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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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?
While COVID-19 and climate change may appear to belong to different worlds, one can uncover direct causal links when looking through a Systems Thinking lens. In an age of uncertainty, how should journalists and science communicators approach and report about complex issues like climate change?
The spread of infectious diseases is linked with human behaviour, so behavioural science could be used to inform effective modelling and communication strategies to reduce transmission and contain COVID-19.