To explain the risk the unvaccinated pose to themselves and others, @SamWangPhD & I propose an analogy: The choice to remain unvaccinated is equivalent to drunk driving.

Some may balk at the comparison, but here are the similarities.

1) Both causes of severe bodily harm are largely preventable.

2) Both are individual decisions with societal consequences.

3) Both can cause substantial mortality, though deaths due to coronavirus far outstrip those due to drunken driving.

And more....

4) Both increase risk for self and others. Being unvaccinated increases the risk of infection by 5 & death by 11. The risk of a crash when driving drunk is 14X higher.

5) The risk is borne not only by the person making the decision but also by others who cross their path.

Detractors might say that not every unvaccinated person is infected. That's true, just as it's true that not every intoxicated person will cause an accident every time.

But drunken driving still increases the risk of accidents and is therefore a public health hazard.

It's your choice to remain unvaccinated. But that right stops when you interact with those who did not choose to become exposed to a potentially deadly disease--similar to if you get behind the wheel of a car while impaired.


Our column @postopinions…

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More from @DrLeanaWen

9 Sep
NEW: President Biden's strategy for fighting #covid19 does not go far enough to compel vaccinations.

The time for cajoling is over.

Biden should use his full authority to make it difficult for Americans to remain unvaccinated.

5 steps: 🧵@postopinions…
1) Requiring vaccinations for interstate travel.

If you want the privilege of traveling on a plane or train, you need to do your part and get vaccinated.
2) Urging businesses to implement "no vaccine, no service" rules, and supporting San Francisco and New York in requiring vaccines to enter indoor restaurants, bars, gyms and other venues.
Read 5 tweets
28 Jun
This is a common myth with the #covid19 #vaccine--that it somehow causes female infertility.

I spoke with several experts about how best to address this misconception. 🧵 @postopinion…
First, let's talk about the origin of this myth. It originated with anti-vaccine advocates who alleged that the spike protein targeted by the vaccine is "disturbingly similar" to a protein found in the placenta.

This claim has no basis in science or reality. /2
As Dr. Paul Offit wrote in a @Hill op-ed, "To say that these two proteins are disturbingly similar would be the equivalent of saying that two people share the same social security number because both contain the number six." /3…
Read 7 tweets
23 Jun
Big takeaway from CDC ACIP today: rare risk of myocarditis is far outweighed by the much greater risk of bad outcomes from #covid19.

I agree with their decision to continue recommending vaccinations for those 12 & older.

Here's why @postopinions🧵:…
Of the 323 documented cases in those under 30, nearly 80% are known to have recovered. 9 are still hospitalized, 2 are in intensive care. No one has died.

Most myocarditis cases are mild, treatable and do not leave lasting effects.

And covid itself causes myocarditis. /2
Second, adolescents & young adults now constitute 33% of all new #covid19 cases.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 7.7 million infections in the 12 to 29 age group, resulting in 2,767 deaths.

More than 300 of these deaths occurred since April 1. /3
Read 7 tweets
1 Jun
I & other AAPIs are increasingly concerned that speculation over the lab leak theory will increase anti-Asian hate.

As we embark on a full scientific investigation, we must take actions to prevent the next escalation of anti-Asian racism. 🧵@postopinions…
This is not a hypothetical concern. According to @StopAAPIHate, over 6,600 anti-AAPI incidents have been reported since the pandemic started.

Many are related to blaming AAPIs for #covid19. Speculating on culpability could provoke more acts of harm against our community. /2
I interviewed @RepJudyChu: “So many are concerned that after a year of AAPIs being blamed for coronavirus, this could further hatred & discrimination... We need to get to the truth & we need to be careful in our messaging so as to not further stoke the flames of xenophobia.” /3
Read 8 tweets
16 May
The CDC's new guidance has devolved into a giant mess. It was a major blunder to cede responsibility: Effectively ending mask mandates is not just about science--it's a major policy decision that should have been made by President Biden himself.🧵…
To be clear, it was appropriate for the CDC, as a scientific agency, to review the data & come out with a statement that vaccinated people are at little risk for contracting #covid19 & spreading it to others.

But they went way beyond this to basically end all indoor masking. /2
Arguably, this was the single biggest decision that the Biden team has made on #covid19, yet the president himself didn't find out about it until the morning of the announcement.

This was an astounding strategic and tactical mistake. /3…
Read 7 tweets
14 May
For months, I've been criticizing the CDC for being too cautious with what vaccinated people can do.

Now, the CDC has done an about-face that's shockingly abrupt: it's confusing & could actually disincentivize vaccines.

We need an intermediate step: 🧵…
Don't get me wrong--the vaccinated are very well protected. They are safe to take off masks if they wish.

The problem is: do we trust the honor system for people to now go maskless? What about the danger to people who can't be vaccinated (i.e. kids) or the immunocompromised? /2
The CDC recommendation removes a powerful incentive. Many who were on the fence might have been motivated to get the shot because they could go back to activities they were missing, without a mask.

Now, if no one is checking, and they can do everything anyway, why bother? /3
Read 6 tweets

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