Static lines of jumpers had exited C-47s and C-130s all day. This group was different. Standing in the drop zone shooting all morning, the USAF Combat Controllers had seen me running back and forth as jumpers came in, landed, packed and left. In a pause between airplanes, one Controller said to me, “Watch – these guys will be different.”
Having tuberculosis can be imprisoning in so many ways. The symptoms. The stigma. The endless stream of medicines. The isolation from family and friends, work and school. The sheer duration of treatment. It’s a brutal disease that measures its awful toll in months and years.
What does a car wash have to do with TB vaccines? Effective, genuine community engagement is key to the success of any clinical trial. And that is certainly true for TB vaccines, where we work with some surprising stakeholders to make progress.
On the front lines of tuberculosis, healthcare workers have varying degrees of personal protective equipment. Around the world, N95 respirators (masks) are becoming more common amongst staff, but still not nearly ubiquitous.