Tag Archives: coronavirus

COVID-19 vaccine inequity allowed Omicron to emerge

While people in the wealthy West have had preferred access to multiple rounds of vaccines, vast numbers of people, especially in Africa and on the Indian subcontinent, haven’t received a single dose. (Pixabay/Canva) Dawn ME Bowdish, McMaster University and Chandrima Chakraborty, McMaster University Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination rate is 76 per cent — 10 times higher than it is across the …

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COVID: how the disease moves through the air

Alexander Limbach/shutterstock Lena Ciric, UCL; Abigail Hathway, University of Sheffield; Benjamin Jones, University of Nottingham, and Chris Iddon, University of Nottingham Masks have been a common sight all over the world since SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus, invaded our lives. We set out to investigate if they work. Our goal was to find out how the virus travels through the air …

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How effective are vaccines against omicron? An epidemiologist answers 6 questions

Understanding how much protection a vaccine offers is not as simple as it sounds. Andriy Onufriyenko/Moment via Getty Images Melissa Hawkins, American University The pandemic has brought many tricky terms and ideas from epidemiology into everyone’s lives. Two particularly complicated concepts are vaccine efficacy and effectiveness. These are not the same thing. And as time goes on and new variants …

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Do lateral flow tests detect omicron? Your questions answered

Andrew Lee, University of Sheffield Just as we thought we understood COVID testing, along came omicron and raised a whole new bunch of questions. We asked Dr Andrew Lee, a reader in global public health, to answer them. The UK government website ran out of lateral flow tests. Does that mean I can’t get one anywhere? Lateral flow tests for …

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How to help kids with ‘long COVID’ thrive in school

Many long COVID-19 symptoms – such as fatigue, brain fog and memory impairment – are similar to those experienced post-concussion. Cavan Images/Cavan Collection via Getty Images Susan Davies, University of Dayton and Julie Walsh-Messinger, University of Dayton Children who get COVID-19 typically recover quickly and will not require special support upon return to school. However, some people who contract the …

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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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How can scientists update coronavirus vaccines for omicron? A microbiologist answers 5 questions about how Moderna and Pfizer could rapidly adjust mRNA vaccines

Some vaccines use mRNA to make copies of the triangular red spike proteins to induce immunity. Juan Gaertner/Science Photo Library via Getty Images Deborah Fuller, University of Washington If the omicron variant of the coronavirus is different enough from the original variant, it’s possible that existing vaccines won’t be as effective as they have been. If so, it’s likely that …

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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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Top Kenyan scientist shares the joys and challenges of creating life-saving vaccines

Rift Valley Fever virus, 3D illustration. Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock George Warimwe, University of Oxford Professor George Warimwe should be a household name in Kenya. He’s a leading scientist who has created a life-saving vaccine against Rift Valley Fever. He is also leading policy-changing work on Yellow Fever vaccines. Warimwe has now been awarded the Royal Society Africa Prize for his work …

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