BioNTech expands COVID-19 vaccine production while the AstraZeneca vaccine faces yet another set back.

Some of the best news I’ve heard recently is that the developer of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, BioNTech, is doing its best to expand production of its highly effective vaccine.  The maker of the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine is developing new manufacturing agreements that could give Europe, which is struggling to get vaccine, and even developing countriesContinue reading “BioNTech expands COVID-19 vaccine production while the AstraZeneca vaccine faces yet another set back.”

One year of pandemicpondering.com

Remarkably, yesterday was my 366th blog post on this site. I started pandemicpondering.com a year ago as a way to provide information to the many friends and colleagues who were asking me questions about pandemics, therapeutics, and vaccines. It turned out to be a useful source of information for an impressive number of people andContinue reading “One year of pandemicpondering.com”

Will Novavax be left behind?

Attempts to develop vaccines for coronavirus variants highlight the differences in vaccine technology for COVID-19 and the implications for manufacturers.  An article in today’s Wall Street Journal highlights efforts by Moderna and Novavax to create new versions of their SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to specifically address Brazilian and South African virus variants. I and other scientists believe thatContinue reading “Will Novavax be left behind?”

Dr. David Ho is confusing us with contradictory press releases on variant virus immunity. Do not be concerned.

Dr. David Ho is a virologist at Columbia University who gained appropriate prominence for his work with HIV. Recently, however, he has focused on the neutralization of coronavirus by monoclonal antibodies from commercial sources and in serum from individuals immunized against or infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. He portrays the ability of these antibodies toContinue reading “Dr. David Ho is confusing us with contradictory press releases on variant virus immunity. Do not be concerned.”

Was Detroit mayor Mike Duggan correct in dismissing the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine?

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has done many remarkable things to revitalize his city. Last week Mayor Duggan made news for another reason, when he reportedly refused a shipment of 6,200 doses of the newly approved Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. This appeared to be related to the lesser efficacy of this vaccine in preventing infections with theContinue reading “Was Detroit mayor Mike Duggan correct in dismissing the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine?”

Cardiac inflammation is not a problem for athletes with COVID-19!

One of the biggest news stories late last summer was a report that suggested the majority of young athletes who were mildly ill with COVID-19 developed cardiac problems. Despite being based on flimsy evidence that was refuted almost immediately by experts, this report echoed through athletics at all levels and was largely responsible for plans to cancelContinue reading “Cardiac inflammation is not a problem for athletes with COVID-19!”

Good news about protection against COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) variant viruses

A preprint paper yesterday provided evidence that cellular immunity that develops after COVID-19 infection protects against worrisome SARS-CoV-2 variant viruses. This is a different type of immunity from most prior studies which have only looked at blood antibody (protein) immunity. These lymphocyte killer responses are particularly important immunity for viral infections. Cellular immunity involves recognitionContinue reading “Good news about protection against COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) variant viruses”

The U.K. pats itself on the back in the New York Times!

A New York Times Op Ed today entitled “How Did Boris Johnson Get Covid Vaccines So Right?” by British journalist Samuel Earle lavishly praises the United Kingdom’s vaccine effort, but the real outcome from this program is yet to be determined.  The United Kingdom has one of the worst records of any developed nation inContinue reading “The U.K. pats itself on the back in the New York Times!”

Texas — the great experiment

Things have really been looking good of late concerning COVID-19. Deaths and new infections have dropped precipitously nationwide, and we now have three approved vaccines that are effective in preventing infections and remarkable in preventing hospitalizations and deaths from this awful disease. Over the next 60 days it is estimated that a large portion ofContinue reading “Texas — the great experiment”

New studies clearly indicate that the human COVID-19 causing virus, SARS-CoV-2, developed the ability to infect humans in bats.

There has been a significant debate about the origin of SARS-CoV-2 virus. A major concern was that it was “engineered by humans as a bioterrorism weapon.” Recent data, however, show that this virus probably developed the ability to infect humans while infecting bats and other species prior to jumping to humans.  Several scientific groups examinedContinue reading “New studies clearly indicate that the human COVID-19 causing virus, SARS-CoV-2, developed the ability to infect humans in bats.”