The top tweets were chosen from influencers as tracked by GlobalData’s Influencer Platform, which is based on a scientific process that works on pre-defined parameters. Influencers are selected after a deep analysis of the influencer’s relevance, network strength, engagement, and leading discussions on new and emerging trends.

Top tweets on Covid-19 pharma in Q2 2021

1. Laurie Garrett’s tweet on Covid-19 vaccine disinformation

Laurie Garrett, a journalist and former senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, shared an article on a detailed analysis of who is behind the Covid-19 vaccine disinformation after tracing all postings on the AstraZeneca vaccine leading to  rare blood clots time frame. About 50,080 tweets about AstraZeneca vaccine were evaluated and were found to maligned with negative information. It was also found that most of the disinformation came from media sources well-known for disinformation.

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The research highlighted that most of the retweets on the company’s vaccine were shared by RT, a Russian-sponsored news website, and AL Arabiya, a Saudi news website. Twitter, in particular, was found to be filled with disinformation and bad press about the vaccine. The disinformation was found to be distributed not just by anti-vaxxers and conspiracy websites but also by state-owned media, the research detailed.

Username: Laurie Garrett

Twitter handle: @Laurie_Garrett

Retweets: 2,032

Likes: 3,193

2. Eric Topol’s tweet on the effectiveness of masks in preventing airborne transmission

Eric Topol, a cardiologist and founder of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, shared a research paper on face masks limiting the chances of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The research paper highlights the debate on how effective masks are in preventing or getting infected in outdoor as well as indoor spaces. It examines how the probability of infection or transmission changes nonlinearly depending upon the extent to which a person is exposed to exhaled respiratory matter.

In a wider community masks can be protective, but in indoor settings such as hospitals where the concentration of the virus particles in the air is high, even the best quality masks without hazmat suits may not provide enough protection.

Experts further state that in medical care facilities where Covid-19 patients are being treated,  good quality masks should be used, and effective ventilation should be ensured to keep the infection transmission risk low. The research also found that social distancing and ventilation reduces virus concentrations, increasing the efficacy of masks. Likewise, the correct and continued usage of masks ensures reduced transmission or exposure to exhaled air.

Username: Eric Topol

Twitter handle: @EricTopol

Retweets: 1,378

Likes: 3,158

3. Prof Peter Hotez’s tweet on Covid-19 vaccine refusal and politics

Prof Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, shared an article on extraordinary links between the refusal to receive Covid-19 vaccine and followers of the Republican party. A New York Times analysis found that the least inoculated US counties, were both low on agreeing to take the vaccine and actual vaccination rates, while also being supporters of the Trump camp in 2020.

In the more rural regions and areas governed by the Republican party, the supply of Covid-19 vaccines exceeded the demand with a large share of adults refusing to be vaccinated. For example, in a Wyoming county, a health official requested the state to stop sending vaccine doses as the refrigerator was full of unwanted vials.

Estimates found that a quarter of the adults in more than 500 counties refused to get vaccinated and a majority of them supported Trump in the election. Trump won nine out of the ten states, where most of the residents refused to take the vaccine, the article noted.

Username: Prof Peter Hotez

Twitter handle: @PeterHotez

Retweets: 1,063

Likes: 2,381

4. Helen Branswell’s tweet on airborne transmission of SARS-COV-2 during church singing

Helen Branswell, an infectious diseases and global health reporter, shared a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during choir singing at multiple church services in Australia. The report found an infected choir member to have transmitted the virus to at least 12 church attendees, who were not in close contact with the infected person and were sitting almost 15m away, suggesting airborne transmission of the virus.

The report found that none of the other choristers showed any symptoms and neither did they test positive. However, masks were not worn by the group of singers, and the cluster occurred despite the use of microphones and a 3m barrier around the singers. It was thereby advised to move church services to outdoor settings, in the presence of natural ventilation.

Username: Helen Branswell

Twitter handle: @HelenBranswell

Retweets: 1,237

Likes: 2,132

5. Matthew Herper’s tweet on Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine trial fatality

Matthew Herper, a senior writer of medicine at STAT, a publishing firm, shared an article on the false claim of a two-year-old girl having died after taking the second dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. While the US Food and Drug administration (FDA) stated that it would authorise the vaccine in adolescents aged between 12 to 15 years by mid-May 2021, studies on children aged six months to 11 years are still ongoing.

The claim was shared as a screen grab to Facebook, claiming a girl having died because of an adverse reaction to the Pfizer vaccine. It was also suggested that she was hospitalised and sick after taking the first shot, the article noted. Experts believe the claim was based on an unverified FDA’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) report that allows anyone to submit any report.

Username: Matthew Herper

Twitter handle: @matthewherper

Retweets: 1,034

Likes: 1,702