Health and Medicine

Auckland is the world’s ‘most liveable city’? Many Māori might disagree - News

Guest Author Jun 17, 2021

Ella Henry, Auckland University of Technology   While I am always happy to celebrate any accolades my country and city might garner on the international stage, seeing Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau awarded the top ranking in a recent “most liveable cities” survey left me somewhat flummoxed. In particular, I would argue that many Māori whānau in Auckland do not enjoy … Read More

The COVID-19 lab leak theory highlights a glaring lack of global biosecurity regulation - COVID-19

Guest Author Jun 15, 2021

Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato   The revived debate over whether COVID-19 could be the result of an accidental release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology may never be adequately resolved. Either way, we risk not seeing the wood for the trees. While the World Health Organization (WHO) reported in February such a leak was “extremely unlikely”, it … Read More

Smokefree 2025 - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Jun 15, 2021

The Government’s proposed approach for achieving SmokeFree 2025 is a bit over-the-top. The proposals would restrict tobacco sales to a smaller number of to-be-licenced R18 outlets, which could then be subject to a sinking lid; impose an annual one-year increase in the purchase age for tobacco until full prohibition were achieved; restrict nicotine content in cigarettes to very low levels; … Read More

Research now backs routinely offering pregnant women the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine - COVID-19

Guest Author Jun 11, 2021

Michelle Wise, University of Auckland New Zealand and Australia will now routinely offer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to women at any stage of pregnancy, following an update of vaccination advice. This comes as research suggests the risk of severe outcomes from infection is significantly higher for pregnant women compared to the general population. At the same time, … Read More

How virus detectives trace the origins of an outbreak – and why it’s so tricky - COVID-19

Guest Author Jun 08, 2021

Marilyn J. Roossinck, Penn State   Every time there is a major disease outbreak, one of the first questions scientists and the public ask is: “Where did this come from?” In order to predict and prevent future pandemics like COVID-19, researchers need to find the origin of the viruses that cause them. This is not a trivial task. The … Read More

From smallpox to polio, vaccine rollouts have always had doubters. But they work in the end - COVID-19

Guest Author Jun 08, 2021

David Isaacs, University of Sydney   In 2019, before COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) identified vaccine hesitancy as one of the top ten greatest threats to global health. Every year, vaccination saves around 4-5 million lives, although a further 1.5 million lives could be saved annually with improved global vaccine coverage. Now, we are seeing a … Read More

How well your immune system works can depend on the time of day - COVID-19

Guest Author Jun 04, 2021

Annie Curtis, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences   When microorganisms – such as bacteria or viruses – infect us, our immune system jumps into action. It’s highly trained to sense and eliminate infections and clear up any damage caused by them. It’s typically assumed our immune systems work the exact same way regardless of whether an infection occurs … Read More

Rugby, concussions and duty of care: why the game is facing scrutiny - Guest Work

Guest Author Jun 04, 2021

Seema Patel, Nottingham Trent University   There’s growing concern about concussion-related injuries in contact sports like rugby and American football. Several high-profile collisions between participants and a growing body of research about their impact have drawn attention to the adequacy of the safety protocols in place to protect players. Since 2020, the debate has taken a … Read More

The real challenge to COVID-19 vaccination rates isn’t hesitancy — it’s equal access for Māori and Pacific people - COVID-19

Guest Author Jun 02, 2021

Jesse Whitehead, University of Waikato; Kate C. Prickett, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington, and Polly Atatoa Carr, University of Waikato   Reports of potentially higher rates of vaccine hesitancy among Māori and Pacific populations have seen the government target COVID-19 vaccine and information campaigns at those communities. And there are excellent reasons for such … Read More