The contagious variant of the coronavirus spreading through Brittan has appeared in Colorado and California, but scientists are still unsure how much more easily the mutant spreads. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) spoke to the virus replication process and spread.

A more contagious version of the coronavirus may alter the course of the pandemic in the United States, researchers said.

The discovery of a more contagious coronavirus strain in the United States has heightened the urgency to ramp up the national vaccine rollout. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) said there’s a high chance these variants are already circulating around the United States, and that the data to determine whether this is a problem needs to be generated.

“We need to be in overdrive now,” one pandemic expert said.

Richard Nesto, MD (CMO, BILH) discussed the rollout of vaccines to BILH staff.

Hospitals vaccine rollout starts out rough, but picks up steam

Along with Moderna, there are many Massachusetts-based healthcare and life science companies that are working to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. A COVID-19 vaccine is currently in development as part of a partnership between Johnson & Johnson and a team led by Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC), which is expected to report Phase 3 clinical trial data by February.

The Massachusetts Miracle is alive and well. ‘There are a lot of potential Modernas’

Elective surgeries are now on hold as part of a wave of statewide restrictions aimed at easing the burden on hospitals whose beds are quickly filling with COVID-19 patients. Michael Gibson, MD (Interventional Cardiology, BIDMC) noted that hospitals are very full of COVID patients currently.

Elective surgeries on pause due to surge

Two OB-GYN residents played Christmas music for staff and patients at BIDMC during the holiday season. Hannah Wiley, RN (OBGYN, BIDMC) said the music brought cheer to both staff and patients at the hospital.  

COVID-19 has taken so much away from us this year, but not Christmas cheer

Jeffrey Saffitz, MD, PhD (Pathology, BIDMC) shared that before the COVID-19 pandemic, diagnostic tests and the laboratory workers that run them were not used to seeing the limelight. The swift spread of the virus brought new attention to testing this year.

Biogen, messenger RNA and CRISPR creators: These were the top five stories in Boston biotech

Wall Street Journal: How Barouch’s HIV research laid the foundation for COVID vaccines

Scientific techniques developed in the ongoing...

Kathryn Stephenson, MD, MPH (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) shared how the impact of low vaccination levels can be significant for long-term public health for two reasons: first, pockets of ongoing infection in one community can be a source for new outbreaks in all communities in the future; second, it can significantly exacerbate already stark health disparities between communities.

The impact of the anti-vaxx movement: What happens if only half the country gets the Covid vaccine?