Vaccines against Covid-19 are rolling out across the world, and it’s a beautiful sight. If you had told most scientists this time last year that we would be seeing effective, safe vaccines preventing Covid-19 infection in every corner of the globe within 12 months, we would probably not have believed you. The monumental amount of work required to get us to this place cannot be overstated — it is a truly spectacular achievement.
In an ideal world, vaccines would only prevent diseases and not also cause them. In an ideal world, a vaccine would be categorized as “effective” or “not effective” and not as “relatively beneficial.” Unfortunately, the world is far from ideal and far more complex.
The European health regulators faced the same difficult question for the second time in recent weeks: Which outweighs the other: the risks of the Covid-19 vaccine or the risks of the disease?
After cases of serious and unusual blood clots in people who were vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine were reported in the…
The causative agent of Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, is one successful coronavirus that has initiated a global pandemic. How did it emerge in humans, however, remains a question so crucial that nobody has a full answer to it. After all, knowing how a clinically important virus came into existence is key to anticipating and stopping the next one.
Just as the World Health Organization (WHO) did an investigational field visit in China between January 14 and February 10, 2021, and published their report on March 30, 2021, we thought we might finally have the answer to the origin of Covid-19. Unfortunately, we…
The Covid-19 pandemic has been fraught with unknowns, from the nature of the disease to broader societal impacts and everything in between. The last 15 months have often been more about the endless cavalcade of things we don’t really understand than the few facts we can be sure of.
Anyone who’s been at a hospital knows it’s a loud place. A constant beeping sound coming from various machines, an underlying chatter, the occasional cough or cry, the buzzing hiss of fluorescent lights.
The guidelines made by WHO are very clear. A hospital’s noise level should be “as low as possible”. The suggested level is set at 30 dB LAeq, which is equivalent to a quiet rural area, one-sixteenth as loud as a vacuum cleaner. That’s very quiet. It never happens.
An English study conducted in 2008 found that the noise level in a hospital surgical ward reached 95.6 dB…
In recent weeks, Israel has started rolling out two types of digital certificates related to Covid-19 immunity. One is the “immunity certificate,” which is a confirmation that the holder received two vaccine doses and is thus immune. This confirmation will allow people to lead an almost regular, pre-Covid-19 way of life.
A person with an Israeli immunity certificate can eat in a restaurant, work out at the gym, or see a play in the theater. …
There are many scientific questions that have come up during the pandemic. We’ve investigated the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, looked into school closures, and even checked to see whether spectacles could protect you from getting Covid-19 (the jury is still out on that one).
But perhaps the most consistent question that has been asked, over and over again, is whether vitamin D supplements can treat coronavirus effectively. The allure is understandable — vitamin D is cheap, relatively safe, and there’s some evidence that it can help with the common cold, which is often caused by coronaviruses similar to SARS-CoV-2. If it…
In many countries, the demand for Covid-19 vaccines greatly outweighs the supply. This has been especially apparent in Europe: Late purchasing, a slow rollout, and problems with distribution have caused the European vaccine campaign to undergo a very shaky start.
France has had an even more troubling vaccine rollout than some of its European neighbors. With a current ratio of 4.12 vaccines per 100 people, France is behind the EU’s average. It trails countries like Germany, Spain, and Italy, and it’s especially far behind its neighbor, the U.K.
The French rollout has been criticized by the media and has faced…
Around 100 million people have received a Covid-19 vaccine in “real world” settings. There are still many unknowns, and watching the knowledge unfold is fascinating. Luckily, so far, it also looks promising.
There aren’t many places better to seek vaccine-related data in than Israel. A country of fewer than 10 million citizens that already vaccinated more than a third of its population. Israel is way ahead of the curve in vaccine rates. Being a “tech-friendly” nation, it’s also keeping score; a detailed breakdown of all Covid-19 related statistics is constantly updated on the Ministry of Health’s website.
Days after opening its gates, the largest Covid-19 vaccination center in Berlin, Germany, had to close down due to lack of doses. Merely 321 miles away in the city of Mainz, stands a building full of glass windows, and a large sign in its entrance saying, “Büro- und Laborgebäude” — offices and laboratories. At the bottom part of the sign, in green letters, appears the name of the company: BioNTech.
A blog from Medium for Covid-19 news, advice, and commentary.