Author Archives: Sally James

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About Sally James

Sally James (@jamesian) is a Seattle freelance writer who frequently covers biotechnology and research stories for magazines.

New ideas for an annual update: Older adults and vaccines

Photo: Robert Couse-Baker via Flickr

Photo: Robert Couse-Baker via Flickr

The season of coughing is around the corner. Ads for flu shots and other vaccinations are getting thicker too. Vaccinations for older adults have new developments this year. A great place to start is this tip sheet from Eileen Beal.

Herd immunity: When writing about vaccines for a certain age group, remember that your audience is not just that group. Communities are protected by the entire immunity of their neighbors and friends. Elders housed in assisted living or nursing homes are at special risk. But college student volunteers, visitors, and grandchildren may need to read your story to avoid unwittingly exposing these older adults. This works backwards also. Older adults who lack up-to-date immunization for whooping cough (pertussis) can expose a newborn when Grandma and Grandpa visit. The booster that many may need is called T-DAP. Continue reading

Forcing ideas through a tiny funnel to translate science

Public speaking, especially in an unforgiving fast format, gave me new insights into my own writing. It was a nail-biting adrenalin-pumping thrill ride. But I recommend it to everyone who writes.

Many of you have watched videos from the very popular organization – TED. Their motto is “ideas worth spreading.” Imagine you had to perform one of those speeches, standing on the red rug.

Here are a few things I learned from speaking in a cousin of TED, on my own red rug: Continue reading