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Articles from 2021 In January


Innovation takes centre stage in the fight against COVID-19

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The way in which healthcare is delivered was already evolving at a rapid pace, but the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated this transformation. Digital health technology has played a crucial role in the fight against the novel Coronavirus. Right from rapid tests to 3D printed solutions, companies across the world have come together to find ground-breaking ways to defeat the pandemic.

Digital health is revolutionising every aspect of patient care. In future, all vital signs, including temperature measurements, will be recorded and sent directly to the hospital’s patient monitoring system, removing the need for written documentation and enhancing the accuracy and efficacy of the prescribed treatments.

For instance, Northern Ireland-based TriMedika introduced TRITEMP, a non-contact, medical-grade thermometer, available to healthcare professionals. As 80 per cent of hospital infections are spread through contact, the company’s solution is a medical-grade thermometer that was non-contact, but accurate and robust, and required no plastic covers which would reduce costs, infection risk and eliminate plastic waste.

According to Roy Neill, International Sales Manager, TriMedika, TRITEMP delivers greater efficiencies that will benefit patients by reducing infection spread, lowering costs and eliminating plastic waste in hospitals.

Neill told Omnia Health Insights: “TriMedika Ltd is ISO 13485 accredited for the design, development, manufacture and distribution of innovative medical devices to hospitals all over the world. Our mission to continue to invest in and develop our people and processes to make a world-class organisation that will make a difference to medical technology, bettering patient experience and eliminating plastic waste from our hospitals and environment.”

He added that TriMedika has increased its distributor network to now cover 21 countries worldwide.

“This means we can now provide all the features and benefits that the TRITEMP offers to a vastly increased customer base,” Neill said. “In the Republic of Ireland, the health service has purchased enough TRITEMPs to ensure that all the country’s acute care hospitals are fully equipped with the device.”

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At the upcoming ‘Northern Ireland: Providing innovative solutions to the world’s healthcare challenges’ webinar, TriMedika will shed light on how the TRITEMP non-contact IR thermometer can help to optimise infection control within the GCC, whilst at the same time providing accurate and reliable temperature measurements, and enabling healthcare systems to achieve cost savings, cut down on plastic waste and free up care time.

Neill shared: “Product development is always a focus for TriMedika and our first prototypes are already in early trials for our ‘connected’ thermometer, which will enable the transfer of the data into the patient electronic record. Connected health solutions will benefit not just hospitals, but people at home who’ll be able to monitor their conditions without the upheaval of going to hospitals.”

Join the webinar: Northern Ireland: Providing innovative solutions to the world’s healthcare challenges
Tuesday 9th February – 3PM GST

You can hear more from TriMedika at this webinar hosted by Invest Northern Ireland, the economic development agency for Northern Ireland, UK. With expertise across a range of specialisms, including respiratory products, diagnostics, medical devices, e-health and medtech, companies from Northern Ireland are enabling treatments that transform lives across the globe.

Register for free >>

How COVID-19 transformed healthcare recruitment

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One of the most consistent challenges of COVID-19 has been the shortage of healthcare workers. As healthcare facilities reach maximum capacity, hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare providers have experienced an urgent need for additional help and backup staff

Northern Ireland-based MPA Recruitment’s Director Mark Canning told Omnia Health Insights: “COVID-19 has brought a range of challenges, none less than the restrictions in the global mobility of candidates and borders closing to travellers. For the past number of years, MPA has been moving to digitalise many of our services and COVID-19 has forced many of us to embrace video technology as a core communication method. We have found there to be a much greater uptake in our video interview services with many organisations integrating this into their hiring process more readily than before.”

Staffing is one of the greatest challenges faced, he highlighted, and the gap between supply and demand is widening in some key skill sets. Some of these are Directors & Corporate Management staff, Consultants and Physicians, Nurses, OT’s, Physios and Therapists, Psychiatrists & Psychologists, L&D and Training Coordinators, Compliance, Quality, Legal and Finance, among others.

Established in 1997, MPA Recruitment has evolved into the leading healthcare recruitment provider in Northern Ireland and have partnered with businesses and candidates across the globe.

Canning elaborated: “We promote world-class recruitment practices internally and externally and our client and candidate relationships extend throughout Europe, the U.S., the Middle East and the Asia Pacific regions. MPA has won several leading industry awards and our commitment to providing an industry-leading service to our clients and candidates is at the heart of everything that we do. We were named in Recruiter magazine’s Fast 50 for a second consecutive year as well as being recognised as 1 of the 1,000 Companies ‘Inspiring Britain’ by the London Stock Exchange. At MPA, we work towards one common goal: world-class continuity of care for our clients and for their clients.”

