Splainer

Monday, July 20 2020


Dive In

I think it is a lot of smoke and mirrors when it comes to the show’s brand… They pull on people’s heartstrings; they do know that’s going to get likes and what people are going to go for, which is a positive message. But that’s not always reality.

That’s one of the 10 former employees of ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ who say that they faced racism, bullying and gaslighting. They don’t blame Ellen herself but claim that she’s turned a blind eye to the toxic workplace created by her producers. Illustration: Parth Savla

the big story

The great vaccine race: Who, when and where

The TLDR: There are at least 150 Covid-19 vaccines being developed by companies around the world. Of these, only 23 have reached the human trial stage. The company that wins this race will also determine who receives the vaccines first. Also: not everyone will benefit equally from a vaccine. We look at the predicted winners and where Indians will be on the inevitable waitlist.

 

Quick background: A vaccine is first tested on animals in a lab to see if it triggers an immune response and is safe to use on humans. It then goes through three phases of human trial—each with progressively larger samples of volunteers. The vaccine then has to be approved by each government’s regulatory agency before it can be distributed. We explained the process in greater detail here.

 

Which ones are ahead right now?

  • The United States: Moderna will start Stage III human trials this month. The other big hitter is Pfizer which is testing four different versions of the vaccine in early human trials, but only one will advance to larger studies.
  • The UK: The Oxford University vaccine—being developed in partnership with AstraZeneca—is generating the most buzz, and is already in Stage III trials in Brazil.
  • China: Chinese company Sinovac Biotech has also been fast tracked to start Stage III trials in Brazil this month.
  • India: The big name closer to home is Covaxin—which is being developed by Bharat Biotech in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research. But it has just been approved for early human trials this month, and is behind the others in terms of testing.
  • Russia: is the dark horse in the race. Its hackers have been accused of trying to steal vaccine research data from the US and UK. But Moscow claims it will roll out a vaccine as early as September. The world remains sceptical.

 

Ok, which ones do I care about?

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In today’s edition

Headlines That Matter

  • India under water
  • The link between kids and Covid
  • So who hacked Twitter?
  • China vs the UK
  • WFH is hurting working mothers

 

Smart And Curious

  • The wisest take on ‘cancel culture'
  • The many appropriations of Ramayana through history
  • A model's frustrating experience of being neither plus-size nor size zero

 

Life Advisory

  • A lifesaver for the drudgery of rote email
  • A much-needed resource on women’s health
  • A creative way to let it all out!
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