The list of SARS-CoV-2 variants – each with its own unique qualities that give it an edge – just keeps growing.
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People are buzzing with questions about the omicron variant and whether it could help usher in herd immunity. A team of virologists deciphers the latest findings.
The best way to stop new variants from arising is to increase the proportion of vaccinated individuals while maintaining infection prevention measures like wearing masks and social distancing.
Even with a variant like Omicron that may be more transmissible than earlier variants, vaccines remain the most effective tool for protection against COVID-19 and for ending the pandemic.
With the holiday season approaching, people wait to receive a COVID-19 vaccination in Montréal as the pandemic continues in Canada and around the world.
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A panel of experts answer questions about vaccines, omicron and other COVID-related issues in a discussion with The Conversation.
Young children are rolling up their sleeves to get vaccinated, protecting themselves against COVID-19 and helping to curb the pandemic.
The participation of five-to-11-year-old children in vaccination programs will make 90 per cent of the population eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Experts estimate that close to 90% of the U.S. population must be vaccinated to reach herd immunity for COVID-19.
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Vaccination campaigns like the ones that eventually eliminated polio and measles in the United States required decades of education and awareness in order to achieve herd immunity in the U.S. population.
Regulators are currently reviewing the safety and efficacy data of the Pfizer vaccine for five to 11 year olds before deciding whether to approve its use in this age group.
Voluntary modifications to behaviour – such as mask wearing when it’s not mandatory – are probably helping to keep the virus in check.
Protesters gather at Indiana University in June 2021 to demonstrate against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for students, staff and faculty.
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Subtly shifting the crafting and delivery of public health messaging on COVID-19 vaccines could go a long way toward persuading many of the unvaccinated to get the shot.
Intensive care physicians are yet again facing ICU bed and staff shortages as severe COVID-19 cases rise.
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A critical care doctor brings a frontlines perspective to the frustration of dealing firsthand with vaccine hesitancy and discusses the limitations of science and medicine.
Australia could again fall into the trap of false economies by opening up too soon.
COVID-19 vaccination in Africa is speeding up.
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In Africa, it’s more rational to prioritise vaccine access, rapid rollout and community engagement, than pushing the narrative of vaccine-induced population immunity.
But herd immunity is not our only option. If we don’t vaccinate children, we may have to settle for lesser protection of the population.
Governments should drop the idea of herd immunity. It risks leaving people feeling disillusioned by vaccination campaigns.
Once we achieve herd immunity, people who are not vaccinated benefit indirectly from the immunity of those around them. But it’s not easy to say exactly when we’ll reach this threshold for COVID-19.
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New Zealand’s approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 12-15 year olds will bring the number of people eligible for the jab to 85% of the population, raising the chance of reaching collective immunity.
Vaccination has saved millions of lives throughout the course of history.
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Vaccines have successfully curtailed viral diseases for decades. But as COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy shows, mistrust and misinformation continue to put lives at risk.
The level of immunity needed — either through vaccination or infection — for practical herd immunity is uncertain, but may be quite high.
It is unlikely that we will reach full herd immunity for COVID-19. However, we are likely to reach a practical kind of herd immunity through vaccination.
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Many developed countries have approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children as young as 12, even though they are a low-risk group.
Little work has been done to understand young people’s willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Above: a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus on May 6.
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As vaccine eligibility is expanded to adolescents and young adults, understanding who might be more likely to be vaccine hesitant, and why, can help inform public health strategies
Houses in the city of Victoria, the capital of Seychelles.
What does the Seychelles experience tell us about variants, vaccine efficacy and herd immunity?