The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that exceptional efforts can dramatically accelerate the clinical development of vaccines. We propose that it is time to also take immediate actions to improve clinical trials in other areas to better serve all patients.
We analyzed epidemiologic and clinical data of laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV cases from eleven healthcare-associated outbreaks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Korea between 2015–2017.
Scientists in the People’s Liberation Army helped to develop the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for restricted use.
Herd immunity is a key concept for epidemic control. It states that only a proportion of a population needs to be immune (through overcoming natural infection or through vaccination) to an infectious agent for it to stop generating large outbreaks. A key question in the current COVID-19 pandemic is how and when herd immunity can be achieved and at what cost.
Analysts are tracking false rumours about COVID-19 in hopes of curbing their spread. In the first few months of 2020, wild conspiracy theories about Bill Gates and the new coronavirus began sprouting online. Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist who has funded efforts to control the virus with treatments, vaccines and technology, had himself created the virus, argued one theory. He had patented it, said another. He’d use vaccines to control people, declared a third. The false claims quietly proliferated among groups predisposed to spread the message — people opposed to vaccines, globalization or the privacy infringements enabled by technology. Then one went mainstream.
If President Trump sidelines the World Health Organization, experts foresee incoherence, inefficiency and resurgence of deadly diseases. Experts in health policy are contending with the real possibility that the United States will pull away from the World Health Organization (WHO), fracturing a relationship that began in the wake of the Second World War. They say that the repercussions could range from a resurgence of polio and malaria, to barriers in the flow of information on COVID-19. Scientific partnerships around the world would also be damaged, and the United States could lose influence over global health initiatives, including those to distribute drugs and vaccines for the new coronavirus as they become available, say researchers.
Anders Tegnell talks to Nature about the nation’s ‘trust-based’ approach to tackling the pandemic.
Developers and funders are laying the groundwork for efficacy trials, but only a handful of vaccines are likely to make the cut.