Splainer

Thursday, September 10 2020


Dive In

Looking in the mirror, staring back at me isn't so much a face as the expression of a predicament.

That’s Colin Firth—who turned 60 today—speaking as George Falconer in ‘A Single Man’ expressing a sentiment all of us can relate to right now. Our other favourite Firth quote: “My singing voice is somewhere between a drunken apology and a plumbing problem.” Lol! Illustration: Parth Savla

Big Story

Promising Oxford vaccine is put on hold

The TLDR: Developed in partnership between AstraZeneca and Oxford University, this Covid vaccine is one of the most promising of the nine currently in stage 3 human trials. But the company halted testing due to a suspected adverse reaction in one of the UK participants. Serum Institute—which is conducting trials in India—has been hauled up by the government for not doing the same. We look at what happened, and what it means for India. 

 

Quick background on trials: As we explained before, vaccine testing is conducted in separate stages:

  • It is first tested on animals to see a) if it is safe and b) if it triggers an immune response. Then there are multiple rounds of human trials on volunteers. 
  • The first round is conducted on a small sample of 10-plus people to check if it is safe for human use. 
  • The next round has 100-plus volunteers and focuses on dosage—how much to administer and with what frequency.
  • The third round of human trials requires a very large sample size, and is typically conducted in an area with a large number of Covid cases. There is a group that gets the placebo, while the other receives the vaccine. Then you wait and see whether the drug actually protects those who were vaccinated.

 

The participant who fell ill was part of Stage 3 trials in the UK.

 

OK, tell me what happened to this person

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In today’s edition

Headlines That Matter

  • China bulks up on the border
  • Trump lied about the virus
  • Kangana vs Shiv Sena
  • Say hello to ‘Covai Trans Kitchen’

 

I Recommend

  • Leeza Mangaldas' sex-positive work and recommendations

 

Smart And Curious

  • The hottest hair hue right now is called ‘chocolate chai'
  • German pro surfer Sebastian Steudtner rode a wave over 115 feet tall
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