Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #scienceupfirst

Most recents (24)

I gave a guest talk recently on identifying fake science news. Here is a framework we used: FALSE CASE 1/8

@CaulfieldTim @DrJenGunter @ScienceUpFirst @JonathanStea #ScienceUpFirst FALSE CASE: A Guide to Spotting Fake News F: Feel / Emotion
F: Feeling/Emotion. What feeling does the report trigger? Fake/sensational science news often uses explosive language to trigger emotions

A: Author. Who is it? What is their position? Who are they speaking for? 2/8
L: Language. What language is being used? Is it "sciencey-sounding" but actually just long words strung together? Is it inflammatory? Vague?

S: Source. What is the source of the study? Peer reviewed journal? Is there no source? 3/8
Read 8 tweets
Thimerosal!?

Aluminum!?

Formaldehyde!?

Polyethylene glycol!?

There’s lots of misinformation about these vaccine ingredients, so let’s spend some time finding out what’s safe and what’s not. 👇🏿

#ScienceUpFirst #NIAW2022

🧵[1/6] Thimerosal Aluminum  Formaldehyde  Polyethylene glycol (aka
Thimerosal?

It’s a form of mercury that stops microbes from growing in some vaccines. 🛑

It hasn’t been used in routine kids’ vaccines in Canada since 2001, but is in some flu shots.

The mercury dose is less than a can of tuna! 🐟

#ScienceUpFirst #NIAW2022

🧵[2/6]
Aluminum?

It’s an “adjuvant” that helps the body mount a stronger response.

The amounts in vaccines are *tiny.*

A child will get more aluminum from baby formula or nursing than vaccines in the first 6mo of life.

#ScienceUpFirst #NIAW2022

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Read 6 tweets
HPV is no joke.

There are 3 approved vaccines in Canada that prevent it.

Let’s talk about it ⬇️

#NIAW2022 #ScienceUpFirst

🧵[1/8] Let's talk about the HPV va...
HPV = Human Papillomavirus.

It’s the most common sexually transmitted viral infection worldwide (1).

It’s estimated 75% of sexually active unvaccinated Canadians will get it at some point (2).

#NIAW2022 #ScienceUpFirst

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You don’t even need to have sex to get HPV. It can be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact (3).

#NIAW2022 #ScienceUpFirst

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Read 8 tweets
When it comes to routine vaccines, stick to the schedule. It’s better that way. 📅

Wondering if, by spacing out your kids’ vaccines, you can save some tears?

We’ve got just the thread for you 👇🏽

#NIAW2022 #ScienceUpFirst

🧵[1/10] Can I space out my baby's v...
The routine immunization schedule here in Canada was developed for a reason: to provide optimal protection from vaccine-preventable diseases (1).

And with vaccines, timing is everything (2).

#NIAW2022 #ScienceUpFirst

🧵[2/10]
Here are a few understandable (but unfounded!) reasons you might think about spacing out vaccines:

- Will a baby’s immune system get “overloaded” by too many vaccines all at once?
- Will getting multiple vaccines at once hurt too much?

#NIAW2022 #ScienceUpFirst

🧵[3/10]
Read 10 tweets
Cases in many parts of Canada are on the rise 😩

And, because testing is so limited right now, most case graphs tell only part of the story.

So what do we do about it?

#ScienceUpFirst

🧵 [1/10] How do we respond to rising...
First of all: Are cases really going up?

Yes, because of a more infectious sub-variant (Omicron BA.2), relatively low booster coverage, and relaxing protection measures: health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/epide…

#ScienceUpFirst

🧵 [2/10] A chart showing the 7 day m...
Because tests are limited, in places like Ontario, experts estimate the true case count is 10x higher than what gets reported.

That’s why it’s useful to look at poop 💩.

Wastewater testing is telling us we’re in a 6th wave.

#ScienceUpFirst

🧵 [3/10]
Read 10 tweets
People don’t just wake up one morning convinced “globalists run the Internet.” 👁️

To get to that point, they need to travel down the rabbit hole. 🕳️

So what drives people towards conspiracy theories and extremism?

#ScienceUpFirst

🧵[1/12] Down the rabbit hole  What drives people towards conspiracy
Feelings of isolation (1) and uncertainty due to events outside your control (2) are a recipe for radicalization. It’s no wonder the pandemic has amplified conspiracy theories. 😰

#ScienceUpFirst

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Conspiracy theories give simple and structured answers for difficult questions, and can help ease anxiety. 😮‍💨

People with a greater desire for “cognitive closure” (total understanding of the world) are more likely to believe conspiracy theories (9).

