Diplomatic Immunity

COVID-19 vaccines and community immunity (transmission)

Helen Petousis Harris Jan 22, 2021

Q: Will the COVID-19 vaccines prevent the transmission of the coronavirus and bring about community immunity (aka herd immunity)? A: Jury not in yet but vaccines do not have to be perfect to thwart the spread of infection. While vaccines  induce protection against illness, they do not always stop actual infection, so you can be perfectly well but carry … Read More

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