International Research Review

International Research Review2021-03-08T11:41:45-05:00

Immunity in people who had COVID-19 appears to be long-lasting

By Mariana Bego Long-term data have emerged regarding the durability of antibody responses in people who had COVID-19. In a recent Nature article, a team lead by Rockefeller University researcher Dr. Michel Nussenzweig reported immunity results from 63 people recovering from severe COVID-19 (convalescent individuals) up to 12 months post-infection. The authors suggest that immunity in convalescent individuals appears to be long-lasting and those [...]

June 15, 2021|International research review|

COVID-19 vaccines: six months and 2 billion doses later

By Mariana Bego On December 8th 2020 at 6:30 AM, the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered to a 90-year-old British woman in the United Kingdom. Six months later, over 2 billion doses have been administered worldwide. In this context, the scientific journal Nature explores key vaccine questions as countries race to vaccinate their citizens as viral variants spread around the globe.   It will [...]

June 15, 2021|International research review|

Variants go Hellenic! WHO now using Greek letters as official names for COVID-19 variants

By Mariana Bego The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently announced a new naming system for coronavirus variants using Greek alphabet letters. For example, the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the UK, is now designated as “Alpha” and the variant first identified in South Africa, B.1.351, will now be referred to as “Beta.”   Most viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, change their genetic programs over time. [...]

June 8, 2021|International research review|

Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines appear safe for teens

By Mariana Bego Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are reporting that their mRNA COVID-19 vaccines appear to be safe and efficacious in 12- to 16-year-olds, consistent with results reported for adults. Safety and effectiveness results of the Pfizer vaccine for this demographic were recently published in New England Journal of Medicine. Moderna announced their preliminary data in a press release.   Key points: Both Pfizer-BioNTech and [...]

June 8, 2021|International research review|

We are in this together: four strategies to right global vaccine inequity

By Alexis Palmer-Fluevog In a Science commentary, journalists Jon Cohen and Kai Kupferschmidt highlight the ongoing health inequities in the global vaccine rollout while laying out a roadmap for moving forward. The authors begin by exploring the moral and ethical argument of equitable vaccine delivery and quickly move to what we already know: none of us are safe until we are all safe. The [...]

June 8, 2021|International research review|

Researchers say that vaccines can protect against some new variants, but two doses are more effective

By Alexis Palmer-Fluevog  Researchers from Public Health England looked at the vaccine effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines against the COVID-19 variants originating in the UK and India.  In this pre-print publication that has not yet been peer reviewed, the researchers suggest that two doses of the vaccines should be administered as soon as possible to obtain the greatest effect. This has important implications [...]

June 1, 2021|International research review|

‘Mix and match’ COVID-19 vaccine strategy appears safe

By Mercedes Yanes Lane The Health Institute Carlos III in Spain presented preliminary results of their ‘mix and match’ trial using the Oxford Astra Zeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines. The report describes a high immunogenic response with the combined use of vaccines, compared to people who only received one dose of AstraZeneca. Safety and reactogenicity also appeared similar in people who received two doses [...]

June 1, 2021|International research review|

Levels of infection-blocking antibodies could forecast COVID-19 protection

By Mariana Bego Authors of a recent modelling-based study in Nature Medicine suggest the levels of neutralizing (infection-blocking) antibodies in blood are highly predictive of the strength of immune protection. The team used a model to compare the efficacy of eight vaccines and to study antibody wane. They predict boosters will be needed about a year after the second dose of a two-dose regime. [...]

June 1, 2021|International research review|

Will vaccines work against the troublesome new variant first identified in India? Scientists think so.

By Varun Anipindi The Indian subcontinent is reeling from an unprecedented second wave of COVID-19 infections since March 2021. The country is facing an exponential increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths, and this is related to the emergence of a new variant, B.1.617, that was initially described in the state of Maharashtra. Since then, the variant has rapidly spread throughout the nation and has [...]

May 25, 2021|International research review|
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