A lot of people may be wondering, with 8 vaccinated breakthrough cases on the Yankees - is this evidence the vaccines aren't as effective as we thought?

The short answer is no. A brief thread:
First and most importantly, the Yankees are data from about 50 people.

We have data from tens of thousands in trials and millions in the real world that the vaccines work to prevent severe disease, infection, and transmission. Don't lose sight of that!
Second, we know there's a lot of variability in how much different people spread the virus, and that the vaccines aren't 100% effective.

The Yankees had an unlucky high-load index case, creating a perfect storm. Because...
A baseball team, like many workplaces, spends a lot of time indoors together, including in cramped and poorly ventilated spaces. If transmission is going to happen, there's a lot of chances for it to here. It may be nothing short of a vaccine miracle there were *only* 8 cases!
Which brings me to my last point: How many Yankees *would* have gotten infected *without* the vaccine?

Difficult to estimate know without a thorough epidemiologic investigation. But say it's 24 (a bit over half the travel party, plausible based on other sports outbreaks)...
That would translate to 8 cases instead of 24, or a vaccine that reduces infections/transmission by 67%. That's within the realm of prior estimates - in other words, what we expected.
Finally, it's also important to remember only 1 Yankee is symptomatic! The vaccines are good at preventing infection and transmission, but they are f'ing RAD at preventing severe disease. They're like a strong wind in from the outfield - HRs become doubles, doubles become outs.
This should say MAY HAVE HAD. I was typing quickly. My bad. We absolutely do not know this!!
Another excellent point. The Yankees are an almost unique population in that we're seeing 100% of the breakthrough cases.

One other thing on NYY outbreak: the only symptomatic case so far is the first one.

Symptoms correlate with viral load.

That + timing of cases consistent with one unlucky breakthrough case spreading it to a bunch of others, rather than lots of vaxxed-to-vaxxed spread.
So in other words it might be that we had 8 breakthrough cases, but only ONE symptomatic case spreading the virus to others (rather than a bunch of vaxxed personnel spreading it around). *If* that's right, that's really really good news!

A->B, C, D >>> A-> B -> C -> D
Relevant here. Still may not have happened even with the Yankees outbreak!

This thread is doing numbers. All I really want to say is please get vaccinated.

And if you have any Qs or concerns about getting vaxed & an open critical mind, my DMs are open and my email is zbinney at emory dot edu. Reach out, I'll listen and do my best to help address them!

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More from @binney_z

22 Jan
This sends such a bad message while more than a 9/11 a day of people are dying of COVID. The NFL should be running a full campaign to *discourage* gatherings.

Or at least have the audience be *all* vaccinated healthcare heroes. What, @NFL, they're not good enough for you?
The real problem, of course, is I doubt those healthcare heroes are paying for their tickets. Can't have too much of that!
Honestly tho I'm way more concerned about super-spreading from the innumerable house parties and sports bar gatherings the Super Bowl will cause than fans in Tampa.

Could the NFL at least *pretend* to care and ask people not to do that? One lousy PSA? Or is that too much to ask?
Read 4 tweets
19 Jan
So "we won't skip the line" was complete horseshit.

It's also worth noting that the "influencer" argument holds zero water until our problem is people actually neglecting to get the vaccine - not our current problems of a lack of supply and will to deliver to AA communities.
If you want to help stem the pandemic, start by banning your owners from hosting fans indoors *right now* when many areas are out of hospital beds.

If you're serious, take a step that hurts you and *will* help others rather than one that benefits you and *may* help others.
It is worth noting they're not doing it *now*, which is good, but I don't like that the conversation is even happening at this stage. It's wildly premature.

Have players talk the vaccine up, by all means. Point to Kareem and other older retired players. That's all for now.
Read 5 tweets

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