At the upcoming ‘Northern Ireland: Providing innovative solutions to the world’s healthcare challenges’ webinar, MPA Recruitment will give an insight into how to use video interview technology to streamline hiring process and how organisations can position themselves as an employer of choice and market themselves appropriately, Canning added.

When asked about what some of the healthcare trends are to watch out for in 2021, he said: “The further digitalisation of processes across all areas of the sector, the increase in demand for key skill sets that are already in high demand with a restricted supply, and the recruitment process becoming a marketing exercise for organisations to promote themselves as an employer of choice in attracting the right talent.”

Join the webinar: Northern Ireland: Providing innovative solutions to the world’s healthcare challenges
Tuesday 9th February – 3PM GST

You can hear more from MPA Recruitment at this webinar hosted by Invest Northern Ireland, the economic development agency for Northern Ireland, UK. With expertise across a range of specialisms, including respiratory products, diagnostics, medical devices, e-health and medtech, companies from Northern Ireland are enabling treatments that transform lives across the globe.

Register for free >>

Sanitising surfaces key to combat COVID-19

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While it is believed that COVID-19 is spread primarily when a person with the virus coughs or sneezes close to someone healthy, there is a possibility that healthy people can contract the virus by touching contaminated surfaces.

But proper cleaning and disinfecting means using the right products. Also, sanitising surfaces is important as it works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces to lower the number of germs on surfaces or objects to safe levels. Northern Ireland’s MEDiZAR produces a range of alcohol-free sanitising and cleaning products, which use a unique Advanced Barrier Control formula that provides long-lasting protection and remains kind to the skin.

The company’s powerful, gentle and long-lasting sanitiser is certified to kill MRSA and E.Coli in 30 seconds and will kill 99.9999 per cent of harmful and deadly bacteria and viruses including C.Difficile, Listeria, Legionella.

In an interview with Omnia Health Insights, Jeffrey Prince, Managing Director, MEDiZAR, said: “Our company specialises in high-grade disinfecting and sanitising solutions for the Medical, Food Processing and Transport industries. Our mission to expand our worldwide network of distribution partners to maximise market penetration and sales.”

The company responded to the COVID-19 crisis by carrying out continued development and testing of the MEDiZAR formulation, including successful testing against COVID-19.

“Our clients are seeking a product which is proven against COVID-19. We were asked to develop new versions of our successful wet wipes product range,” he added. “Moreover, we are continuing to bring in-house as many functions as possible to reduce any supply chain or supplier risks as possible.”

At the upcoming ‘Northern Ireland: Providing innovative solutions to the world’s healthcare challenges’ webinar, Prince will be focusing on establishing good connections with primary established companies, to grow MEDiZAR’s distribution network, brand awareness and sales revenues.

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Jeffrey Prince

“Whilst we have several distributors in the Middle East, I believe sales could be much higher, given the very high quality and test certification we have for MEDiZAR. I am therefore very keen to augment the distributor network,” he concluded.

Join the webinar: Northern Ireland: Providing innovative solutions to the world’s healthcare challenges
Tuesday 9th February – 3PM GST

You can hear more from MEDiZAR at this webinar hosted by Invest Northern Ireland, the economic development agency for Northern Ireland, UK. With expertise across a range of specialisms, including respiratory products, diagnostics, medical devices, e-health and medtech, companies from Northern Ireland are enabling treatments that transform lives across the globe.

Register for free >>

AI assists in recovery of COVID-19 patients

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Today, many healthcare practices rely on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to address top-cited areas of improvement, including image quality and standardisation, workflow efficiency, and diagnostic support. As COVID-19 continues to ravage healthcare systems around the world, healthcare providers are employing AI as an important tool to combat the virus. The impact of AI in healthcare is far-reaching and is improving both the efficiency of institutions and the quality of patient care.

One company that is making a considerable impact in the AI sphere is Northern Ireland’s Liopa, reportedly the world's only start-up focused on AI-based lipreading technology. The company’s mission is to have its LipReading engine power a wide diversity of applications across multiple market segments including healthcare, cybersecurity and defence.

