EScAPE Newsletter, Issue #26

Reports that are of interest for the week

New data leads to rethinking (once more) where the pandemic actually began
Biologist Michael Worobey at the University of Arizona was one of the scientists who believed that the lab leak theory needed to be investigated more. However, he has recently changed his view based on how the virus spread at the beginning of the pandemic. Summary of this research.

COVID-19: Ontario science advisory group recommends extracurriculars resume, schools stay open
Because school and extracurricular activities affect children’s physical and mental health, Ontario is working hard to keep these things open and keep kids involved, despite the ongoing COVID-19 cases.

Outbreak Alabama: ‘Politics has nothing to do with this. This is simply medical science’
This article talks about low vaccination rates and what that means for the safety of the community, specifically in Alabama.

Survey shows rise in vaccine hesitancy in Ghana
In a survey of 1,295, the willingness to be vaccinated went down by 11% from May to March 2021. When asked why, many participants said that the indecision to roll out the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine from Europe and North America made them hesitant.

Preparing for the next pandemic: Harmonize vaccinations in Canada
Understanding that the COVID-19 pandemic was just the beginning, researchers in Canada are hoping to prepare a “world class vaccination system”. This system includes procuring vaccinations in bulk, surveying and managing the vaccine supply chain, enabling data sharing between provinces, and accessing expertise without government barriers.

Mask or no mask? Why we don’t have a consistent message on COVID-19
As the Delta variant spreads through the US, regulations are also changing, and it is getting confusing. Things like new research and political interference affect the way information is displayed to the public and explain some of the confusion.

Scientists round on UK over plan to end COVID curbs
Even though cases in the UK are rising to the same level they were six months ago, the government still plans on lifting most restrictions. Many scientific advisors are against this saying herd immunity is “murderous “and would like to wait until more people are vaccinated.