NEW: The vaccines are effective, but they are not a golden shield against the coronavirus, particularly not the Delta variant.
Should vaccinated people be wearing masks?…
There is no question that the vaccines are spectacularly good at preventing illness, and no vaccine is perfect. Breakthrough infections are expected with any vaccine.
But Delta is leading to rapidly rising numbers everywhere, and the more virus in the community, the more everyone -- including vaccinated people -- are at risk of infection.
In the vast majority of causes breakthrough infections are mild to asymptomatic and not a problem for the vaccinated person. But some evidence suggests they may still pass the virus on to others.
Infections with Delta have about 1000x as much virus as with previous versions of the virus, acc to one report. If that's true, combined with the rising number of cases, vaccinated people are holding a golf umbrella in a hurricane -- you'll still get a little wet.
The CDC says it is not revising its mask guidance, and points out that local leaders can make their own decisions based on community rates. But every expert I spoke to for this story (about a dozen) said they have continued to wear masks and socialize mostly outdoors.
Much thanks to @celinegounder @NussenzweigL @robbysikka @ElyseFreitas. @kmpanthagani Adam Hunt, Eric Rubin,
and Scott Dryden-Peterson

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More from @apoorva_nyc

14 Jul
NEW: Even as many Americans celebrate the apparent waning of the pandemic, the thrum of concern over the so-called Delta variant grows steadily louder. Data from the UK and Israel suggest we will not revisit the horrors of last winter 🧵…
Infections, hospitalizations and deaths are rising swiftly in some states with low vaccination rates like Arkansas, Missouri, Texas and Nevada, and are beginning to show small upticks in all of the others. Nationwide, too, the numbers are curving upward.
But this quote from @BillHanage is very important: “Delta is creating a huge amount of noise, but I don’t think that it’s right to be ringing a huge alarm bell.”

In other words: Be cautious, but don't panic.
Read 7 tweets
28 Jun
NEW: The vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna set off a persistent immune reaction in the body that may protect against the coronavirus for years.…
The findings suggest that most people immunized with the mRNA vaccines may not need boosters, so long as the virus and its variants do not evolve much beyond their current forms (which they probably will)
Still, this study takes what one expert called a "heroic" approach to show that 15 wks after the first dose of Pfizer, people have very active germinal centers, a sort of bootcamp where B cells become increasingly sophisticated. That's much longer than expected
Read 5 tweets
3 Jun
Saturday is the 40th anniversary of the first 5 reports of AIDS in the U.S.

Physicians/public health experts are publishing moving recollections of those horrific early days and the progress since. Plus tons of new stats. I'll try to link to them in this thread as I see them.
Some stats from UNAIDS today

The good: AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 43% and new infections by 30% since 2010.

The bad: 6 out of 7 new infections among 15–19 year olds in sub-Saharan Africa are among girls, and AIDS-related illness is the leading cause in women 15–49 yrs
At the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on AIDS next week, world leaders will be urged to commit to ending AIDS by 2030

More in this unaids report:…
Read 10 tweets
2 Jun
NEW: Medical journals like JAMA and the NEJM are blind to structural racism and the ways in which discrimination became embedded in medicine over generations, some scientists say.
The journals favor studies linking race or racial inequities to socioeconomic or biological factors rather than to systemic racism, the critics said. A review by the NYT showed that five top medical journals publish more papers with the term "race" than with "racism."
The top editor at JAMA excised the word "racism" and watered down the conclusions of papers about high death rates among pregnant Black women and on the long-reaching impact of historical redlining on preterm birth, according to two high-profile researchers.
Read 10 tweets
13 Feb
Yesterday, the CDC released new guidelines for schools. Clear, science-based guidance was long overdue, so everyone was agog all week.

Did they get what they wanted? This is a long 🧵, buckle in.
Before I dive in: I have no agenda here. I am not anti-kids, anti-schools or anti-teachers. The only thing I am is anti-virus. I follow the science, but despite what both sides insist, the science is not straightforward, or we wouldn't have this much division and dissent.
So, back to the CDC guidelines: Pro-opening advocates hoped for a sensible read of the evidence and teachers unions for strict precautions and vaccinations. Did they get what they want? Short answer: No.
Read 22 tweets

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