FDA to authorize third vaccine dose for people with weak immune systems

Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) said the FDA’s move to make third shots available to some with weakened immune systems made sense. Barouch also commented on the long and successful history of mixing and matching different vaccine platforms for other viruses, and because of the similarities in how coronavirus vaccines were produced, mixing could potentially be particularly appealing approach.

Push to approve COVID-19 vaccines for kids as child cases climb

As researchers examine the effect of COVID-19 vaccines on children, Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) said the risks of not getting vaccinated vastly outweigh the risks of getting vaccinated for adults and children.

Health care leaders back vaccine mandates

Peter Healy (President, BIDMC), Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC), and others urged employers to require their workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, noting the only real protection against the Delta variant of the disease is inoculation.

Barouch awarded Ledlie Prize

Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) was awarded the George Ledlie Prize by Harvard for developing an effective COVID-19 vaccine in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson – one of three granted emergency use authorization in the U.S. Last bestowed in 2017, the prize is given no more frequently than every two years to a member of the Harvard community who has, “since the last awarding of said prize, by research, discovery, or otherwise, made the most valuable contribution to science, or in any way for the benefit of mankind.”

New data suggest J & J vaccine works against Delta and recipients don’t need a booster shot.

Data from a clinical trial in South Africa suggests single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is highly effective in preventing severe illness and death from the Delta and Beta variants of the coronavirus. Results also suggest that people who have received one dose of the vaccine don’t need a booster shot. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC), who has led some studies with Johnson & Johnson but was not involved in the trial, said the study was conducted as a real-world efficacy study in one of the most challenging epidemiologic settings, and is very good news for the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic.

What have the three COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers said about their shot’s efficacy?

As more data becomes available, experts comment on the efficacy of the three COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) discusses research his team led on the neutralizing antibody coverage of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against different virus variants.

Younger and unvaccinated: The new face of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Massachusetts

A spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations in Massachusetts hospitals tracks closely with the rise in people testing positive for COVID-19 that began after the Fourth of July holiday. BILH said its COVID-19 patients increased from 19 on July 1 to 27 patients last Thursday.

New details on CDC’s Provincetown investigation portray delta variant as serious threat

Newly published details of the Provincetown, MA COVID-19 outbreak raised concern that the now-dominant delta variant may be able to spread among fully vaccinated people. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) said the rules have changed as we have a different epidemic now than we did in May.

We’re zeroing in on the ‘holy grail’ of COVID-19 immunity

Scientists may be on the cusp of defining correlates – biological benchmarks that can show that a vaccine is achieving its desired effect – of protection against symptomatic disease for the COVID-19 vaccines. Kathryn Stephenson, MD, MPH (Infectious Disease, BIDMC) comments on the process and timeline of these determinations.