COVID-19

A vaccine will be a game-changer for international travel. But it’s not everything

Guest Author Dec 04, 2020

Adrian Esterman, University of South Australia The United Kingdom yesterday became the first country to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use. Following a review by the country’s drug regulator, the UK government announced it will begin rolling out the vaccine next week. Other countries are likely to follow soon, authorising the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and possibly other … Read More

Devastated by disease in the past, Samoa is on high alert after recent coronavirus scares

Guest Author Nov 27, 2020

Tootoooleaava Dr. Fanaafi Aiono-Le Tagaloa, University of Waikato Within minutes of news that crew members of the cargo ship Fesco Askold had tested positive for COVID-19, a social media storm broke across Samoa. COVID-free until then, the island nation’s anxiety was understandable. More so when you consider its history. Memories of the deadly 2019 measles outbreak were still … Read More

Why some people find it easier to stick to new habits they formed during lockdown

Guest Author Nov 24, 2020

Matthew Jenkins, University of Otago and Elaine Hargreaves, University of Otago Periods of lockdown represent a massive disruption to people’s daily routines, but they also offer an opportunity to establish new habits. Our research focus is on what motivates people to change their behaviour, particularly when it comes to physical activity routines. We compared the levels of physical … Read More

Buying and distributing a COVID-19 vaccine will involve hard ethical and practical choices

Guest Author Nov 18, 2020

Barbara Allen, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington and Michael Macaulay, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington The world was ablaze with hope following the announcement last week that a vaccine developed by Pfiser and BioNTech may be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19. New Zealand politicians were quick to … Read More

Moderna follows Pfizer with exciting vaccine news – how to read these dramatic developments

Guest Author Nov 17, 2020

Simon Kolstoe, University of Portsmouth It is very exciting to hear another positive story about vaccine trial results – a good vaccine is the most likely way of ending the pandemic. Last week, interim results from Pfizer suggested its vaccine reduces cases of COVID-19 with 90% efficacy. Now Moderna has gone one better, with interim results showing nearly … Read More

Will the Coronavirus Evolve to Be Less Deadly?

Guest Author Nov 14, 2020

Wendy Orent No lethal pandemic lasts forever. The 1918 flu, for example, crisscrossed the globe and claimed tens of millions of lives, yet by 1920, the virus that caused it had become significantly less deadly, causing only ordinary seasonal flu. Some pandemics have lasted longer, like the Black Death, which swept out of Central Asia in 1346, spread across Europe, … Read More

90% efficacy for Pfizer’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccine is striking. But we need to wait for the full data

Guest Author Nov 12, 2020

Harry Al-Wassiti, Monash University; Colin Pouton, Monash University, and Kylie Quinn, RMIT University German biotech company BioNTech and US pharmaceutical Pfizer announced on Monday promising early results from their phase 3 clinical trial for a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. These early results are what is known as an “interim analysis”. It’s an early look at the … Read More

Buying a coronavirus vaccine for everyone on Earth, storing and shipping it, and giving it safely will all be hard and expensive

Guest Author Nov 12, 2020

Nicole Hassoun, Binghamton University, State University of New York Infectious diseases do not respect borders. An estimated 3 billion people in low-income countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America are likely to lack access to a COVID-19 vaccine for years after it becomes available. In poor nations, many communities lack the health care workers needed to administer vaccines, … Read More