#ScienceUpFirst

🧵[3/12]
Read 12 tweets
A recent safety report by Pfizer has been seized upon by misinformers. There’s nothing particularly new or scary about it, despite the #Pfizer #VaccineSideEffects hashtags circulating online.

Let’s dig in on how this data has been misrepresented 👇

🧵[1/9]

#ScienceUpFirst A screenshot of the cover p...
Part of the mix up comes from a misunderstanding of “adverse events”.

Adverse events (AEs) ≠ side effects

AEs may or may not be related to a treatment (e.g. vaccines) and they are monitored for both treatment groups and placebo groups.

🧵[2/9]

#ScienceUpFirst
For example, if a trial participant swallowed a penny, that would be included as an adverse event. Even though it’s clear vaccines can’t make you swallow pennies.

As always, correlation ≠ causation

🧵[3/9]

#ScienceUpFirst
Read 9 tweets
COVID isn’t over. We know that’s not what anyone wants to hear right now, but it’s true. 🤷🏽‍♂️

So what is endemicity, and what will it take for us to get there?

Read on to learn more 👇

#ScienceUpFirst

🧵 [1/12] Is COVID-19 endemic?  A lot...
What is an endemic disease? 🤔

A single definition of “endemic” is tough to pin down (1). But epidemiologists say it’s when the rates of a disease are constant - not rising and not falling (2).

#ScienceUpFirst

🧵 [2/12]
So, are we there yet with COVID-19? 📍

No we are not. COVID-19 remains unpredictable (3) and new variants will make it even more so (4).

#ScienceUpFirst

🧵 [3/12]
Read 12 tweets
Heard some sketchy stuff about the COVID-19 vaccine and your immune system?

This thread breaks down the myths 👇

🧵[1/12]

#ScienceUpFirst Vaccines are not going to ‘...
Myth: “COVID-19 vaccines created an HIV variant”

Reality: COVID-19 vaccines are not responsible for an HIV variant circulating in the Netherlands. A misrepresented study actually says the variant likely emerged in the 1990s.

🧵[2/12]

#ScienceUpFirst
Myth: “COVID-19 vaccines make you more susceptible to HIV/AIDS”

Reality: There is no UK report claiming vaccines increase the incidence of AIDS. Vaccines don't lower your T cell count causing immunosuppression. Vaccines boost T cell response!

🧵[3/12]

#ScienceUpFirst
Read 12 tweets
Misinformers often present only 2 choices. This or that.

But two seemingly opposite ideas can be true! 🤝

Come with us on a journey across the pandemic’s most popular false dichotomies. 🗺️ And learn how the world is more nuanced than this vs that.

#ScienceUpFirst

🧵 [1/8] Three circles overlap, red,...
Why bother with masks if you have the vaccine? 💉

Protecting yourself isn’t an either/or situation.

Both vaccines AND masks help protect you and everyone around you from disease. Who doesn’t want that?

#ScienceUpFirst

🧵 [2/8] Two orange and blue circles...
We often hear that we have to pick between public health and the economy. 👨🏽‍⚕️ / 💰

But, while the pandemic has hurt the economy, these measures also protect it. A healthy economy needs healthy people!

#ScienceUpFirst

🧵 [3/8] Two red and blue circles ov...
Read 8 tweets
No vaccine is perfect. That includes the COVID-19 vaccines.

But they don’t need to be in order to save millions of lives.

A thread about transmission 👇

🧵 [1/11]

#ScienceUpFirst We keep hearing, “Vaccines don’t stop transmission”  T
Transmission is the passing of a disease-causing pathogen (like a virus) from an infected person to someone else.

COVID-19 vaccines directly and indirectly reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

🧵 [2/11]

#ScienceUpFirst
COVID-19 vaccines can directly reduce transmission by stopping your body from passing on live copies of the virus.

Vaccines were good at interrupting transmission of the Alpha/Delta variants. How well they stop Omicron transmission is being studied.

🧵 [3/11]

#ScienceUpFirst
Read 11 tweets
Beware of the fake news trap! 🕳

Last month we put out a series of Misinformer Tactics in collaboration with the amazing illustrator Jordan Collver (@JordanCollver).

Here is a recap of what to look out for 👇

🧵[1/7]

#ScienceUpFirst How lies spread. Learn to spot these 5 misinformer tactics.
Astroturf? It looks like real grass, but it’s fake.

Similarly, Astroturfing is a practice where a message *appears* to have authentic grassroots support… but is really operated by just a few individuals.

🧵[2/7]

#ScienceUpFirst

Most choices go beyond binary.

But misinformers present ideas as either/or. You either care about health or the economy. You wear a mask or you hate freedom!

False dichotomies are black and white. The reality is shades of grey.

