MSNBC trash Canadian ‘Freedom Convoy’ truckers: ‘It’s a cult’ (Fox News)

Post continues- far longer than I can get a readable screenshot
Message to Truckers- mostly organizational updates, but well worth watching

Wednesday Feb. 2
Protests Day 5

Canadian trucker ‘Freedom Convoy’: 2 charged, 13 active investigations (Fox News)

‘Significant element’ from U.S. involved in self-described ‘Freedom Convoy’ in Canada, official says (Washington Post)

New developments in border protest, local businesses see impacts (Montana Right Now)

Freedom Convoy Working? Saskatchewan Dropping All COVID Restrictions, Vax Passports By End Of Month (Sign of the Times)

Freedom Convoy: Organizers pledge to stay ‘as long as it takes’ (BBC News)

Freedom Convoy: Police Move in as public turns on truckers blocking US-Canada border (Independent)

Ottowa police may seek military assistance as ‘Freedom Convoy’ protesters dig in (Toronto Star)

Day 5: Freedom Convoy still strong in Ottawa (Rebel News)

Friday Feb. 4 Protest Day 7

My First Week in CanadaA bit lengthy, but written by someone in Ottawa

‘Freedom Convoy’ Lawyers Demand GoFundMe Release Fundraising Haul (Daily Wire)

#Breaking: GoFundMe refuses to release money donated to Freedom Convoy (True North)

Majority of Canadians disagree with ‘freedom convoy’ on vaccine mandates and lockdowns (McMaster University)

West Virginia Attorney General Slams GoFundMe, Urges Residents To Report Deceptive Practices After ‘Freedom Convoy’ Page Shut Down (Daily Wire)

Ottawa Police ADMIT to lobbying GoFundMe to withhold funds from Canadian truckers (The Post Millenial)

Ottawa police promise heavy crackdown on Freedom Convoy, despite data showing crime down in Ottawa (Rebel News)

Liberal MP compares freedom convoy funding to “terrorist financing” (True North)

Fact Check: Canadian ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest didn’t surpass size of country’s army (Yahoo News)

We need protections from the ‘freedom convoy’ in Ottawa that don’t involve the police (Queens Journal)

Counterprotesters vs Freedom Convoy (notTV)

Military tells Ottawa to find someone else to evict the truckers (National Post)

Freedom Convoy Expected to Grow! Truckers Vow to Continue “Until It’s A Free Nation Again (SGT Report)

Ottawa police deploy more officers ahead of weekend demonstration

Where did all of the THOUSANDS of trucks end up in Ottawa? Diverted by police AWAY from downtown (Rebel News)

Tow Truck Companies Refuse to Remove Convoy Trucks

Truck convoy: $9.8M class-action lawsuit filed against “Freedom Convoy”; GoFundMe ends fundraising campaign; Protesters spotted in the suburbs; Kitchen erected in Confederation Park (The World News)

‘Vancouver doesn’t want you here’: Mayor addresses Saturday’s planned protest convoy (Vancouver is Awesome)

Possibly a Freedom Convoy getting started in Berlin, but my German is as poor as my French, so I’m not certain.

Sunday Feb. 6 Protest Day 9

State of emergency declared in Ottawa

Breaking: Man charged in Winnipeg car attack on convoy protest is radical-left anarchist (Rebel News)

Freedom Convoy Raises $2M on GiveSendGo After GoFundMe Removes Campaign (Newsweek)

‘Freedom Convoy’ protest exposes hypocrisy in Ottawa (Toronto Star, Opinion)

Canadian policecall the Freedom Convoy a ‘nation-wide insurrection’ (The Blaze)

GoFundMe unable to stop donations to Freedom Convoy (Lake Superior News)

Ottowa Police Back Down to Freedom Convoy Protesters (The Liberty Beacon)

Cruz Takes Action In Pushing Federal Agency To Investigate GoFundMe For Canceling Freedom Convoy (Daily Wire)

