Doctors have been worried about this for a long time, and now it’s starting to happen. As the Covid-19 vaccine has started to become available beyond health care workers, people are starting to refuse to take their shot. If people won’t take the vaccine that could end the coronavirus pandemic, what comes next?
One of the most common reasons people develop fears of vaccines has to do with a common misunderstanding about side effects. But what most of the public doesn’t know is that doctors who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 were delighted when the vaccine gave them symptoms.
When doctors got sore arms, fatigue, muscle aches or fevers after their Covid-19 vaccine, they celebrated. That’s because those symptoms are not dangerous ‘reactions,’ but positive signs that the immune system is responding to the vaccine. Feeling lucky after the Covid-19 vaccine means it’s working.
As a pediatrician, educating parents about normal responses to vaccines is one of the first things I do. And that’s because there’s so much misinformation about vaccines. Take the dreaded fever for instance: the belief that fever is dangerous has been passed down from generation to generation. It’s not. We were told we need to bring our fevers down or something bad will happen. We don’t, and it won’t.
It’s not the fever that is dangerous, it’s that certain diseases that cause fever are (and most of those disease are now vaccine preventable). Or as Bruce Y Lee writes, “There’s a difference between feeling sick and being sick.”
The thing about fever is that it’s not actually caused by the viruses or infections that invade your body. Fever is something your body does for itself. Fevers are part of a beneficial response our immune system creates to boost our metabolism’s and the effectiveness of our white blood cells and fight off infections.
So when we get a fever after a vaccine, it means our immune system is doing exactly what we want it to do. We want the immune system to take notice and mount a response. For some that might mean a fever, but for almost everyone it means a sore arm or swelling around the site of the vaccination. And that’s all the immune system noticing the vaccine and mounting a response. Without the immune doing this work, we won’t get our memory B cells to store a pattern for defense against Covid-19.
When I got my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19, I experienced a sore swollen arm, on and off muscle aches, nausea and fatigue. These symptoms lasted about three days. But they weren’t nearly as bad as the various illnesses I’ve gotten from my adorable little pediatric patients over the years. I took naps during those days after the vaccine, but I was also well enough to take my rambunctious puppy to the dog park in the snow.
Most of my colleagues had sore arms for about a day after their vaccines. A couple of them had symptoms similar to mine and one of them even had a fever. But not one of these doctors was alarmed, instead we texted each other our happiness that we were getting to experience evidence that our vaccines were working.
Another example of how doctors think about side effects after the Covid-19 vaccine goes like this. The way Covid-19 is killing people has to do with an extreme immune system response. That heightened response or cytokine storm only happens to some people. While there is certainly no research evidence for this, doctors figure that those of us who had more symptoms after the vaccine might’ve just dodged a bullet. Maybe we were in the group that would’ve gotten sicker than others if we’ve gotten real Covid-19.
So the key thing we want the public to know is that doctors are not worried about the vaccine for Covid-19. We are worried that you won’t take it and that the pandemic will drag on. Doctors didn’t throw away our shot. We hope you won’t throw away yours.
How can we be successful without breaking ourselves? We can take effective action under pressure.
I teach people how to use their own biology to do their best work. After years of study, I created a 3-step method rooted in neuroscience and psychology, and I spoke about it at TEDx. Then I went wider, and explored what happens when we break down silos between scientific disciplines. It’s amazing what you learn when you get sociology talking to neuroscience, or child development talking to business research.
I am a board-certified pediatrician and an Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at Rush University. I have an AB in History from Princeton University, i.e. Ideological and Cultural History. My M.D. came from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutgers University. My pediatrics residencies were at Duke University and the University of Chicago. I am a former Clinical Instructor in Pediatrics at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.
I live in Illinois with my husband, two rambunctious sons, and a variety of hamsters.
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The world can’t return to normal without safe and effective vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus along with a coordinated global vaccination programme.
Researchers have been racing to develop potential drugs that could help end the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. There are currently around 200 vaccine candidates and about a quarter passed preclinical tests and are now undergoing clinical trials.
