What you need to know about the new COVID-19 variants

A biologist who studies the evolution of diseases explains what's different about the two new virus strains that have been found recently, and what that means for vaccine effectiveness.

David Kennedy, Assistant Professor of Biology, Penn State • conversation
yesterday ~7 min

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The great polio vaccine mess and the lessons it holds about federal coordination for today's COVID-19 vaccination effort

Massive vaccine distribution efforts take a lot of coordination. The rollout of the Salk polio vaccine in the US in 1955 holds lessons for those delivering COVID-19 shots today.

Bert Spector, Associate Professor of International Business and Strategy at the D'Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University • conversation
Jan. 14, 2021 ~8 min

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Americans have unrealistic expectations for a COVID-19 vaccine

Two in five Americans say they don't want a COVID-19 vaccine, which is a problem. Finding out what Americans do want from a vaccine might help.

Matt Motta, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Oklahoma State University • conversation
Jan. 13, 2021 ~9 min

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How many people need to get a COVID-19 vaccine in order to stop the coronavirus?

Researchers say around 70% of the US needs to get the coronavirus vaccine to stop the pandemic. But questions around the vaccines and regional differences add some uncertainty to that estimate.

Pedro Mendes, Professor of Cell Biology, University of Connecticut • conversation
Jan. 5, 2021 ~8 min

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The cold supply chain can't reach everywhere – that's a big problem for equitable COVID-19 vaccination

So far, the only COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use need to be kept frozen. But there are many places in the world that can't support a cold supply chain.

Charles M. Schweik, Professor of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts Amherst • conversation
Jan. 4, 2021 ~7 min

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Should pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine? Will it protect against asymptomatic infections and mutated viruses? An immunologist answers 3 questions

With vaccines forthcoming for most Americans, many groups, including expectant mothers, are wondering if the vaccine is safe for them and their babies. A physician-scientist explains.

William Petri, Professor of Medicine, University of Virginia • conversation
Dec. 23, 2020 ~6 min

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Can employers require workers to take the COVID-19 vaccine? 6 questions answered

The federal agency in charge of enforcing discrimination laws in the workplace said 'yes,' but there are some important exceptions and limitations.

Ana Santos Rutschman, Assistant Professor of Law, Saint Louis University • conversation
Dec. 22, 2020 ~7 min

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International Statistic of the Year: Race for a COVID-19 vaccine

The coronavirus vaccine was developed faster than any vaccine in history. It took just 332 days from the first sequencing of the virus genome to the first vaccines given to the public.

Liberty Vittert, Professor of the Practice of Data Science, Washington University in St Louis • conversation
Dec. 18, 2020 ~5 min

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The top scientific breakthrough for 2020 was understanding SARS-CoV-2 and how it causes COVID-19 – and then developing multiple vaccines

The development of multiple vaccines against the virus that causes COVID-19 has been hailed as the breakthrough of 2020. But there were many more supporting discoveries that made this possible.

David Pride, Associate Director of Microbiology, University of California San Diego • conversation
Dec. 17, 2020 ~11 min

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What vaccine distribution planners can learn from Amazon and Walmart

COVID-19 vaccines have very specific storage requirements that make shipping a difficult task. Two ideas – fulfillment centers and cross-docking – could help overcome some distribution challenges.

Christopher S. Tang, Distinguished Professor and Edward W. Carter Chair in Business Administration., University of California, Los Angeles • conversation
Dec. 15, 2020 ~7 min

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