Taha writes:

This is our paper

Specific thanks you to and this week in virology


Joel writes:

Wonderful educators,

I have long heard that the process of creating the annual influenza vaccines involves a lot of time — and lots and lots of chicken eggs — with the upshot being a significant lead time between identifying the target strains for the season and actually having a vaccine available.

Now that we’re living in the future with mRNA vaccines in the toolbox, would this technology allow us to more quickly and routinely produce the quantities of multivalent influenza shots we need, and would that responsiveness be beneficial when surveillance indicates a particularly worrisome strain with little lead time?

My question is mostly about time to produce — I understand that the cold storage and longevity of today’s mRNA vaccines present their own complexities that might make routine annual use less practical. Yet the ability to respond quickly to concerning influenza strains when needed would seem to be very powerful.

Thank you for being a constant source of top quality information throughout these challenging times!


Denver, CO, USA



Martha writes:

I am so thankful for vaccines! 

My daughter ended up hospitalized with Rotavirus while the ? Rotashield was off the market. She got really sick, lethargic, hypoglycemia, hypotension and needed multiple fluid boluses. She scared me and thankfully she recovered. I wished she could have had the vaccine. 

As a little girl, I had a family friend who died at age 7 from Reye’s syndrome following the chicken pox. I remember thinking that I would die when I turned 7 from Reyes. Clearly, I was too young to understand. 

As a teenager in the 80s, I took care of a woman in an iron lung from polio. She spent her time in a rocking bed or the iron lung. A difficult life following polio infection and severe disease.

I have seen healthy kids lose their life, and or suffer severe sequelae – missing limbs, brain injury, deafness or more from meningitis. And, I’ve cared for immunosuppressed transplant patients ill with vaccine preventable illnesses who desperately need strong herd immunity. 

As a 1a healthcare worker, I am happily vaccinated against SARS Cov2. (Pfizer x2) The vaccination was easier than the shingles vaccine for me. I love a good immune response that tells me my immune system is responding!  I LOVE the TWIV podcast and recommend your podcast often.  Go Science!


Noel writes:

I feel like I know the answer to this but would love a clarification from the experts (the experts being you, of course). 

I have MS and asthma, so I have opted to step out of the workforce for the time being. My husband is a firefighter in a major city and we depend on his income. It is understood by both of us, that his is the risk we must live with. He uses every precaution recommended and has been as careful as possible while working. He always masks when running our errands or doing our shopping, and is great about cleaning etc. He has had both doses of the Moderna vaccine. I have not, due to severe allergies (anaphylaxis) to multiple medications.  We have no outside guests and haven’t even seen our kids or grandkids for over a year now. So imagine my surprise when I see a confirmation, from his work, for an upcoming flight! He is scheduled to take an out of state trip, with several other firefighters, for a conference of some kind. I know they will all have separate rooms, etc., but this seems like a risk we should probably not take, especially until I have been vaccinated! If he does end up going on this trip,  how do we handle his return? I feel like he needs to test when he gets back and quarantine out of the home for 7 days. Is this the safest route for me? We have an extra guest bedroom/bathroom, but I don’t know how we would handle mealtimes etc if he were in the home. I just need some sound facts to pass along to the therapist/moderator,  that I am no doubt going to have to hire and involve in this upcoming battle. Thank all of you for being there throughout these “interesting” times. I really respect your opinions and am constantly telling friends and family all of the things that “my scientists” have taught me 😛 

You all are great!

Thanks again,


Matthew writes:

Hi Twiv,

I wanted to share the COVID memorial that New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) commissioned in honor of its fallen workers entitled “Travels Far”. As you might imagine, MTA’s frontline workers paid a tremendous price throughout the pandemic. What is also instantly evident in this memorial is the racial and ethnic disparities that were exploited by the pandemic 

Remembering the colleagues we lost to COVID-19

Lori writes:

Dear TWIV,

I love the show and every time a new episode drops, I can’t wait to go for a run (listening is how I motivate myself to run in the winter drear). I just bought a TWIV hoodie – love it!

I’ve heard of several cases in which both members of a couple die from Covid – where the couple is in their 40’s or 50’s. The couple I know had no comorbidities. What could cause this? Or is it just the randomness of this virus?

If anyone tells you to change the show, don’t listen to them. Keep it exactly the way it is!!

Here’s my pick:

(https://joshdata.me/iceberger.html )

There’s physics involved and it’s fun!