What is Antidote COVID-19?
Antidote COVID-19 is an addictive tower defence game, where the player helps the human immune system fight off bacteria and viruses, including the dreaded SARS-CoV-2, the culprit behind the COVID-19 pandemic. Antidote COVID-19 is not only a fun game to play but also a brilliant way to learn more about the immune system, pathogens and how to stay safe from COVID-19.
Freshly recruited into Antidote Laboratories just before the pandemic, the player joins the global effort to halt COVID-19 and develop more and better vaccines. Based on real events, this adventure takes you to the frontlines of medical science.
- Easy to get started and easy to learn!
- Colorful and attractive world!
- Fun and cutesy characters, vile and vicious villains!
- The game is entertainment, but the science is real!
- Virus detected! But that’s what we’re here for…
Psyon Games, the outfit behind Antidote, has joined forces with the World Health Organization (WHO), Unicef Finland and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance! Other prominent parties in the games industry and health services have also joined in!
The Antidote COVID-19 won’t cure anyone. However, a fun game is just what you need for the dreary lockdowns and quarantines. And real knowledge is always the best cure for fear, fake news and wild rumors!
COVID-19 and the Coronavirus
COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. It usually manifests as a severe respiratory inflammation. COVID-19 can also damage organs and inflict long-term after-effects. For some, the illness has been fatal.
COVID-19 was identified in December 2019. By February 2020 it had spread to all continents and became a pandemic - a worldwide epidemic. To slow its spread, there have been travel bans, hygiene instructions, quarantines and closures of public and commercial spaces.
The struggle against the coronavirus continues. New waves and variants of the CoV-2 virus have claimed more lives. At the same time, great strides have been made in vaccine research. Many countries have already begun public vaccinations against COVID-19.
How to keep safe from COVID-19
- Keep your distance! Stay at least 1 metre away from others, also indoors. In fact, the further away you are, the better!
- Wear a mask around other people!
- Wash your hands before handling your mask
- Make sure it covers your mouth, nose and chin.
- Wash or exchange your mask daily.
- Used medical masks go into the bin, not on the ground!
- Meet outside! Avoid closed or crowded spaces, or wherever close contact is likely.
- Wash your hands! Use soap or hand sanitizer and rub vigorously.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth!
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue, or your bent elbow! Dispose the issue into a closed bin and wash your hands afterwards.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces! This includes but is not limited to door handles, faucets and phone touch screens.
- When in doubt, wash your hands! You can’t go wrong there.
- Know the symptoms! The most common signs of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Other symptoms include loss of taste or smell, aches and pains, headache, sore throat, nasal congestion, red eyes, diarrhoea, or a skin rash.
- Stay at home! Self-isolate, have someone deliver your supplies and wear a mask!
- If you have a fever, cough and short breath, seek medical attention! Follow the instructions of your local health authorities.
- Stay informed! Use only trusted sources, such as WHO or your local and national health authorities.
How to keep safe from COVID-19
COVID-19 vaccines protect the recipient from the onset of severe illness and death caused by COVID-19. It does not help if the recipient is already ill because the vaccine typically requires up to two weeks after the last dose to provide protection. COVID-19 vaccines are usually injections into the muscle. The vaccine contains a small, harmless part of the CoV-2 virus (usually a protein) from the outer shell, or its corresponding RNA protein). None of the COVID-19 vaccines approved by WHO can make you sick with COVID-19 itself. When the immune system learns to recognize that part of the virus, our immune system uses different tools to fight it, and the recipient gains immunity.
The WHO recommends that healthcare professionals are prioritised for vaccination with the most vulnerable patients to follow. WHO supports achieving 'herd immunity' through vaccination, not by allowing a disease to spread through population, as this would result in unnecessary cases and deaths. No-one is safe until everyone is safe.
UNICEF and vaccines
Global COVAX Facility seeks to ensure that coronavirus vaccines are also available to the poorest countries. This is the largest and fastest vaccination program in history. UNICEF leads the procurement and delivery of vaccines to over 80 countries. It supports vaccination efforts in other ways in 190 countries. The goal for 2021 is to vaccinate 20% of the population in the target countries.
UNICEF is UN’s organization for children and operates entirely through donations. UNICEF has a lot of experience with vaccinations since it vaccinates almost half of the world’s children. However, this is the first time that the organization is helping to vaccinate such a large number of adults. No one is safe until all are safe, so getting the vaccines into each and every country is crucial.
