Coronavirus Research Tracking - 23 July

It is easy to get swamped by all the research on coronavirus. New Zealand’s Science Media Centre is keeping track of much of it so you don’t have to. The Research Tracker is prepared by Dr Robert Hickson for the Science Media Centre New Zealand. This week: more reports on the laboratory and real world effectiveness of different vaccines, poor countries missing out on vaccines, the antibodies that target SARS-CoV-2, and possible new therapies.

Pfizer vaccine provisionally approved for Australian teens

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Australia's medical regulator, has provisionally approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged between 12 and 15. Previously, only people aged 16 and over were approved for both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.

Two more deaths linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has been notified of two more fatal cases of the rare blood clotting disorder related to AstraZeneca's COVID-19 jab. The 44-year-old man from Tasmania and 48-year-old woman from Victoria were reported as probable thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) cases last week. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said yesterday that he has been making a “constant appeal” to vaccine advisory group ATAGI to change its advice to recommend the AstraZeneca jab to younger Australians. ATAGI's co-chair Christopher Blyth has previously said under 40s should only be considering getting AstraZeneca in "pressing circumstances".



What do we know about vaccine procurement and distribution in East Africa?

As of July. 16, 2021 the block of countries that make up East Africa have administered the highest rate of COVID-19 vaccine doses on the continent. The shots that have been given in East Africa are mainly AstraZeneca doses obtained through the vaccine-sharing alliance COVAX. The vaccine rollout strategy in East Africa prioritizes at-risk groups and relies heavily on community health workers to give out the shots.


台灣媒體於7月13日報導,稱「世界衛生組織(WHO)首席科學家斯瓦米納坦(Soumya Swaminathan)12日建議,民眾不要混打不同廠牌的新冠肺炎疫苗」,目前不同廠牌疫苗混打的相關研究,多是阿斯特捷利康(AstraZeneca)的數據。新興科技媒體中心特邀專家回應。

What is a booster vaccine, why is it needed, who's eligible, and how does it work?

Booster shots re-expose our bodies to the part of the vaccine that protects us against disease. They increase immunity to a virus or bacteria through a process called immunological memory. Immunological memory is our body’s ability to recognize and provide responses to previously encountered foreign invaders like COVID-19.

Single case report of a patient getting Bell’s palsy after each dose of their Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

A case report published by BMJ Case Reports looks at a patient who experienced facial palsy after each dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 16 July

It is easy to get swamped by all the research on coronavirus. New Zealand’s Science Media Centre is keeping track of much of it so you don’t have to. The Research Tracker provides a selection of significant recent coronavirus research reports, and is prepared by Dr Robert Hickson for the Science Media Centre. This week, papers about vaccine efficacy, benefits and risks. Plus, more research into the infectivity of the Delta variant, longer term non-Covid risks after infection, and factors that may influence infection susceptibility. 

Can people with Blood Infections or Disorders Get Vaccine?

With blood infections or disorders affecting the body's immunity system by decreasing the number of cells, proteins, platelets, or nutrients in the blood, or interfering with their function,experts elaborate on whether people with blood infection or disorders can get vaccines...

What do we know about nanoparticles in masks or 'nanomasks'?

Nanoparticle masks may be effective at preventing microorganisms to grow, but each mask has different levels of protections and not all may be safe. For this reason, only masks certified by national and international health organizations should be worn after randomized controlled trials can show the masks are safe and effective. Otherwise, wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask is still the safest way to stop the spread of COVID-19 through masking for non-health professionals.

Can people with blood infections or disorders get vaccines?

Among people with bleeding disorders, vaccination may cause a drop in the small blood cells that help the body form clots and stop bleeding. These blood cells are called platelets. Experts believe that despite a possible drop in platelet levels, the benefits of vaccination outweigh risks. 

No, las vacunas contra la covid-19 no cambian tu ADN

Las vacunas aprobadas en Europa contra la covid-19 son fruto de tecnologías que llevan décadas desarrollándose y se conocen bien. Los investigadores aseguran que ninguna interfiere con el ADN humano, como han difundido algunos propagadores de bulos.

No, covid-19 vaccines do not change your DNA

The covid-19 vaccines approved in Europe are the result of technologies that have been in development for decades and are well understood. Researchers claim that none of them interfere with human DNA, as some hoaxers have spread.

