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T-cells: the superheroes in the battle against omicron

T-cells: the superheroes in the battle against omicron

OMICRON is spreading rapidly throughout the world, with experts claiming that 40% of the global population will be infected within the next two months. This sounds quite startling, but we still don’t really know whether omicron causes more severe disease than other variants of concern. The signs so far are good, though. Author LUKE O'NEILL, Professor, Biochemistry, Trinity College Dublin With the previous widespread variant, delta, there was a clear link from infection to hospitalisation and then, in some patients, ICU admission and death. This doesn’t seem to be as apparent with omicron. However, the director-general of the World Health…
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Risk of severe COVID established early in infection – new study

Risk of severe COVID established early in infection – new study

WHY most people who get COVID have mild symptoms or none at all while some become severely ill is still a mystery – a mystery that scientists are urgently trying to solve. REBECCA AICHELER, Senior Lecturer in Immunology, Cardiff Metropolitan University Being obese or having existing health problems, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, are known to increase the risk of severe COVID. But this is not the whole story. Some seemingly healthy people can suffer from severe disease, too. Early in 2020, scientists discovered that people with severe COVID had unusual levels of certain immune cells in their…
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South African study shows high COVID protection from J&J shot

South African study shows high COVID protection from J&J shot

JOHNSON & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine is working well in South Africa, offering protection against severe disease and death, the co-head of a trial in the country said on Friday. The J&J vaccine was administered to healthcare workers from mid-February in a research study, which was completed in May, with 477,234 health workers vaccinated, joint lead investigator Glenda Gray told a media briefing. South Africa's health regulator approved the J&J shot in April, and it is being used in the national vaccine programme alongside Pfizer's. Gray said the single-shot J&J vaccine offered 91% to 96.2% protection against death, while offering 67%…
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