July 21, 2020
First phase of human clinical trials shows Oxford Vaccine induces immune response
In the race to create a vaccine for COVID-19, Oxford Univesiry and AstraZeneca have this week announced that the human clinical trials show great promise.
When administered to patients in a controlled environment, the vaccine caused minor side effects in some cases which were reduced by taking paracetamol.
The team’s vaccine shows such promise that the UK government has done a deal to secure 100 million doses of the drug once it is ready.
Whilst the trials hold promise, it is still widely debated as to how far a vaccine could manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
Andrew Pollard, the Oxford professor leading the research “We need more research before we can confirm the vaccine effectively protects against SARS-CoV-2 infection, and for how long any protection lasts.”
AstraZeneca’s vaccine is one of the leading candidates among several others around the world, including an injection being developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech, another from state-owned Chinese firm Sinopharm and one from US biotech firm Moderna.
It is thought that an effective vaccine would see an end to lockdowns and travel restrictions across the globe.
Wearing a mask is a display of patriotism, according to Trump
A U-Turn which could turn around America's fortunes. Despite comments in the not-too-distant past that masks represent 'silence, slavery, and social death', Trump now believes they represent patriotism. Are you wearing one? #coronavirus #WearAMask #dontwearamask #conversation https://t.co/tM6vNIzEz5
— Pilot Guides (@pilotguidestv) July 21, 2020
Italy to receive €210 billion stimulus package to help with post coronavirus economic recovery
The European Union have this week unveiled a €750bn stimulus package to help get the hardest hit corners of Europe back on their feet again in a post-coronavirus world. 28% of the funds, which are made up of both grants and a repayable loan, will be shared with Italy, whose economy had been expected to shrink up to 11% this year.
South Sea Bubble Border Security… over the top?
Australia and New Zealand have recorded an extremely low number of COVID-19 cases in the pandemic — in part because they are very isolated islands and in part because they closed their borders early on and they have remained tightly shut.
Now in Australia these borders are being erected internally as cases spike in states like Victoria. Communities have been confined within tower blocks, suburbs and cities, and state borders have been sealed. Those who ignore these draconian rules heavily are fined and threatened with prison.
Australia’s Border security forces have always been tough and need no encouragement to do their job. Check out a recent report here.
Look out for our forthcoming documentary on the history of pandemics, Hope and Fear: How Pandemics Changed the World.
Borders are certainly not new in history. Check out our Globe Guides – Borderlines show about the barriers that separate the world.
Latest Coronavirus News & Statistics
- Brazilian COVID-19 deaths top 80,000. President Bolsanaro has voiced concerns surrounding lockdown restrictions and how they are killing the economy. Bolsanaro, having tested positive for the virus himself, has criticised the states and municipalities who are locking down, saying that “Without salaries and jobs, people die,”.
- India’s biggest airline, IndiGo, has announced job cuts for up to 10% of its workforce as planes largely continue to remain grounded.
- USA coronavirus cases are rapidly approaching 4 million.
- Worldometers: Up to date Coronavirus statistics
Main image: Injection needle with Vaccination text, Marco Verch, Flickr Creative Commons