SMCNZ Coronavirus Research Tracking - 9 July

This week it’s mostly papers about vaccine effectiveness and vaccination strategies. There are also four papers looking for, or at, the origin of SARS-CoV-2.

Explainer on potential complications of COVID-19

Research shows that about 5% of patients with COVID-19, and 20% of those hospitalized, experience severe symptoms necessitating intensive care. Dr. Wekesa explains more on these complications.

If a vaccinated person gets infected, it is a sign that they're not immune to the virus?

Someone who is vaccinated shouldn’t think they are absolutely immune, because they can still get what is called a "breakthrough infection" (an infection that happens to someone who is fully vaccinated). Breakthrough infections are relatively rare and CDC guidance says that, typically, ~2 weeks after the full course of COVID-19 vaccination, the body builds some protection (immunity) that can last for at least several months. This protection is highly effective at preventing serious disease, hospitalization, and death. 


今(2021)年7月8日台北時間23:00,國際期刊《自然》(Nature)最新刊登了Delta變種病毒與中和抗體敏感度的研究。研究利用103位曾感染的患者與59位疫苗接種者的血清中分離抗體,與新冠的各變種進行中和抗體試驗,其中有部分的單株抗體無法有效與Delta變種上的棘蛋白(S protein)做結合,包括用來治療新冠肺炎的單株抗體藥物「bamlanivimab」。研究結果顯示,Delta變種的棘蛋白有部分區域逃脫了抗體的結合,這阻礙了抗體中和病毒的能力。另外,儘管在實驗中發現,抗體針對Delta變種的效力比Alpha變種低三到五倍,但在施打任一種疫苗的第二劑後,95%的個體仍可產生中和反應。新興科技媒體中心特邀專家回應。

What impact is COVID-19 vaccine production having on other immunizations?

Vaccine production for COVID-19 immunizations has interrupted, delayed, re-organized, or completely suspended other shots, especially routine childhood vaccines. As a result, many countries have been experiencing a decline in immunization coverage of vaccine-preventable childhood diseases

Janssen vaccine approved for use in NZ – Expert Reaction

New Zealand could soon have two Covid-19 vaccine options, as Medsafe approves the single-dose Janssen vaccine for use in over-18s. Cabinet will now weigh up the options for using the Janssen vaccine, with a decision expected some time in August.


今(2021)年7月7日台北時間17:00,國際期刊《自然》(Nature)最新刊登了COVID-19疫苗與可能引起血栓機制的研究報告。先前已知一種常用抗血栓藥物「肝素(Heparin)」,會引起血小板下降及血栓(Heparin induced thrombocytopenia, HIT)。此研究分析5位平均年齡44歲,且已施打一劑AZ疫苗的免疫血栓性血小板低下症(Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, VITT)患者。研究發現這些患者血清中的抗體與肝素都會結合「血小板第四因子(platelet factor 4, PF4)」的類似位置,且相較於10位HIT患者,VITT患者的抗體與血小板第四因子結合更強。研究推論結合後的血小板第四因子與VITT患者抗體可能透過特定的受體活化血小板,啟動凝血機制,與肝素引起的機制類似。新興科技媒體中心特邀專家回應。



SMCNZ Coronavirus Research Tracking - 2 July

This week: further information on vaccine effectiveness, long term immunity, correlates of protection, and the effects of infection on physical and mental health.

STIKO empfiehlt heterologes Impfschema nach Erstimpfung mit Vaxzevria

Am 01.07.2021 hat die Ständige Impfkommission (STIKO) eine neue Empfehlung zum Impfschema nach einer Erstimpfung mit dem Vektorimpfstoff Vaxzevria des britisch-schwedischen Herstellers AstraZeneca verkündet. Vorbehaltlich der Rückmeldungen aus dem noch zu eröffnenden Stellungnahmeverfahren sollten Personen, „die Vaxzevria als 1. Impfstoffdosis erhalten haben, unabhängig vom Alter einen mRNA-Impfstoff als 2. Dosis mit mindestens vierwöchigem Impfabstand zur 1. Impstoffdosis“ erhalten. Die wissenschaftliche Begründung der Stellungnahme liegt noch nicht vor.

mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may be linked to inflammation of the heart muscle

Two studies have found cases of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, developing within days of people having both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. One study documents four cases that developed one to five days after receiving the second dose of an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, while the second study from the US military describes 23 cases that occurred four days after vaccination, 20 of these cases occurred after the second dose. The studies do not show the vaccines caused the condition, just that the conditions occurred soon after vaccination and could therefore possibly be linked.

