For more than a year, most of the world has been outmatched by Covid. Now we have a powerful tool that’s the only way out of the pandemic: vaccines.
Covid vaccines were a true breakthrough, the result of dazzling scientific progress, substantial investment, and some plain old good luck. The vaccines are safe and more effective than many public health professionals dared to hope early in the pandemic. Covid vaccines were ready quickly, but they weren’t rushed — no corners were cut on safety in the development of these vaccines. …
After receiving a Covid-19 vaccine, many people may experience minor adverse effects such as fatigue or headaches, which generally last around 24 to 48 hours. These reactions can be a sign that the immune system is working and responding to the vaccine. But what does this say about (or to) people who do not experience any side effects? Does an absence of adverse effects mean the vaccine did not work?
Because adverse reactions to the vaccine are more likely to be reported, some people who have not experienced side effects may be worried that they are not as protected as…
How an infectious disease spreads from one person to another is a question so vital that if we get it wrong, we will fail to control its spread and may even make it worse than it has to be.
During the 19th century in London, people believed that miasma (‘bad air’) spread cholera, a diarrheal bacterial disease. So, stinky sewers were dumped into the Thames River, a major source of drinking water. This move ended up killing far more people, as in fact cholera spreads via contaminated food and water.
We have made similar mistakes with measles and tuberculosis, which…
The first wave of the coronavirus hit Brazil’s Amazonas state very hard. So many people got sick in the capital Manaus that researchers estimated 70% or more of the population had immunity by fall 2020. This level of population immunity is in the ballpark of what would be needed for herd immunity, and people in Manaus began to feel that their previous ordeal meant that they would not face another surge in infection and death.
Almost 150 million doses of Covid vaccine have been administered in the United States. Most adults are now at least partially vaccinated, and more and more people are choosing to get vaccinated every day. But some people may be wondering if their second shot is necessary. The answer is yes.
If you got one dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna), don’t skip the second dose. Without it, your vaccine-induced protection won’t be as strong or long-lasting. The second dose greatly reinforces the protection your immune system started building after the first shot.
Just in time for summer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced game-changing news. The FDA expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer messenger RNA Covid-19 vaccine for kids ages 12–15 years old.
The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine met the FDA’s safety and efficacy criteria to expand the emergency use authorization. Until now, the Pfizer vaccine was approved for use in people 16 years and older.
Pfizer previously announced in a press release highly encouraging results from their phase 3 clinical trial. The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine was 100% effective and generated a high antibody response in children ages 12–15.
In 1960, Thomas Francis Jr., MD, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan who was the first to isolate the influenza virus in the U.S., published a paper titled “On the Doctrine of Original Antigenic Sin” in the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society that is pertinent to our understanding of immunological memory to this day.
A surprisingly large portion of patients who have suffered from Covid-19 continue to experience concerning symptoms and complications months after their initial infection. Increasingly, this prolonged battle is becoming known as long Covid, and those who suffer from it have been dubbed long haulers. Covid-19 differs from most other respiratory viruses in the sense that a lingering version exists, and scientists are working to better understand this emerging condition.
A manuscript from a recent study accepted for publication in the journal Nature was published online April 22. This report, authored by epidemiologists Ziyad Al-Aly and colleagues, provides unique insight into…
Vaccines against Covid-19 are rolling out across the world, and it’s a beautiful sight. If you had told most scientists this time last year that we would be seeing effective, safe vaccines preventing Covid-19 infection in every corner of the globe within 12 months, we would probably not have believed you. The monumental amount of work required to get us to this place cannot be overstated — it is a truly spectacular achievement.
More than 3.7 million people give birth in the U.S. every year. And this year, of course, a pandemic prevails. As a result, pregnant people and OB-GYN doctors like me are tracking the research on Covid-19 vaccination in pregnancy.
The most extensive study to date, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, provides more evidence that the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines are safe and effective during pregnancy for both mom and baby.
Health providers celebrated the Covid-19 vaccine Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. …
A blog from Medium for Covid-19 news, advice, and commentary.