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Some cancers are preventable with a vaccine – a virologist explains

Some cancers are preventable with a vaccine – a virologist explains

ONE-FIFTH. Nearly 20% of cancers worldwide are caused by a virus. Author RONALD C. DESROSIERS, Professor of Pathology, Vice-chair for Research, University of Miami These viruses don’t cause cancer until long after they initially infect a person. Rather, the viruses teach the cells they take over how to escape the natural biological process of cell death. This strategy sets these altered cells on a path for other genetic changes that can cause full-blown cancer years down the road. As a microbiologist and researcher of viruses, I seek to understand how viruses affect living cells and the health of the people…
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COVID-19 isn’t the only infectious disease scientists are trying to find a vaccine for

COVID-19 isn’t the only infectious disease scientists are trying to find a vaccine for

DANIELLE STANISIC, Associate Research Leader, Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University JOHNSON MAK, Professor, Institute of Glycomics, Griffith University MORE than 28 million people around the world have now contracted COVID-19, and more than 900,000 people have died. Research groups across the globe are rightly racing to find a vaccine to protect against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. While it’s not surprising all eyes are on this vaccine race, COVID-19 isn’t the only disease for which scientists are currently trying to find a vaccine. Let’s look at three others. The big three We regard malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS as the…
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Steroids cut COVID-19 death risk; hepatitis C drugs may help fight the coronavirus

Steroids cut COVID-19 death risk; hepatitis C drugs may help fight the coronavirus

NANCY LAPID THE following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Steroids reduce death risk from severe COVID-19 Treating critically ill COVID-19 patients with corticosteroid drugs reduces the risk of death by 20% regardless of which steroid is used, according to an analysis of seven international trials published on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The analysis, which pooled data from separate trials of low dose hydrocortisone, dexamethasone and methylprednisolone, found that they improve survival…
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Poor countries seen missing out as rich nations hoard COVID-19 vaccines

Poor countries seen missing out as rich nations hoard COVID-19 vaccines

THIN LEI WIN NINE out of 10 people in dozens of poor nations could miss out on getting vaccinated against COVID-19 next year because rich countries have hoarded far more doses than they need, campaigners have said. Rich nations home to 14% of the global population had bought 53% of the total stock of the most-promising vaccines as of last month, said the People's Vaccine Alliance, a coalition including Oxfam, Amnesty International and Global Justice Now. They said pharmaceutical companies working on COVID-19 vaccines should openly share their technology and intellectual property through the World Health Organisation (WHO) so more…
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Here is how the world reacted to Britain’s announcement that its COVID-19 vaccine rollout will begin next week

Here is how the world reacted to Britain’s announcement that its COVID-19 vaccine rollout will begin next week

BRITAIN has become the first country in the world to approve the COVID-19 vaccine developed by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech and said it will be rolled out from early next week. Here are some reactions to the news: JOHN TREGONING, A READER IN RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS AT IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON: "This is great news and remarkable progress given the first cases were less than a year ago. It shows what progress can be made through science and innovation. The MHRA, the UK drug regulator, will have gone through all the safety data from the trials before approving…
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Vaccine alliance secures $2 bln to fund COVID shots for poor nations

Vaccine alliance secures $2 bln to fund COVID shots for poor nations

KATE KELLAND and STEPHANIE NEBEHAY A facility set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the GAVI vaccine group has exceeded an interim target of raising more than $2 billion to buy and distribute COVID-19 shots for poorer countries but said it still needs more. The GAVI alliance has announced that the funds for an advance market commitment (AMC) will allow the COVAX facility to buy an initial one billion vaccine doses for 92 eligible countries which would not otherwise be able to afford them. "We've seen sovereign and private donors from across the world dig deep and meet…
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Can vaccines reach the world’s poorest?

Can vaccines reach the world’s poorest?

THIN LEI WIN  PFIZER Inc has said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective, a major victory in the fight against a pandemic that has killed more than a million people and infected 50 million. Drugmakers around the globe have been racing to develop vaccines against COVID-19, but organisations such as the vaccine alliance GAVI have expressed fears that poor nations would lose out in the global race. Wealthier countries have forged multibillion-dollar supply deals with drugmakers and purchased 3.8 billion doses of potential coronavirus vaccines, leaving few doses available for poor nations, according to a recent analysis…
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First human trial of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shows promise

First human trial of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shows promise

ASTRAZENECA's experimental COVID-19 vaccine was safe and produced an immune response in early-stage clinical trials in healthy volunteers, data has shown, with the strongest response seen in people who received two doses. The vaccine, called AZD1222 and being developed by AstraZeneca and scientists at Britain's University of Oxford, did not prompt any serious side effects and elicited antibody and T-cell immune responses, according to trial results published in The Lancet medical journal. "There is still much work to be done before we can confirm if our vaccine will help manage the COVID-19 pandemic, but these early results hold promise," vaccine…
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Sudan to start vaccine rollout

Sudan to start vaccine rollout

SUDAN will begin vaccinating health care workers followed by people aged 45 or older with chronic conditions for free next week after becoming the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to benefit from COVAX facility vaccines. Sudan received 828,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-produced vaccine on Wednesday at Khartoum airport, a health ministry official said. The delivery follows that of 4.5 metric tonnes of syringes and disposal boxes through COVAX in late February. Sudan says it expects to receive the remainder of a total 3.4 million doses through COVAX, a vaccine-sharing programme co-led by the World Health Organization,…
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Vaccine appears effective against new variants

Vaccine appears effective against new variants

MICHAEL ERMAN PFIZER Inc and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine appears able to protect against a key mutation in the highly transmissible new variants of the coronavirus discovered in Britain and South Africa, according to a laboratory study conducted by the U.S. drugmaker. The study by Pfizer and scientists from the University of Texas Medical Branch, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, indicated the vaccine was effective in neutralizing variants with the so-called N501Y mutation, situated on a portion of the virus that it uses to enter and infect cells. All of the vaccines already approved or in development use this outer…
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