The debate over "airborne transmission" of coronavirus has picked up steam. An upcoming journal article from >200 scientists urges WHO to consider incorporating risk of "airborne" spread in its recommendations. washingtonpost.com/world/europe/c…
A number of scientists have been saying this for a while now. Since early March (at least) scientists have been saying WHO (and CDC) should highlight the potential role of airborne transmission more.
wired.com/story/they-say…
Some of this boils down to a difference in definitions, as many epidemiologists think about "airborne" as a specific type of transmission where tiny droplets with virus particles can float in the air for a long time and still infect people.
It also boils down to the fact that (as WHO has emphasized) there is not enough evidence about the role of airborne transmission to say whether is it a big risk.

For these reasons, this debate is reminiscent of that around "asymptomatic" transmission.
So, airborne transmission is an ongoing grey area with (a lack of) evidence and definitions that can be interpreted in more than one way.

The consequence, unfortunately, is inconsistency in recommendations from experts, and ongoing public confusion.

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More from @joshmich

19 Jan
30% of Israel's population has received at least 1 dose of Covid-19 vaccine, but no indications yet that case numbers are coming down there (chart).

A few reasons why this might be:

1) Cases reported now were infected 7+ days ago, when vaccinations were lower Image
2) Less than 500,000 (out of ~2.7 M vaccinated) have so far received a 2nd dose. A single dose is "less effective than we hoped" in providing protection, according to Israeli health leaders.
theguardian.com/world/2021/jan…
3) Israel has vaccinated by age, starting with older persons, vaccinating to date:
80% of 70+
68% of 60-69
50% of 50-59
28% 40-49

Older ages are protected from severe disease, but younger ages typically contribute most to transmission
timesofisrael.com/israelis-aged-…
Read 6 tweets
9 Jan
Beyond the scientific and epidemiological reasons to doubt the lab escape theory of pandemic origin, let’s not forget that no US or allied intelligence has emerged with even a whiff of evidence that a lab was the origin by accident or intention.
To believe the lab escape theory you also have to believe the Chinese have mounted a successful, extended campaign to eliminate incriminating evidence and muzzle officials and scientists who knew or might have suspected it came from a lab.
It’s a pretty big secret to hold on to, especially for a sizeable group of people that includes an international network of scientists, other workers, and families -- many of whom are not exactly in the secrecy business.
Read 17 tweets
1 Jan
That the US might adopt a 1 dose regimen or significantly delayed 2nd dose for vaccines already authorized seems more fanciful thought experiment than tractable policy. Pretty much all institutions and incentives are lined up against such a change and not without reason.
Current vaccines are authorized via EUAs from FDA, which both clearly state terms of use including a two-dose regimen. Moderna’s EUA says the vaccine is “administered as a series of two doses 1 month apart…”
“…Individuals who have received one dose of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine should receive a second dose of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to complete the vaccination series.”
modernatx.com/covid19vaccine…
Read 20 tweets
31 Dec 20
CDC now provides more data on vaccine distribution and administration by state, agency, etc. Worth a look and a bookmark.

A few things that jumped out to me, in a short thread.

covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tra…
2.17 million doses distributed through the federal pharmacy partnership prgm for long-term care, but only 167,149, or 7.8%, administered. This is the phase 1a component that needs to make up the most ground.

If this program were a state, it would easily be the worst performer.
States/jurisdictions' overall progress in administering the vaccines they have received continues to vary widely.

DC has administered over 50% of its vaccines on hand, while Kansas has administered just over 10%.
Read 6 tweets
30 Dec 20
Worth noting that Kathleen Hicks, President-elect Biden's pick for the number 2 spot at the Pentagon, would be that unusual senior defense official with some background in global health, as it relates to national security.
She's co-authored reports on the Department of Defense and global health, such as this one from 2009
csis-website-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/le…
From that report: If "virulent diseases can destabilize economies and entire political systems, then it is in the national security interest of the US to address the causes of diseases and develop effective systems to detect and contain them."
Read 6 tweets
22 Dec 20
You may have seen CDC reporting 4.6 million doses of #COVID19 vaccine have been distributed & 614,117 administered. Why the huge gap between doses distributed vs administered numbers? (short thread)
Some of the gap is from reporting lag: it can take up to 3 days for providers distributing the vaccine to report to state/local health officials, and additional time for officials to report to CDC
covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tra…
Also, doses distributed to states have been held for use in long-term care facilities via the federal pharmacy partnership, which is only now starting to ramp up. Its goal is to reach 4.5 million residents and staff at 55,000 nursing homes nationwide
foxnews.com/health/nursing…
Read 8 tweets

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