Where are we at with COVID-19 heading into the holiday?

Entering the Christmas holiday, the good news once again is that over the past seven days both new Corona virus infections and deaths from COVID-19 are down significantly. The problem is that despite these decreases, both absolute numbers are still high and could rise significantly due to holiday related travel. This is similar to Thanksgiving,Continue reading “Where are we at with COVID-19 heading into the holiday?”

I take the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

In 1995 I was a mid-career scientist and physician at the University of Michigan who had previously worked for 14 years in the Army on biodefense, vaccines, and immunological diseases. After duty in Desert Storm and the issues surrounding anthrax in that war, I was well aware of the difficulties in trying to produce aContinue reading “I take the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.”

Science Magazine’s take on the “London” virus.

Another good review of the “new” coronavirus in Science Magazine. People should remember that if there were a concern about a change in vaccine efficacy due to a new virus variant, the RNA vaccines could have a second RNA included to cover that variant in short order. You can simply synthesize another RNA corresponding toContinue reading “Science Magazine’s take on the “London” virus.”

What’s up with the United Kingdom? Now a new SARS-CoV-2 strain?

First, Britain gives us the chimpanzee adenovirus and a clinical trial where they mistakenly under dose the subjects (and label it a “breakthrough”). Then, on the basis of two poorly characterized adverse reactions to the Pfizer vaccine, they suggest anyone who’s had a severe allergic reaction to anything avoid the vaccine. Now, the United KingdomContinue reading “What’s up with the United Kingdom? Now a new SARS-CoV-2 strain?”

When can we stop wearing masks?

One of the first questions people asked when they found we had effective vaccines available was when the public health restrictions on our lives could be removed? This particularly focused on social distancing, mask wearing, and closing of restaurants and other businesses. I have watched with some frustration many of the news commentators making itContinue reading “When can we stop wearing masks?”

Two vaccines to go!

Late this evening the FDA granted an Emergency Use Authorization to Moderna for its Covid-19 vaccine. While not surprising given the advice of the FDA’s AdCom yesterday, formal approval allows distribution of the vaccine to begin.  This action should add 6 million doses of vaccine to the stockpile for Americans, more than double the dosesContinue reading “Two vaccines to go!”

The FDA AdCom approves Moderna’s vaccine

Today the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The results are not surprising given the positive review of the Pfizer vaccine a week ago and the FDA’s very positive review of Moderna’s phase three data that was published two days ago. There were some similar concerns as wereContinue reading “The FDA AdCom approves Moderna’s vaccine”

COVID-19 infection numbers drop in the U.S. this past week.

New COVID-19 infections and deaths fell significantly in the United States over the past week. The reasons for this are not entirely clear but may be that we’re getting far enough out from Thanksgiving that those additional infections have resolved. The overall number of infections remains high, and there are still hot spots in placesContinue reading “COVID-19 infection numbers drop in the U.S. this past week.”

FDA gives big thumbs up on Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine

Today the FDA published its review of the phase three clinical trial for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. The results were almost identical in both efficacy and safety to what Pfizer presented a week ago. There were, however, some interesting points that came from the review.  Overall efficacy was very similar to Pfizer’s data. As compared toContinue reading “FDA gives big thumbs up on Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine”

Are they injecting the vaccine correctly, and two other concerns raised by blog readers.

I have been impressed by the input from the readers of this blog. Tonight I will address three issues raised by readers.  I have been watching video of people administering the new COVID-19 vaccine. They don’t appear to be injecting it correctly and are not trying to withdraw the syringe to make sure there’s noContinue reading “Are they injecting the vaccine correctly, and two other concerns raised by blog readers.”