Ottawa Police Seize Fuel From Freedom Convoy Protest Site, Make More Arrests (The Epoch Times)

The Freedom Convoy dance part in downtown Ottawa continues (Canada Free Press)

Several people arrested for bringing gas to ‘Freedom Convoy’ demonstrators in Ottawa, police say (CTV News)

Freedom Convoy Responds to Ottowa Police

Breaking: Police begin ARRESTING convoy protesters outside parliament (Rebel News)

‘Possibly Illegal behavior’: Ashley Moody blasts GoFundMe after Freedom Convoy Flip (Florida Politics)

Note: If you want something up to date, go elsewhere. We come out on Tuesdays.

Not much on the blockades at the border? No, that’s a separate post.

If you’re interested in following this in real time, your best bet would seem to be using social media and watching live-streams.


Have You Two Been Vaccinated?

In the past couple of weeks, Renata and I have been asked “Have you been vaccinated?” by several different people.  Now I don’t mind saying yes – but I’m not sure that the question really is what it sounds like.  I think the question is “Can we visit your place with certainty that we won’t catch covid?”  Perhaps the question is “Have you been immunized?” 

Vaccinated and immune have two different meanings.  The history of smallpox vaccination shows the differences over a thousand-year timeline.  The first vaccinations recorded are in China, after 1000 CE.  They’d grind up the scabs from someone with smallpox, and blow the dust into your nostrils – along with something like a 2% mortality rate.  Since the death rate from smallpox was about 30%, it seemed like a decent risk.  This practice was variolation, not vaccination.

This development was state of the art until Jennings developed vaccination about 800 years later.   You remember, he took matter from the sores on a cow that had cowpox and injected it into people.  The latin word for cow – vacca – became the root of the word “vaccination.”  Since cowpox wasn’t smallpox, it took the risk of death down to about zero – but the minimal controls of the early 19th century kept the effectiveness down.  Jennings methodology didn’t guarantee the inoculation actually included cowpox.   Even as smallpox was eradicated, the vaccine was only 95% effective – but a 95% effective vaccine wiped out smallpox. 

Life is a game of percentages – the only certainty is death . . . but we don’t know when.  When my colon cancer was diagnosed in May, 2009, the prediction was June, 2012.  The prediction changed when Rick Holm convinced his colleagues to humor me and look at the 2002 chest X-rays.  Just old scars, no new metastasis.  It changed the diagnosis from stage 4 to early stage 3.  All from looking at one 7 year-old X-ray. 

CDC says my two doses of Pfizer should be 84% effective.  Israel’s health ministry rates it at 39%.   Personally, even 39% effective is worth getting the vaccine – I have made a point of getting flu shots that were no more effective.  But the answer to “Have you been vaccinated?” isn’t really a simple yes or no if the question is actually “Have you been immunized?”

I think my friends are happier visiting with the knowledge I’ve been vaccinated, and not knowing the percentage effectiveness.  Vaccinated generally translates to less chance of getting sick – but few vaccines are 100% effective.  The recent infectiousness of this last covid outbreak has demonstrated that vaccination is not synonymous with immunization. 

A Science for Everyone, Community

Other Vaccine Effectiveness

I got the Covid vaccine as soon as I could.  I think I might have been vaccinated earlier but for the manner in which the local government picked folks to vaccinate – I wasn’t sitting by the phone when the call came in, and that healthy, outdoors behavior put me a couple weeks later than I wanted.

I’m one of the people who was in line for the polio vaccine – and it wasn’t far out of the experimental stage.  A classmate who is with you in kindergarten one day, then gone, and the dread word polio makes for a willingness to step up for vaccination.  As a kid, I didn’t know that the Salk vaccine was only 65% effective against one strain, and about 90% effective against the others.  Multiplication and division were still challenges back then – but I got the vaccine.

