Daily Archives: December 10, 2020

Disease and Empire: The Health of European Troops in the Conquest of Africa: Philip D. Curtin

From 1815 to 1914, death rates of European soldiers, serving both at home and abroad, dropped by nearly ninety percent. But this drop applied mainly to soldiers in barracks. Soldiers on campaign, especially in the tropics, continued to die from disease at rates as high as ever. This book examines the practice of military medicine during the conquest of Africa, especially in the 1880s and 1890s. Curtin examines what was done, what was not done, and the impact of doctors’ successes and failures on the willingness of Europeans to embark on imperial adventures.

Reviews

“Military historians and historians of Africa will not think the same way about African conquest after reading this work.” Journal of Interdisciplinary History

“Well researched and well argued….” Choice

“…Curtin has given historians of Africa, European expansion, medical science, and the military much to ponder and pursue.” Joseph P. Smaldone, Journal of Military History

“…clearly and persuasively written.” The International History Review

“The success of the book derives from Curtin’s ability to choose and analyze in depth, representative episodes that cover the scope of this tumultuous century of Europe’s relationship with Africa.” William H. Schneider, American Historical Review

“In this slender volume we learn much about the medical side effects on Europeans of warmaking, the distribution of typhoid and malaria, the public’s information about disease etiology, and the surprising role played by water in all of these.” African Studies Review

“The author’s uncommon skills for nuanced narrative, statistical analysis, and for explaining the causes of major historical events have been employed effectively to produce an outstanding study.” Toyin Falola, The Historian

  • Hardcover : 290 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0521591694
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0521591690
  • Dimensions : 6 x 0.81 x 9 inches
  • Publisher : Cambridge University Press; 1st edition (May 28, 1998)

OXFORD UNIVERSITY BREAKTHROUGH ON GLOBAL COVID-19 VACCINE | Oxford Alumni

The University of Oxford, in collaboration with AstraZeneca plc, today announces interim trial data from its Phase III trials that show its candidate vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-2019, is effective at preventing COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and offers a high level of protection.

Published: 23 November, 2020

Our vaccine work is progressing quickly. To ensure you have the latest information or to find out more about the trial, please visit the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine web hub or visit the COVID-19 trial website.

  • Phase 3 interim analysis including 131 Covid-19 cases indicates that the vaccine is 70.4% effective when combining data from two dosing regimens
  • In the two different dose regimens vaccine efficacy was 90% in one and 62% in the other
  • Higher efficacy regimen used a halved first dose and standard second dose
  • Early indication that vaccine could reduce virus transmission from an observed reduction in asymptomatic infections
  • There were no hospitalised or severe cases in anyone who received the vaccine
  • Large safety database from over 24,000 volunteers from clinical trials in the UK, Brazil and South Africa, with follow up since April
  • Crucially, vaccine can be easily administered in existing healthcare systems, stored at ‘fridge temperature’ (2-8 °C) and distributed using existing logistics
  • Large scale manufacturing ongoing in over 10 countries to support equitable global access

Professor Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial, said:

‘These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives. Excitingly, we’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90% effective and if this dosing regimen is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply. Today’s announcement is only possible thanks to the many volunteers in our trial, and the hard working and talented team of researchers based around the world.’

Professor Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford, said:

‘The announcement today takes us another step closer to the time when we can use vaccines to bring an end to the devastation caused by SARS-CoV-2. We will continue to work to provide the detailed information to regulators. It has been a privilege to be part of this multi-national effort which will reap benefits for the whole world.’

Following the trial reaching the target for interim analysis, the independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) recommended that the team at Oxford conduct its first analysis on all the cases with data locked on 4 November 2020.

These preliminary data indicate that the vaccine is 70.4% effective, with tests on two different dose regimens showing that the vaccine was 90% effective if administered at a half dose and then at a full dose, or 62% effective if administered in two full doses.

Additional cases are expected to accrue by the time of the final analysis and future analyses will determine the duration of protection. No serious safety events related to the vaccine have been identified.

Oxford will now support AstraZeneca in submitting both the interim Phase III efficacy data and the extensive safety data to all regulators across the world, including in the UK, Europe and Brazil for independent scrutiny and product approval, including for emergency use. Many of these regulators have been reviewing the trial data on a rolling basis during the trial.

In parallel, Oxford is submitting the full analysis of the Phase III interim data for independent scientific peer review and publication. The coordination of the programme and execution of the trials in the UK would not have been possible without the support of the National Institute for Health Research and UKRI.

These data also suggest that this half dose and full dose regimen could help to prevent transmission of the virus, evidenced by lower rates of asymptomatic infection in the vaccinees, with further information to become available when trial data are next evaluated.

The interim Phase III data builds on Oxford’s phase I/II peer-reviewed trial results which have shown that the vaccine induces strong antibody and T cell immune responses across all age groups, including older adults, and has a good safety profile.

The clinical trials, enrolling over 24,000 participants from diverse racial and geographical groups in the UK, Brazil and South Africa, will now continue to final analysis. Further trials are being conducted in the United States, Kenya, Japan and India and the trial team expect to have under 60,000 participants by the end of the year. These trials will provide regulators with further information about the efficacy and safety of the Oxford candidate vaccine, including its ability to both protect against and stop the transmission of COVID-19.

The Oxford vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) is made from a virus, which is a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus), that has been genetically changed so that it is impossible for it to grow in humans.

Adenovirus vaccines have been researched and used extensively for decades and have the significant benefit that they are stable, easily manufactured, transported and stored at domestic fridge temperature (2-8 degrees C). This means they can be easily distributed using existing medical facilities such as doctor’s surgeries and local pharmacies, allowing for the vaccine, if approved, to be deployed very rapidly.

…(read more).