Tag Archives: Coronavirus insights

COVID: why T cell vaccines could be the key to long-term immunity

Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock Sheena Cruickshank, University of Manchester With omicron having rapidly driven up COVID infections, attention is once again focusing on antibodies, and reasonably so. They play a critical role in fighting off viruses and are important for preventing the coronavirus infecting our cells. This is why some countries have mounted booster campaigns in response to recent COVID surges – …

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COVID: why working from home leaves the lowest paid at more risk of infection

Taking orders. Shutterstock/PattyPhoto Helen Collins, Liverpool John Moores University; Patricia Jolliffe, Liverpool John Moores University, and Susan Helen Barry, Liverpool John Moores University The latest directive from the UK government that people should work from home has led to concerns about the impact on businesses in the run up to Christmas. But it is also likely to have a devastating …

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Omicron and COVID boosters: everything you need to know

Paul Hunter, University of East Anglia The omicron variant of COVID is now spreading rapidly. Early reports suggest omicron causes less severe disease than other variants but it still poses a risk to the most vulnerable, with patients starting to arrive in hospitals. Omicron also appears to have some ability to get around existing immunity, whether from vaccination or infection. …

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Omicron might evade antibodies – but that doesn’t mean you don’t have immunity

Yurchanka Siarhei/Shutterstock Mick Bailey, University of Bristol and Nicholas John Timpson, University of Bristol With the highly mutated omicron variant spreading rapidly, people want to know if immunity from vaccination or a prior infection will be enough to protect them against getting infected or developing severe disease. If prior immunity does provide sufficient protection, then precautionary measures to slow omicron’s …

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Cuba’s COVID vaccines: the limited data available suggests they’re highly effective

Michael Head, University of Southampton The western world has written plenty about its high-profile COVID vaccines: the mRNA products of Pfizer and Moderna, viral-vectored jabs from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, and those that are just emerging, such as Novavax’s protein-based vaccine. Many countries are relying on them for protection. But not Cuba. It’s been quietly working on its own …

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Novavax COVID vaccine is nearing approval – but what impact will it have?

oasisamuel/Shutterstock Michael Head, University of Southampton The pandemic has been rumbling on for two years and is probably going to rumble on for years to come. And despite recent excitement about new drugs to treat COVID, it’s still vaccines that will underpin each country’s route out of the pandemic. Immunisation has proven a highly effective way of stopping people from …

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Merck v Pfizer: here’s how the two new COVID antiviral drugs work and will be used

Nina Drozdowa/Shutterstock Alexander Edwards, University of Reading We’ve waited 20 months for a medicine to blunt the coronavirus, and now two have appeared. Earlier this month, the UK medicines regulator approved molnupiravir, the COVID antiviral developed by Merck and Ridgeback Therapeutics. Among adults with mild to moderate COVID who were at risk of developing serious disease, it cut the chances …

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Gargling with iodine won’t stop you getting COVID

Roger Tisi, Anglia Ruskin University Social media is awash with bogus COVID treatments. First, there was hydroxychloroquine, then bleach, followed hard on the heels by ivermectin – a cattle dewormer. The latest on the scene is povidone-iodine, an antiseptic. Some people have claimed on social media that gargling with iodine can prevent the spread and severity of a COVID infection, …

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