I don’t need a perfect vaccine – the vaccine is to improve my odds.  I get flu vaccinations, and the table from CDC shows how that works.   The important part is “Adjusted Overall VE (%)

Table. Adjusted vaccine effectiveness estimates for influenza seasons from 2004-2018

CDC calculates vaccine effectiveness estimates through the U.S. VE Network

Influenza SeasonReferenceStudy Site(s)No. of PatientsAdjusted Overall VE (%)95% CI
2018-19Flannery 2020 WI, MI, PA, TX, WA3,2542921, 35
2017-18Rolfes 2019 WI, MI, PA, TX, WA8,4363831, 43
2016-17Flannery 2019 WI, MI, PA, TX, WA74104032, 46
2015-16Jackson 2017 WI, MI, PA, TX, WA68794841, 55
2014-15Zimmerman 2016 WI, MI, PA, TX, WA93111910, 27
2013-14Gaglani 2016 WI, MI, PA, TX, WA59995244, 59
2012-13McLean 2014 WI, MI, PA, TX, WA64524943, 55
2011-12Ohmit 2014 WI, MI, PA, TX, WA47714736, 56
2010-11Treanor 2011 WI, MI, NY, TN47576053, 66
2009-10Griffin 2011 WI, MI, NY, TN67575623, 75
2008-09UnpublishedWI, MI, NY, TN67134130, 50
2007-08Belongia 2011 WI19143722, 49
2006-07Belongia 2009 WI8715222, 70
2005-06Belongia 2009 WI34621-52, 59
2004-05Belongia 2009 WI76210-36, 40

The important thing is that, in 15 years of data, the best record the vaccine had was 60% effectiveness.  The worst was down to 10% effectiveness.  If I’m playing blackjack, and I can get a 10% edge, that’s good.  If I can get a 60% edge, that’s great.  I don’t expect a vaccine -particularly one that had a rushed development-  to be 100%.

Smallpox was ended with a vaccine that was about 95% effective – “Effective smallpox vaccines have a vaccinia titer of approximately 108 pock-forming units per mL, and more than 95% of individuals develop a ‘take’ with neutralizing antibodies after primary vaccination. “ It’s worth remembering that it took several centuries to develop that vaccine.

Vaccines are more a statisticians game, or a gambler’s science.  Today’s polio vaccine is about as close to 100% effective as you can get.  The vaccines aren’t magic bullets – but they are better bullets.  It may take a while – but I’m betting the Coronavirus vaccines will become increasingly effective.  The problem is that the scientists are working on better vaccines, and politicians and administrators are working on press releases.


Board of Health Meeting: Reports, Vaccines, and more

In a meeting that lasted the better part of three hours, the board of health appointed officers, selected a candidate to recommend to the commissioners for replacing a board member, heard reports and answered questions.

After an hour and forty minutes (when the audience had, admittedly, started to thin substantially), reports began.

Team 56: It’s not entirely clear why Team 56 reports to the health board, or what their precise relationship to the board is. However, it was reported to the board that Team 56 delivered masks to high schools, “spread kindness, not covid” posters, as well as delivered thank you notes and balloon bouquets to the ER staff.

Covid Response Report: Jeff Peterson (yes, this is the same Jeff Peterson that the board recommended the commissioners appoint to the board) reported on the work he’s doing for the county (on contract). It sounds as though most of Peterson’s time has been spent filming videos for the website. The current focus is on frequently asked questions and “translating the science”.

Medical Provider Summary: Provided by board member Dr. Sara Mertes. Many of the first responders have received their first vaccine and the second will be administered soon. The vaccine used was the Moderna vaccine, and they hope to be administering vaccines to the community in the next several weeks.

Covid 19- Vaccinations– The county health department is working with clinics and hospital to put together a central list so that when vaccines arrive, people will be on the list for vaccines. They are prioritizing age and underlying conditions. The public can call the health department to get on the list, and the county will ask only for age and name (though information about a qualifying health condition could be provided). While there is a CDC program people can opt into for tracking symptoms/side-effects, it’s totally optional.

They were very blunt on the current states of vaccines in Lincoln County. They county has no idea how many vaccines we will receive, where they will arrive, or when. We can, however, expect that it will be the Moderna vaccine.

