The Irish Investigator Luke O’Neill he is an eminence in the field of immunology. At 56 years old, and with several books published, teaches at the School of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity College Dublin, and its main focus of study is innate immunity and inflammation. Speaker at various TEDx talks, in 2016 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, an honorary title that highlights scientists at the London Royal Society for the Advancement of Natural Science, and shares a weekly science slot with journalist and broadcaster Pat Kenny on the Irish radio network Newstalk.
A few days ago, a video broadcast by the station went viral. There, the specialist commented that humanity is taking the first tentative steps towards the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, based on the retraction in the rate of infections and mortality in recent weeks. According to his forecast, the next nine months will be key.
From the Irish capital, O’Neill spoke exclusively with Infobae. “We are not yet near the end of the pandemic, but we’ve definitely turned a corner and we can see a way out“, He shared, confident in the” remarkable efficacy “, such were his words, which show the vaccines developed.
Knowing how long it takes to return to pre-pandemic life is a question that reveals more than one. “Things will come back slowly, but it will be a few months before we can meet again in large crowds or see widespread international travel, “he says.
On this last point, the scientist, who was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy (MRIA) in 2004 and the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) in 2005, foresees that massive international tourism may return very slowly. “Perhaps initially among ‘green’ countries, those nations with similar vaccination levels and case rates“, considers.
In the viralized video, O’Neill urged that developed countries that have surpluses in the number of doses of vaccines per inhabitant give these inoculants to the rest of the nations to speed up their vaccination campaigns and achieve herd immunity as soon as possible. possible. In this regard, he highlighted that Canada, for example, has a supply of nine vaccines per person; The United States, with seven; United Kingdom, six; and the European Union, five.
“If we don’t provide vaccines to the developing world, the risk of infections reappearing is there. That could lead to more blockages, especially if there are variants that escape vaccines or lead to reinfection.O’Neill added.
Another elementary issue when planning the next few months, says the scientist, is take care of your diet and have a balanced diet, key to strengthening the immune system.
“Those over 50 should take a vitamin D supplement and make sure they have normal iron levels. But overall, a healthy balanced diet, good sleep, exercise, and limiting stress will really help your immune system do its job, protecting him from infections or allowing the vaccine he takes to work really well, “he said in dialogue with this medium.
After almost a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus pandemic, which has already claimed more than 2.4 million lives and exceeded 111 million infections, according to the latest data available from Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, it is possible to inquire about what lessons will this health emergency that impacted the world have left behind. “The fact of being prepared for the next pandemic, as happened with the countries that had gone through SARS and that were able to count on tests and tracking as soon as possible; the use of chinstraps will also be key, “he said.
O’Neill was educated at Trinity College Dublin, where he obtained a Bachelor of Natural Sciences (Biochemistry) in 1985. He completed his postgraduate studies at the University of London, where he obtained a PhD in Pharmacology in 1988. Following his PhD, He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Strangeways Research Laboratory in Cambridge, funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC).
In 2018, he published Humanology: A Scientist’s Guide to our Amazing Existence with the Gill editors. In 2019, he published a children’s science book, The Great Irish Science Book with Gill. Throughout 2020, he wrote extensively for the Irish Sunday Independent newspaper about the COVID-19 pandemic.
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