COVID-19 articles

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SARS-CoV-2: the challenges of mutation and possible strategies

The efficacy of the current COVID-19 vaccines might be lower against the new variants of SARS-CoV-2. The new strain that emerged in the United Kingdom has a higher transmissibility than previous strains of the virus. We asked scientists whether the new mutations are a threat to the current public health measures and to COVID-19 vaccines.

Ampoules with Covid-19 vaccine on a laboratory bench to fight the coronavirus sars-cov-2 pandemic

Covid-19: different types of vaccines and how they work

A range of Covid-19 vaccines are being developed worldwide and the differences between them can be confusing. How do the new mRNA vaccines work? What about vector vaccines? We asked scientists to give us an insight into the different types of Covid-19 vaccines.

Light Bulbs Concept

Covid-19: What are the consequences of the unprecedented rush for knowledge?

The surge in COVID-19 research papers has put the spotlight on the peer review process and is changing the way we assess the quality of scientific literature.

Social distancing concept. Physical contamination, infected people.

Mix of COVID-19 cluster-busting with vaccine push may bring a new normal faster

Combining so-called “backward tracing” with traditional forward tracing to help identify source events of COVID-19 outbreaks has been cited as a potential way of better tracking the disease, as seen in some Asian countries. Now that vaccines are emerging on the scene, how can this concept be used for more effective cluster-busting?

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Vaccination policy in times of Covid-19

As multiple COVID-19 vaccines are emerging, what can be done to tackle vaccination hesitancy and ensure rapid and equitable deployment?

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COVID-19: ensuring a safe and effective vaccine

Scientists around the world are working hard to come up with a COVID-19 vaccine to suppress the pandemic. How can the EU guarantee that rapidly approved vaccines are safe and effective? We asked senior representatives from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) for their thoughts.

Team of Medical Research Scientists Work on a New Generation Disease Cure. They use Microscope, Test Tubes, Micropipette and Writing Down Analysis Results. Laboratory Looks Busy, Bright and Modern.

Cary Funk: “It is important to engage with people who have a low level of trust in scientists”

Cary Funk from Pew Research Center talks about the impact of people’s ideology and education on their trust in scientists, medical treatments and vaccines, and how science communication can overcome this.

Group of children with face mask back at school after covid-19 quarantine and lockdown

The role of school settings in COVID-19 transmission

So far, sending children back to school does not seem to have increased community transmission rates, even though EU countries have adopted different strategies. Keeping schools open is very important for children’s health and well-being.

Social distancing concept. Physical contamination, infected people.

COVID-19 : tracking clusters to keep ahead of fresh surges

With many countries around the world beginning to see or anticipating a resurgence of COVID-19, attention has been turning to how to avoid an economically punishing second round of lockdowns while keeping transmission down. One method is by examining the types of hotspots where clusters of cases emerge.

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“Unlocking” COVID-19: the use and misuse of tests

“Test, test, test” was one of the mantras of the World Health Organization (WHO) director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The issue is particularly relevant in the “unlocking” phase several European countries are going through, as the curve of the pandemics bends. At this stage, and while effective vaccines or therapies are still not available, tests are crucial to keep the disease at bay. But are they effective and reliable?