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Tag Archives: SARS-CoV-2

How to stay safe with a new fast-spreading coronavirus variant on the loose

The new SARS-CoV-2 variant’s increased transmissibility is believed to come from a change in the spike protein, visible here in yellow under an electron microscope. National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases Suresh Dhaniyala, Clarkson University and Byron Erath, Clarkson University A fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has been found in at least 10 states, and people …

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The cold supply chain can’t reach everywhere – that’s a big problem for equitable COVID-19 vaccination

Getting vaccines to rural and hard-to-reach areas is critical for public health and ethical reasons. Hector Roqueta Rivero/Moment via Getty Images Timothy Ford, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Charles M. Schweik, University of Massachusetts Amherst To mitigate health inequities and promote social justice, coronavirus vaccines need to get to underserved populations and hard-to-reach communities. There are few places in the …

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Should pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine? Will it protect against asymptomatic infections and mutated viruses? An immunologist answers 3 questions

I am a physician, and I just got my first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. William Petri, CC BY-SA William Petri, University of Virginia This week I was vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, which brought to mind some frequently asked questions about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. I am a professor of infectious diseases at the …

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Coronavirus new variant – genomics researcher answers key questions

Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock Lucy van Dorp, UCL A new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, is thought to be driving increased transmission of the disease in parts of the UK. The government has placed some regions including London under new, stricter coronavirus restrictions, known as Tier 4. People in Tier 4 areas will not be able to gather with …

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Keeping indoor air clean can reduce the chance of spreading coronavirus

Open windows and doors to boost air flow and help remove airborne particles. Daniela Torres/EyeEm via Getty Images Shelly Miller, University of Colorado Boulder The vast majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs indoors, mostly from the inhalation of airborne particles that contain the coronavirus. But in spite of the obvious risks posed by being inside, according to the Centers for Disease …

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How mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna work, why they’re a breakthrough and why they need to be kept so cold

Moderna’s new mRNA vaccine is almost 94.5% effective in large-scale trials. JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images Sanjay Mishra, Vanderbilt University As the weather cools, the number of infections of the COVID-19 pandemic are rising sharply. Hamstrung by pandemic fatigue, economic constraints and political discord, public health officials have struggled to control the surging pandemic. But now, a rush of interim …

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Virus evolution could undermine a COVID-19 vaccine – but this can be stopped

Could SARS-CoV-2 evolve to dodge the vaccine? Jose A. Bernat Bacete/Moment collection/Getty Images Andrew Read, Penn State and David Kennedy, Penn State The first drug against HIV brought dying patients back from the brink. But as excited doctors raced to get the miracle drug to new patients, the miracle melted away. In each and every patient, the drug only worked …

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What monoclonal antibodies are – and why we need them as well as a vaccine

Y-shaped proteins called antibodies are vital for attacking and destroying the virus. Dr_Microbe/Getty Images Rodney E. Rohde, Texas State University When President Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19, one of the cutting-edge experimental therapies he received was a mixture of monoclonal antibodies. But now a vaccine may soon be available. So are other therapies necessary or valuable? And what exactly is …

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