The Latest on Covid-19 Vaccines

Everything that happened in the race to find a coronavirus vaccine this week

Photo: Kilito Chan / Getty Images

Starting today, the blog will provide a weekly vaccine update. Here’s the latest.

  • In light of President Trump’s calls to produce a vaccine before Election Day — less than two months away — nine pharmaceutical companies signed a pledge not to cut corners when testing for safety and efficacy, the New York Times reported Tuesday. Among the companies are Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, which currently have vaccine candidates in late-stage clinical trials.
  • Speaking of AstraZeneca, its phase 3 trial was put on hold this week because one participant developed a serious adverse reaction to the vaccine. On Wednesday, STAT reported that the participant had neurological symptoms consistent with a rare but serious spinal inflammatory disorder. It’s not clear how long the trial will be on hold. But as my colleague Alexandra Sifferlin noted previously, the fact that it is on hold is a good sign that the company is taking vaccine safety seriously. A safety review is now underway.
  • As the race for a Covid-19 vaccine continues, vaccine hesitancy remains a problem worldwide. New research published in the medical journal The Lancet on Thursday showed widely varying levels of confidence in vaccines around the world. As Reuters noted in its write-up, people in countries that are politically polarized or where religious extremism is present tend to be more skeptical of vaccines.

Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog. Senior editor at Future Human by OneZero. Previously: science at Inverse, genetics at NYU.

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