Diplomatic Immunity

Pressing the pause button after an adverse event happens to a vaccine trial participant

Helen Petousis Harris Sep 09, 2020

Today AstraZeneca pushed the pause button on its late-stage trials of a COVID-19 vaccine. A clinical trial participant has experienced a serious health event and an investigation is underway to determine the cause. What does it mean? A cautious approach – trials can halt to assess safety data With over 200 COVID-19 vaccines now under development … Read More

COVID-19 vaccines and human cell lines

Helen Petousis Harris Aug 26, 2020

When science meets ethics and morality. Vaccines are biological products and will have be exposed to various organic and inorganic products during their manufacture, depending on vaccine type. This includes exposure to human cells. Research that informs vaccine development will certainly have relied on such products along the way. Some people have faith, morality or safety-based concerns about the use … Read More

COVID-19 vaccine safety – are vital steps being skipped?

Helen Petousis Harris May 12, 2020

Five months into the COVID-19 pandemic the conversation is shifting to vaccines. One of the key concerns voiced by some experts and public are that in the rush to get vaccines deployed, safety will be compromised. Here I outline, in part, the COVID-19 vaccine safety landscape of activities. First, let me introduce you to some of the key entities tasked … Read More

Beating the evolving COVID-19 pandemic – unprecedented human collaboration in discovery and innovation

Helen Petousis Harris Feb 26, 2020

Less than two months after China told the WHO there was a problem, a lot has happened. Sadly, deaths, confirmed cases and countries affected are increasing every day. However, on a scientific and medical level, what is going on to contain, cure and prevent this new disease is truly inspirational. Let’s look at the build-up to this global health emergency … Read More

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Prediction: NZ will probably never have another measles epidemic

Helen Petousis Harris Feb 10, 2020

The Ministry of Health has announced a package that might ensure New Zealand will never experience another measles epidemic. While at the time of writing the details are still limited it appears that the important limitations in our current programme have been acknowledged and the intent is to address them. Great stuff. The commitment is starting with $23 million and … Read More

2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?

Helen Petousis Harris Jan 22, 2020

Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, from colds to severe pneumonia. Coronaviruses are often transmitted between … Read More

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The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there

Helen Petousis Harris Jan 14, 2020

The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a secret meeting and filmed scientists admitting vaccines were … Read More

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