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 infectious diseases in May 2021

1. Laurie Garrett’s tweet on social media posts discouraging Covid-19 vaccine uptake

Laurie Garrett, a science journalist and former senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), shared an analysis on how just a few people termed as anti-vaxxers were responsible for 65% of the misinformation available on coronavirus vaccines on social media. The anti-vaxxers have played a significant role in disseminating incorrect information about Covid-19 vaccines and have become noticeable because of their large fan base and followers.

The analysis details how they have high volumes of anti-vaccine content across social media platforms such Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and have experienced rapid growth in their social media accounts over the past few months. It further highlights that nine among the 12 anti-vaxxers still continue to be active all social networking platforms, while just three have been removed from one platform.

A Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) research conducted in 2020 further exposed the inefficacy of social media platforms in removing 95% of the disinformation related to the disease and Covid-19 vaccines brought to their notice.

Username: Laurie Garrett

Twitter handle: @Laurie_Garrett

Retweets: 623

Likes: 726

2. Carlos del Rio’s tweet on the CDC removing restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals

Carlos del Rio, a professor of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine, shared an article on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) removing all restrictions for fully vaccinated people without any proof of vaccination. The article states that the CDC should not have dropped the mask mandate even for fully vaccinated individuals in crowded places such as grocery stores, where some people may not be inoculated and hence have less immunity levels.

The article added that without any proof of vaccination, the CDC would be removing incentives for people who are still not inoculated, which could further delay the bigger goal of achieving herd immunity and normalcy.

Username: Carlos del Rio

Twitter handle: @CarlosdelRio7

Retweets: 136

Likes: 536

3. Prof Peter Hotez’ tweet on concerns over potential Covid-19 summer surge in the US

Prof Peter Hotez, a physician and scientist, shared an article on how Covid-19 variants will impact the US in the summer. He emphasised that a potential summer surge was likely in the unvaccinated areas of the Southern States but it would not be as serious as that experienced in 2020. He highlighted the need to urgently vaccinate the entire US population and especially those states lagging behind in immunisation rates.

Hotez also explained that it was important to prepare boosters in advance to fight homegrown mutations and those coming from abroad including the B.1.1.7 UK variant, which has become the dominant variant in the US. He added that approximately 60% of the population across the Northeast, California, and Mexico had received their first jab, while 40% were fully vaccinated with two doses.

Username: Prof Peter Hotez

Twitter handle: @PeterHotez

Retweets: 86

Likes: 231

4. Ian M Mackay’s tweet on Australia’s new guidelines on airborne virus spread

Ian M Mackay, a virologist and scientist, shared an article on Australian officials updating their national guidelines on air quality after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced related risks of airborne transmission of the Covid-19 disease. The  WHO and CDC guidelines have updated their advice on airborne transmission of Covid-19, stating that tiny virus particles can linger in the air and can also travel in poorly ventilated areas.

The updated guidance comes after a number of quarantine hotels in Australia reported leaks, thereby infecting other guests and staff. Experts have now called for new guidelines for Australians to improve their air quality in indoor areas by keeping their windows open, changing heating and cooling filters, and using carbon dioxide monitors.

Username: Ian M Mackay

Twitter handle: @MackayIM

Retweets: 52

Likes: 140

5. Seth Berkley’s tweet on rise in Covid-19 deaths among healthcare workers

Seth Berkley, an epidemiologist and the CEO of the GAVI Alliance, the vaccine alliance, shared an article on the urgent need to protect healthcare workers from the Covid-19 disease. Approximately 115,000 healthcare workers are estimated to have succumbed to the disease since the start of the pandemic. Berkley noted that there is an urgent need to dramatically scale up the production, distribution, and administration of Covid-19 vaccine across countries.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, stated that healthcare workers need to be protected by providing them access to protective equipment and vaccines. Tedros further called for member countries to vaccinate at least 10% of their population by September 2021, and at least 30% by the year end.

Username: Seth Berkley

Twitter handle: @GaviSeth

Retweets: 57

Likes: 113