Hey! I really appreciated your comment, and even moreso, that you knew I enjoy receiving constructive feedback.
I wrestled with this a little, at first. My trans friends and I joke about “the virus” all the time, and I’ve gotten overwhelmingly positive feedback from the joke.
I think you’re right, though, that there’s an obligation to be particularly mindful when bringing in-jokes into the public eye. (Though in my defense, I had no idea this would blow up.)
Another thing you’re right about: isn’t talking (even joking) about trans-ness as something which changes your default state sort of playing into the null hypothecis?
So, while I’m invoking authorial right to keep the general structure of the joke intact, I’m acknowledging your excellent point by changing trans virus to cis vaccine.