EScAPE Newsletter, Issue #38

Reports that are of interest for the week

Merck asks US FDA to authorize promising anti-COVID pill
Drug maker Merck has created an antiviral pill that people can take to reduce their COVID-19 symptoms and speed up recovery. Merck has asked the FDA to approve the pill for emergency use for adults who are at risk for hospitalization or severe illness.

Australian scientists fear job insecurity as moral plummets amid Covid, survey finds
Science and Technology Australia and Professional Scientists Australia do an annual survey to understand how scientists are feeling about their career. This year they found that staff fatigue rose from 55% in 2020 to 71%, two in three scientists reported a drop in morale, and one in five scientists intend to leave the scientific profession permanently.

Karis to discuss plans for defeating pandemic with advisory board, minister
The new president of Estonia, President Alar Karis, is working to help Estonian citizens by discussing recommendations from science and the government's plan with the scientific advisory board and Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik. He hopes by doing so he will be able to bring moral up and shorten the amount of time people must deal with the coronavirus.

Premier needs to take a stronger stand to denounce ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment
Premier Scott Moe spoke in a news conference about politicians being able to debunk certain conspiracy theories. While he said some theories could be stated as wrong without a doubt, he said that he would not be able to say a “horse dewormer” wouldn’t work because he wasn’t “sure about the science behind that”. However, many scientists have proven that ivermectin has no effect on curbing COVID-19.

New data suggests Canada’s ‘gamble’ on delaying mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines paid off
Canada recently found that because they were able to get a lot of people partially vaccinated, they have had protection against both infection and hospitalization, especially with the rise of the Delta variant. They also found that 95% of 250,000 people who had two out of three doses of any vaccines were protected against hospitalization.

Confidence in COVID-19 vaccines among Ontarians remains stable: Science group
Confidence in vaccines in Ontario has remained between 72 and 76 percent. Even so, they are looking to community outreach to continue to grow vaccine confidence.

Ivermectin: How false science created a Covid ‘miracle’ drug
This article discusses the science behind ivermectin being a successful drug and points out many problems in studies including: the same patient data being used for different participants, evidence of non-random selection, numbers that are unlikely to occur naturally, miscalculated percentages, and local health authorities being unaware of the studies.

How our SN 10 scientists have responded to tumultuous times
Every year Science News features the work of scientists in their early- and mid-career days. This year, they have focused mostly on how these 10 scientists dealt with the pandemic. You can read about these scientists at the link above.