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If a variant has mutations in the spike protein, does that mean the vaccines won’t work?

Biology/Immunity Vaccines

Tl;dr: mutations can make vaccines less effective, but that doesn’t mean they render them useless. Immunity isn’t all or nothing, and the current vaccines still provide protection, especially against severe disease and death. Many have been concerned that because (so far) our COVID vaccines have used the spike protein from the original SARS-CoV-2 virus (also Read more…

Why do some people not get COVID when everyone around them has it?

Biology/Immunity Infection and Spread

TLDR; Many things impact infection risk, including vaccination status, prior exposures, genetics, and the specific details of one’s contact with infected people. Even when conditions seem ideal for transmission, it’s not a done deal. This is why, if COVID comes to your home, it’s worth trying to limit spread. And sometimes, you just get lucky. Read more…

I’m vaccinated, and I’ve recovered from Omicron. Can I finally let my guard down?


🙋 Asking for a friend… No wait, actually, I’m asking for me. After almost two years of precautions and a total of 10 vaccine shots, this Nerdy Girl’s family of four came down with COVID over the winter holidays, most likely the omicron variant. Now that we’re all fully recovered (thank you, vaccines!), it’s time Read more…

Want to know more about infection vs. vaccine induced immunity to SARS-CoV-2?

Biology/Immunity Vaccines

Immunologists who *really* do their own research on this topic have thoughts. Check out this infographic from the British Society for Immunology: TL;DR: ➡️ For most people vaccination will induce more effective & longer lasting immunity compared to natural infection. ➡️ Even if you’ve had COVID-19, vaccination will significantly boost the immunity you have from Read more…

Why do children have less severe COVID-19 than adults?

Biology/Immunity Families/Kids Vaccines

A: A better innate immune response may explain milder COVID-19 disease in kids, but they still CAN and DO get infected and transmit SARS-CoV-2, especially the more transmissible Delta variant. 👉🏽 TL;DR. Children have fewer ACE2 receptors, a more robust innate immune system, and produce more anti-viral proteins (like type 1 interferons) than adults. These Read more…