Epidemiologists fear Covid-19 mutations could render existing vaccines ineffective in less than 1 year – survey

31-03-21 11:02:00,

Coronavirus vaccines may become obsolete in less than a year, a new poll conducted among leading epidemiologists suggests. The sloppy vaccination rollouts that have riddled many countries make this scenario even more likely.

A new survey conducted by the People’s Vaccine Alliance (PVA) among 77 epidemiologists from 28 countries around the world has yielded pessimistic results.

Around 66% of those surveyed – including epidemiologists from leading institutions such as Johns Hopkins, Yale, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Imperial College London, and the University of Edinburgh – said Covid-19 could mutate in a year or less to an extent that the first-generation vaccines would become ineffective.

“The more the virus circulates, the more likely it is that mutations and variants will emerge, which could make our current vaccines ineffective,” Devi Sridhar, professor of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, said.

“As we’ve learned, viruses don’t care about borders. We have to vaccinate as many people as possible, everywhere in the world, as quickly as possible. Why wait and watch instead of getting ahead of this?”

The sloppy rollouts and low vaccine coverage that have plagued countries around the world are considered key factors in the potential emergence of vaccine-resistant strains, and 88% of those polled shared this belief.

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Nearly three-quarters of the epidemiologists surveyed said that only an acceleration of the vaccination drives would help. They called for the open sharing of technology and intellectual property, echoing PVA’s own idea of lifting the existing pharmaceutical monopolies to boost the vaccine supply and coverage.

“We all have a self-interest in ensuring that everyone around the world, no matter where they live have access to COVID-19 vaccines. The virus doesn’t respect borders and new variants somewhere on the planet mean none of us are safe,” Gregg Gonsalves, associate professor of epidemiology at Yale University, said.

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World’s Top Epidemiologists – Masks Don’t Work!

09-08-20 08:01:00,

Authored by John Miltimore via The Foundation for Economic Education,

Denmark boasts one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the world. As of August 4, the Danes have suffered 616 COVID-19 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

That’s less than one-third of the number of Danes who die from pneumonia or influenza in a given year.

Despite this success, Danish leaders recently found themselves on the defensive. The reason is that Danes aren’t wearing face masks, and local authorities for the most part aren’t even recommending them.

This prompted Berlingske, the country’s oldest newspaper, to complain that Danes had positioned themselves “to the right of Trump.”

“The whole world is wearing face masks, even Donald Trump,” Berlingske pointed out.

This apparently did not sit well with Danish health officials.

From left to right: Professor Henning Bundgaard, Tamara van Ark, Anders Tegnell | Composite image by FEE (Rigshospitalet, Wikimedia Commons)

They responded by noting there is little conclusive evidence that face masks are an effective way to limit the spread of respiratory viruses.

“All these countries recommending face masks haven’t made their decisions based on new studies,” said Henning Bundgaard, chief physician at Denmark’s Rigshospitale, according to Bloomberg News.

Denmark is not alone.

Despite a global stampede of mask-wearing, data show that 80-90 percent of people in Finland and Holland say they “never” wear masks when they go out, a sharp contrast to the 80-90 percent of people in Spain and Italy who say they “always” wear masks when they go out.

Dutch public health officials recently explained why they’re not recommending masks.

“From a medical point of view, there is no evidence of a medical effect of wearing face masks, so we decided not to impose a national obligation,” said Medical Care Minister Tamara van Ark.

Others, echoing statements similar to the US Surgeon General from early March, said masks could make individuals sicker and exacerbate the spread of the virus.

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