AstraZeneca or Pfizer? Australia's COVID-19 jab confusion

AstraZeneca can now be requested by anyone under age 40 in a major change to the vaccine program announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday. The decision has not been backed by the Australian Medical Association, and in addition, the advice from the independent Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation – that Pfizer is the preferred vaccine for under-60s due to an increased risk of rare clotting events linked to the AstraZeneca jab – is unchanged. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and WA Premier Mark McGowan have both spoken out against advice issued by the PM, saying they do not believe the under-40s should be given the AstraZeneca vaccine. Further, Health Minister Greg Hunt reiterated in a press conference today that the medical advice surrounding vaccines has not changed, but the AstraZeneca vaccine can be used in adults under 60 for whom Pfizer is not available. Below, Australian experts weigh in on the confusion.


今(2021)年6月29日台北時間23:00,國際期刊《美國醫學會雜誌:心臟病學》(JAMA Cardiology)發表了施打mRNA新冠病毒疫苗與發生心肌炎的案例報告。該研究從杜克大學醫學中心的心血管核磁共振(CMR)影像資料庫中搜尋病患資料,先找出2017年至2021年的二到四月間有的急性心肌炎的病患,再找出過去二十年內所有可能與疫苗相關的心肌炎病患。研究發現其中四位在接種疫苗後,五天內有急性心肌炎,三位是23到36歲的男性,一位是70歲女性。四位都有施打兩劑的mRNA新冠病毒疫苗(其中兩人打莫德納疫苗,兩人打輝瑞疫苗),都有嚴重的胸痛症狀和心肌受傷的現象,但住院接受治療後均在二到四天內出院。 研究結論提到,本研究樣本來自北卡羅來納,大部分的人施打的是mRNA新冠疫苗,目前還不知道施打非mRNA種類疫苗的人是否會出現心肌炎;且施打mRNA疫苗後出現急性心肌炎的病患是否需要施打追加的疫苗,也是未知的問題,需要小心考量其中的風險和效益。研究結果表示,需要更進一步的調查才能決定mRNA新冠疫苗和心肌炎的關聯。新興科技媒體中心特邀專家回應。

Two papers looking at myocarditis following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination

Two papers published in JAMA Cardiology look at myocarditis following vaccination with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech.

Preprint on immune response in delayed second dose and third doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

A preprint, an unpublished non-peer reviewed study, looks at tolerability and immunogenicity after a late second dose or a third dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Preprint on immune response to mixed dose scheduling of COVID vaccines from the Com-COV study

A preprint, an unpublished non-peer reviewed study, from the Com-COV trials, looks at the immune response to mixed dose scheduling of the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines.

Study reporting that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine induces persistent germinal centre responses

A study published in Nature suggests that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine induces persistent human germinal centre responses.

Case report from the U.S. of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia after the Moderna mRNA vaccine

A case report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine looks at a single case of thrombocytopenia with thrombosis syndrome (TTS) after receiving the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Neutralising antibody levels induced by the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine against different SARS-CoV-2 variants

A research letter published in The Lancet looks at Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine-induced neutralising antibody activity against different SARS-CoV-2 variants.



How do vaccines approved in Zimbabwe protect us after the first and second shots?

Vaccines don't reach their full effectiveness until a few weeks after the second dose has been administered. Immediate protection after the first shot is not expected to be nearly as protective two to four weeks after the second dose.

Is it dangerous to take anesthetics after getting a COVID-19 vaccination?

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that taking an anesthetic after getting any COVID-19 vaccine is life-threatening or in any way dangerous. Anesthetics do, however, have the potential to reduce the effectiveness of a vaccine if taken soon after a vaccine is received.

Is it safe to mix vaccines?

Recent studies suggest that people receiving a first dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine and a second dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna) appears to be safe and produces a strong immune response. This method may cause more short-term side effects. Until we have more research about the mixing and matching of other vaccines, this approach is not recommended unless national health agencies have allowed their usage.

Do experts find it plausible that the mRNA of the COVID-19 vaccines could be integrated into human DNA?

The threat of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines influencing your DNA are almost non-existent.

Medsafe approves Pfizer vaccine for over-12s in New Zealand – Expert Reaction

New Zealand’s medicines regulator has given the provisional tick for kids as young as 12 to get the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that there are around 265,000 children in the 12-15 age group. The move follows similar approvals in places like Europe, the US, and Canada.

