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Popularization of research advances on COVID-19

Vaccines

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A broad-spectrum vaccine effective against sarbecovirus

SARS-CoV-2 is a member of the genus β-coronavirus and subgenus sarbecovirus. Other sarbecoviruses have already caused epidemics, such as SARS-CoV in 2003 (about 8 000 infections and 800 deaths) and MERS-CoV in 2012 (at least 2 600 cases and 900 deaths). Sarbecoviruses have spike surface proteins, the target of powerful neutralising antibodies, that differ while […]

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Targeting epitopes to improve vaccines

Obtaining a vaccine that works against COVID-19 has been one of the main priorities of recent times. Numerous candidate vaccines, using different technological platforms, have been developed. These vaccines, designed by expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike surface protein, induce neutralising antibodies against this virus. However, the emergence of variants such as Alpha or Delta, that have […]

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The efficacy of Moderna after 6 months

For several months, the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants has been closely monitored since these new strains may be more virulent, and may evade immunity, even when it derives from vaccination. This is notably the case with the Alpha (⍺) (UK), Beta (β) (South African), Gamma (ɣ) (Brazilian), Epsilon (ε) (Californian), Delta (δ) (Indian) and […]

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The CoronaVac vaccine may be effective for immunocompromised individuals

SARS-CoV-2 has infected more millions of  people. Brazil has been the most affected country with more than 15 million cases and more than 430 000 deaths. Vaccines have allowed us to greatly reduce mortality rates, and amongst available vaccines, the CoronaVac (also called Sinovac), developed in China, is the only one to use the traditional technology of […]

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Is vaccination our only hope for attaining herd immunity?

When a sufficiently large percentage of a population is immunised against a pathogen, this latter can no longer cause large-scale epidemics. Immunity may be acquired through vaccination, or natural infection. What are the practical issues involved in attaining it? In the absence of vaccination, and if immunity is long-lasting and has a sterilising effect (absence […]

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Repeated text messages to encourage vaccination!

Vaccines have been a vital part of eradicating or controlling several deadly infections diseases in the past. But reaching high enough levels of vaccination coverage to attain herd immunity is often a challenge. So, while several safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 are currently available, some 30% of Americans are hesitant or reticent, as in […]

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Two doses needed to combat the Delta variant effectively

Since March 2021, India has suffered an explosion in cases of COVID-19, with more than 400 000 new infections and 4 000 deaths per day at the height of the crisis at the beginning of May. Genome sequencing of the virus uncovered a new strain, the Delta (B1.617 or Indian) variant which, since May, has been […]

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Why do developing countries have greater vaccine acceptance?

By the end of June 2021, more than a dozen anti-COVID-19 vaccines had received authorisation in numerous countries. The AstraZeneca vaccine, for example, had received the largest number of authorisations, in 115 countries. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had been approved in more than 90 countries. Distribution of vaccines has been unequal, with the majority of stocks […]

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Fighting vaccine inequalities

In order to give us protection in this pandemic, vaccines need to available as well as effective. At the current time there are many inequalities in vaccine access. More precisely, there are two types of discrepancies: Firstly, developed countries have obtained the majority of the world’s stock of vaccines, by buying up more than two […]

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