TWiV 403: It’s not easy being vaccine

August 21, 2016

CorndoglikevirusHosts: Vincent RacanielloAlan Dove, and Rich Condit

The TWiV team takes on an experimental plant-based poliovirus vaccine, contradictory findings on the efficacy of Flumist, waning protection conferred by Zostavax, and a new adjuvanted subunit zoster vaccine.

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Weekly Science Picks 1:26:10

Alan – To Scale: The Solar System
Rich –  Route 66 Goes Solar
Vincent – Race for a Zika Vaccine by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Listener Picks

Bohdan – Penn and Teller on Vaccinations
Bill – Connections, Episode 1

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6 comments on “TWiV 403: It’s not easy being vaccine

  1. J Tyson Aug 21, 2016

    Clicking on “patron” and then “donate” erroneously just takes you to the paypal main page, not a page where you can make a TVIW donation in any obvious way.

    [For reference, I’m using Windows 7 and the chrome browser, and I have used paypal for many years.]

    • profvrr Aug 26, 2016

      Jon, I believe I’ve fixed this issue – let me know if it’s working properly now. And thank you for pointing it out. Vincent.

  2. Nick Acheson Aug 21, 2016

    Hi guys:

    Your discussion in TWIV 403 of the waning efficacy of Varicella vaccine against the appearance of Zoster in people over 60 to me is a bit scary. If this is the same vaccine given to children (but in higher dose to adults), and its efficacy is reduced to near zero after ten years in adults, what about children vaccinated with this strain? Are they losing their immunity to chickenpox ten years after vaccination? If so, they are now in danger of being infected with varicella virus as teenagers or adults, and this is a much more dangerous disease when first acquired as an adult.

    Is there any information on the lasting efficacy of varicella vaccination of children over time? I would be a bit surprised if this had not been done, but of course these are expensive and complicated studies to do.

    I figure you can find these studies faster than I can. I have kind of switched out of virology and am now at the end of a fascinating ornithology congress in Washington DC. I gave a paper on the songs of Red-eyed Vireos that I have been recording for the last three summers nearby my home in Montreal, Quebec. Since I am a long-time birdwatcher, this career shift isn’t fully unexpected, but it is exhilarating to be exposed to fantastic scientific studies on communication, speciation, evolution, sexual behaviour, etc of birds. And my “amateur” presentation on the highly individual singing behaviour of Red-eyed Vireos (tied for the 6th-most abundant bird in North America, with an estimated population of 130 million, of which 80 million are in Canada during the breeding season) was well-received. A very open scientific community. And I get the impression that rivalries and publication scooping are not so prevalent as they were (still are?) in the medical and molecular biology areas.

    It was hot and humid today in the DC area but a heavy afternoon thunderstorm cooled us all down!

    Regards, a lapsed TWIV listener (but I tune in now and then),
    Nick Acheson

  3. Tom Sethre Aug 23, 2016

    Greetings to the Merry Twixters

    A couple of questions about the Canadian vaccine effectiveness study of a Hutterite community.

    Toward the end of your discussion you mentioned the lack of a control group, but at the outset it was stated that that 70% of the possible study subjects were vaccinated. I wonder if they could look at the 30% remainder as a control group.

    I am interested in long-term virus sequelae. I had chicken pox as a child, and am now curious to see if I get shingles.

    Additionally, I’m wondering what to think about post-polio syndrome (PPS). In 1952 I contracted polio. Fortunately it was a mild case with unilateral flaccid paralysis that was gone in a few months. I’ve heard of PPS but am not sure if it’s anything I should be concerned about.

    We’ve just come out of a strange mid-August monsoon in Central Texas. Our ranch east of Austin, as of yesterday, had accumulated 15.8″ of rain. (The pastures are lush and the cows are happy.)

    Currently in Austin it’s 80F / 27C, 86% humidity with a dew point of 75F/24C, and looking to a high this afternoon of 92F/33C.

    Once again, thanks for the opportunity to support TWIX through Patreon. I figure it’s ten bucks a month well spent.

    Tom in Austin
    Polio Class of ’52.

  4. Diane Dubé Aug 25, 2016

    Ayant été atteinte de la polio à l’âge de 6 ans, je venais de débuter l’école à Lévis, province de Québec, Canada en septembre 1960 l’avant dernière flambée de polio au Québec,

    Je suis atteinte aujourd’hui de son lourd héritage de son syndrome post polio 30 à 40 ans après la phase aiguë donc je suis devenue invalide depuis mes 58 ans et à ce jour je suis âgée de 62 ans et j’ai une rotoscoliose sévère phénomène très douloureux et qui me limite toujours de mois en mois et j’ai débuté un livre sur le sujet mais la fatigue et l’effet des médicaments m’enlèvent de l’élan, la passion est toujours là mais l’épuisement dû à la douleur, la chaleur extrême de nos étés qui limite ma respiration avec mon déconditionnement physique car moins active ne pouvant plus marcher plus que 15 à 20 minutes. Je m’implique en continuant de faire mes recherches sur le traitement possible du syndrome post polio s’il existe. Merci de lire mon commentaire et merci pour tous vos renseignements qui me sont fort utiles.
    Une victime, une rescapée……