The First Human Trials For A COVID-19 Vaccine Are Here, But What Does It All Mean?

And they're starting in Australia.

The fight against COVID-19 has reached a new milestone with the first human trials of a vaccine in the Southern Hemisphere beginning today.

According to multiple reports, the drug – developed by a US biotech company called Novavax – will be trialed on a sample of 130 volunteers aged 18-59 at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital.

Stanley C. Erck, the CEO and president of Novavax, said in a statement, “administering our vaccine in the first participants of this clinical trial is a significant achievement, bringing us one step closer toward addressing the fundamental need for a vaccine in the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic.”

With hopes for results as early as July, it’s a massive achievement. But what does the vaccine do, and what will it mean for members of the community?

According to Forbes, Novavax is developing a ‘subunit’ vaccine – “which sends copies of the virus’s spike protein directly into the body to stimulate an immune response.” Apparently, it’s an established technology that’s already used against diseases like HPV, Hepatitis B and shingles.

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Novavax isn’t the only biotech company racing for a COVID-19 vaccine. Forbes reports that Moderna and BioNTech (in partnership with Pfizer) have also begun trials but both companies are developing mRNA vaccines, “a new type of vaccine that’s still unproven.” 

The Australian Financial Review states that Novavax began development on their drug in January this year. While they made “30 different constructs” of it, the final trial drug was selected for its “stability, immunogenicity, and because it can be scaled up in a big way. “

Forbes adds that “if the results are positive, the company says it will immediately move into the next phase of testing at sites around the world.”

The human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine is a huge breakthrough for those working tirelessly at the forefront of this deadly virus. Here’s hoping it’s a success.

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Now Elle Macpherson Is Flogging The Same Device That Got Pete Evans Fined

What a treat.

Just when you thought celebrity chef Pete Evans’ COVID-19 controversy had hit boiling point, Elle Macpherson has jumped on the BioCharger bandwagon.

Late last week the Australian model shared on her Instagram story that she’d been using the BioCharger NG Subtle Energy Platform. In case you missed it, that’s the same device that Pete Evans was fined $25,500 for promoting back in April. 

In a series of posts, Macpherson wrote “for the last two months I’ve been using this machine and loving it.” She then explained that “the BioCharger is a subtle-energy revitalisation program, producing four naturally occurring energy types to assist the body to achieve optimal cellular function.”

Credit: @ellemacphersonofficial

Macpherson’s post didn’t go down well with Pete Evans, who pointed out that she and other public figures including surfer John John Florence and Tony Robbins use the BioCharger but he’d copped the fine.

“I was fined $25000 dollars for mentioning this machine on a FB feed and didn’t mention it as a cure to anything. Just to be clear. This is not a medical device. I find this life so fascinating…” he wrote.

While Evans claimed he didn’t promote the BioCharger “as a cure to anything,” he did say during the video, posted in April, that “it’s programmed with a thousand different recipes and there’s a couple in there for the Wuhan coronavirus.”

Sadly, it’s not the first time Evans has flogged seriously harmful medical advice and attracted support from his famous pals. After the chef was fined last month, Home and Away actress Isabel Lucas ran to his defence and posted that “freedom of choice is every humans right.”

Lucas also said she didn’t “trust the path of vaccination,” and has dedicated a whole highlight on her Instagram to the conspiracy theory that 5G is to blame for COVID-19.

Credit: @isabellucas

All the controversy surrounding Pete Evans and his outlandish claims got so bad, the celebrity chef was even axed from his TV gig on My Kitchen Rules. 

Speaking of crazy COVID-19 claims, hear about the latest BS floating around below:

In Elle Macpherson’s defence, she hasn’t made the same kind of claims about the BioCharger and COVID-19, but she is using her public platform to promote the very device that got Pete Evans fined.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

Those Wild Timothée Chalamet Chlamydia Rumours Just Won't Die

And they're actually pretty harmful.

Ahh, the celebrity rumour mill. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, it keeps chugging away and sometimes it even resurfaces an old rumour to really mess with us – like this absolutely bonkers yarn about Timothée Chalamet spreading chlamydia around the NYU campus.

In 2015, Chalamet was reportedly enrolled at New York University. Just one year later, the actor allegedly dropped out, but the rumours about his time there continued to live on. According to Distractify, whispers about Chalamet having a sexually transmitted disease started swirling in 2018 and for some reason they’ve recently resurfaced on social media.

Just this week, one Twitter user posted “everybody knows somebody, who knows somebody who got chlamydia from Timothée Chalamet.” While another joked, “if you say ‘chlamydia’ three times in French, Timothée Chalamet appears.”

A few things to note here. Firstly, the rumour of Chalamet’s alleged STI has never been confirmed – so why does it continue to pop up so often?

Secondly, even if Chalamet did have chlamydia, it’s incredibly harmful to shame him for it. The negative stigma associated with sexually transmitted infections has become a huge barrier to people getting tested.

In fact, a 2017 study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health found that participants were “worried about their reputation if they were seen going for a test.” 

Speaking of the stigma associated with STIs, here’s everything you need to know about herpes:

As The Conversation so accurately put it, “normalising these infections by talking about them more openly with friends and family, as well as highlighting the importance of testing as part of general healthcare is a step towards overcoming these barriers.” 

Here’s hoping Timothée Chalamet doesn’t have chlamydia and didn’t spread it around the NYU campus – but if he does, or if anyone does for that matter, there is nothing to be ashamed about.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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