COVID-19 vaccines will work if Canadians play their part

COVID-19 vaccines will work if Canadians play their partDespite the many logistical questions that remain, University of Alberta virologists insist the multiple vaccine candidates that have emerged will work if Canadians can do their part by staying healthy until the spring. “More than ever, people should be very careful that they don’t get this disease, because we have a light at the end…

Why are we facing lockdowns again?

If our leaders don’t learn any lessons and create better safeguards during a lockdown period, people will keep lashing out

Why are we facing lockdowns again?Many governments imposed short-lived lockdowns during the first wave of COVID-19 to help stop the spread of the virus in their countries. As we head deeper into the second wave, that dreaded battle cry has been ringing across the lands once more. Several European nations, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and the United…

Who will be getting Covid-19 vaccination first?

A national survey will ask Canadians their opinions of a just unveiled list of priority recipients

Who will be getting Covid-19 vaccination first?Canadians will get their say on who they think should get any COVID-19 vaccine first, thanks to a research team led by the University of Alberta’s Shannon MacDonald, assistant professor in the Faculty of Nursing. Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has just unveiled its list of priority recipients (click Recommendations). Priority groups include health-care workers, people…

Some vaccines should be mandatory but not COVID-19: expert

U of A health law professor Ubaka Ogbogu advises that policy-makers focus on clear information and ensuring equitable access to vaccines

Some vaccines should be mandatory but not COVID-19: expertCanada should have a mandatory vaccination policy for childhood infectious diseases where vaccines are freely available, but not for influenza or COVID-19, according to a University of Alberta health law expert. “I still encourage vaccination,” said Ubaka Ogbogu, a professor in the faculties of law and pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. “There’s no one-size-fits-all vaccination policy, and policy-makers have to…

Twenty per cent hike in flu vaccinations ambitious but attainable

U of A professor says COVID-19 crisis has provided much-needed public education in how vaccines can prevent deadly viruses

Twenty per cent hike in flu vaccinations ambitious but attainableA pharmacy researcher predicts more of us will roll up our sleeves for the influenza vaccine this fall thanks to the crash course we’ve all had recently on viruses and how to prevent them. “Because of COVID-19, people are becoming a lot more aware of how susceptible they are to viruses and virus-caused infections, especially…

COVID-19 creating new paradigm for developing vaccines

It’s showing us how fast we can develop them when the will is there

COVID-19 creating new paradigm for developing vaccinesEarlier this year, Michael Houghton, University of Alberta virologist and co-recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, mobilized his hepatitis C lab to join the charge to produce a vaccine for COVID-19. His lab was a perfect fit for the endeavour, having created a successful vaccine for the SARS virus in 2004 that…

Beware compulsory vaccinations

Canadians are in greater need of immunity from undue government intrusion than they are from any disease

Beware compulsory vaccinationsNew Brunswick’s attempt to remove vaccine exemptions has sparked a political, ethical and constitutional controversy. The benefits of the legislation were marginal at best, but the heavy-handed tactics used to try to implement it were even worse. Citizens beware. “Stop the hysteria over measles outbreaks,” wrote infectious-diseases specialist Neil Rau and former Ontario chief medical…

Multiple factors will influence pricing for COVID-19 vaccine in Canada

Need to supply enough for herd immunity may push down the price per dose, according to U of A expert

Multiple factors will influence pricing for COVID-19 vaccine in CanadaConventional drug costing models are unlikely to apply when it comes to putting a price tag on a vaccine against COVID-19 for Canadians, according to health economist Christopher McCabe. McCabe is with the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, and also heads Alberta’s Institute of Health Economics. “When you have an infection that…

Federal government undermines COVID-19 vaccine development

Canada’s amended Patent Act weakens protections for intellectual property in the life sciences just when rights are vital for mobilizing a rapid response

Federal government undermines COVID-19 vaccine developmentFirst, the good news: Symvivo Corp., a Canadian company, has a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate in phase one trials. The bad news is that the federal government is dismantling the incentives to find a vaccine. In the battle against the global pandemic, public- and private-sector actors both have essential roles to play. Governments are collecting data,…

Eight things you need to know about the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine

Experts share their knowledge, hopes and fears about the chances of finding a way to inoculate the world against the deadly virus

Eight things you need to know about the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccineWith more than 100 teams around the world racing to find a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, what are the chances of getting something that works? The World Health Organization’s list shows 21 vaccine projects in either phase one or two of clinical trials, and two projects, one in China and the other in the U.K., in phase…