MHRA yellow card reporting relating to periods after COVID-19 vaccines

A few journalists have asked about MHRA yellow card reports relating to periods after the COVID-19 vaccine, as reported on in the Sunday Times, so here are some expert comments in case useful.

Getting the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine after AstraZeneca may result in better immune protection (preprint)

A preprint study, which is not yet peer-reviewed, suggests that people whose second shot is the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine after a first shot of the AstraZeneca jab may develop better immune protection than those who receive two AstraZeneca doses. Overnight, Canada has also changed its recommendations on mixing vaccines, and is now recommending that people who got the AstraZeneca vaccine as their first dose should get Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for their second shot.

Can mRNA from COVID-19 vaccines be integrated into the human DNA?

Posts on social media have claimed that the mRNA COVID vaccines such as the Pfizer vaccine and Moderna vaccine could alter a persons DNA. Below Australian experts address this concern

CureVac press release and data from its phase 2b/3 trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate

CureVac have published a press release announcing the results of the second interim analysis of the international pivotal Phase 2b/3 trial of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate, CVnCoV.

mRNA Covid-19 vaccine safety in pregnant women

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) looks at mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine Safety in Pregnancy.

How does a virus become a variant? Is it a bad thing?

Several variants have emerged since the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease, Professor Walter Jaoko explains more on how this happens.


今(2021)年6月16日台北時間23:00,國際期刊《美國醫學會期刊》網路開放版(JAMA Network Open)刊登了一篇研究報告,分析美國VA波士頓醫療照護系統(VA Boston Healthcare System,VABHS)下的4,028位醫護人員,比較接種疫苗與未接種疫苗中 RT-PCR 陽性醫護人員的比例與臨床表現等差異,分析結果顯示「接種一劑mRNA-1273 疫苗」與「減少接種8天後的感染」有關聯性,這些在真實世界(real-world)的結果與BNT162b2疫苗(另一種mRNA疫苗)結果一致,皆反應出接種單劑的mRNA疫苗在降低感染風險的有效性。

How is the Novavax vaccine technology different from that of vaccines previously authorized in the US?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

How does the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine fit into the US and the global strategy to combat disease?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

Are there any particular benefits or drawbacks of the Novavax vaccine compared to other COVID vaccines?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

Vaccine Safety Net

The Vaccine Safety Net is a global network of websites, established by the World Health Organization, that provides reliable information on vaccine safety.

Novavax reporting results (U.S. and Mexico data) from the PREVENT-19 Phase 3 trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate

A press release from Novavax states that their COVID-19 vaccine candidate demonstrates 90% overall efficacy and 100% protection against moderate and severe disease in the PREVENT-19 Phase 3 trial.

Delta variant and vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisations

A preprint, an unpublished non-peer reviewed study, from Public Health England (PHE), looks at effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines against hospital admission with the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant.

Does flying increase the risk of blood clots in people who have been vaccinated?

Flying does not increase the risk of blood clots in people who have been vaccinated. Though the risk of blood clots increases in people who are flying, this is not related to COVID-19 vaccines and these types of blood clots are different than the blood clots that have occurred in very few cases of people who have received the AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.


今(2021)年6月7日台北時間23:00,國際期刊《美國醫學會雜誌期刊》(The Journal of the American Medical Association,JAMA)最新刊登了BNT疫苗的相對有效性(comparative effectiveness)研究報告。該研究測試在真實世界中的人,施打第一劑BNT疫苗的有效性。該研究使用351,897人施打完第一劑BNT疫苗後的追蹤資料來評估,發現施打後第13-24天相對於施打後第1-12天的確診率,有效地降低。該結果也與BNT疫苗第三期隨機臨床試驗結果相符。新興科技媒體中心特邀專家回應。

Evidenz zur Impfung von Kindern gegen COVID-19, aktuelle STIKO-Empfehlung und der Stellenwert evidenzbasierter Empfehlungen

Die Ständige Impfkommission (STIKO) spricht keine allgemeine Impfempfehlung für Kinder und Jugendliche gegen COVID-19 aus. Das Expertengremium veröffentlichte am Nachmittag des 10.06.2021 eine neue Empfehlung und sieht darin die Impfung mit dem Impfstoff Comirnaty der Hersteller BioNTech/Pfizer in der Altersgruppe von 12 bis 17 Jahren nur für Personen mit Vorerkrankungen vor oder für solche mit Risikopersonen in der näheren Umgebung, die sich selbst nicht schützen können (siehe Primärquelle). Eine individuelle Abwägung der Risiken ist im Einzelfall jedoch möglich. Der Impfstoff ist von der EU-Kommission am 31. Mai auch zusätzlich für 12- bis 15-Jährige zugelassen worden.

Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a condition that affects the blood

Expert reaction to study looking at the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a condition that affects the blood, as published in Nature Medicine*



How is Midazolam being used for COVID-19? Is it dangerous?

Midazolam is a sedative primarily given to patients before a surgery or medical procedure, to help with seizures, and to critically ill patients in hospital settings. The medication has not been linked to premature deaths in patients that were purposely mislabeled as deaths caused by COVID-19.

Vaccine Insights: Gain mastery over misinformation

A flexible online learning course, designed and run by First Draft, will help you stay one step ahead of those spreading conspiracies and false claims about vaccines. The online workshops are available in eight languages, as well as English, on a special YouTube channel. | عربي | Português | 漢語 | Français | Deutsch | हिन्दी | Italiano | Español |

How are COVID-19 vaccines developed?

There are various potential approaches to developing a Covid-19 vaccine, as Professor Walter Jaoko explains.

What is known about the safety and efficacy of using different technologies for the first and second doses of COVID vaccines?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

What is known about the safety and efficacy of using different technologies for initial vaccination and subsequent booster shots?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

What do we know about the toxicity of spike proteins made from COVID-19 vaccines?

The spike proteins from mRNA vaccines are not known to harm our bodies. Vaccines go through very rigorous standards set by the U.S. FDA to meet safety and efficacy criteria. Thousands of people underwent clinical trials over several months to understand if there were any side effects or risks associated with the vaccines. The vaccines are still being monitored for any safety concerns or patterns that could risk human well-being.  So far, there is no scientific evidence available that suggests that spike proteins created in our bodies from the COVID-19 vaccines are toxic or damaging organs of our body, as is being claimed on some social platforms.

Antibodies found that enhance SARS-CoV-2 infection - what does this mean for vaccines?

Research from Japan has found that infection with SARS-CoV-2 can generate both neutralizing antibodies that protect against infection and infection-enhancing antibodies. The research analysed antibodies derived from COVID-19 patients.

Reporting the Science of Covid-19: Free Online Course

A free self-paced online course introducing journalists to credible COVID-19 news sources and empowering them to spot the news and report to their audiences. The course is intended for journalists who report on the coronavirus but have little or no experience in science journalism.

Do COVID-19 vaccines cause antibody-dependent enhancement?

Do COVID vaccines cause antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE)? ADE occurs when a virus or vaccine causes the production of antibodies that can make a viral infection worse.

What’s the future of vaccines linked to rare clotting disorders?

The AstraZeneca vaccine—or Covishield as it is also known—is the cornerstone of the global scheme aimed at vaccinating billions in the developing world. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is expected to provide hundreds of millions of doses to this effort as well. But both have been tarred with reports of serious but very rare cases of blood clots. So what are the implications for vaccine efforts in the developing world?

Efficacy of Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 variants including Delta

A lab study from the UK has looked at blood neutralising antibody levels from people vaccinated with one or two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, against different variants of SARS-CoV-2 including the B.1.617.2 delta (Indian) variant, as published in the Lancet*


自2021年3月,歐洲地區出現接種AZ的ChAdOx1-S疫苗後發生血栓的事件,數個歐洲國家暫停接種AZ疫苗。根據歐洲藥品管理局(European Medicines Agency, EMA)的聲明,截至3月10日,接種的500萬人通報有30例血栓事件。 研究人員收集丹麥和挪威所有自2021年2月9日至2021年3月11日首次接受ChAdOx1-S疫苗接種的18-65歲人群,並以丹麥(2016-18)和挪威(2018-19)的總人口數做比較。結果顯示,接種ChAdOx1-S疫苗者的靜脈血栓事件(包括腦靜脈血栓形成)發生率增加,而血小板減少/凝血功能障礙和出血的發生率略有增加。


