Michael Callahan, MD, Director, Clinical Translation at VIC, was deployed to cruise ships to provide emergency medical help during the COVID-19 outbreak earlier in the year and is now assisting with advice on continuity of business. The cruise ship articles in the Miami Herald, of which this is the latest, prompted a WHO Working Group to reduce international spread to which Michael has been invited.
“As Americans learn to live with the coronavirus, many are struggling with decisions about which practices are safe or risky for them. The Washington Post asked six public health/infectious diseases specialists about their own behavior choices. Their responses have been edited for length and clarity…”
From a crowded pool party at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri to a street party in Daytona Beach, Florida, Memorial Day festivities brought hundreds close together in several U.S. cities Monday — largely without masks or other such precautions.
But while behaviors related to the pandemic have changed in recent days, the director of the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital said the coronavirus itself is still very much the same.
“The virus is what it was previously: highly infectious and transmissible from one person to others over short distance,” Dr. Mark Poznansky told Jim Braude on WGBH News’ Greater Boston Tuesday.
Dr. Mark Poznansky was interviewed live on All in with Chris Hayes MSNBC, April 14 to discuss vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chris acknowledged that Dr. Poznansky is beginning research on a vaccine at the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center at MGH and the discussion was based around the timeline for a vaccine and the efficacy of a vaccine before it can be used on millions of people worldwide. Dr. Poznansky also said that links with industry are crucial in order to move forward with efficacy studies and manufacturing after the initial vaccine design and noted that we are collaborating with Voltron, Inc and Hoth Therapeutics for this purpose.
The Scientific American article makes for very interesting reading – written by William A. Haseltine a mentor of Mark Poznansky, when he was doing research in the HIV field.
“In the event of any infectious disease outbreak, our minds turn to vaccines—and they do so for good reason. They’re safe, relatively expensive and have worked well for diseases including smallpox, polio, yellow fever, and, most recently, Ebola.
Will a vaccine come as easily for the novel coronavirus? The answer is maybe yes, maybe not. The “maybe yes” comes from the observation that in animal studies, coronaviruses stimulate strong immune responses, which seem capable of knocking out the virus. Recovery from COVID-19 may be in large part due to effective immune response. The “maybe not” comes from evidence just as strong, at least with earlier SARS and MERS viruses, that natural immunity to these viruses is short-lived. In fact, some animals can be reinfected with the very same strain that caused infection in the first place…”