What’s the difference between the various candidate vaccines?
A pie chart of candidates can be cut several ways. One is to slice it into six uneven pieces according to the technology (or ‘platform’) that’s used to produce the drug. Those six technologies can be grouped into three broader categories: dead or disabled viruses, artificial vectors, and viral components.
Dead or disabled viruses
Traditional vaccines contain a dead or disabled virus, designed to be incapable of causing severe disease while also provoking an immune response that provides protection against the live virus.
1. Live-attenuated viruses
Attenuated means ‘weakened’. Weakening a live virus typically involves reducing its virulence — capacity to cause disease — or ability to replicate through genetic engineering. The virus still infects cells and causes mild symptoms.
But using a live-attenuated virus has one huge benefit: vaccination resembles natural infection, which usually leads to robust immune responses and a memory of the virus’ antigens that can last for many years.
Live-attenuated vaccines based on SARS-CoV-2 are still undergoing preclinical testing, developed by start-up Codagenix and the Serum Institute of India.
2. Inactivated viruses
Inactivated means ‘dead’ (‘inactivated’ is used because some scientists don’t consider viruses to be alive). The virus will be the one you want to create a vaccine against, such as SARS-CoV-2, which is usually killed with chemicals.
Two Chinese firms have developed vaccines that are being tested for safety and effectiveness in large-scale Phase III clinical trials: ‘CoronaVac’ (previously ‘PiCoVacc’) from Sinovac Biotech and ‘New Crown COVID-19’ from Sinopharm. Both drugs contain inactivated virus, didn’t cause serious adverse side-effects and prompted the immune system to produce antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.
Sinopharm’s experimental vaccine has reportedly been administered to hundreds of thousands of people in China, and both drugs are now being trialled in countries across Asia, South America and the Middle East.
Another conventional approach in vaccine design is to artificially create a vehicle or ‘vector’ that can deliver specific parts of a virus to the adaptive immune system, which then learns to target those parts and provides protection.
That immunity is achieved by exposing your body to a molecule that prompts the system to generate antibodies, an antigen, which becomes the target of an immune response. SARS-CoV-2 vaccines aim to target the spike protein on the surface of coronavirus particles — the proteins that allows the virus to invade a cell.
3. Recombinant viruses
A recombinant virus is a vector that combines the target antigen from one virus with the ‘backbone’ from another — unrelated — virus. For SARS-CoV-2, the most common strategy is to put coronavirus spike proteins on an adenovirus backbone.
Recombinant viruses are a double-edged sword: they behave like live-attenuated viruses, so a recombinant vaccine comes with the potential benefits of provoking a robust response from the immune system but also potential costs from causing an artificial infection that might lead to severe symptoms.
A recombinant vaccine might not provoke an adequate immune response in people who have previously been exposed to adenoviruses that infect humans (some cause the common cold), which includes one candidate developed by CanSino Biologics in China and ‘Sputnik V’ from Russia’s Gamaleya National Research Centre — both of which are in Phase III clinical trials and are licensed for use in the military.
To maximize the chance of provoking immune responses, some vaccines are built upon viruses from other species, so humans will have no pre-existing immunity. The most high-profile candidate is ‘AZD1222’, better known as ‘ChAdOx1 nCoV-19’ or simply ‘the Oxford vaccine’ because it was designed by scientists at Oxford University, which will be manufactured by AstraZeneca. AZD1222 is based on a chimpanzee adenovirus and seems to be 70% effective at preventing Covid-19.
Some recombinant viruses can replicate in cells, others cannot — known as being ‘replication-competent’ or ‘replication-incompetent’. One vaccine candidate that contains a replicating virus, developed by pharmaceutical giant Merck, is based on Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV), which infects guinea pigs and other pets.
4. Virus-like particles
A virus-like particle, or VLP, is a structure assembled from viral proteins. It resembles a virus but doesn’t contain the genetic material that would allow the VLP to replicate. For SARS-CoV-2, the VLP obviously includes the spike protein.
