News roundup of progress in the fight against COVID-19
Although COVID-19 is still a worldwide concern, advancements in our understanding of the disease and steps toward a vaccine are being made by the healthcare industry and healthcare workers every day. We’ve curated a roundup of COVID-19 news about the effectiveness of face masks, vaccine progress, and where to find more news about the strides being made in the fight against COVID-19.
Masks are working to prevent COVID-19
A study led by investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that universal masking is an effective part of preventing COVID-19. Back in March, Mass General Brigham adopted a universal masking policy for its affiliated hospitals, required that every employee wear a surgical mask. The study looked at infection rates for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in Mass General Brigham healthcare workers before and after the masking policy was put into effect. Before the masking policy was implemented, the SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate increased exponentially from 0% to 21%, with cases doubling every 3.6 days. After the policy was implemented, the positivity rate decreased linearly from 15% to 11%. Throughout this time, the positivity rate in Massachusetts as a whole continuously increased. While the paper about the study acknowledges other interventions by Massachusetts and Mass General Brigham that could’ve influenced the results, the authors believe their study demonstrates the effectiveness of masks in preventing COVID-19. You and your patients can be sure that the masks you’re wearing when you’re in public, so long as they’re worn properly and made of the right materials, are working to protect you from COVID-19. The full study can be found on JAMA.
Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine creates immune response
Moderna has been one of the front-runners in COVID-19 vaccine development, and their vaccine was recently in the news for causing patients to produce COVID-19 antibodies. In a trial conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 45 healthy, diverse volunteers ages 18 to 55 received the vaccine in one of three different doses, with one shot in the arm followed by a booster shot four weeks later. While the 250-microgram dose was found to cause unpleasant side effects, the 100-microgram dose caused the volunteers to make more COVID-19 antibodies than recovered COVID-19 patients, especially after the booster shot. While some experts believe that it’s too early to draw conclusions about the vaccine’s effectiveness, many others are expressing excitement and believe that these early results are promising. “The hallmark of a vaccine is one that can actually mimic natural infection and induce the kind of response that you would get with natural infection. And it looks like, at least in this limited, small number of individuals, that is exactly what’s happening,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the NIH branch that conducted the trial. Moderna plans to start a Phase 3 study in 30,000 patients on July 27.
The Good News Coronavirus – a different kind of news hub
If you and your patients are looking for more news about the fight against COVID-19, check out The Good News Coronavirus. This website finds and compiles articles from news and medical sources around the world sharing discoveries and advancements regarding our understanding of COVID-19 and how the healthcare industry is working to defeat it. Clicking on an article takes you to where the article is published so you can read it straight from the source. You can find articles about vaccine progress, places where cases are decreasing, and other COVID-related topics. There’s even a counter in the top right corner that shows how many people worldwide have caught and since healed from COVID-19. Clicking on the counter takes you to a frequently updated page showing the number of cases, deaths, and recoveries, as well as details on the severity of current active and closed cases. There are also graphs showing the numbers of daily new cases and deaths. The articles about promising developments and the concrete numbers showing how many people are recovering can help put you and your patients more at ease without inducing complacency, and help them stay informed on COVID-19 throughout the world.