Debi writes:

As the avid TWIV listener in my world, I’m trying to advise a friend on sending his daughters back to school. They live in a woefully, underfunded school district serving primarily minority students, that has created an INCREDIBLE plan to bring students back. Small cohorts with no interaction, fabulous air filters, distancing, dividers at desks, eating in the classroom (not ideal, but necessary given the economic realities), frequent opportunities to wash hands and sanitizer in rooms, and individual recess or gym time. 

The only thing that’s missing is testing. This is INFURIATING given that our governor (Maryland) has been at the forefront of the pandemic response, touts the state’s testing, and is pushing counties really hard to get kids back in school. The district is trying to get testing and will implement it when they can, but I’m nervous about recommending he start his 1st grader in 2 weeks or his 6th grader in March. It would be better for both of them to be in class, obviously, but the lack of testing has me worried.

I know nothing is perfect, but air quality, cohorting, and testing were what I thought of as deal-breakers. Your thoughts?


Terri writes:

Hi Dr. Griffin,

I am extremely fortunate to have a healthy 100-year-old Mom who still lives independently near my brother, still has a better memory than anyone in the family, and has a sharp wit that continues to impress us all. She has had her first dose of the Moderna vaccine and is scheduled to have her second dose on February 15th. Her response after the first dose was only a soreness at the injection site for a few days. I did have her exercise the arm for the first day by occasionally lifting a gallon of milk a few times. In preparation for the second dose, what can we do to make sure it goes as smoothly and successfully as possible? Is there anything you have recently learned that should give us pause in her receiving the second dose? How long should someone stay with her afterwards to monitor her?

On another vaccine topic, my daughter is breastfeeding my 10-month-old grandson. Is there any chance that if she is still breastfeeding when she is vaccinated that any protection will reach my grandson through the breastmilk? And how far down the road do you think will be the earliest we can expect 1-year-olds to be able to be vaccinated based on the trials that need to happen?

Thank you, Dr. Griffin, Vincent, and the whole TWIV team for the wonderful work you do to keep us educated. I will be forever grateful for the hours and hours you have dedicated to do so. Please know you are very appreciated beyond what a simple “thank you” can express.

Take care and be safe!

Orlando, FL
A sunny 54 degrees today

Carson writes:

Hi Daniel,

You’ve said that people who’ve recently had COVID should still get vaccinated as soon as they’re able to, but also that anyone who’s had monoclonal antibody therapy needs to wait 90 days because the monoclonals could prevent the person from mounting a sufficient immune response to the vaccine. Why isn’t that the case for someone who’s been infected and presumably developed their own antibodies?