One coronavirus-like particle (Co-VLP) vaccine from Medicago has passed Phase I trials to test it’s safe and has entered Phase II to test that it’s effective.
While there are currently few VLPs being developed for Covid-19, the technology is well-established and has been used to produce commercial vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B.
All vaccines are ultimately designed to expose the immune system to parts of a virus, not the whole thing, so why not deliver just those parts? That’s the reasoning behind vaccines that only contain spike proteins or spike genes.
Protein-based vaccines can consist of the full-length spike protein or the key part, the tip of the spike that binds the ACE2 receptor on the surface of a cell — ACE2 is the lock that a coronavirus picks in order to break into the cell.
Manufacturing vaccines containing the protein alone has a practical advantage: researchers don’t have to deal with live coronaviruses, which should be grown inside cells within a biosafety level-3 lab.
A vaccine against only part of the protein — a ‘subunit’ — will be more vulnerable to being rendered useless if random mutations alter the protein, known as ‘antigenic drift‘, but full-length proteins are harder to manufacture. The immune system can recognize either as an antigen.
One candidate vaccine based on protein subunits is ‘NVX-CoV2373’ from Novavax, where the spike subunits are arranged as a rosette structure. It’s similar to a vaccine that’s already been licensed for use, FluBlok, which contains rosettes of protein subunits from the influenza virus.
6. Nucleic acids
Nucleic-acid vaccines contain genetic material, either deoxyribonucleic acid or ribonucleic acid — DNA or RNA. In a coronavirus vaccine, the DNA or RNA carries genetic instructions for producing a spike protein, which is made within cells.
Those spike genes can be carried on rings of DNA called ‘plasmids’, which are easy to manufacture by growing them in bacteria. DNA provokes a relatively weak immune response, however, and can’t simply be injected inside the body — the vaccine must be administered using a special device to force DNA into cells. Four DNA-based candidates are in Phase I or II trials.
The two most famous nucleic-acid vaccines are the drugs being developed by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, partnered with BioNTech, and Moderna. Pfizer’s ‘BNT162b2’ and Moderna’s ‘mRNA-1273’ both use ‘messenger RNA’ — mRNA — to carry the spike genes and are delivered into cells via a lipid nanoparticle (LNP). The two mRNA vaccines have completed Phase III trials and preliminary results suggests they’re over 90% effective at preventing Covid-19.
As the above examples show, not only there are many potential vaccines but also various approaches. And while some technologies have already provided promising results, it remains to be seen which will actually be able to defeat the virus.
The saying “hindsight is 20/20” will take on a new meaning following this year. Without doubt, we are collectively facing some of the biggest challenges the world has seen. The pandemic’s second wave is taking lives and livelihoods across Europe, healthcare systems are collapsing under the strain, and the destructive effects of climate change are being felt across our planet.
There is reason for optimism though: The speed in which a series of promising Covid vaccines have emerged shows what can be achieved when organisations across the globe put their collective weight behind a shared mission. But if we seek to return to how life was before, we have failed not just future generations, but those living today, too.
As we move toward 2021 we are at a crossroads, and if we don’t act now, it might be too late to solve the health and climate emergencies we face. We need to deliver impactful, sustainable, and meaningful innovations. Without them, we will soon run out of road. But what does sustainable innovation look like in 2021 and beyond?
People are increasingly looking to entrepreneurs to drive the changes the planet needs. Two-thirds of researchers and academics believe tech entrepreneurs will make a bigger contribution to solving social challenges in the years to come than governments in Europe, according to Atomico’s State of European Tech report.
That’s a huge responsibility. But passion, drive, and creativity alone are not enough to make this a reality. To tackle these challenges we need to fundamentally rethink approaches to innovation, business models, and the relationship between entrepreneurs and corporate organizations.
Time and time again, startups and entrepreneurs come undone when they try to scale up their transformative ideas into a sustainable and impactful business model. Why? Because they lack the necessary muscle (in terms of finance and resources) and networks (to navigate legislative and regulatory requirements).
