There's lots of discussion on the pros/cons of "vaccine passports".

We need to stop using this term. It's inaccurate, inflammatory & divisive.

Instead, let's describe how proof of #covid19 #vaccination can return us to normalcy @postopinions (thread):…
Asking for vaccination status is a kind of health screen to identify those at low risk for infecting others, not unlike symptom questionnaires or #covid19 tests.

If these aren’t seen as constraints on individual liberties, showing vaccine status shouldn't be, either. /2
In addition, individuals are increasingly asking one another whether they’ve gotten their shots. Vaccination enables activities that otherwise couldn’t occur safely.

I think it’s time for us to extend the newfound normalcy from social settings to business operations. /3
Imagine that you own a gym that used to have high-intensity exercise classes but had to stop because it’s high-risk to have lots of people breathing heavily in crowded indoor spaces. You could reopen these classes if everyone attending is guaranteed to be vaccinated. /4
Imagine that you run a restaurant that has had to operate at 30% capacity to keep distancing between tables. You could establish certain nights where you serve at 100% capacity, if all patrons and servers are reliably known to be vaccinated. /5 (discussed by @MartyMakary before)
Some entities are already exploring such possibilities, including cruise operators and a handful of colleges. By requiring proof of vaccination, they could probably give their customers and students something close to the pre-pandemic experience. /6
Vaccination isn’t a government-imposed requirement--but a voluntary action facilitated by the private sector. Any outcry over government overreach shouldn’t focus on proof of vaccination, but rather on attempts to ban businesses from asking for it. /7
It’s the height of hypocrisy for politicians who tout their support for free markets to now bar the private sector from #covid19-safety innovations. Why can’t businesses offer customers the peace of mind that comes with much-reduced risk from a potentially deadly disease? /8
Just as we should never have invoked “lockdowns,” we need to stop debating “vaccine passports.”

Instead, we should define what we need to move toward normalcy: a #covid19 health screen that enables people to associate with one another, free from pandemic restrictions. /END

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More from @DrLeanaWen

11 Mar
It's been one year since the World Health Organization officially declared #covid19 to be a #pandemic.

What have we learned? Where do we go from here?

A thread. /1
5 key lessons:
1) Importance of a national, coordinated response. Piecemeal approaches to PPE, testing & vaccination do not work.

2) Without data, we are flying blind. A year ago, every detected case was a canary in a coal mine. Same issue with lack of genomic surveillance. /2
3) Hospitals are the last line of defense, not the first. The community, through preventive measures, are the frontlines.

4) Public health depends on public trust. Mixed messaging erodes trust & leads to politicizing of basic measures like masks./3
Read 9 tweets
9 Mar
Today's CDC guidelines on what fully vaccinated people can do are too timid, too limited & fail to tie reopening guidance with vaccination status.

As a result, we are missing a critical opportunity to incentivize Americans to be vaccinated. @PostOpinions…
I know this is a difficult needle to thread. What I want to see is nuance & risk estimates instead of taking an absolutist approach. Healthcare providers must help people exercise good judgment while considering each person’s individual values, or else we lose their trust.
Also, people need to be given incentives to get vaccinated As reopening occurs & people return back to normal, we are losing the opportunity to tie reopening to vaccination. At some point soon, everything will be fully reopened anyway, and there will be no carrot left to offer.
Read 4 tweets
16 Feb
This is the #1 question I get asked: What can newly vaccinated do? Is it safe to see grandkids?

Though there are still unknowns, we need to give a better answer than "follow all precautions".

My dos/don't in this week's @PostOpinions column:… (1/5)
The #covid19 vaccine is extremely protective against severe disease. There's growing evidence that it may reduce the likelihood of people being carriers.

People should resume essential activities but were being put off--like cancer screenings & dental screenings. (2/5)
It's probably fine to resume some non-essential activities, like going to the gym & out to eat. People should still abide by masking & distancing in case they can infect others. I'd still avoid crowded bars--& be extra cautious if others in your home are unvaccinated. (3/5)
Read 5 tweets
4 Feb
Here’s my best-case scenario: With existing vaccines, we turn #covid19 into an illness akin to the seasonal flu. By the end of 2021, we can resume much of our pre-pandemic lives.

This @PostOpinions column explains how this could happen:…

I’m optimistic because of a specific result in the vaccine trials that, so far, has received little attention: very few vaccinated people have become severely ill to the point of requiring hospitalization.

This one measure could change everything. Families could safely spend holidays together again if the worst-case scenario shifted from being put on a ventilator or dying to possible fever and body aches. Schools could reopen and much of the economy could return to normal.

Read 4 tweets
27 Jan
Many Qs about why it is that new #covid19 variants that are more transmissible will cause exponentially more infections (i.e. why something that is 70% more transmissible doesn't just cause 70% more infections & deaths). 

A thread with an illustrative example (1/5):
Let's say that R0 (virus reproduction number) is 1.1

In the first round of infection, number of people infected = 1 (original person) + 1.1 =2.1

Next round = (2.1-1)*1.1 + 2.1 = 3.3
Third round = (3.3-2.1)*1.1 + 3.3 = 4.6

After 9 rounds, we get to 15.9.
Now, let's say a new variant is 70% more transmissible--say the R0 for the new strain is 1.1*1.7.

You still start out with 1. Then:

First round = (1)*1.1* 1.7 + 1 = 2.9
Second round = (2.9-1)*1.1*1.7 + 2.9 = 6.4

After 9 rounds, we get to a whopping 600 infected.
Read 5 tweets
9 Jan
While I applaud pres-elect @JoeBiden's commitment to speeding up vaccinations, I'm concerned about the new policy to release all available doses without guarantee of timely administration of 2nd doses for all 1st doses given.

My @PostOpinions op-ed (1/6):…
First, the bottleneck now is not supply, but the "last mile" between getting the vaccine to distribution sites & injecting it into people's arms. Speeding up this process should be the focus, or else vaccines will just sit in different freezers.

I'm also deeply troubled by the idea that we could be rushing first doses out without a guarantee of timely 2nd doses. Clinical trials were conducted with 2nd dose 3- or 4-weeks after the 1st. If we deviate from science, this could fuel vaccine hesitancy.

Read 6 tweets

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