Another EUA for a molecular home test!

At the start of the pandemic,
was one of the first to understand that we needed to get widespread access to rapid accurate and inexpensive Covid tests…

He came up with a prototype, put together a team of microbiologists & engineers and set out to develop a molecular (PCR like) test that could be used in the home, quickly…

Fast forward 18 months and
@DetectTest is an FDA authorized rapid molecular home test.

It’s an incredible feat going from 0 to EUA in 18 months. (Most molecular test companies existed for years preCOVID)…

@DetectTest I’m delighted to have played a small part advising Jonathan and the team as they built this terrific test and platform. This is a test we could’ve used a year ago but I’m grateful that it and all the other tests are here.

Congrats on the engineering accomplishment @DetectTest

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More from @michaelmina_lab

30 Oct
Recognizing a need for boosters in vulnerable when it comes to Delta & recognizing their benefit - which thus far seems high (even if turns out to be temporary)…

Why are we still vaccinating w mRNA sequence of the now obsolete Wuhan strain when we know the sequence for Delta.
This is only half sarcastic as a question.

Is it purely bc full trials haven’t been completed? Is it bc we don’t agree w an added benefit of using a sequence matching the most common and destructive variant?

My opinion is there would be benefit (or at least equivalency)
If we continue to Reenforce a response to the 1st virus, we may find ourselves stuck in that version of a response when we do want to make an update to the vaccine later on. Better to stay current.

Also, we know Delta has evasive mutations vs original immune response
Read 4 tweets
30 Oct
A common question today:

Q: “Can I get a flu vaccine at same time as a Covid vaccine?”


The immune system evolved to be able to respond to MANY targets simultaneously. Similar to parallel processes on a computer, the immune system has enormous parallel capability.
For example, in my research largely pre-COVID, we profile immune responses to pathogens and vaccines.

In a single vaccine or infection, the immune system responds to an enormous array of different “epitopes” on even one pathogen or vaccine.

When we add additional vaccines to the mix, it simply adds an extra set of epitopes (the parts of the vaccine or pathogen that the immune system recognizes) and our amazing immune systems don’t miss a beat

Read 4 tweets
29 Oct

It’s OK to talk about the biological limitations of vaccines without being anti-vax


Just bc we wish vaccines stop transmission, doesn’t make it so. Vax limit spread a bit, but we’ve known for months that breakthroughs are not rare and spread among vax is common

Does this mean that COVID vaccines don’t work? Absolutely not. They work great… for what they were measured and authorized to do - stop disease.

They weren’t authorized for their ability to stop spread. Vaccines work! Let’s be open both about what they do and don’t do well

The more we try to toe the line and not quite be open w the limitations of vaccines - often suppressing messaging about their limitations - the more those limitations come back to haunt us in the form of loss in confidence across the population in the whole vaccine program.

Read 9 tweets
28 Oct

This new piece in @nytimes shows great benefits of vax to reduce disease

BUT the evaluation of Vax to reduce cases (ie: 6x higher cases in unvax’d) relies on data that is fundamentally flawed by the @CDCgov’s policies - to not test if vax’d

If we have a National test policy that differs by vaccination status - such that the CDC put out stating to not test once vaccinated, then regardless of the biology, policy will drive detected cases down among vaccinated, regardless of whether they are truly lower.

This immediately makes interpretation of reported cases between the two groups uninterpretable.

Instead, what we need in the US is a robust mechanism to do ongoing random surveillance testing to actually identify vax effects to cut virus acquisition and transmission

Read 11 tweets
21 Oct

Remarkably IMPORTANT letter from Senator Durbin - Majority whip - urging FDA to recognize testing for PUBLIC HEALTH as distinct from medical diagnosis & rapid Ag tests should not be compared to PCR for EUA, but rather another rapid Ag test

Why is this important?

Because the US still is in need of greater access to inexpensive rapid tests

One of the main barriers preventing Americans from accessing many high quality tests used successfully around the world is a high regulatory burden for public health tests

The regulation of these tests by the FDA is 100% appropriate for MEDICAL devices used by doctors to diagnose individuals.

But for Public health tests, we need regulation that focuses on what these tests are meant to do. Answer the question "Am I Infectious Right Now?"

Read 5 tweets
6 Oct
THREAD: Some thoughts on this White House Report on Testing...


The extra $1B towards purchasing rapid tests is a great step forward. It is a strong signal that the WH and the Federal government is recognizing that American's are demanding to be able to know if they are infectious in real time.

So I'm fully supportive of the WH support

A question was just asked to @CDCDirector about whether roll out of rapid tests will limit the public health reporting

This is an important question and a good reason the federal government should simultaneously prop up efforts to make these tests verifiable and reported.

Read 7 tweets

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