🧵[3/7]

#ScienceUpFirst

Read 7 tweets
Got Omicron? You are not alone!

See our thread on what we know so far 👇

🧵 [1/11]

#ScienceUpFirst “I got Omicron, what’s next?”  (What we know so far ab
Can I get infected with Omicron again?

Anecdotal reports find reinfections happening weeks apart. Experts expect it is possible to catch Omicron more than once. Scientists are currently assessing how often reinfections occur and who is at most risk.

🧵 [2/11]

#ScienceUpFirst
Though the relationship is not clearcut, several factors may influence reinfection:

How many exposures you have had (via vaccine 💉 or infection 🦠)

How recent your exposures are 📅

The severity of those exposures 🤒

If you're immunocompromised

🧵 [3/11]

#ScienceUpFirst
Read 11 tweets
Saw some head-scratching data? 🤔

Understanding the Base Rate Fallacy can help you avoid jumping to the wrong conclusions. 👇

🧵[1/6]

#ScienceUpFirst Are you getting the full picture? A chart shows how COVID-19
How we communicate data influences how others will perceive it.

And let’s just say some graphs are better than others 👀

🧵[2/6]

#ScienceUpFirst People send us this graph A LOT as "proof" that va
For example, the pie chart above only gives raw hospitalization numbers, but does not give the base rate data (i.e. the number of people vaccinated in the whole population).

🧵[3/6]

#ScienceUpFirst
Read 6 tweets
“Should I get Omicron and just get it over with?”

NOPE! 🙅‍♀️

We’ve heard this line of thinking from our friends and family. But we’re here to tell you that getting COVID-19 isn’t inevitable and now isn’t the time to throw our hands in the air.

🧵 [1/7]

#ScienceUpFirst Don't give up! COVID may feel inevitable, but don't rush out
Omicron spreads very easily, and hospitalizations are climbing.

Between Jan 3 and Jan 10, COVID-19 hospitalizations in Canada jumped from 4,113 to 6,926 and 290 more COVID-19 patients were admitted to an ICU (2).

🧵 [2/7]

#ScienceUpFirst A graph showing number of patients hospitalized across the m
We get that talking about “flattening the curve” gives serious 2020 déjà vu. 😵‍💫

But it’s truly what we need to do! Healthcare workers are dealing with record case numbers while severely short staffed (3, 4). Slowing the spread matters.

🧵 [3/7]

#ScienceUpFirst
Read 7 tweets
Don’t underestimate “mild” - COVID-19 isn’t a chicken wing 🍗

There’s confusion around the severity of Omicron, let’s get into it 👇

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#ScienceUpFirst Is Omicron “Mild”?  ICUs filling up with COVID patients
Good news: there is evidence of less lung damage (1,2,3); and lower rates of hospitalization and death (4).

But, what’s mild for one can be severe for others. Plus, the number of Long COVID cases related to Omicron are not yet captured.

🧵 [2/6]

#ScienceUpFirst
The bad news: Omicron is more transmissible than all previous variants (5).

In Canada, we’ve seen the highest number of cases reported so far in the pandemic (and with limited testing, these are an underestimate) (6).

🧵 [3/6]

#ScienceUpFirst
Read 6 tweets
Thanks to committed scientists around the world, we have learned a lot about #Omicron.

Here’s what we know* now; the good news and the bad news.👇

*A lot of this research is still pre-print - things may change

🧵 [1/10]

#ScienceUpFirst OMICRON  What we know now; ...
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has A LOT of mutations.

It’s got at least 36 mutations around the spike protein (which is the target of our vaccines)

🧵 [2/10]

#ScienceUpFirst
Omicron is more transmissible

- 2.6 to 3.7X more than Delta in vaccinated individuals (2).

- Shorter incubation period (3 days) than the OG strain (3, 4).

- Replicates 70x more than Delta in bronchus tissue (5). Could mean more virus shedding.

🧵 [3/10]

#ScienceUpFirst
Read 10 tweets
We’re here to set the record straight on spike proteins.

Here’s why the spike proteins generated via the vaccine are safe, activate an effective immune response, and are *not the same* as the spike on the virus.

🧵[1/13]

#ScienceUpFirst Misinformation continues to spread about spike proteins. Let
First, a little Spike Protein 101

Spike proteins live on the surface of SARS-CoV-2

The virus infects human cells by binding to receptors. Once attached, the spike protein changes shape, letting the virus infiltrate our cells.



🧵[2/13]

#ScienceUpFirst
But mRNA vaccines teach our body to make a *modified spike protein*

- This triggers an immune response that teaches our bodies to protect against real SARS-CoV-2 infection.

