Can Old Tech Like Faxes, Paper Records Keep Up With COVID Vaccine Rollout?
That and other big questions need to be answered, such as: What about pregnant women, or vaccine trial volunteers who got a placebo?
Covid-19 Vaccines Will Arrive Before Health Data Interoperability
Scientists have produced Covid-19 vaccines in record time. But the digital connectivity needed to closely track doses, side effects, and continuing infections is still lagging behind — even though the technology is now widely available. This paradox of the pandemic was on display Tuesday during a meeting hosted by the Department of Health and Human Services. An official with the U.S. Digital Service said site visits to public health agencies around the country in recent months revealed a heavy reliance on paper documents and fax machines to collect and share data on Covid-19 tests. (Ross, 12/2)
The Washington Post:
What We Know About Pregnancy And Coronavirus Vaccines
None of the three companies that say they’ve developed effective coronavirus vaccines enrolled pregnant or breastfeeding people in their clinical trials. And that means initial guidance on who should get vaccinated likely won’t include pregnant people, public health experts say. Pregnant people have long been typically left out of major vaccine trials because of concerns that the women and their fetuses might face increased risk. That protocol has come into question in recent years as experts increasingly make the argument that leaving them out of trials puts them at greater risk. (Cirruzzo, 12/1)
The New York Times:
Many Trial Volunteers Got Placebo Vaccines. Do They Now Deserve The Real Ones?
In October, Judith Munz and her husband, Scott Petersen, volunteered for a coronavirus vaccine trial. At a clinic near their home in Phoenix, each got a jab in the arm. Dr. Petersen, a retired physician, became a little fatigued after his shot, and developed redness and swelling on his arm. But Ms. Munz, a social worker, didn’t notice any change. “As much as I wanted it, I couldn’t find a darned thing,” she said. “It was a nothing burger.” (Zimmer and Weiland, 12/2)
What It Feels Like To Get An MRNA Coronavirus Vaccine
As the United States inches closer to authorizing a Covid-19 vaccine many people may now let themselves start wondering what it will feel like to get it. Is it going to be like the flu vaccine? Will it be more painful? And what about side-effects? (Kane, 12/2)
How To Get The Most Of Covid-19 Vaccines — And Not Squander Our Chance
It appears science may have found the Covid-19 pandemic’s off-ramp. Two vaccines developed with stunning speed — and showing remarkable initial efficacy — are poised to be approved for emergency use in the United States in December. A number of other vaccines are expected to follow. Vaccines that prevent symptomatic Covid infection in roughly 95% of people vaccinated — as the data from clinical trials of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines suggest — should, over time, help the country and the world return to a life where we can travel without quarantining; where sporting events can be played before live audiences, not cardboard cutouts; and where snowstorms are the only reasons school gets canceled. (Branswell, 12/2)
How The Rich And Privileged Can Skip The Line For Covid-19 Vaccines
Athletes, politicians, and other wealthy or well-connected people have managed to get special treatment throughout the pandemic, including preferential access to testing and unapproved therapies. Early access to coronavirus vaccines is likely to be no different, medical experts and ethicists told STAT. (Goldhill and St. Fleur, 12/3)
Vaccine 1st Puts Spotlight On German Pharma Company BioNTech
The email that arrived in the ancient German city of Mainz shortly before 1 a.m. in the morning marked a turning point in the global effort to deliver a reliable vaccine against the coronavirus pandemic - and for the little-known biotechnology company that helped develop it. BioNTech has at times been portrayed as the junior partner in U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s race to get approval for the COVID-19 vaccine a pandemic-weary world is desperately waiting for. In fact, the company’s use of gene technology to beat the virus was key to the rapid development of the vaccine that British regulators OK’d for emergency use early Wednesday. (McHugh and Jordans, 12/2)