TLDRUpFront: A new variant SARS-COV-2 undermines current vaccines and is better able to reinfect people previously infected. It’s probably too late to stop the global spread of this strain. We still need swift, substantial action to slow the spread while we develop vaccines that work against the new strain.
TLDRInTheFront: Currently-known variants of SARS-COV-2 move the goalposts on public health responses and raise the bar for reaching herd immunity through vaccination. Evolution, too, is a complicated "frenemy" in this fight and understanding the forces involved help us make sense of how to better manage the pandemic going forward.
TLDRUpFront: Science Decoded decodes COVID19 technical terms related to strategic risk: mutation, isolate, strain, and variant.
TLDRUpFront: TLDRUpFront: Pandemic response consists of tactical responses to contain the virus while we gain a strategic advantage through vaccines. But a failure to contain the pandemic increases global viral load leading to new variants and strategic risk. The risk is that one of these variants will be more contagious, more deadly, or resistant to
TLDRUpFront: The Danish government has killed several million mink in order to control the spread and mitigate the danger of COVID-19. Several mutations have already been observed in the minks, and one that might constitute the beginnings of a new "strain" of COVID-19. That threatens the efficacy of a vaccine, and so it is very
TLDRupfront: Bamlanivimab is not the game-changer drug hoped for. Complexities and ethical questions in administration, distribution, and prescription remain. Still struggling with a drug that works is better than having no drugs that work at all.
TLDRUpFront: There is a lot of promise in Pfizer's announcement, but we should be cautious about investing too much hope in it too soon. It bodes well for the pandemic long term, and I hope that we get similar announcements from AstraZeneca and Moderna soon, but there are major challenges ahead in both approval and