The data behind the CDC’s new mask guidance

This past Thursday, the CDC announced that, if you are fully vaccinated, the pandemic is basically over for you. This post goes over the CDC’s evidence for its guidance, taking the epidemiological perspective. Also, as two-thirds of Americans aren’t yet fully vaccinated, I’ll touch on another COVID-19 truism that has garnered some confusion lately: yes, you are significantly safer outside than you are inside.

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COVID source shout-out: TUSHY

Now, you might ask: Betsy, why are you featuring a bidet company as a COVID-19 data source? Because a special page on TUSHY’s website is reporting the share of Americans who have been fully vaccinated, with a (NSFW) framing: “Can We Eat Ass Yet?”

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How to talk about breakthrough cases

A lot of journalists, especially those who aren’t familiar with the science/health beat, may be inclined to publish news of breakthrough cases as surprising or monumental. In fact, these cases—referring to a COVID-19 infection that occurs after someone has been fully vaccinated—are entirely normal, yet incredibly rare. But we still need to pursue data on them.

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Pfizer for the whole pfamily

Good news for people with kids: this week, Pfizer and BioNTech released results for their trial involving adolescents aged 12-15. In the trial, no participants who received the vaccine contracted symptomatic COVID-19 out of a total of 2,260 participants, marking an efficacy rate of 100%.

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How to talk about COVID-19 vaccines

I wrote a tipsheet on covering COVID-19 vaccines for The Open Notebook. The piece provides tools and resources specifically for writers on the vaccine beat—both those who have been covering the pandemic for months and those who are now incorporating vaccine news into other aspects of their reporting. But this advice also applies more broadly to anyone simply talking about vaccines.

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