Fatima Tokhmafshan (she/they) 🇨🇦🏳️‍🌈 Profile picture
Geneticist @RIMUHC1| #Bioethicist| MD Candidate| Director of community outreach @Covarr_net|#scicomm lead @COVID_19_Canada|Polyglot|VIEWS➡️MY OWN
Alex Kronstein Profile picture Rick Watts Profile picture 2 added to My Authors
Jul 22 7 tweets 2 min read
👇🏾 mischaracterization of polio detected in sewage and what it actually means‼️

Here are some facts about polio vaccines and the complexities of polio eradication:
1- humans are the only known reservoirs of polio ➡️ it’s a good candidate for eradication 2- currently there are 2 types of polio vaccine:
📌 IPV: inactivated, non-replicative virus
📌 OPV: attenuated (weakened) but replication competent virus

Both have been around for decades and have pros and cons!
Dec 27, 2021 14 tweets 4 min read
Pandemic of #unvaccinated, more like #PandemicOfInequities‼️
🧵Below are a few interactions I’ve had in the past year with people who have been left behind by our inequitable approaches and deficit model assumptions and labels.
Shared with consent on the condition of anonymity
Case1️⃣: recent refugees, husband works min-wage in a bakery, wife pregnant and earns VERY modest income through knitting. Have 3 children < 12 yrs old.
Whole family was unvaccinated until recently.
Few months ago, one child was exposed in school. Family didn’t have access to
Dec 25, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
🔬 Very nice study showing that #Omicron isn’t as efficient in entering cells compared to Delta & ancestral lineages.

👩🏾‍🔬 Why I find this cool: unlike other recent datasets, they’ve used an actual viral isolate (not pseudovirus) in an appropriate cell line & an animal model.
1/ In science using the right models & methods matters, but not all models recapitulate human conditions & no single method can give us the whole picture.
Why does this matter: b/c we tend to over-interpret & over-extrapolate.
So here the only appropriate conclusion is that…
Nov 27, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
Hearing the news of Omicron cases in Europe in people who travelled through various countries (Malawi, Egypt, Namibia, Dubai, etc.) indicates that Omicron was flying under the radar in undersequenced countries for some time until Botswana & 🇿🇦 detected it & alerted the 🌎. The thing about pathogen evolution, particularly in obligate cellular parasites, is that detecting new lineages is difficult unless it is being transmitted AND someone is looking for it (biological samples including wastewater)➡️need capacity building in genomic surveillance
Nov 26, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
👩🏾‍🔬Response to the most common question I got today:
The new variant has a lot of mutations, what does this mean in terms of epidemiology & vaccines❓

🧬 short answer: to early to tell‼️

🔬Long, more nuanced answer: whilst having too many mutations, some of which are known to
1/ affect for instance how fast the virus replicates inside our cells or how it interacts with our immune system, it is difficult to say what synergistic effect all those mutations could have when put together, without functional assays coupled with real-world data‼️
Nov 25, 2021 4 tweets 10 min read
Worried about new variants?

We got you 🙌🏾

🔬🧬We are the Coronavirus Variants Rapid Response Network @CoVaRR_Net working to accelerate & facilitate our understanding and management of #SARSCoV2 variants of concern!

Visit covarrnet.ca
#TeamCanada #GoTeam #GoScience Science doesn’t happen in silos & is not one dimensional!
@Covarrnet is founded on the belief that the best science is one that is collaborative & #EDII-centred.
Here are some of the brilliant people who make up @CoVaRR_Net:
@langlois_ma @ninan_abraham1 @JenGommerman @gingraslab1
Nov 18, 2021 7 tweets 3 min read
This is an extremely difficult time to be a scientist & even more so if you are a minority #WomanInScience.

Last night I went on @globalnews radio thinking I was going to talk about the differences between PCR & other screening methods for COVID—basically science.
1/ The conversation was steered towards border policy & that some want more restrictions to be removed. Doing my duty as a scientist & using the best current evidence, I noted the rise in cases 🌍, the not so perfect💉 rate in some places & importance of using #RapidTest
Oct 9, 2021 11 tweets 3 min read
📊 Ontario Science table’s survey shows significantly lower vaccination intention amongst groups who experience a disproportionate burden of COVID outcomes: low income & racialized.

As someone who belongs to this group & does literacy outreach I’d like to dissect it further 🧵⤵️ 1️⃣
This phenomenon isn’t new. In every aspect of medicine, racialized, marginalized, underserved & low-income groups, who often experience the highest burden of bad outcome, also happen to be the most reluctant to seek medical intervention, including vaccination. But why⁉️
Aug 28, 2021 16 tweets 8 min read
1-Today there was a big protest in Montréal by healthcare workers opposed to mandatory vaccination.

As a healthcare professional & a bioethics I want to underline a few points about #VaccineMandates for healthcare provides
🧵👇🏾 2-In bioethics, autonomy is no longer that centuries-old belief that the individual can or does somehow stand apart from their community, social circumstances & political environment. Also, autonomy has a different scope when intervention in question has implications beyond self.