I feel great about being fully vaccinated. I still want to give my immune system the best chance it's got at protecting me from disease. 1/

I laid out some of my thinking process for masking again indoors, in the age of Delta. This is my own personal risk calculation, but I hope it's helpful for some other folks who are puzzling this over. 2/
There's no *one right answer*—rather, everyone has to think about their own local conditions: hospitalizations, vaccination rates, variant prevalence, etc. But it would serve us all to be flexible. This pandemic isn't over. And I don't want to lose the momentum we've built. 3/
Thank you to @KindrachukJason and @KrutikaKuppalli for sharing your thoughts with me, and my great colleagues at @TheAtlantic for helping me think so much of this through. 4/4

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More from @KatherineJWu

22 Jul
There's been a renewed wave of coverage on breakthroughs (post-vaccination infections), so I thought I'd do a brief thread.

Breakthroughs aren't new. They're also expected. Researchers saw them coming. Here's why they happen. 1/

Let's first get our definitions straight. Vaccines, first and foremost, prevent *illness*, especially of the serious sort. They teach the body to rein the virus in, and keep it from running roughshod over your tissues. It's harder, though, to stop infections entirely. 2/
Remarkably, our vaccines do this in some people! That's worth celebrating, but it's the wrong goalpost to have in most cases.

That said, our vaccines are still REDUCING infection and transmission, even if they're not stamping it out. 3/
Read 13 tweets
20 Jul
a gentler reminder that there's more to vaccine effectiveness than neutralizing antibodies
get to know some of your other (very date-able) defenders here
and remember that the immune system is used to dealing with changes in the pathogens it sees

Read 4 tweets
13 Apr
I am not an MD, so I’ll offer just this: it’s very encouraging to see federal regulators take swift action on the J&J vaccine. This is the process working as it should. If there is a true link between the vaccine and these rare clots, they will work to identify it. 1/
They may instate an age restriction, as some countries have done for the similar AstraZeneca vaccine—perhaps younger people, especially younger people who are biologically female, may end up needing to seek an alternative. But for now: these cases appear VERY RARE. 2/
So far less than 1 in 1 million. And this DOES NOT detract from the effectiveness of the vaccine, which is excellent.

If you have gotten this vaccine, keep those numbers in mind. All clots also appeared within 2 weeks of injection. 3/
Read 4 tweets
25 Mar
Vaccines are meant to be a public health tool, for as many people as can get them. But not everyone saw themselves reflected in the trials.

I wrote about people with long COVID, who are now navigating immunizations for themselves. 1/

It's still early, but so far, the shots appear to be safe for long-haulers as well—that's great news. And they're expected to protect people with long COVID from another encounter with the virus. 2/
There could be another perk as well: symptom resolution for long-haulers who get their shots. It's by no means universal—but several people told me that, post-vaccine, they're feeling better than they have in a year. 3/
Read 7 tweets
19 Mar
I wrote about post-vaccination infections, also known as breakthrough cases. These infections are now being reported across the country; the CDC has told me that a national database is also in the works. 1/

These cases are rare, but important, and essential to track in detail. They are also entirely expected.

We know that vaccines are not 100% perfect at *anything*; while they prevent symptoms, hospitalizations, and death and extraordinary and commendable rates... 2/
Some of those cases will still occur, and that's okay. The point is, far *fewer* of them will happen in the wake of vaccination. That's incredible and worth being celebrated.

That does not mean we should ignore the outliers. 3/
Read 11 tweets
18 Mar
Hi there!

Racism in all forms is shitty, damaging, and, importantly, conducive to *more racism*. Do not subcategorize racism by the groups it targets so you can count some offenses as lesser or more acceptable. There is no racism-lite. There is no blonde roast racism. 1/
The morning after the 2016 election, I was biking to work when I suddenly saw an oblong cylinder whiz by, and a splatter of some liquid touch my face. A white man in a white truck had hurled his cup of coffee at my head. He screamed "America!" and drove away. 2/
Confused and numb, I passed this story on to a college friend I was already texting at the time about something science-y. Meaning well, she jokingly wrote back, "but... at least most people would say you're a model minority!"

It did not make me feel better. 3/
Read 4 tweets

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