UC Berkeley is targeting religious and conservative students over vaccine compliance
I was trying to avoid writing more stuff on masks, but this is unbelievable. UC Berkeley, that bastion of California higher education, is now requiring masks -both indoors and outdoors, if one is not vaccinated against… influenza! And, as a virologist and vaccinologist, the use of the slang “flu” makes me cringe. There are no “flu” vaccines. There are a variety of vaccines for reducing Influenza A and Influenza B virus infection and disease. None of them work particularly well. And just as with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the vast majority of deaths from Influenza A and B occur in the elderly or otherwise infirm. Not in college age young adults. In most countries, influenza vaccination is neither routine nor required. One of the main reasons why influenza vaccines are pushed in the USA is to maintain “warm base manufacturing capacity” in case we have a really deadly influenza virus arise.
Now we all know that dust masks, even when called surgical masks, still don’t really work to stop transmission of RNA respiratory viruses, right? Depending on the study, maybe dust masks might work to reduce transmission by a tiny fraction? Hard to say when that pesky little issue of statistical significance keeps getting in the way of perfectly good clinical trials that might support the use of masks. They just can’t seem to get that clinical trial right. Just to say it, there is some evidence that N95 might help reduce transmission of respiratory viruses – if worn correctly and at all times, but that is not what is being mandated….