Vaccine factories, a promising new treatment, and more COVID-19 updates

A roundup of the top stories you may have missed this week.

The coronavirus crisis is unique. Addressing it will require new ideas, new perspectives, and new voices. That’s our mission at Freethink.

In our weekly “Coronavirus News Roundup,” we’re highlighting the most important stories from the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. Stories that inform, challenge, and inspire.

Here are our must reads for today, April 11, 2020.

1. Bill Gates Is Spending Billions to Produce Seven Coronavirus Vaccines

The Gates Foundation is building seven vaccine factories to help in the fight against the novel coronavirus. We explain what those are — and why Bill Gates expects to “waste” a few billion dollars on the initiative.

2. A Promising COVID-19 Treatment Gets Fast-Tracked

Johns Hopkins Hospital has received FDA approval to begin testing the efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy on humans to both prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 infections. This JHU article explains how the therapy works — and when it might be available for the masses.

3. Tyler Perry Pays Grocery Bills for Elderly and High-Risk Shoppers

Some grocery stores have begun opening an hour early so that seniors and other vulnerable populations can shop solo — and on April 8, filmmaker Tyler Perry paid for all the groceries bought during that hour at 73 grocery stores in Atlanta and New Orleans.

4. Group Coronavirus Testing Helps Make the Most of Limited Kits

Researchers in the United States, Israel, and other nations are turning to group testing as a way to cope with a shortage of coronavirus testing kits  — and they’re finding the method to be incredibly effective.

5. Contact-Tracing Apps Could Help End Coronavirus Lockdown

A new University of Oxford study has found that contact-tracing apps could play a major role in bringing the coronavirus pandemic to an end — without forcing people to give up their privacy.

How do researchers study the prevalence of mental illnesses?
Data on mental health is essential to understand the scale of mental illnesses. How do researchers collect this data, and is it reliable?
How AI played an instrumental role in making mRNA vaccines
Years before Moderna created an effective mRNA vaccine against COVID, the company put into place AI systems to accelerate the research process.
What BMI can’t tell us about our health
Body mass index (BMI) continues to be the go-to tool for medical doctors and population researchers despite saying little about our health.
Why aren’t we moving faster on malaria vaccines?
COVID-19 shots were rolled out within weeks of approval. The malaria jab is being delayed until mid-2024. Why?
Where are the universal coronavirus vaccines?
Universal coronavirus vaccines that protect against all known variants of COVID-19 — and ones that don’t exist yet — are closer than ever.
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