Liam McQuillan, CEO, Liopa, told Omnia Health Insights: “Liopa’s Healthcare product, SRAVI, provides a communications capability for patients who have lost the ability to speak. Patients who have been tracheostomised commonly have a severe speech impairment and are unable to communicate with their carer’s. The tracheostomy procedure is commonly used to wean ICU-based COVID-19 patients off ventilators and thus the numbers of COVID-19 patients with tracheostomies is increasing rapidly. These patients benefit from the use of SRAVI as it allows them to communicate with their clinicians and loved ones.”

The inability to communicate during an ICU stay is a major source of morbidity for patients, family and staff. Patients' non-verbal attempts to communicate are often difficult to understand for healthcare staff and family, which can delay the provision of care and support. “SRAVI provides effective communication for these patients and will reduce patient anxiety and stress levels, and improve patient engagement and cooperation with treatment,” he added.

Furthermore, Liopa has been interfacing mainly with Critical Care clinicians in the Acute NHS Trusts in the UK. NHS ICUs have been ‘digital’ for several years and EHR systems are now widely deployed – a wealth of patient information has been accrued. Machine Learning (ML) techniques are being applied to this data to create algorithms which, for example, can flag when a current patient could be discharged from ICU. This greatly improves efficiencies, especially at a time when ICU occupancy levels are extremely high.

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Liam McQuillan

At the upcoming ‘Northern Ireland: Providing innovative solutions to the world’s healthcare challenges’ webinar, Liopa will highlight its SRAVI product and the benefit it can deliver to patients. “We are keen to develop relationships with healthcare organisations and with partners who can represent Liopa and our technology in the GCC region,” concluded McQuillan.

Join the webinar: Northern Ireland: Providing innovative solutions to the world’s healthcare challenges
Tuesday 9th February – 3PM GST

You can hear more from Liopa at this webinar hosted by Invest Northern Ireland, the economic development agency for Northern Ireland, UK. With expertise across a range of specialisms, including respiratory products, diagnostics, medical devices, e-health and medtech, companies from Northern Ireland are enabling treatments that transform lives across the globe.

Register for free >>

Gold standard in rapid tests

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During the early days of the pandemic, Northern Ireland-based company CIGA was invited to become a Consortium Member of the UK RTC COVID-19 Antibody Test consortium by the UK Government to assist and create the first UK designed and made COVID-19 Antibody test.

Neill Armstrong, International Sales Director, CIGA, told Omnia Health Insights: “Being invited to become a Consortium Member was a tremendous honour for CIGA Healthcare. Our mission is to continue to provide top class service to our customers and to offer a continuous pipeline of new products that will push the Rapid Self testing diagnostics marketplace forward.”

The COVID-19 crisis did create several challenges to how CIGA Healthcare operates. However, in the midst of challenges, the firm saw an increase in the demand for its Suresign COVID-19 tests and other Suresign products such as blood pressure monitors and oximeters, which are used in the against COVID-19.

Armstrong said: “CIGA Healthcare has seen significant growth in sales during the pandemic. An example of this is that CIGA supplied the British Government and other Governments across the world with COVID-19 tests. The company is now working with many new partners across the world and we continue to seek new opportunities to grow CIGA Healthcare off the back of COVID-19.”

All CIGA Healthcare devices are manufactured under ISO 13485 quality management standards to ensure all its products are of the highest quality and standard. The company also provides continuous training to its partners to keep them updated about its latest products.

At the upcoming ‘Northern Ireland: Providing innovative solutions to the world’s healthcare challenges’ webinar, CIGA Healthcare will be focusing on how Rapid Self Testing Diagnostic tests can be used in the fight against COVID-19. “Added to this, we will be talking about new growth opportunities in Rapid Self Testing Diagnostics in the marketplace,” he added.

Armstrong concluded by sharing that CIGA Healthcare are about to launch an Over the Counter (OTC) Urinary Tract Infection test, along with a new OTC Ferritin Test and OTC Vitamin tests.

Join the webinar: Northern Ireland: Providing innovative solutions to the world’s healthcare challenges
Tuesday 9th February – 3PM GST

You can hear more from CIGA at this webinar hosted by Invest Northern Ireland, the economic development agency for Northern Ireland, UK. With expertise across a range of specialisms, including respiratory products, diagnostics, medical devices, e-health and medtech, companies from Northern Ireland are enabling treatments that transform lives across the globe.

