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Nobel prize-winning immunologist Peter Doherty's take on fighting COVID-19
Updated: 2020-05-26 05:25:03 KST
Today we connect with a world-renowned immunologist, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine in 1996.
An Australian immunologist and professor at the University of Melbourne, Peter C. Doherty's Nobel Prize-winning research revealed how our immune system recognizes virally infected cells.
And his institute, the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity was the first outside China to sequence the COVID-19 genome, grow the virus, and share its research internationally.
We ask Dr. Doherty today about the global response to COVID-19 and his take on how we can best fight the virus and end this pandemic.
Thank you for joining us today

What has surprised you about COVID-19 compared to other epidemics you've observed in your time?

What do you think about countries reopening despite not entirely flattening the curve?

Sweden has been claiming relative success with its herd immunity experiment. But it's among the 10 countries with the highest numbers of deaths per capita. Is herd immunity advisable and can it protect people against a possibly more deadly second wave of COVID-19?

Countries like South Korea and Australia managed to greatly contain and lower community infection cases. But does that mean we are more vulnerable to a second wave, as the majority of us have no immunity to the virus?

How would you advise South Korea or Australia to ride out a potential second wave?

The question on everyone's lips: When do you think a vaccine will be available?

The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity has been collaborating with the University of Queensland on a vaccine candidate. Your institute was actually the first outside China to sequence the COVID-19 genome, grow the virus, and share your research internationally. How were you able to respond so quickly and how is your vaccine candidate coming along?

What are some of the unique challenges of developing a vaccine for COVID-19?

You've also emphasized the importance of developing drug treatments as well as vaccines. What is more urgent at this point?

In the meantime, what's the best way to keep our immune systems strong and ensure they don't fail us if or when a second wave strikes?

Responses from the world's most powerful leaders were muddled, to say the least, and a lack of leadership has unnecessarily compromised many people and healthcare workers. What danger does this pose to public health?

Do you have any words of advice or warning for leaders or governments that are politicizing the pandemic?

We'll have to let you go now. Thank you for your insights and for taking the time to share these crucial facts with people around the world.
Peter C. Doherty, Immunologist and Professor at the University of Melbourne and Nobel Laureate of Physiology or Medicine.
Thank you for joining us.
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