ChemPACK plan– No changes, but the plan is reviewed annually. This is part of the emergency medical counter measure plan. The chempack is a CDC owned cache containing nerve agent antidotes. Board approved the plan.

Liaison (George Jamison, county representative, leaving the board in order to devote more time as a volunteer with the asbestos program ): The PEN regulation– property valuation notification process- was formally adopted last March. One of the provisions was deferment on when it would become effective. This evening’s action item was to make it effective, as of February 1st. This regulation will impact the folks down in the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site.

Health Officer: Dr. Black spoke. He stated that while vaccines are not that far away, it’ll take time to get enough people vaccinated in the community. Dr. Black imagined looking at people’s faces with out masks in 6 or 7 months, but says we won’t be there until we get 80% of people vaccinated. He thinks that a high participation in vaccination will be necessary in order to get back to normal.

At 8:40, Jim Seifert discussed the rating system he’d proposed at the last meeting. He had decided not to put it on the agenda. One reason is that the health department is already overwhelmed and he didn’t want to add to their burden. He says he still believes that if one hospitalization or one death would be prevented, a rating system would be worthwhile. However, implementation would take several months and the vaccine is coming out.

Proposed update to operating procedures– tabled (It’s getting late. The room is cold)

Public Comment:

DC Orr: DC Orr critiqued Dr. Black’s response to someone’s question on vaccine safety (Dr. Black responded to a question by telling the person asking to read the vaccine studies). DC Orr suggests that Dr. Black could present on the topic. He also noted that the board is not familiar with its bylaws and did not follow the rules of order. He suggests they read a handbook on board membership. He then asked why Team 56, not being a governmental unit, was on the Agenda. Quoting Jim Seifert at the previous meeting, he described Seifert’s words as “demonizing” the community and called for him to apologize.

Trista Gillmore: Trista Gillmore, as Lincoln County Public Health Nurse would like to answer people’s questions about mRNA vaccines and provided her email (she may need a few days to answer questions):

Diane Watson: Diane Watson noted that the website for the county health department states that it says the public has 7 days to submit questions if they want them discussed at the meeting. She asked when the agenda and minutes would be posted?

The board clarified that the agenda must be posted 48 hours (2 days) in advance of the meeting but will be posted at least the Friday before the meeting). Draft minutes are always posted with the agenda.

While there seemed to be some confusion on how to answer the question (the problem of having to ask questions 7 days in advance of the meeting with the agenda not yet posted). Finally, Jan Ivers (board chair) explained that it is what the board is looking at with revising operating procedure number 2.

With that, the meeting was adjourned. The meeting times have been changed to 6 pm on Tuesdays, the second Tuesday of the month. The next meeting will be February 9th.


Vaccination by the Pyramid

The term “population pyramid” goes back to a time when plotting populations by age really did produce a triangle, with a large base of young people and each older age cohort narrowing, until there were very few at the top.  As diseases became more controlled, and birth control entered the picture, the population pyramids changed shape,  The pyramid below is for the US in 2010.

(Data from )

Now, if we look at covid death rates by age cohort, Florida’s governor released survival rates back in September:

The numbers for the age cohorts are below – no need to extrapolate from the bars in the pyramid.  We’ll just take the complement of the survival rates, assume the vaccine is 100% effective, and calculate the potential lives saved in each cohort.

AgePopulationDeath RateLives Saved by Vaccination
70+22.8 million5.4%1,502,967
50-6985.8 million0.5%429,045
20-49127.5 million0.02%2,550
0-1983.3 million0.003%250
The Death Rate is 100% minus the survival rate for each age group. Lives Saved by Vaccination is the population of the age group multiplied by the death rate.

If everyone over the age of 70 were vaccinated (and the vaccine worked perfectly) 1,502,967 Lives would be saved. If everyone under the age of 20 were vaccinated, 250.

No editorializing here – just simple addition and multiplication with data from the census.  I know where I would put the first vaccinations if I had a limited supply.

