By

Larry Corey, MD

3
Mar
2021

J&J Vaccine: One Dose Delivers Strong Immune Response and Protection

The mRNA vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna have understandably dominated the news, but this past week was Johnson & Johnson’s turn in the spotlight with another important contribution to the COVID-19 vaccination effort. The FDA’s vaccine advisory committee recommended, and the FDA authorized the vaccine, based on results from the 44,000-person Operation Warp Speed–sponsored ENSEMBLE clinical trial evaluating...
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31
Jan
2021

The Evolving Virus Against the Vaccines

For about a month, we were lulled into thinking we had turned the corner and were winning the battle against the virus. With 95% effectiveness in preventing COVID-19 illness and nearly 100% efficacy in preventing severe disease, we just needed to mass produce these wonderful mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna. Then we could bring an end...
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20
Dec
2020

Science in the Face of Fear: Vaccine Hesitancy and Public Trust

This month has been a media whipsaw. News of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines’ compelling efficacy and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s rapid response and issuance of an Emergency Use Authorization for both vaccines have been met with equal parts jubilation and fear from a divided public. For me, as a medical virologist and researcher, this remarkable achievement...
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7
Dec
2020

Vaccine Trials: A Band of Brothers and Sisters

On Dec. 2, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article coauthored by many prominent medical scientists, including physicians, who advocated for extending the time in which volunteers in the placebo group enrolled in the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 clinical trials should be followed.   Essentially, they are arguing that the study volunteers – people who sacrificed for the...
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1
Dec
2020

Vaccine Scarcity: Buckle Up for Debate

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are likely to secure Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) from the FDA by Christmas. These are amazing gifts of science. They also arrive with high expectations from a weary public, especially since the clinical trials of these mRNA vaccines indicate near-complete protection from severe disease. These first two vaccines arrive at the most tumultuous time yet...
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20
Nov
2020

Why the Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Studies Aren’t Limited to Severe Disease

[Editor’s Note: a version of this article was first published on Nov. 13 on the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. —LT ] The COVID-19 Operation Warp Speed (OWS) trials have taken some criticism in the medical press, and lay press, for evaluating what some consider to be “trivial” characteristics of mild COVID-19 disease. Some are arguing that it would...
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18
Nov
2020

The mRNA Vaccine News is Good. But Let’s Keep Masks for Now

[Editor’s Note: a version of this article was first published on the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. —LT ] Clinical trials are usually designed to answer one or two specific questions. For the pivotal COVID-19 trials evaluating messenger RNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, researchers are looking at whether these vaccines prevent a person from getting sick, keep them...
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