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.

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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?

Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) spoke to whether COVID-19 could evolve to render the current vaccine ineffective.

Don’t worry about the mutation — yet

Sharon Wright, MD, MPH (Infectious Disease, BILH) discussed whether the current COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the new strain.

Boston infectious disease expert shares latest on new strain of coronavirus

Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC), lead researcher on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine candidate, said the vaccine in development offers the potential of a single shot vaccine and that not needing subzero freezing will be an advantage for certain parts of the U.S. but will be a vast advantage for the developing world.

Johnson & Johnson Takes Big Step Forward With Its Vaccine Trial, Has Potential to Be Single Shot