In addition to vaccines, UNICEF is helping the target countries to plan their vaccination strategies and delivers vaccination supplies, such as needles, protective gear and the refrigerators needed to store and transport the vaccines.
UNICEF Finland aims to increase awareness about corona and vaccination. These objectives UNICEF Finland wants to promote also in Antidote COVID-19 campaign pilot in Finland. UNICEF does not endorse any company, brand, product or service.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
In the context of this unprecedented pandemic, one key lesson that we have learned is that no one is safe until everyone is safe, because infectious diseases do not respect borders. Unfortunately, we have seen in this pandemic, that social media and digital platforms are vectors in the spread of vaccine misinformation which is why Antidote COVID-19 and our partnership with Psyon Games is important for the dissemination of science-based content that we hope will encourage behaviour change within the gaming industry.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunise over 822 million children and prevented more than 14 million deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 lower-income countries.
Gavi is a co-convener of COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, together with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO). In this role, Gavi leads on procurement and delivery at scale for COVAX: designing and managing the COVAX Facility and the Gavi COVAX AMC and working with its traditional Alliance partners UNICEF and WHO, along with governments, on country readiness and delivery. It also coordinates design, operationalisation and fundraising for the Gavi COVAX AMC, the mechanism that provides access to donor-funded doses of vaccine to 92 lower-income economies. COVAX is the only global multilateral initiative to provide vaccines to the most at-risk populations everywhere in the world.
Meet your defense!
Stem CellStem Cells are undifferentiated cells that can mature into specific types, such as blood cells, leukocytes or bone cells. All multicellular life grows from stem cells. Adult humans store stem cells in their bone marrow and reproductive organs.
MonocyteMonocytes engulf foreign particles, organic and otherwise. If the victim was a pathogen, they present pieces of it to T-cells for analysis. This enables faster recognition and antibody production against that specific pathogen. Monocytes eventually mature into macrophages.
M1 MacrophageMacrophages (lit. “large eaters”) move freely within the body and engulf everything not identified by their surface proteins. Engulfed objects are dissolved with acid. Just like monocytes, macrophages can also present pieces of consumed microbes to T Cells and trigger other immune system mechanisms.
M2 MacrophageM2 macrophages suppress immune responses with signaling proteins (cytokines). This reduces inflammatory symptoms, helps the body heal from damage and prevents mothers’ immune system from attacking the embryo. M2 macrophages were discovered only recently and there is still much to learn.
Myeloid Dendritic CellMyeloid Dendritic Cells inspect unrecognized particles and proteins. Their findings are presented to other white cells for recognition and antibody production. Certain types of dendritic cells can also send out signaling proteins to alert macrophages to the scene.
LymphocyteLymphocytes use antigen receptors to detect and identify foreign microbes. They will then trigger a number of defensive reactions and start producing antibodies against the threat. There are many different types of lymphocytes. Some of them have earned their own entries in this encyclopedia.
B CellOnce activated, most B Cells produce antibodies. These stick to the target, disabling it and making it easier to attack for other cells. Some B Cells turn into long-lived memory cells. If this pathogen is ever encountered again, memory cells activate and the immune system responds very quickly.
T Helper CellT Helper Cells identify potential threats from antigens presented by other cells (typically dendritic cells presenting proteins from captured microbes). Then they activate other defences against it. Although they do not attack anything directly, T Helper Cells are a vital link in the immune system.
Natural Killer CellNatural Killer Cells recognize cells infected by viruses or cancers. Then they release cytotoxins to induce cell death and signal proteins telling macrophages to clear the mess. This is very effective in countering viruses, since they depend on infected cells for reproduction. Natural Killer Cells can recognize compromised cells even when they do not display signs of distress. The exact mechanism for this is unknown.
MyeloblastMyeloblasts are early-stage leukocytes that have not yet matured into their specific types. They reside in the bone marrow and will eventually become neutrophils, eosinophils or basophils.
EosinophilEosinophils mostly counter allergies and parasitic infestations. When activated, they release a powerful cocktail of proteins. These range from cytotoxines (cell-killing poisons) to growth stimulants for faster healing.
BasophilBasophils produce a variety of enzymes and compounds controlling swelling, blood clotting and the behaviour of other defending cells. Basophils also play an important role in allergic reactions and fighting off parasites.
NeutrophilHalf of all immune defence cells are neutrophils. They can enter any part of the body, reacting quickly to signaling proteins. Upon encountering hostile microbes, they can devour them, trap them in filaments or release cytotoxins to kill them. They are active, aggressive and short-lived.
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