TWiV 844: Paul Offit on children, COVID, and boosters

December 19, 2021

Paul Offit returns to TWiV to discuss new CDC guidance on J&J vaccine, why children should be immunized against COVID-19, and whether or not booster doses are scientifically justified.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, and Brianne Barker

Guest: Paul Offit

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Download TWiV 844 (61 MB .mp3, 102 min)
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Links for this episode

Weekly Picks 1:28:48

BrianneVirus snowflakes
Dickson The Year in Pictures 2021
VincentOur Life is Plasticized

Listener Picks

GerryDan Barouch: COVID-19 Vaccine Development
LouisePandora’s Lab by Paul Offit

Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees

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8 comments on “TWiV 844: Paul Offit on children, COVID, and boosters

  1. Jennnifer Fallon Dec 19, 2021

    Hello Professor!!!
    Sadly the Picks are from last TWiV. :(. I really want to read about the microplastic eating bacteria! (I will google it.) There are also fungi that break down plastics, and darkling beetles that can digest styrofoam, ( maybe Dickson knows about these beetles!!) I love this topic!!!!
    This happened last TWiV also, with the picks :(. I think there must be a glitch with Youtube.
    Thanks! I love TWiV!!!! And all the TWi’s!! Microbetv is THE BEST!!!!
    Your biggest fan in Rhode Island !!!
    Jen Fallon

  2. Jennnifer Fallon Dec 20, 2021

    Hello Les Faby! Yes that’s me! I am also making a painting for Amy of her virus! (EV-D68.)
    Also regarding my comment on the links, they are fixed!! Yay!!

  3. sure in the near future EVERYONE will be either jabbed or infected.
    here in Israel, nearly everyone WAS infected….
    Why then, is there no mention of SEROLOGY?????
    As you ppl know, serology is harmless and could save some of those precious vaccines…

  4. Kelly Decker Dec 20, 2021

    I am an ecologist and so my ears perk up when people talk about the different strains competing with each other. Competition suggests there is a limitation on a resource, in this case: bodies to infect. But is there such a limitation? How does that work and why can’t people be infected with a mix of say, Delta and Omicron? Or are they and then there is competition in the infected person with a winner and loser. In ecology the loser of competition often ends up living in an area of worse resources/ different resources. Maybe Delta is going to our pets? I have so many questions.

  5. “There’s no reason to go to a Flyers game”


    Question for all of you regarding Ontario with almost 90% vaccinated, 35% of 5-11 year olds with their first dose and yet a massive explosion of cases. However Hospitalizations have been flat as have ICU.

    Ontario is trying to Boost there way out of this.

    Am I correct in thinking the panels suggestions would be to refocus on the unvaccinated rather than vaccinate the already double vaxxed?

  6. Chase Morgan Dec 23, 2021

    Currently commenting in lab, since my cells are taking longer than expected to grow. It is quite reassuring to hear scientists talk reasonably and critically about our current public health policies. My institution just mandated boosters and asymptomatic testing and some of my colleagues have been sharing uncorroborated articles claiming masks are less effective against Omicron, Its frustrating to see so many people whom I know are great critical thinkers lose their ability to reason around this virus.

    However, I was urged to comment due to the discussion around the MCAT exam that I feel missed the mark. I agree that their are many problems with how we administer and interpret standardized tests. I think the part of the argument that was missed is that standardized tests give applicants a concrete goal to work towards. Interviews subject applicants to all sorts of biases. I had to respond to some really inappropriate questions when I detailed my own economically underprivileged background. Lets not get into the inappropriate comments and questions my female colleagues from all social classes had to endure. Letters of recommendation are full of nepotism and bias. I have had a handful of labmates over the years who got their position because their parents or other connections were friends with my PI at the time. My first lab experience (unpaid summer) I was frequently yelled at and accused of being uninterested in science because I was also working full time in order to pay my bills (something my PI was fully aware of when he “hired” me). I had to leave this experience off my CV because I could not get a letter from this person despite working 20 hours a week in lab for an entire summer on top of full time employment. Over the years, I did find other ways to build my CV and make myself more “interesting”, but the one mark that wasn’t a moving target was the MCAT. If we take that away, all applicants will have to go on will be other people’s opinions of them, justified or not. Sure there are false positives, people who would make great doctors despite doing poorly on the MCAT, but is a selection system that puts more value on personal bias going to be a better one?

    Just something I was thinking about. Long time listener. I regret not having the opportunity to take your virology class when I was an undergraduate at Columbia.