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Is COVID-19 still a threat?

Lindsay Dixon

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives, societies, and the world at large. As the pandemic continues to evolve, there is a growing need for updated information on its trajectory and the measures in place to control it. In this exclusive interview, we sit down with renowned epidemiologist Dr. Raywat Deonandan from the University of Ottawa to discuss the ongoing pandemic and critical topics related to COVID-19.

Vaccine efficacy: unpacking current successes and public hesitation

One of the most important topics in our battle against COVID-19 has been the development and distribution of vaccines. Deonandan emphasizes the remarkable scientific achievement in developing multiple COVID-19 vaccines in record time, which have been a crucial tool in controlling the spread of the virus.

He points out that these vaccines have undergone rigorous testing and demonstrated significant efficacy in preventing infection, as well as greatly reducing the risk of more severe cases, including hospitalizations and death. He also discusses the most recent monovalent vaccine produced by Moderna.

The topic of vaccine efficacy is multifaceted. Dr.Deonandan acknowledges that while the vaccines are effective, they are not infallible. Breakthrough cases do occur and with the changing variants, our vaccines have had to be adjusted, resulting in multiple iterations of COVID-19 vaccines, and also resulting in public hesitation when it comes to receiving additional booster doses. Nonetheless, vaccines remain the most potent defence against infection to date.

Natural immunity vs. vaccination: weighing the pros and cons

The concept of natural immunity has garnered attention, with some individuals questioning the necessity of vaccination if they have already been infected with COVID-19. Dr. Deonandan addresses this topic by highlighting that natural immunity, while effective to some extent, is highly variable from person to person. Moreover, its duration is still a subject of research.

Vaccination, on the other hand, offers a more predictable and consistent immune response. Additionally, vaccines are designed to induce immunity without causing illness, while natural infection comes with the risk of severe symptoms and complications.

Innovative therapies: a glimpse into the future

As the pandemic has evolved, the quest for effective treatments continues. Dr. Deonandan offers insights into cutting-edge therapies currently under investigation. These include:

Mucosal vaccines

The development of mucosal vaccines in the form of nasal sprays is an exciting prospect. They have the potential not only to prevent infection but also to curb transmission.

Metformin for Long-Covid

Research is exploring whether the medication Metformin can mitigate the length and severity of Long-Covid, offering hope for those suffering from prolonged post-infection symptoms.

Nasal sprays

Another promising area of research involves nasal sprays designed to hinder the virus from attaching to the ACE-2 receptor in the airways. This approach offers an additional layer of protection against infection.

For a more in-depth exploration of these topics, and much more, you can watch the full interview here. Also available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

I promise it will be well worth your time. Dixon

Access expert interviews and evidence-based health content at your fingertips on the Friendly Pharmacy 5 Channel, also on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

Lindsay Dixon is a pharmacist, consultant, health content creator, and public health ambassador for Heart Pharmacy Group. She is also the Founder of Friendly Pharmacy 5 & CreateRx. For collaborations or consulting services, please reach out: [email protected]

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