Corporate enterprises have a lot of the ingredients necessary to drive innovation and deliver real impact. They have the assets, resources, and networks. But they often have the wrong corporate governance structure in place, limited board involvement in the innovation process and are missing the talent needed to not just conceive, but to execute and scale digital business ideas successfully as well.
Too often, corporate resources are focussed on tools to create innovation, like incubators and accelerators. These are fine for driving new value through product and service innovation, but do not deliver the transformative change and new business models that are needed in 2021 and beyond.
To achieve this, we need to shift our collective thinking on to which investment types create the right framework for innovations to scale and become sustainable. The true transformative power lies in moving beyond building new products and services, and towards creating new sustainable, impactful and digital business models. It is only by changing the way we innovate that we can begin to tackle the major issues of climate and health.
Corporate Venture Building: A potent solution.
That’s why in 2021, we will see corporations increasingly team up with top entrepreneurs to collaborate and drive a new wave of sustainable innovation. This approach, which enables both parties to harness their relative strengths and create new digital business models is called Corporate Venture Building (CVB).
CVB is a new asset class, designed to tackle the problems that occur in highly regulated and complex markets like health or climate. It helps corporations to effectively rethink and redeploy existing assets and capabilities to fundamentally transform its business model and create long-lasting, positive and impactful change.
That is what CleanTech startup Solytic set out to achieve when it was co-created and scaled together with Swedish multinational energy giant, Vattenfall, using the CVB approach. Solytic puts an end to the waste caused by the inefficiency of solar PV systems and maximizes its overall performance, by combining unused resources with the needs of service providers.
By identifying and eliminating sources of error and optimizing utilization, Solytic increases the efficiency of solar PV systems by up to 30 percent. The benefit it delivers means within two years of its creation, the startup has expanded into 60 countries and has connected over 100,000 solar plants to its AI monitoring platform.
Solytic has only been able to achieve this scale and impact within the highly regulated energy industry, because it used the CVB model and drew on the resources and knowhow that Vattenfall has been able to provide. Moreover, it has demonstrated that by rethinking innovation and combining the entrepreneurial spirit with the resources and existing assets of an established corporation, creating new digital business models that have a real impact is possible.
For many people, and many reasons, 2020 has been a year to forget. But it’s important we learn from this shared experience, and recognize what can be achieved when we embrace digital technologies and collaborate effectively. In the whole of human history there has never been a more urgent need for sustainable innovation, and by changing our mindset and approach, we can deliver it in 2021, and beyond.
Disposable packaging and items keep the spread of COVID-19 to a minimum. But brands who place eco-friendliness front-and-center are struggling to keep their mission right now. The American Marketing Association’s Steve Heisler and Sarah Steimer break down the process by which companies can maintain their sustainability efforts. Check out our special COVID-19 zine! Marketing News coverage in a bite-sized PDF. Download here: https://www.ama.org/2020/05/04/market…
The UK’s chief medical officers have warned the coronavirus vaccine will only have a “marginal impact” on hospital numbers over the winter as each of the four nations prepares to start administering the first doses next week.
Festive gatherings are likely to put additional pressure on healthcare services, with a tough few months still ahead, experts said.
In a letter to colleagues, the four chief medical officers said this winter would be “especially hard” for the health service due to coronavirus.
“Although the very welcome news about vaccines means that we can look forward to 2021 with greater optimism, vaccine deployment will have only a marginal impact in reducing numbers coming into the health service with Covid over the next three months,” they said.
“The actions and self-discipline of the whole population during lockdowns and other restrictions have helped reduce the peak and in most parts of the four nations hospital numbers are likely to fall over the next few weeks, but not everywhere.
“The social mixing which occurs around Christmas may well put additional pressure on hospitals and general practice in the New Year and we need to be ready for that.”
The letter, signed by chief medical officer of England, Professor Chris Whitty; of Scotland, Dr Gregor Smith; of Wales, Dr Frank Atherton; and of Northern Ireland, Dr Michael McBride, said they did not expect the virus to “disappear” even once full vaccination had occurred.
