Health and Medicine

Have introverts really fared better in lockdown? - COVID-19

Guest Author Apr 14, 2021

Lis Ku, De Montfort University Since the onset of the pandemic, everyone from newspaper columnists to Twitter users has advanced the now idea that extroverts and introverts are handling the crisis differently. Many claim that introverts adapt to social distancing and isolation better than extroverts, with some even suggesting that introverts are practically “loving” the crisis, as it offers … Read More

evidence vs spin - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Apr 14, 2021

A friend of mine pointed me in the direction of this blog post by New Zealand’s “Plan B” group. While initially this group opposed the government’s use of lockdowns to manage covid19 outbreaks in this country, they seem to have since moved on to opposing the rollout of vaccines against SARS-Cov-2. And, while they claim to be “injecting evidence … Read More

The best hope for fairly distributing COVID-19 vaccines globally is at risk of failing. Here’s how to save it - COVID-19

Guest Author Apr 14, 2021

Deborah Gleeson, La Trobe University COVAX, the global initiative to coordinate the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in an equitable way, is crucial for bringing the pandemic under control. But COVAX’s aim of delivering 2 billion doses to participating countries by the end of 2021 — including 92 low-income countries that can’t afford to buy vaccines directly from manufacturers — … Read More

ACC’s policy of not covering birth injuries is one more sign the system is overdue for reform - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 13, 2021

Claire Breen, University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. Following a policy review, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), which covers accidental injuries, has restricted access to compensation for women who suffer perineal tears during birth. Read More

Viking DNA and the pitfalls of genetic ancestry tests - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 12, 2021

Anna Källén, Stockholm University and Daniel Strand, Uppsala University A middle-aged white man raises his sword to the skies and roars to the gods. The results of his genetic ancestry test have just arrived in his suburban mailbox. His eyes fill with tears as he learns that he is “0.012% Viking”. These are the scenes from a video advertisement … Read More

More Evidence that Elimination is the Best COVID-19 Control Strategy for Health and the Economy - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Apr 12, 2021

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker In this blog we briefly consider a new Report from a European think tank that aims to identify an optimal COVID-19 response strategy. It considers mortality data, GDP impacts, and mobility data and suggests that COVID-19 elimination appears to be superior to mitigation/suppression strategies in health and economic terms. Nevertheless, more … Read More

Charting our way back to normal - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Apr 08, 2021

By Professor Tony Blakely, Dr Tim Wilson, Luke Thorburn and Professor Nathan Grills, University of Melbourne A new web tool, COVID-19 Pandemic Trade-offs, allows people to weigh the costs and benefits of different policy responses as Australia rolls out vaccines and considers opening borders. See here for an associated explanatory video. Article reproduced with permission from Pursuit  The … Read More

COVID vaccine safety – adverse events vs. adverse reactions - Diplomatic Immunity

Helen Petousis Harris Apr 07, 2021

As we roll out the COVID-19 vaccine across NZ there will inevitably be people who experience adverse events after getting their jab. Here are some super important things to keep in mind about adverse events following immunisation. I will update this blog as we go along. Terminology – words matter Any event that is undesirable and follows administration … Read More

A quarantine-free trans-Tasman bubble opens on April 19, but ‘flyer beware’ remains the reality of pandemic travel - COVID-19

Guest Author Apr 07, 2021

Michael Plank, University of Canterbury and Shaun Hendy, University of Auckland   New Zealand’s government today announced a long-awaited quarantine-free travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia, beginning on April 19. Provided there is no significant community outbreak in Australia, the risk of New Zealand importing cases of COVID-19 is very low. But should there be a community outbreak … Read More

How New Zealand’s healthcare system is failing people with osteoarthritis - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 03, 2021

J. Haxby Abbott and Ross Wilson Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting almost 650 million people over the age of 40 worldwide. In New Zealand, around one in eight adults have osteoarthritis, but it is a rapidly worsening problem. An ageing population and increasing rates of obesity and joint injury are contributing to the … Read More