Community, Laws, Ordinances & Regulations

Lincoln County Board of Health Informative Meeting- Part 2

The County Board of Health met Wednesday, December 16th for an informative meeting. It wasn’t just an informative meeting though- it contained a proposal (one which the board anticipates discussing at the next meeting). The proposal (by Jim Seifert of Troy), while at the end of the meeting, was sufficiently surprising that we included it in part 1 last week.

The meeting began with Jan Ivers (board chair) discussing viruses and predicting another pandemic. Then, County Commissioner Mark Peck presented on the legal foundations of the Board of Health and gave a brief “how it all works” explanation. After, Kathi Hooper (Director of the County Health Department) explained the board’s budget.

Presentation about Testing: Lyn Thompson, a laboratory scientist, spoke via zoom about testing for the virus. She spoke with great enthusiasm about her topic, three tests: Molecular Diagnostic, Antigen test and Antibody test. According to Thompson, the four important characteristics of a lab test are: accuracy, timeliness, sensitivity, specificity.

A couple big things about the molecular part of it [testing], what it does not do: It does not tell you if the patient is infectious. It does not tell you if the patient is contagious. “

Lyn Thompson

Thompson clarified that the test itself simply detects or does not detect the virus. Antigen testing looks for a protein, rather than DNA, and is less specific and less sensitive but a quicker test. Antibody tests, meanwhile, are more useful for determining if someone has had a virus than if they are currently infectious.

A lot of these tests are only supposed to be done on symptomatic patients. Specifically the antigen test is really dependent on the person has to be symptomatic with covid-like symptoms in the first five days.”

Lyn Thompson

Thompson continued to explain that delaying an antigen test could result in a negative result, even in someone who had Covid-19, if they delayed long enough. Furthermore, an asymptomatic patient with Covid-19 could still have a negative result with an antigen test.

Presentation on Collaborative Medical Care: Sara (presumably Dr. Sara Mertes of Cabinet Peaks Medical Center, new member of the health board) spoke about the procedures used to both care for patients and avoid potential exposures. When a patient tests positive, the information is given to the Health Department, which does follow-up and contact tracing with the patient.

Cabinet Peaks Medical Center is able to send patients home with a monitor, which checks for drops in oxygen levels or tachycardia (rapid heart rate). Unfortunately, these monitors require WiFi or cell service, so are of limited utility.

Presentation on Contact Tracing: Jenn McCully, Lincoln County Public Health Manager, discussed what happens when the Health Department is notified of a covid case. Contact tracing assumes that someone is contagious either two days before symptoms, or two days before the positive test (whichever is sooner). Isolation is supposed to be at least 10 days, and to include being isolated from other household members. It will also include occasional calls and check-ins from the department.

Presentation on Vaccinations: Dr. Kelli Jarrett, of the Northwest Community Health Center, gave an overview about how vaccines work. Then, she went into more detail about the Covid-19 vaccine. The vaccine is an mRNA vaccine, which makes it somewhat different from the vaccines we are used to.

The reason that mRNA technology is actually really nice, especially in this circumstance is that it can be scaled up much faster than our current vaccine technology.”

Dr. Kelli Jarrett

Dr. Jarrett provided a detailed overview of the safety data for the Pfizer vaccine, and observed that the number of adverse reactions seen in the trials is comparable to commonly used vaccines (adverse reaction can include pain, fever or muscle aches; it needn’t be severe). The efficacy rate of the vaccine seems to be quite high.

The presentations wrapped up with contact information: Anyone with questions for specific presenters should contact Kathi Hooper, the director of the County Health Department.

Finally, the meeting closed with a comment from Jim, the Board of Health member representing Troy. Seifert proposed giving businesses an A/B/C/D rating, primarily based on mask wearing (both of employees and customers). His proposal seems to entail members of the county health department inspecting and rating businesses.

The Board of Health next meets on January 13th. According to Board Chair Jan Ivers, Seifert’s proposal will probably be on the agenda.