🧵[3/13]

#ScienceUpFirst
Read 13 tweets
What are the differences between the vaccine for people 12+ and the vaccine for those 5-11?

Check out our quick guide!

🧵 [1/8]

#ScienceUpFirst Comparing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines  Adult vaccine, for p
Both vaccines are safe and effective. ✅💉

Both use mRNA as the active ingredient. ✅💉

What’s different?

🧵 [2/8]

#ScienceUpFirst
The colour of the vial cap is different. 👀

- 12+ vial has a purple cap 🟣

- 5-11 vial has an orange cap 🟠

🧵 [3/8]

#ScienceUpFirst
Read 8 tweets
Health Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids 5-11 today. 🥳

NACI has also provided recommendations on how best to use the vaccines, including dose interval.

Let’s discuss why they recommend at least 8 weeks between doses.

🧵 [1/7]

#ScienceUpFirst Why at least 8 weeks between COVID-19 vaccines for kids?  (N
You may have noticed that Health Canada authorized the COVID-19 vaccine with doses 3 weeks apart. But NACI is recommending doses at least 8 weeks apart.

@GovCanHealth: canada.ca/en/health-cana…

NACI: canada.ca/content/dam/ph…

Why the difference?

🧵 [2/7]

#ScienceUpFirst
Health Canada authorizes vaccines based on clinical trial data. Pfizer tested the vaccines with 3 week intervals, so that’s what Health Canada approved. ✅

🧵 [3/7]

#ScienceUpFirst
Read 7 tweets
BREAKING: Health Canada authorizes use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children 5 to 11 years of age. 💉

Keep reading for more information.

🧵 [1/8]

#ScienceUpFirst This just in: Health Canada authorizes use of Pfizer-BioNTec
Health Canada has completed a thorough and independent scientific review of the evidence. They have determined that this vaccine is safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 for children between 5 and 11 years of age.

🧵 [2/8]

#ScienceUpFirst
In the Phase 2/3 clinical trial, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 90.7% effective at preventing symptomatic #COVID19 in children 5 to 11 years of age.

This is great news for the 2.88 million children aged 5 to 11 in Canada. 👏

🧵 [3/8]

#ScienceUpFirst
Read 8 tweets
Have questions about long COVID? Well we’ve put together a looooong thread to answer them!

Here’s what we know about Long COVID so far.

References at the end!

🧵 [1/13]

#ScienceUpFirst Long COVID  (While most fully recover from COVID-19, some pe
“Long COVID” is the name coined by patients, often referred to as "long haulers."

Other terms include “post COVID-19 condition” by the WHO and “post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC)” by the CDC.

They all refer to versions of the same condition.

🧵 [2/13]

#ScienceUpFirst
.@GovCanHealth's definition:

“Symptoms persisting or recurring for weeks after acute COVID-19 illness... further broken down into:

- post COVID-19 conditions occurring 4-12 weeks (short term)
- and >12 weeks (long-term) after COVID-19 diagnosis.”

🧵 [3/13]

#ScienceUpFirst
Read 13 tweets
On the fence about fighting the flu? 🤔

Well get off the fence and get on defense! Getting the flu shot is extra important this year. Keep reading to find out why.

References at the bottom of the thread!

🧵 [1/10]

#ScienceUpFirst Flight the Flu!  (During a pandemic, it is extra important t
Silver lining to 2020? The flu season was very mild (1). We can thank public health measures like physical distancing, reduced travel, masks and hand-washing for that.

Here’s why things are different this year...

🧵 [2/10]

#ScienceUpFirst
Reason 1: We’re seeing more people face to face. (Yay!) 👭

Reason 2: Low flu rates during the past two seasons means our population immunity against influenza is lower than usual (2). (Not yay!) 🤒

🧵 [3/10]

#ScienceUpFirst
Read 10 tweets
Side of fries? 🍟 Yes!
Vaccine side effects? 💉 Pass!
Luckily, neither last long.

Keep reading to learn why doctors are confident in the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, even long term.

Refs at the end!

🧵 [1/12]

#ScienceUpFirst Concerned about long-term side effects of the COVID-19 vacci
Medications can have long-term effects, but vaccines work differently.

Medication is often taken daily for years.

Vaccines are given infrequently. For COVID-19, this means 1 or 2 doses, and then possible future boosters.

🧵 [2/12]

#ScienceUpFirst
If you take certain medications every day, side effects may occur over time.

Vaccine ingredients don’t stick around your body. They drop in, chat with your immune system, and then disappear. We’re talking minutes to hours (3)!

🧵 [3/12]

#ScienceUpFirst
Read 12 tweets

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