Question: What have we learned since March?
A. Removal is the most effective intervention; The virus has no legs. So when you are physically away from people, avoid direct contact and droplets. Then you need to consider interiors that are at play especially in winter or in hotter countries in summer: the bus, the gym, the office, the bar or the restaurant. This is because we know that SARS-CoV-2 can remain infectious in aerosols (small floating droplets), and we know that aerosol spread explains the events of the Covid-19 super-spreading. Try not to be in these rooms with others, but if you have to, minimize your time there (work from home if you can) and wear a mask. Don't go shopping that often. Wait for going out, parties, gatherings. You can do these things later.
The road to a coronavirus vaccine
Interesting facts about vaccines
Confused by all of the technical terms used to describe how vaccines work and study? Let us help:
- Adverse event: A health problem that occurs in volunteers in a clinical trial with a vaccine or drug. An adverse event is not always caused by the treatment tested in the study.
- Antibody: A protein produced by the immune system that can bind to a pathogen such as the coronavirus and prevent it from infecting cells.
- Approval, licensing and approval for emergency use: Medicines, vaccines and medical devices cannot be sold in the US for no profit approval by the Food and Drug Administration, also known as Licensing. After a company has submitted the results of clinical studies to the F.D.A. For testing purposes, the agency decides whether the product is safe and effective. This process usually takes many months. If the country faces an emergency – like a pandemic – a company can file an application instead Emergency approvalthat can be granted much faster.
- Background rate: How often does the general population experience a health problem called an Adverse Event? To determine whether a vaccine or drug is safe, researchers compare the rate of adverse events in one study to the background rate.
- Effectiveness: The benefit of a vaccine compared to a placebo, measured in a clinical trial. For example, to test a coronavirus vaccine, the researchers compare how many people in the vaccinated group and the placebo group receive Covid-19. In contrast, effectiveness is the benefit that a vaccine or drug offers in the real world. A vaccine's effectiveness can be found to be less or more effective than its effectiveness.
- Phases 1, 2 and 3 studies: Clinical studies typically take place in three stages. Phase 1 studies typically involve a few dozen people to determine whether a vaccine or drug is safe. In Phase 2 trials involving hundreds of people, researchers can try different doses and take more measurements of the vaccine's effects on the immune system. Phase 3 studies involving thousands or tens of thousands of volunteers determine the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine or medicine by waiting to see how many people are protected from the disease it is supposed to be fighting.
- Placebo: A substance with no therapeutic effect that is widely used in clinical trials. For example, to see if a vaccine can prevent Covid-19, researchers can inject the vaccine into half of their volunteers while the other half are given a placebo with salt water. You can then compare how many people are infected in each group.
- Post-market surveillance: The surveillance that occurs after a vaccine or drug has been approved and regularly prescribed by doctors. This monitoring usually confirms that the treatment is safe. Rarely, side effects are found in certain groups of people that were overlooked during clinical trials.
- Preclinical Research: Studies that take place prior to the start of a clinical trial typically include experiments that test a treatment on cells or animals.
- Viral vector vaccines: A type of vaccine that uses a harmless virus to deliver immune-stimulating ingredients into the human body. Viral vectors are used in several experimental Covid-19 vaccines, including those developed by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Both companies use a cold virus called adenovirus as a vector. The adenovirus carries coronavirus genes.
- Test protocol: A series of procedures that must be performed during a clinical trial.
We don't talk much about eye coverings, but we should because we don't know enough about the role of eyes in transmission. We know that eyes are a window to the upper airways.
Question: Where does the "misinformation mouse" fit?
A. The misinformation mouse can erode any of these layers. People who are unsure about an intervention can be influenced by a loud and confident sounding voice announcing that a certain shift is ineffective. Usually this voice is not an expert at all in the field. If you turn to the experts – usually your local health authorities or the World Health Organization – you will find reliable information.
An effect doesn't have to be perfect to reduce your risk and the risk to those around you. We need to remember that we are all part of a society and if we all do our part we can make each other more secure, which pays off for us too.
Another example: We look for oncoming traffic in both directions before crossing a street. This reduces our risk of being hit by a car, but it doesn't reduce it to zero. A fast moving car could still come out of nowhere. But if we also cross with the lights and keep looking as we walk and not stare at our phone, we drastically reduce the risk of being hit.
We are used to that. When we listen to the noisy non-experts who have no experience in protecting our health and safety, we invite them to influence our lives. This is not a risk we should take. We just need to get used to these new steps in reducing risk for today's new risk – a respiratory virus pandemic instead of a car.
Question: What is our individual responsibility?
A. We all have to do our part: stay separate from others, wear a mask when we can't, think about our surroundings, for example. But we can also expect our leadership to work to create the circumstances under which we are safe – such as regulations on air exchange in public spaces, the creation of quarantine and isolation rooms, specific communication with us (not just with us ) and Limiting Border Traffic We urge to continue receiving our health checks and provide mental health or financial assistance to those who suffer or cannot be paid while in lockdown.