Pfizer’s announcement on Monday that its Covid-19 shot appears to keep nine of 10 people from getting the disease sent its stock price rocketing. Many news reports described the vaccine as if it were our deliverance from the pandemic, even though few details were released.
There was certainly something to crow about: Pfizer’s vaccine, which was developed with the German drugmaker BioNTech, consists of genetic material called mRNA encased in tiny particles that shuttle it into our cells. From there, it stimulates the immune system to make antibodies that protect against the virus. A similar strategy is employed in other leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates.… Seguir leyendo »
History suggests that we are likely to experience a much bigger, second wave of H1N1 influenza pandemic in the fall. Four experts discuss different areas that will play a role in the public health response.
1.- E.R.'s May Be the First Victims. By Eric Toner, a specialist in emergency medicine and a senior associate with the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
We must plan now to prepare emergency rooms to meet the challenge, and educate patients with mild symptoms to seek alternative care.
2.- Fly the Germ-Free Skies. By Mark Gendreau, the vice chairman of emergency medicine at Lahey Clinic and an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Tufts University.… Seguir leyendo »
A few years ago public health officials set up a time share in Pennsylvania hens. Under contracts signed with several farmers, the hens continued to lay for their regular customers until the moment this past spring when the federal government requisitioned their eggs to grow flu vaccine.
Strategic hen reserves are part of a success story: the government’s readiness for the current H1N1 flu pandemic. Public health officials had already stockpiled millions of doses of antiviral drugs, created diagnostic kits that detected the virus as soon as it appeared in California in April and enrolled five companies to make vaccine. By mid-October we may have as many as 80 million doses ready for a mass immunization program.… Seguir leyendo »