今年(2021)1月29日,澳洲醫藥記者Dyani Lewis撰寫一篇刊載在《自然》(Nature)期刊的新聞〈COVID-19 rarely spreads through surfaces. So why are we still deep cleaning?〉,提到新冠病毒雖然在不同材質的物體表面有不同的停留時間,但藉由被污染的物體表面傳播(fomite transmission)的風險都很低[1],報導中引述一篇由美國羅格斯大學微生物學戈德曼(Emanuel Goldman)教授發表在《刺胳針傳染病》(Lancet Infectious Diseases)的評論文章指出,幾乎沒有證據支持SARS-CoV-2會透過一個受污染的表面從一個人傳染到另一個人,認為觸碰物質表面的傳播形式(Surface transmission)風險相對較低[2],報導中也討論到現行各地區環境消毒是否有效阻隔病毒傳播。 另外,美國疾病控制與預防中心(CDC)也在今年(2021)4月5日更新了SARS-CoV-2傳播形式與暴露風險的科學摘要[3],說明主要感染的方式為「暴露在帶有新冠病毒的飛沫(respiratory droplets)」,但指引中仍特別強調現行所有的建議措施都能有效預防新冠肺炎的傳播,包括:標準的洗手流程、環境清潔與消毒[4][5]。

How are vaccines and masks different when it comes to protecting against COVID-19?

Masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, gowns, and face shields provide protection by preventing the coronavirus from coming in physical contact with us and entering our bodies.  Vaccines, on the other hand, build our immune system to fight the virus should it somehow enter our bodies. With external and internal protections, we can improve our chances of being safe from the impact of coronavirus.

What do the efficacy rates of COVID-19 vaccines mean, and do the efficacy rates impact a population’s herd immunity?

Vaccine efficacy rates tell us how well the new COVID-19 vaccines prevent people from COVID-19 infection in clinical trials. They do not tell us the exact vaccine effectiveness rates that can be expected once the vaccines are used for the public.

Data on blood clots associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine

The Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge in the UK has published updated graphics on the risks and benefits of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine and specific blood clots, in different age groups, and with different virus exposure levels, and also by gender.

How do antibodies work against diseases?

Most COVID-19 vaccines, just like natural infections, produce substantial antibodies in people who have received them. Antibodies help the immune system fight infections by latching onto antigens and marking them for destruction.

One-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine being approved by the MHRA

It has been announced that the one-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine has today been given regulatory approval by the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Safety, immunogenicity and efficacy results from the trial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) looks at safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy results from the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine trial in children aged 12 to 15.

What are first, second and third waves of infections?

Waves of an illness occur when daily rates of infections increase over time, reach a peak, then decrease more over time. Many different characteristics determine what makes a wave occur in each region but certain aspects remain the same.

Do the Seychelles have the highest global vaccination rate and the biggest COVID-19 surge?

Seychelles has the highest percentage of vaccinated people in the country per capita. Though the nation is dealing with a current surge in cases, it does not have the world's biggest surge in terms of total cases or as a percentage of its population.

NZ scientists to lead largest-ever vaccine monitoring study

A global collaboration helmed in New Zealand will help assess the safety of COVID-19 vaccines on a massive scale. The Global Vaccine Data Network (GVDN) at the University of Auckland, with its 21 partners in 17 countries, has been awarded funds by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor 300 million people for vaccine side-effects.

Australian state of Victoria announces 7-day circuit breaker lockdown to combat highly infectious variant of concern

It has just been reported that the state of Victoria, Australia will enter a seven-day circuit breaker lockdown from 11:59pm tonight in a bid to curb the state’s growing coronavirus outbreak caused by a highly infectious variant of concern. In a press conference, Acting Premier James Merlino said there are now 34 active cases of coronavirus in Victoria, with 12 linked new cases in the past day. Mr Merlino said the primary concern is how quickly this strain is moving. The State Government is urging everyone to get vaccinated and has said getting vaccinated will be one of five reasons people are allowed to leave home.

German preprint giving theory about why blood clots might rarely occur after vector-based COVID-19 vaccines

A preprint, an unpublished non-peer reviewed study, from researchers in Germany presents a theory for why vector-based COVID-19 vaccines, such as Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, may cause rare blood clots.

