Johnson & Johnson expects to release critical results from its COVID-19 vaccine trial in two weeks but most likely won’t be able to provide as many doses as expected this spring due to unanticipated manufacturing delays. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC), referenced how simpler logistics behind the vaccination campaigns result in a more successful program.

Johnson & Johnson Expects Vaccine Results Soon but Lags in Production

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its eleventh month, health care experts are still concerned about patients putting off doctor visits. Researchers at BIDMC found heart disease deaths increased by 11%, and deaths related to high blood pressure increased by 17% after the onset of the pandemic, compared to the previous year.

Health care experts worry about patients putting off doctor visits during pandemic

The data on whether pregnant women should get a coronavirus vaccine is limited. To gather more data, hospitals in Boston have launched a pregnancy registry, including BIDMC.

Should pregnant women get a coronavirus vaccine?

In this article, Rishi Wadhera, MD (Cardiology, BIDMC) and Robert Yeh, MD (Cardiology, BIDMC) discussed a new study from the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology at BIDMC, which found that cardiovascular deaths unrelated to COVID-19 increased during the pandemic.

Spikes in cardiovascular deaths shown to be an indirect cost of COVID-19 pandemic

Rishi Wadhera, MD (Cardiology, BIDMC) discussed a new study from the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology at BIDMC, which found that cardiovascular deaths unrelated to COVID-19 increased during the pandemic.

Cardiovascular Deaths Increased Early on in Pandemic: Study

Sharon Wright, MD, MPH (Infectious Disease, BIDMC), spoke about the post-holiday surge and the importance of getting everyone vaccinated eventually to prevent the severe illness and complications of COVID-19, reduce hospitalizations and ultimately reduce deaths.

Dr. Sharon Wright with Beth Israel speaks about the latest hospital capacity and what the recent case increase could mean for emergency rooms.

Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC), lead researcher on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine candidate, discussed the level of protection after receiving the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, how long people should still wear a mask, and a strategy shift to reach herd immunity.

What happens after the first COVID-19 dose?

The Baker administration, in partnership with the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, announced four grants totaling $1.5 million to broaden coronavirus testing methods in the months ahead. BIDMC will be one of the hospitals analyzing existing coronavirus antigen tests.

State gives $1.5M in grants for development of new Covid testing

In the midst of the COVID-19 vaccines rollout, clinicians and researchers are working to assess next generation COVID-19 vaccine candidates, and as part of that effort, researchers are presenting alternatives to measure a vaccine’s effectiveness by using immune markers that a person develops in their blood after inoculation. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) spoke to how trials so far suggest that levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin G (IgG) could serve as that proxy indicator.

As placebo-controlled testing falls out of favour, vaccine developers eye blood markers and challenge trials to assess next-generation candidates.