COVID-19

What the Blood Supply Shows About Covid-19’s Spread

Guest Author Jan 19, 2021

Nathaniel Scharping In March, as the Covid-19 pandemic began to shut down major cities in the U.S., researchers were thinking about blood. In particular, they were worried about the U.S. blood supply — the millions of donations every year that help keep hospital patients alive when they need a transfusion. The researchers were able to put to rest … Read More

Coronavirus: few vaccines prevent infection – here’s why that’s not a problem

Guest Author Jan 18, 2021

Sarah L Caddy, University of Cambridge Vaccines are a marvel of medicine. Few interventions can claim to have saved as many lives. But it may surprise you to know that not all vaccines provide the same level of protection. Some vaccines stop you getting symptomatic disease, but others stop you getting infected too. The latter is known as “sterilising immunity”. Read More

With COVID-19 mutating and surging, NZ urgently needs to tighten border controls

Guest Author Jan 13, 2021

Nick Wilson, University of Otago and Michael Baker, University of Otago The global COVID-19 pandemic is intensifying, with more infectious variants of the virus, and more rapid spread, especially in countries such as the US and UK. This deterioration has meant a higher number of infected returnees arriving at New Zealand’s MIQ facilities — with 31 new cases in … Read More

Post-pandemic cities can permanently reclaim public spaces as gathering places

Guest Author Jan 08, 2021

Anne-Marie Broudehoux, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Will the COVID-19 pandemic prompt a shift to healthier cities that focus on wellness rather than functional and economic concerns? This is a hypothesis that seems to be supported by several researchers around the world. In many ways, containment and physical distancing measures have contributed to an increased recognition of the … Read More

Long COVID: who is at risk?

Guest Author Jan 06, 2021

Frances Williams, King’s College London For most people, infection with SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – leads to mild, short-term symptoms, acute respiratory illness, or possibly no symptoms at all. But some people have long-lasting symptoms after their infection – this has been dubbed “long COVID”. Scientists are still researching long COVID. It’s not well understood, though our … Read More

Oxford COVID vaccine authorised in the UK – global health expert on why this is a key moment

Guest Author Jan 05, 2021

Michael Head, University of Southampton The UK has become the first country to authorise the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for public use, with roll-out to start in the first week of 2021. This vaccine is the second to be authorised in the UK – following the Pfizer vaccine. The British government has ordered 100 million doses of the … Read More

How to keep COVID-19 at bay during the summer holidays — and help make travel bubbles a reality in 2021

Guest Author Dec 22, 2020

Michael Plank, University of Canterbury and Alex James, University of Canterbury Recent announcements on travel bubbles and quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia from early next year will be welcome news for whānau and friends as well as businesses and the tourism industry. But as the prime minister made clear, the travel bubble will be contingent on the … Read More

Not just complacency: why people are reluctant to use COVID-19 contact-tracing apps

Guest Author Dec 21, 2020

Farkhondeh Hassandoust, Auckland University of Technology Last week’s announcement of two new COVID-19 vaccine pre-purchase deals is encouraging, but doesn’t mean New Zealanders should become complacent about using the NZ COVID Tracer app during the summer holidays. The immunisation rollout won’t start until the second quarter of 2021, and the government is encouraging New Zealanders to continue using … Read More

An Australia–NZ travel bubble needs a unified COVID contact-tracing app. We’re not there

Guest Author Dec 14, 2020

Mahmoud Elkhodr, CQUniversity Australia New Zealand’s coronavirus contact-tracing app COVID Tracer was recently revamped. It now uses the Bluetooth-based Google/Apple exposure notification (GAEN) framework. This allows Android and Apple (iOS) devices to communicate via a contact-tracing mechanism built into the devices’ operating systems. Meanwhile, Australia continues to use the COVIDSafe app, which also uses Bluetooth, but with … Read More

30% of New Zealanders are ‘vaccine sceptics’, so trust is key to COVID-19 vaccine roll-out

Guest Author Dec 11, 2020

Claire Breen, University of Waikato The emergency approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the UK and the imminent roll-out of several other vaccines in 2021 raises serious questions about New Zealand’s likely uptake of this vital public health response. Recent research into New Zealanders’ attitudes to vaccination suggest positions have become more polarised over the last decade, … Read More