Eigenschaften und Verbreitung der SARS-CoV-2-Variante B.1.617.2

Die ursprünglich aus Indien stammende Variante B.1.617.2 des SARS-CoV-2-Virus breitet sich trotz niedriger Inzidenzen weiter in Großbritannien aus. Britische Forschende schätzen, dass sie sich 50 Prozent schneller verbreiten kann als die vorherrschende Variante B.1.1.7. Im Mai wurde sie daher auch von der Weltgesundheitsorganisation als „Variant of Concern“ (VOC) eingestuft, wie zuvor auch schon B.1.1.7. Aufgrund der raschen Verbreitung von B.1.617.2 in Großbritannien beobachten britische Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler die Entwicklung ganz genau, charakterisieren die Variante im Labor und modellieren ihre weitere Verbreitung. Das SMC hat zwei von ihnen gebeten, ihre neuen Erkenntnisse in einem virtuellen Press Briefing zu berichten und Ihre Fragen zu beantworten. Außerdem möchten wir gerne einen Blick in die Zukunft werfen und besprechen, welche potenziellen Varianten anhand des derzeitigen Wissenstandes noch zu erwarten sind und wie diese mit dem Impffortschritt wechselwirken.

Are COVID-19 vaccines causing antibody-dependent enhancement?

As of May 2021, there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines are leading to antibody-dependent enhancement.

Letter presenting three cases of ischaemic stroke following the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

A letter published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry discusses three cases of ischaemic stroke, blood clots in arteries causing lack of blood supply to part of the brain, reported in young adults after receiving the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine.

Moderna press release announcing that its TeenCOVE study of its COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents met its primary endpoint

A press release from Moderna announces the TeenCOVE study of its COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents meets primary endpoint and plans to submit data to regulators in early June.


一則臉書貼文指出:英國醫學雜誌報導台灣要買的輝瑞疫苗只有29.5%有效率。這個訊息已引起社會關注,對此,我們邀請國家衛生研究院感染症與疫苗研究所副研究員級主治醫師齊嘉鈺,針對以下幾則訊息進行解析: 1.流傳內容稱「根據英國醫學雜誌報導,輝瑞疫苗疫苗保護力為29.5%」。該篇貼文的說法是否正確? 2.輝瑞疫苗的保護效力為何?

PHE on vaccine effectiveness against the B.1.617.2 ‘Indian’ variant

A preprint from Public Health England (PHE) looks at the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against the B.1.617.2 variant first identified in India.

Are vaccine injections emitting electric and magnetic fields?

None of the COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use contain any metals or use any radiation technology that would emit high levels of electric and magnetic fields (EMF).


近期台灣疫情升溫,引發大眾擔憂若印度變種病毒進入台灣,是否可能引發更嚴重的傳播疫情,以及懷疑疫苗是否也會因此失去保護力。在5月10日,世界衛生組織(WHO)宣布,在印度被發現的新冠變種病毒「B.1.617」(印度變種),由VOI(值得關注的變異,Variant of Interest),升級為VOC(需留意的變異,Variant of Concern)。世界衛生組織新冠疫情技術總監范科霍芙(Maria van Kerkhove)在記者會中指出:「已經有研究指出B.1.617能夠更輕易人傳人,傳播力更強」。研究顯示「B.1.617」除了傳播力更強,還具有更強的致病能力。

Can people get the COVID-19 vaccine alongside other immunizations?

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently stated that they believe it is safe to administer COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as other vaccines. However, vaccines given on the same day should be injected in different areas, there is uncertainty about whether or not giving two or more different vaccines at once may cause worse side effects, or if vaccines containing weakened live viruses might require different guidance. At this time, the World Health Organization has not issued new recommendations for administering different vaccines at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine, though it has listed the AstraZeneca vaccines for emergency use. This vaccine contains a weakened live pathogen so health regulators may decide if it is safe to administer this vaccine at the same time as others.

Can people receive three jabs of Sinovac's CoronaVac vaccine?

We do not yet know if Sinovac's COVID-19 third dose is safe or effective. A third injection is being tested in a Chinese clinical trial now. It is not recommended to have a third vaccine dose until more data has been studied and it has been deemed safe by health organizations.

What happens if you get an expired vaccine?

Getting any expired vaccine can mean that you are not protected as well or at all from a disease. It’s also possible that certain inactive vaccines could cause harmful reactions, but there are not many documented cases of this happening, and no documented cases of this happening with COVID-19 vaccines. Because COVID-19 manufacturers were very cautious in setting expiration dates, it’s possible that COVID-19 vaccines are effective for a short period of time even after the set expiration date.