Register for free >>

Rapid antigen tests to the rescue

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Since the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to those of other diseases, testing is the only way to know for sure if someone is infected. This is why Rapid Antigen Tests are a game-changer as they are designed to tell in a few minutes whether someone is infectious or not. This test detects protein fragments specific to the Coronavirus. It can be done in a clinic, doctor’s office, or hospital. The turnaround time for results is usually very quick, and, in some cases, results can be reported within 15 minutes.

Northern Ireland-based organisations have been quick to respond and have demonstrated the power of the region’s collaborative approach to addressing unprecedented healthcare challenges. This was demonstrated with one of the world’s first fully automated molecular diagnostic tests that can detect a SARS-CoV-2 infection in under 2.5 hours being developed in Northern Ireland.

One company that has developed several test kits to assist in the diagnosis of COVID-19 is Northern Ireland’s Biopanda Reagents. The company has worked closely with several European partners to assist in the validation of COVID-19 tests.

Philip McKee, Sales Manager, Biopanda Reagents, told Omnia Health Insights: “Biopanda Reagents’ mission statement is to provide innovative, high quality and cost-effective test reagents that offer the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy that customers require.


He explained that the Biopanda COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test is a qualitative lateral flow immunochromatographic assay for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigens in nasopharyngeal (nasal) and oropharyngeal (throat) swab specimens. It is intended for use as a tool to assist in the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infections, in conjunction with other tests.

On February 9, the company will be participating in the Northern Ireland: Providing innovative solutions to the world’s healthcare challengeswebinar that will highlight this innovative region's Life Sciences sector.

“At the webinar, I will be focusing on presenting our range of products and clinical tests, and highlighting our other ranges including veterinary and food safety tests,” said McKee. “I will share the success of our COVID-19 tests and the great feedback we have received from our customers. I will give an example of our customer in Bahrain.”

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Philip McKee

He concluded: “I think that laboratory medicine needs to be complemented with more point-of-care diagnostic technologies and screening methods, such as what our company can provide.”

Join the webinar: Northern Ireland: Providing innovative solutions to the world’s healthcare challenges
Tuesday 9th February – 3PM GST

You can hear more from Biopanda at this webinar hosted by Invest Northern Ireland, the economic development agency for Northern Ireland, UK. With expertise across a range of specialisms, including respiratory products, diagnostics, medical devices, e-health and medtech, companies from Northern Ireland are enabling treatments that transform lives across the globe.

Register for free >>

Patient Talk Podcast: How Northern Ireland is forging healthcare partnerships in the Middle East

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Despite having only 1.8 million people, small but nimble Northern Ireland punches well above its weight when it comes to innovation in healthcare, among other sectors.

Recently in the Middle East, for example, Northern Irish company Randox Laboratories was chosen by laboratory network Pure Health to screen airline passengers arriving in the UAE for COVID-19.

In this latest Patient Talk podcast, brought in partnership with Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI), Invest NI's Paul Toner explains to Omnia Health Insights staff what makes Northern Ireland uniquely special, from its resilience to its flourishing ecosystem that has allowed technology, IT, data analytics and medicine to combine to great effect.

 

Join the webinar: Northern Ireland: Providing innovative solutions to the world’s healthcare challenges
Tuesday 9th February – 3PM GST

You can hear more from Invest Northern Ireland, the economic development agency for Northern Ireland, UK, during this free webinar exploring the innovative region's Life Sciences sector. With expertise across a range of specialisms, including respiratory products, diagnostics, medical devices, e-health and medtech, companies from Northern Ireland are enabling treatments that transform lives across the globe.

Register for free >>

 

New strains of MRSA identified in the Gulf region

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MRSA strains are responsible for many difficult-to-treat bacterial infections in humans because they are resistant to several antibiotics. Therefore, infections caused by MRSA are associated with treatment failures resulting in complications, increased length of hospitalisation and, in severe cases, deaths as well as a high economic burden.

The prevalence of MRSA has been rising in recent years and currently, it is estimated that up to 35 per cent of Staphylococcus aureus infections in the UAE are due to MRSA.

A collaborative study with researchers from across the UAE has reported previously unknown MRSA strains in the Gulf region. The study, which was led and funded by Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) and published in Scientific Reports, is the first-of-its-kind in the UAE, and a collaboration with teams from Rashid Hospital, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai; Mediclinic City Hospital Dubai; Sheikh Khalifa General Hospital, Umm Al Quwain; and Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi; as well as the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology and the InfectoGnostics Research Campus in Jena Germany.

