Taryn writes:


I work at a big academic hospital and I am almost 14 days post 2nd Pfizer vaccine. 

Our hospital uses Abbott SARS-CoV IgG assay for IgG. A couple of my co-workers have gone to get tested and have come back negative (the results specifically state that they can’t be used for vaccine efficacy verification). 

What can be used for that? Anything? 

Thanks! Have a great day, stay well, 

Taryn Ketels

Anthony writes:

On Professor Racaniello’s Q & A, the topic came up of taking NSAiDs after vaccination to reduce discomfort.  If memory serves me correctly, someone even suggested taking an OTC pain killer before vaccination.  Someone else posited that NSAIDs reduce the effectiveness of the vaccination.  What is the correct thing to do?

For years, I consumed aspirin to reduce pain so that I could exercise more.  Then I read that this diminished the exercise effect.


Karen writes:


In November, my mother contracted COVID-19 while living in an assisted living facility. She had substantial health issues (CHF, COPD, kidney failure, etc) although her physical health had improved some while in the facility. She moved there early in 2020. Her mental capacity had become increasingly limited prior to moving to the facility, and the restrictions on visitations coupled with her inability to use audio/video technology made most of the year rather difficult. She was suffering considerably.

By the time she contracted COVID, nearly every caregiver including the head nurse had already been through the illness. A number of other residents in her area of the facility also had contracted the disease: a few died while the rest were transferred to more substantial care. My mother was the only patient left in the area. We asked that she be placed in hospice care rather than transferring her to the hospital. Her breathing and vitals were good, but she had refused to eat. My father decided this meant she wanted for this to be the end. It was extremely difficult for him to make this decision, but I supported him in whatever he felt she wanted. The facility and the hospice personnel were wonderful and supportive, including allowing us to sit with her in the last few days of her life. 

This experience is not essential to my question. However, I have not heard you discuss hospice or palliative care decisions in your clinical updates.

I am not sure what your health network has done, but I found this article about introducing palliative care personnel, an essential healthcare service in my opinion, into ER settings at Mass General for the pandemic. You may be interested in instituting something similar — if you haven’t already and I apologize for assuming you might not have. I also would find hearing from a palliative care specialist in an upcoming episode very informative, and comforting to be honest.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit Boston, Massachusetts General Hospital made the decision to embed palliative care specialists in the emergency department. Every weekday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. a palliative care doctor worked alongside intensivists evaluating patients, addressing their symptoms, answering their questions and having conversations with them about what was important to them in their medical care.

Thank you for the clear, concise, and developmental presentations you have done throughout this year. It has been fascinating to learn alongside you and the others in the TWIV-verse as this pandemic has unfolded. I came with some biases that tainted my views of the science/technology in this area, but you and the TWIV group have deepened my appreciation for the best practices of design and experimental paradigms.