Are there microchip technologies that are small enough to pass through a syringe needle and allow people to be tracked?

Are there microchip technologies that are small enough to pass through a syringe needle and allow people to be tracked?

Expert reaction to preprint looking at the immune response in older people after vaccination the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine with either a 3-week or a 12-week dosing schedule, as posted on MedRxiv

An expert reaction to a preprint looking at the immune response in older people after vaccination the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine with either a 3-week or a 12-week dosing schedule, as posted on MedRxiv

Verbreitung der SARS-CoV-2-Variante B.1.617 in Europa und Implikationen

Die prekäre COVID-19-Situation in Indien sorgt weiterhin für Schlagzeilen. Dafür verantwortlich gemacht wird die Variante B.1.617 des SARS-CoV-2-Virus, mit der sich dort viele Menschen anstecken. Kürzlich wurde die Untergruppe (Unterklade) der Variante mit der Bezeichnung B.1.617.2 von einer „Variant of Interest“ (VOI) zu einer „Variant of Concern“ (VOC) hochgestuft. Was bedeutet eine zunehmende Verbreitung der neuen Variante?

What is the scientific or public health basis for the new CDC recommendations that fully vaccinated people can go unmasked?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

Is dropping mask requirements for the fully vaccinated an effective way to encourage vaccination?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

What do we know so far about the Sinopharm vaccine?

Sinopharm's two-dose COVID-19 vaccine was shown to have an efficacy rate of roughly 79% to protect against symptomatic and hospitalized infections. Controversy over the lack of published data about the vaccine has continued despite Sinopharm receiving emergency use authorization from the World Health Organization.

Moderna to supply Australia with 25m doses of COVID-19 vaccine

The Australian Government has confirmed it has secured 25 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, following an announcement from the company overnight. This is the second messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine to be purchased by the Government, providing access to the current Moderna vaccine or variant-specific versions of the vaccine developed by Moderna, to address emerging viral variants.

What do we know about the Pfizer vaccine and magnets?

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine’s list of ingredients, listed on the FDA’s website that allowed for its emergency use authorization include mRNA, lipids, potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose. The vaccine is not known to contain any metals or cause any response to magnetic fields. In fact, the small quantity of iron found in the oxygenated blood of the human body is known to repel magnets, which is why we are able to get MRI scans done at hospitals.

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About the Hub

The COVID-19 Vaccine Media Hub is a dedicated resource for journalists and fact checkers wanting access to evidence-based information on COVID-19 vaccines. The Hub brings together multiple sources of evidence-based information on vaccines, including explainers, expert commentary, the latest research and online press briefings, with material soon to be available in multiple languages.

If you’re a fact checker or a journalist, we’re here to help you find the information and experts you need for your story.

If you’re a member of the public and would like help finding information on COVID-19 vaccines, feel free to browse the site. You might also like to explore other evidence- based vaccine information sites such as the WHO's COVID-19 vaccine page.

This project is a global effort with contributions from Science Media Centres in Australia, the UK, Germany and New Zealand plus technology not-for-profit, Meedan. Other contributors are based in North America, Africa, Latin America and the Asia Pacific region.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Media Hub is supported by the Google News Initiative.

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Australian Science Media Centre

The Australian Science Media Centre works to enhance the media’s coverage of science, for the benefit of the public. We provide the evidence and experts when science hits the headlines.

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Information equity is a public health issue. Health Desk provides rapid responses to health questions from fact-checkers and journalists. We host content about COVID-19 vaccine created by Science Media Centres around the world.

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A non-profit and editorially independent institution that supports journalists in reporting on science-related topics.

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SMC Taiwan was established in 2017, as one of the international SMCs. SMC Taiwan is the only SMC in Asia connecting journalists and scientists to provide evidence-based information through the media. Please contact us if you require any assistance with reporting COVID-19. 關於疫情若需要任何進一步的專家意見,以協助民眾判讀各式科學資訊,都歡迎隨時聯繫我們。 SMC Taiwan是國際科學媒體中心的一員,唯一的亞洲科學家媒體媒合平台,會持續提供專家意見與相關研究討論,給各位媒體朋友們參考。


Science makes the news. SINC is the public news agency specializing in science in Spain, depending on the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. SINC offers its service to journalists and citizens: information, context and analysis from expert sources to shed light on the latest scientific news, with accuracy, veracity, and independence.