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Interview on Surani Fernando's "Vax Files" Apple podcast, "Real World Effectiveness of the Vaccine"

I was interviewed by investigative journalist Surani Fernando for her podcast here in the episode on "Real World Vaccine Effectiveness" as part of her "Vax Files" Apple podcast:

Other expert guests also appearing on this podcast include: Dr Maria Elena Bottazzi: Associate Dean of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine Dr Nikolai Petrovsky: Prof of Medicine and vaccine developer, Flinders University Dr Andrew Read: evolutionary biologist & Prof of Biology, Penn State University

The discussion I was involved in covers the following topics:

  1. Real world effectiveness of the vaccines, the effect of the Delta variant, & waning effectiveness vs. infection.

  2. The basics of how the immune system works that explains why effectiveness wanes vs. infection but less so vs. severe disease

  3. Data showing that while breakthrough infections after vaccination still can transmit, they tend to transmit less than unvaccinated infections. While transmission is more than we hoped, we discuss source of the misimpression of no protection vs. transmission.

  4. The problem of people misinterpreting data because of a lack of understanding of the underlying quantitative nuances. Here is a quote where I think she summarizes it quite nicely:

"When people cherry pick simplified summaries of data that have not been properly stratified for normalized they can significantly distort the truth (and cause confusion), and this has been happening a lot during the pandemic with uninformed members of the public trying to interpret complex and multi-layered scientific data"

She is incredibly skilled as an investigative journalist and scientific communicator, with very accessible, well-organized podcasts.

Here is her website link that will also have future episodes, on which I will appear as well:

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