The first jabs will be administered in each of the UK nations on Tuesday. In Northern Ireland it will be administered at a mass vaccination centre at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, while in Wales frontline NHS and social care staff will receive the country’s first coronavirus vaccine.
The first vaccinations will also take place in Scotland next week, while jabs will be administered at hospital hubs in England.
Meanwhile, in a letter sent out across England’s primary care networks, NHS England and NHS Improvement said GP-led vaccination centres would start administering doses from December 14.
The letter said centres would be set up with the necessary IT equipment and a fridge, while staff would be given training to ensure they are ready to administer 975 doses of the vaccine to priority patients within three-and-a-half days of delivery.
The first to receive the vaccine in these centres will be those aged 80 and over, as long as other risk factors, “clinical or otherwise”, have been taken into account.
There remain issues around how to ensure elderly residents in care homes, who have been recommended as the top priority, get access to a jab due to difficulties in storing and transporting the Pfizer/BioNTech version as its cold temperature – minus 70C – limits how often it can be moved.
NHS England has not yet committed to a date to roll the vaccine out in English care homes, but Dr June Raine, chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, told the BBC on Friday that she estimated the vaccine would begin to be delivered to care homes “within the next two weeks”.
In total, some 40 million doses of Pfizer’s inoculation are on order – enough to administer it to 20 million people, with two jabs required 21 days apart.
Vaccines will only have ‘marginal impact’ on NHS winter pressures, chief medical officers warn COVID-19 will keep hospitals under continued strain in the coming months as new vaccines will only have a “marginal impact” on patient numbers over winter, the UK’s chief medical officers have warned. In a letter written to healthcare colleagues, the group – which includes England’s Professor Chris … Home remedies refer to “practical cure or treatment that cures, heals or relieves” using certain common substances such as spices, vegetables, fruit, herbs and modern materials. Click Here: https://remediesnew.com
The airline industry will play a crucial role delivering coronavirus vaccines worldwide after pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer (PFE) win approval for their pandemic fighting inoculations. “This is sort of an all hands on deck for distribution,” Cowen Managing Director and senior research analyst Helane Becker told Yahoo Finance Live.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently urged governments worldwide to prepare for vaccine delivery. “Air cargo plays a key role in the distribution of vaccines in normal times through well established global time and temperature sensitive distribution systems.”
However, IATA cautions that “delivering billions of doses of vaccine to the entire world efficiently will involve hugely complex logistical and programmatic obstacles” such as building refrigeration storage units.
Pfizer announced earlier this week that its experimental vaccine, which proved 90% effective at preventing COVID-19 in recent trials, must be stored at sub-zero temperatures.
An airborne armada
Airlines like New York-based Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW) will be among the global airborne armada eventually shipping billions of doses of vaccine, according to Becker. The cold storage requirements make it difficult.
“This is going to be one of the biggest challenges for the transportation industry,” Michael Steen, chief commercial officer at Atlas Air told the Wall Street Journal last month.
“UPS has the largest freezer farms I think in the world. They’ve got one big one at Louisville, Kentucky, which is their US Air hub, and they have one in the Netherlands,” which Becker said prepares them for the upcoming distribution task.
UPS (UPS) stock is up 42% year-to-date. FedEx (FDX) is up 77% and Atlas Air (AAWW) is up 87%. “We think Atlas has legs, the stocks really performed well,” Becker said.
IATA said the job ahead is enormous. “Just providing a single dose to 7.8 billion people would fill 8,000 747 cargo aircraft.”
U.S. carriers shipped 58,000 tons of cargo a day before the pandemic and passenger airlines like American Airlines (AAL) and United Airlines (UAL) will be needed, according to Becker. “American and United also have cold storage facilities. American in Philadelphia and United in New York, so they’ll be able to participate,” she said.
As the world anxiously awaits approval of effective coronavirus vaccines, IATA’s Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac described what lies ahead “Safely delivering COVID-19 vaccines will be the mission of the century for the global air cargo industry.”
Adam Shapiro is co-anchor of Yahoo Finance Live 3pm to 5pm.