Invisible Women

By Caroline Criado Perez

Invisible Women: default male injections

#76・

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Invisible Women
Invisible Women: default male injections
By Caroline Criado Perez • Issue #76 • View online
Well hello there my dear GFPs! This week I have had a stinking cold so have very little of interest to report. Meanwhile, Covid continues to screw with my specific chips by canceling my celebratory lunch to mark half a million copies sold of Invisible Women (the UK edition).
So I am instead celebrating with you, my dear GFPs who I know are as invested as I am in spreading the Invisible Women word. So: hurrah! Here’s to the next half a million!
(I guess I’m probably contractually obliged to suggest that you buy a copy of Invisible Women for all your friends and family this Christmas, so here is me suggesting that 😎🎄❤️🐾 )
Let’s dive in shall we?

Gender data gap of the week
This week’s data gap comes courtesy of a Dr GFP – that is, an actual medical doctor, not me being the world’s worst DJ. Anyway, this Real Dr GFP drew my attention to this study which looked at the importance of needle size when it comes to administering vaccines.
Historically, apparently, we thought the best place to administer vaccines was your bum. But then we discovered that layers of fat were not great for initiating an immune response, because they have the wrong cells.
Injecting a vaccine into the layer of subcutaneous fat, where poor vascularity may result in slow mobilisation and processing of antigen, is a cause of vaccine failure —for example in hepatitis B, rabies, and influenza vaccines. Compared with intramuscular administration, subcutaneous injection of hepatitis B vaccine leads to significantly lower seroconversion rates and more rapid decay of antibody response.
The antigen also seems to hang around longer in fat cells, which can make adverse effects more likely.
…subcutaneous injections can cause abscesses and granulomas. Muscle is probably spared the harmful effects of substances injected into it because of its abundant blood supply. Adipose tissue, having much poorer drainage channels, retains injected material for much longer and is therefore also more susceptible to its adverse effects. 
Basically, for maximum vaccine efficacy and minimum adverse reactions at the injection site, the needle should be intramuscular.
And this is where we run into problems. As readers of Invisible Women may remember, women tend to have higher fat and lower muscle distribution than men, and, according to this study, the shoulder area where vaccines are commonly injected is no different:
A wide variation exists in thickness of the deltoid fat pad, with women having significantly more subcutaneous fat than men. A standard 5/8 inch (16mm) needle would not have achieved sufficient penetration for true deltoid intramuscular injection in 17% of men and nearly 50% of women in the study population.
GFPs, as you can imagine, I found this very interesting. Could this, I wondered be at all related to the finding that vaccines may be slightly less effective in women than men? Could it be at all related to the more adverse side effects reported by women?
Obviously, there are many factors that are likely playing into these sex discrepancies, but it’s interesting isn’t it?
Incidentally, a friend of mine who was a volunteer Covid vaccinator told me that in her training she was told to use a longer needle for overweight people, but there was no advice about needle length for women.
Jamie speaking for all GFPs there
Jamie speaking for all GFPs there
Default male of the week
This week’s GDGOTW also reminded me of this study I came across a while back on EpiPens. Because it turns out that they too may not work as well in women as in men. Beee-CAUSE…
…the distance from skin to muscle for the anterolateral aspect of the thigh is higher in women compared with men. This difference suggests that EpiPen may not deliver epinephrine to the intramuscular tissue in many women.
Many. Women.
I mean don’t mind us, we’re only half the global population. Probably a standard design not accounting for “many” of half the global population is fine, just fine.
Or, I don’t know, maybe let’s have a look at getting the absolute basics right, like, just as a wild example, ensuring live-saving medication actually reaches its intended target?? I feel like this is something we can achieve here in the 21st century.
In unrelated news, please enjoy this picture of Jeff Bezos’s…rocket.
Get your mind out of the gutter
Get your mind out of the gutter
GFPs fixing it
When even Hollywood has got the pockets memo…
Black Widow - Yelena's Vest | It has a lot of pockets
Black Widow - Yelena's Vest | It has a lot of pockets
With thanks to GFP Faye for bringing this important pocket news to my attention
Homework
GFPs, this is homework specifically for TODAY. Remember the brilliant Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ) that we spoke about a couple of weeks back? Well, they have been selected to participate in the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2021, the UK’s largest match funding campaign.
Until 12 pm TOMORROW, for every £1 you donate, CWJ will receive £2 pounds. You get to double your giving. If you – or your company – are looking for a charity to support this Christmas you can’t go far wrong here.
CWJ does brilliant, important work on improving women’s access to justice and they are currently running a project challenging police perpetrated abuse:
Victim/Survivors
Over 150 women who have suffered domestic abuse from serving police officers have contacted us to share their experience and seek advice. We know there are many others. Some have been unable to report their abuser as it would mean reporting him to his own work colleagues. Others, who have reported, found investigations poor with officers closing ranks to protect their own. Several of the women were bullied, harassed and victimised. It is rare for the perpetrator to be prosecuted or disciplined.
Accountability & Change
We aim to bring about structural change to the way such complaints are investigated and dealt with. We will work with the women who have already contacted us, and with any new survivors that come forward. We have a panel of around 200 lawyers to whom we can refer legal cases and we work with frontline service providers who can provide support. We will use evidence collated from these cases to bring about change through advocacy and strategic litigation where appropriate.
The link to donate is below – let’s make a good GFP showing!
Challenging Police Perpetrated Abuse
Poppy pic of the week
Poppy very much expressing my feelings on all matters here
Poppy very much expressing my feelings on all matters here
That’s it! Until next time, my dear GFPs xoxoxo
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Caroline Criado Perez

Keeping up with the gender data gap (and whatever else takes my fancy). Like the Kardashians, but with more feminist rage. Plus, toilet queue of the week.

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