Steven writes:

Hi TWIVers,

I’m sure by now you’ve received a number of alternate virus names based upon the suggestion of Professor Henzy at Northeastern.  Here’s a few more:

Measles can be Weisselbergs

Mumps can be Trumps

and Rubella can be Rudybella

That would make the MMR vaccine the WTR vaccine…wish I could have made the “R” an “F”, but I’m not that clever.  In any case I was happy to be vaccinated against MMR when I was a kid and I’ll be very happy to be vaccinated against WTR as well 🙂

Keep up the good work.  I know Daniel starts his segments with some quotes, I’ll leave you with a favorite of mine from Pasteur:

“Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world.”



Else-Maj writes:

Dear TWIV-team,

I am writing from Turku, Finland, where we are having a very exceptional summer, with highs around 30 degrees Celsius. 

I discovered your podcasts in the spring of 2020 and have become addicted! Thank you for your scientific, but nevertheless humble, approach to various topics. I am grateful for getting facts, but I also enjoy the way you discuss things. Since my training is in biochemistry (now retired), I do not understand everything, but l still learn a lot. I am also happy to know that some of our Covid-19 experts listen to TWIV. 

An absolute additional plus for Vincent was his praise of a manual shift car – I once- in-a-while drive a car with an automatic shift and I feel like meeting a good friend, when I get back to my own car. 

But I also have a question/comment: I listened to NPR Politics, July 12 podcast discussing the Covid-19 situation. They used the expression “transmitting much more rapidly” and “spreading very rapidly”- is that OK? But then they went on to worry about the delta variant becoming the main strain, with about 50 % of US cases being delta. Then adding that in low vaccination areas the delta constitutes about 80 % of the cases. What I found alarming, was that their concern seemed to be the delta variant rather than the low vaccination rate! 

Also, they commented that there is alarming news from Israel that the Pfizer vaccine does not prevent disease – the addition that it does prevent serious disease came later. 

Of course I did not understand why a vaccination passport is “toxic” in the US – do you care to comment?

You seem to have a real uphill struggle, but please keep going! 

With greetings,

Else-Maj (I do not expect you to know how to pronounce that – the Maj is pronounced about as “my”)

Simon writes:

Team With Invincible Values,

As I fight the fight on social media a thought struck me… people worried about vaccines including of course anti vaxxers love pointing at adverse reactions to vaccines. Now some of this is bogus, and some of this is vaccine specific aka allergic reactions to some random chemical used for good reason. Of course only affecting a tiny minority of people.

However, some low level adverse vaccine reactions are things we also see as adverse virus reactions. As you know there is evidence that some of the vaccines may cause a little clotting and some may cause a little myocarditis and with the news this week some may cause GBS.

Now, I know the numbers are low, only slightly above population normal levels, likely out in the one in one hundred thousand to one in a million level. If I understand the occurrence of these adverse reactions is higher as reactions to the virus than to the vaccine.

So here is my question… in terms of a given individual is there a link or trigger. In other words if I took the vaccine and got GBS, am I literally unlucky, or does this indicate that I am a person with a higher risk of GBS and if I’d caught the actual virus then the virus itself would have been even more likely to trigger that same adverse reaction.

This seems to me to be an important question, important because of the biology, but also important because in a sense it means if a person gets vaccinated and is unlucky then they really aren’t unlucky as odds are if not vaccinated and then they caught the virus they’d anyway probably have that exact same adverse reaction so actually nothing really lost and in fact by being vaccinated I actually reduced my chance of that adverse reaction.

If this relationship is valid then actually it changes the way to think about adverse reactions as now it’s not just that you did the right thing for everyone and we’re unlucky randomly, but even at the personal level it was the right thing.

No idea if what I’m saying makes sense, but I just found it interesting how many adverse reactions are the same for vaccine and virus and more common in the latter than the former.

Chris writes:

I recently found out I could get the HPV vaccine fully covered by insurance. I’d previously been too old. Maybe it would be a good reminder to your listeners that this is available.

I got the first 2 shots but then I went on an extended work trip and I’m 3 months overdue for the 3rd shot. I’ll get it ASAP but I can more fully empathize with people who don’t make it back for subsequent doses when life gets in the way. 

I heard it is not “effective” against strains that I may have already been exposed to. Does that mean I’d continue to spread any strains I’ve been previously exposed to or just that I can’t clear them?

Chris in Colorado

2listening1 writes: 

In the NYC area there is a living kidney donor transplant facilitator and they do amazing work. It’s called Renewal 

Em writes:

Hello TWiV Team!

I wanted to share this beautiful bacteriophage wax seal from Cognitive Surplus. As a virology nerd and a lover or stationary, I am obsessed, and very close to buying one. They also have a wax seal with DNA, and a variety of science related items, including clothing and notebooks. I promise I am not sponsored by this company, but they probably should be sponsoring me because I recommend them to so many people.

I was also wondering how many emails you get compared to how many you read on the show? Do you read most of them? Half of them? Less? 

Thank you!