To address the lack of data from the UAE, genetic characterisation of MRSA identified between December 2017 and August 2019 was conducted using DNA microarray-based assays. The 625 MRSA isolates studied were grouped into 23 clonal complexes (CCs) and assigned to 103 strains.

Novel MRSA strains

The collaborative efforts produced several key findings, including the existence of an extensive collection of MRSA strains in the UAE and the emergence of MRSA strains not previously identified in the GCC, including rare and novel strains. The study also found that the genetic profile of MRSA indicates antibiotic misuse to be a contributory factor to the continuing evolution of MRSA.

The study also concluded that as some strains detected occur in other countries, a travel connection is possible. Others, which have not been described elsewhere, probably evolved within the region. The lack of documentation of travel history for the patients is a limitation of this study as such information would have been helpful in mapping the travel connections. However, in a population as diverse as the UAE, it should be noted that importation of a strain from abroad could have multiple sources and prior travel by the patient represents only one piece of the puzzle.

Healthcare drive sees Dubai Science Park attract leading global companies

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More than 400 companies and 4,000 professionals are based in Dubai Science Park today, after a global push to bolster healthcare systems served as a catalyst for biotechnology, pharmaceutical and life sciences leaders to join the business district.

Top global companies joined Dubai Science Park, the region’s leading science and healthcare-focused business district, last year as the importance of science, technology and medical innovation came to the fore. Many existing business partners also expanded their presence, opening new offices and innovation centres to develop new products as Dubai reinforced its position as an attractive destination for healthcare-focused companies.

New businesses at Dubai’s top science district include New York Stock Exchange-listed biotechnology multinational Biogen, which makes neurological disease treatments; Dubai-based DGrade, the first bottle-to-yarn manufacturing company to make clothes out of plastic waste; and Indian’s largest biopharmaceutical company, Biocon, which has a presence in more than 120 countries, employs over 12,000 staff, and develops medicine to treat diabetes, cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Dubai: A hub for scientific talent

In addition to a raft of new companies, existing business partners including Germany’s life sciences leader Bayer expanded its presence by opening a new regional headquarters in Dubai Science Park. Bayer’s office design incorporates new ways of working founded on what it dubs an ‘activity-based-work set-up’. This underlying conceptual approach aims to set new benchmarks in workplace organisation, productivity, efficiency, and wellbeing.

In addition to many local and regional players, more than 60 leading global biotechnology, healthcare, life sciences, pharmaceutical and light manufacturing companies established a presence in Dubai Science Park last year, increasing the total number of business partners to more than 400.

Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Managing Director of Dubai Science Park, said: “The remarkable international response to this extraordinarily challenging year has reminded all of us that science matters. It took less than a year to vaccinate the first person after the virus’ genetic sequence was made public, and this will go down as a historic moment for pharmaceutical innovation. In Dubai Science Park, our business partners have been at the heart of the region’s response to the pandemic, providing cutting-edge testing and disinfection services. We have continued to take great strides forward in our scientific achievements and I am delighted to be home to more than 400 leading companies and 4,000 professionals.”

He added: “With a renewed sense of hope as the region shifts its focus to growth, scientific innovation will play an increasingly critical role in the UAE’s knowledge-based economy. By providing a business-friendly environment with state-of-the-art infrastructure, sustainable laboratories, light industrial units and favourable rules and regulations, we have created a holistic ecosystem to support start-ups, entrepreneurs and multinational corporations operating across the sciences, environmental and energy sectors. Inspired by the UAE’s visionary leadership, we are optimistic this year.”

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Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi

Boosting the UAE’s response and recovery

Established in 2005, Dubai Science Park is a vibrant business district home to leading local and international institutions including the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention, Pfizer, Medtronic, Olympus and Mettler Toledo.

Many of these companies played a critical role in the UAE’s efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, with companies such as Alliance Global supplying hundreds of thousands of PCR test kits across Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.

As part of its commitment to supporting the community last year, Dubai Science Park continued to host a regular series of panel discussions and talks on topics ranging from mental health and well-being to clinical research and COVID-19.

All you need to know about mRNA vaccines

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe? What are the side effects? Should I go and get myself vaccinated? In an interview with Omnia Health Insights, Robert Swanda, PhD Candidate in Biochemistry at Cornell University, whose video on how Coronavirus vaccines work has been viewed by over 4 million people, discusses all you need to know about the vaccine.

