Tag Archives: Coronavirus insights

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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COVID: new antibody treatment could offer up to 18 months’ protection against severe disease

Antibodies (light blue) binding to the spike proteins (dark purple) on the outside of the coronavirus. Design_Cells/Shutterstock Rebecca Aicheler, Cardiff Metropolitan University A new treatment could soon help protect people from developing severe COVID. AstraZeneca has just released results from a phase 3 clinical trial – the final stage of testing before a drug is authorised – that suggest its …

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COVID and flu: how big could the dual threat be this winter?

Subbotina Anna/Shutterstock Paul Hunter, University of East Anglia Although COVID infections are currently low or in decline in most western countries aside from the UK, there’s still a long way to go before the threat of the pandemic is over. A big concern this winter is if there’s a resurgence of COVID with other respiratory illnesses coming back strongly alongside …

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How COVID deaths compare with other deaths in the UK – latest numbers

Colin Angus, University of Sheffield COVID restrictions in England were lifted on July 19, and although COVID cases are currently soaring in schoolchildren and their parents’ age group, many feel that the worst of the pandemic is now over. Thanks to the tremendous effectiveness of COVID vaccines, further lockdowns seem unlikely. However, a look at recent mortality data reveals that …

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What the world can learn from Bhutan’s rapid COVID vaccine rollout

NiarKrad/Shutterstock Sarah Schiffling, Liverpool John Moores University and Chris Phelan, Edge Hill University Nearly half the world’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. But figures vary widely between countries. Many low and middle-income countries have barely started their vaccination campaigns. But the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan isn’t one of them. By the end of …

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