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21 Mar, 7 tweets, 1 min read
It's not like this is something most infectious diseases epidemiologists have been saying since March last year

Oh wait
Herd immunity through natural infection was always an absurd idea that made no sense whatsoever

Herd immunity through population vaccination is more complex
This is something covered in the John Snow Memorandum quite well, actually. There's no guarantee that immunity (even vaccine-induced) will last sufficiently long to ensure herd immunity
Even if enough people are immune locally to prevent disease transmission, the disease is almost certain to remain endemic in some parts of the world given how poorly we've spread out the vaccines
Moreover, given the expected mutation of the virus, chances are ~eventually~ people will be getting reinfected in fairly large numbers. Even vaccines are likely to require boosters
Over the 6-month timeframe it's probably around 1% of people who can be reinfected, but push that out to a year, two etc...chances are protection will wane somewhat
So while we might have LOCAL herd immunity, particularly in richer countries, it's probable that the virus will be around for a very long time to come

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More from @GidMK

23 Mar
People often make the claim that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have "failed to protect the elderly"

While initially this was definitely true (April/March 2020), I'm not sure the claim is accurate past that 1/n Image
2/n I'm basing my opinion here on seroprevalence data. This is basically data looking at who has antibodies to COVID-19, and therefore who was previously infected

We reviewed 100s of studies for our IFR paper. What did they show?…
3/n Well, not all of them looked at the age-stratified rates of infection

But of those that DID, an interesting pattern emerges
Read 17 tweets
22 Mar
The somewhat depressing fact is that making COVID-19 predictions is essentially cost-free

No one will hold you accountable for predicting wrong, if they even remember in a few months time
The reality is that most people who have predicted the future of COVID with any certainty have made a lot of mistakes, but no one ever checks back to audit those in any meaningful way
There are people who get massive media attention once a month when they confidently predict that COVID-19 will be over in 4-6 weeks time, even though they've been doing it for over a year now
Read 5 tweets
18 Mar
Very interesting study out of Denmark looking at SARS-CoV-2 reinfections:

- 0.65% symptomatic reinfections after 7 months
- in sensitivity analysis this doubled to 1.2%
- estimated ~80% short-term protection against reinfection Image
Studies like this make me very jealous of my Nordic colleagues. The authors had access to linked data for *the entire country of Denmark*, which is a pretty enormous strength of the research Image
Basically, they looked at every PCR test done in the first wave, and followed up every person to see if they had tested positive in the first, second, or both waves

Of those in the sample, 0.65% were infected twice
Read 7 tweets
17 Mar
Something I think about a lot is that studies don't get retracted because they're bad, they get retracted because they are famous
Don't get me wrong, they are ALSO bad. It takes a truly awful study to get a scientific journal to wrest itself free of apathy and inertia to take some action

But there are 1,000s of woeful papers
Thing is, no one is paid to catch bad research. It is a thankless, time-consuming task that at best earns you the mistrust of most of your peers

And so, no one does it methodically
Read 9 tweets
16 Mar
You may have seen the massive viral tweets about how staying at home doesn't prevent COVID-19 deaths

These were based on a paper with what we think are quite significant flaws

Our full critique now preprinted here:
The basic explanation here is that the original article looked at whether Google "residential" mobility data was correlated with COVID-19 death rates, and found no association
There are significant drawbacks with that methodology, some of which I outlined in a thread

Read 8 tweets
15 Mar
Your daily reminder that "I'm pro-vaccine except for THIS one" is literally the most common anti-vax line there is
The second most common line is "I'm pro-vaccine but I'm also pro informed choice" usually followed by a slew of lies and misinformation portraying vaccines as dangerous
So many replies missing the point. There's a big difference between common talking points and actions - most anti-vaccine advocates SAY they are only against one vaccine but then come up with similar arguments against ALL of them
Read 4 tweets

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