Watch the video to hear more, or scroll down to read excerpts of the interview.

 

What are the differences between the vaccines currently being tested?

Right now, there are two main vaccines that are in the mRNA category, one made by the Pfizer and Biotech collaboration, and the other made by the company Moderna. Both of them use mRNA technology to give our bodies some instructions. Our bodies use those instructions to then make one of the proteins found in the virus. And the virus is composed of 29 proteins, so we're only making one of them. We're able to recognise that this protein is different in our body and that elicits an immune response. And then we have immunity in case we see that protein in the future, that protein would be associated with the virus; we can fight it off and then not get sick. Now you can think of this like you're getting a recipe from one of your friends. So, they're not just going to give you the food, they're going to give you the recipe, instead, you have to use your own ingredients, make the food and then you're going to remember how to make it in the future.

The other vaccine that is being developed is through the Oxford and AstraZeneca collaboration. And this is the viral vector vaccine. This works a little bit differently but has the same concept. So instead of using mRNA, they turned it into DNA. And this DNA is actually much more stable. That's why this vaccine is able to be at room temperature, and it can handle longer storage and more transportation. What they've done is they turn it into DNA, and then they put that inside a weakened form of adenovirus. This virus that they picked typically infects chimpanzees. They didn't choose a human adenovirus, because we might already have antibodies against other forms of adenoviruses. So, the vaccine wouldn't really have much of an effect. If they gave it to us, our immune system could destroy it before we build that immunity. So instead, they use this chimpanzee adenovirus; they removed the genetic material that allows it to make us sick, that allows it to even divide inside of our bodies. It's really like you're taking the jacket off of somebody else and putting it on a different person. They're really just using that adenovirus as a way to infect ourselves, give us that DNA, and then our bodies will turn the DNA to RNA, and then RNA to protein, again, only for that spike protein – one of the 29.

How safe are mRNA vaccines?

My current research is designing mRNA’s to actually target cancer cells. I am super excited to see that this is being developed now, in order to potentially save us from this pandemic. The mRNA is being used for a variety of different conditions and are very safe. The reason I say this is because mRNA doesn't last a long time. So, we're used to getting a lot of drugs to treat different conditions and these drugs could have side effects. Those side effects are often because the drugs stay in our bodies for months. And the mRNA actually doesn't even last more than a couple days, it will be quickly degraded by our bodies because of its instability. And your body actually degrades mRNA because it knows how to make more. So, it turns your own DNA into RNA. So, then it will destroy the RNA. And then it thinks, well, I don't need to keep this around, because I know how to make more. But the vaccines work by just giving you the RNA, so then you don't know, you don't need to continue to make more of it. You just get that one little dose, it's gone. And then it's almost like you've never had it before, except the memory in your immune system that now remembers to fight it off.

Can we trust vaccines that have been developed so quickly?

Typically, these companies are used to competing with each other and not sharing ideas so the movement can be a little bit slower. However, in this case, all of these companies and universities across the world have been collaborating, so that they can pull us out of the pandemic. The fact that they were able to do it so quickly is really just a testament of how well they were able to work together, and then use information that had been developed over two decades. These mRNA vaccines have gone through other clinical trials for influenza for Ebola, so they were able to use some of that information and figure out what didn't work there that we can change and make it work here.

Are there any side effects associated with the mRNA vaccine?

Getting any type of vaccine will elicit some type of short term, inflammatory response. Anytime you get a vaccine, you usually get it in your arm or in the upper leg, and you usually experience a little bit of soreness because you are getting poked with a needle. You might also have some redness in the area and a little bit of swelling. That's all just common for the inflammation to take place. This means that your body is beginning to make this immune response. So that's actually a good thing. Some people have said that they've had some side effects, such as some headache, or not feeling very well for the first 12 to 24 hours. In the clinical trials, some of these symptoms were listed, but nobody had anything long term where they weren't feeling back to themselves. So, there are a few side effects to take into account that you might not be your same self the next day or even that day. But right afterwards, you'll be back to normal, and then you'll have that immunity.

How long does immunity last?

Unfortunately, the clinical trials that were done for these vaccines were quick. So, the amount of time for the length of immunity hasn't been studied more than around eight months. We know that the people who received this vaccine during clinical trials since May still have the immunity now. So that's good and shows that this immunity is lasting. It is also important to note that individuals need to receive both doses.