COVID

The evidence is in: genetic engineering promotes sustainable farming, vaccines save lives, and nuclear energy is our best hope of powering society in a changing climate. But the question remains, how do you convince a generally skittish public to embrace the science behind these technologies? Our answer: make a movie.
News organizations have recently been down on Paxlovid, while it has become the standard of care. Some claim Pfizer's Covid drug "has lost its luster" because of "failures" in two clinical trials. Now, a third trial looks like it could deliver another black mark: the drug doesn't improve symptoms in low-risk patients with Covid. Is this criticism valid? Let's look a little deeper.
On Episode 4 of the ACSH Science Dispatch Podcast, we examine the need for COVID boosters and the increasingly irrelevant concept of herd immunity. We then dive into an incendiary discussion about the social-justice-inspired effort to deny the dangers of obesity. Finally, is there a "cancel culture" in science?
Disparities in COVID-19 outcomes by race or ethnicity have often been reported, deplored, and attributed to socioeconomic factors. It’s clear that vaccination is the main tool for slowing the spreading of the virus; here we examine disparate vaccination rates by race and ethnicity. However, among such disparities, there is an important distinction between equality (sameness) and equity (fairness).
Recent coverage in the Washington Post illustrates how the media (and even some in the scientific community) have exaggerated the risk COVID-19 poses to the elderly and downplayed the efficacy of vaccination in this age group.
On Episode 2 of the ACSH Science Dispatch Podcast, we examine New York City's now-defunct COVID vaccine mandate. Did it work, why or why not? We then dive into recent research showing that diet soda can help you safely lose weight, despite popular claims to the contrary.
If we've learned anything about Covid it's that when we think we start to understand it the virus changes behavior, as if to spitefully prove us wrong. It's happening again. Now there are Omicron subvariants that can infect people who have not only had Covid but were infected with a slightly different Omicron variant. This pretty much buries the idea of herd immunity – something we were chasing early in the pandemic.
The World Health Organization is poised to reject emergency approval for Medicago's COVID vaccine because one of its ingredients is grown in tobacco plants. There's absolutely no justification for this decision.
California is poised to empower children as young as 12 to receive COVID vaccines without parental consent. The Golden State is on the wrong path.
The New York Times recently published an excellent story illustrating what causes vaccine hesitancy and how to effectively combat it. Is the media finally learning that forcing shots on people doesn't work?
Reporters and science communicators commonly point to widespread COVID misinformation to explain why so many people are skeptical of vaccines and other infection-control measures. Bad pandemic takes clearly influence the public, but there's much more to the story.
Another study has found that lotteries didn't boost COVID vaccine uptake last year. Here's a few reasons why these giveaways probably didn't work.