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

covid-19 coronavirus transmission vaccines immunity population herd-immunity viruses pfizer moderna astrazeneca

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

 covid-19  coronavirus  immune-system  pandemic  vaccines  sars-cov-2  viruses  ace2  spike-protein  moderna  pfizerbiontech-vaccine

Will going out in the cold give you a cold?

Going out in the cold won't necessarily lead to you getting a cold. But cold weather in general is more hospitable to viruses, so it's wise to take steps to keep your immune system strong.

Libby Richards, Associate Professor of Nursing, Purdue University • conversation
Dec. 15, 2020 ~5 min

influenza vitamin-d common-cold flu viruses winter colds rhinovirus cold-weather

Rapid COVID-19 tests can be useful – but there are far too few to put a dent in the pandemic

In September, production of rapid tests really ramped up in the US. But due to low accuracy and massive numbers needed, these tests alone are unlikely to have much of an effect on the pandemic.

Katherine Ellingson, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Arizona • conversation
Dec. 1, 2020 ~8 min

covid-19 coronavirus sars-cov-2 nursing-homes testing viruses cdc rt-pcr emergency-use-authorization antigen-test rapid-test covid-testing antigen

No, soaring COVID-19 cases are not due to more testing – they show a surging pandemic

COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing across the US. Testing has ramped up over the past few months, but increasing hospitalizations, deaths and test-positivity rates show that the virus is out of control.

Zoë McLaren, Associate Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County • conversation
Nov. 18, 2020 ~6 min

covid-19 coronavirus sars-cov-2 testing viruses world-health-organization-who infections deaths death-rate community-spread

What monoclonal antibodies are – and why we need them as well as a vaccine

Monoclonal antibodies are synthetic molecules manufactured in the lab. But do we need them if a vaccine is on its way?

Rodney E. Rohde, Professor Clinical Laboratory Science, Texas State University • conversation
Nov. 16, 2020 ~9 min

 covid-19  pandemic  sars-cov-2  remdesivir  viruses  antibody  steroids  monoclonal-antibodies  convalescent-plasma  dexamethasone

Ingredients in flu vaccine won't hurt you – two pharmacists explain why

Many people object to the added ingredients in vaccines. But pharmacists explain why those fears are unwarranted.

Anne P. Kim, Clinical assistant professor, Washington State University • conversation
Nov. 13, 2020 ~9 min

influenza autism fda flu anti-vaccination viruses immune-response anti-vaxxers flu-vaccine

How to host a safe holiday meal during coronavirus – an epidemiologist explains her personal plans

COVID-19 and holiday family gatherings are not a good pair. But taking the right precautions before, during and after the family gets together can greatly reduce coronavirus risk this holiday season.

Melissa Hawkins, Professor of Public Health, Director of Public Health Scholars Program, American University • conversation
Nov. 10, 2020 ~7 min

health covid-19 coronavirus pandemic transmission cooking holidays travel viruses christmas family thanksgiving ventilation fauci

Achieving COVID-19 herd immunity through infection is dangerous, deadly and might not even work

Some have suggested the US allow healthy people to return to normal life, catch the coronavirus and get the population to herd immunity. The science says this plan is doomed to fail from the start.

Steven Albert, Professor and Chair of Behavioral and Community Health, University of Pittsburgh • conversation
Oct. 28, 2020 ~10 min

covid-19 coronavirus donald-trump vaccines antibodies sars-cov-2 immunity herd-immunity viruses sweden antibody-testing death-rate case-fatality-rate

COVID-19 causes some patients' immune systems to attack their own bodies, which may contribute to severe illness

Are antibodies that attack a patient's own organs contributing to severe forms of COVID-19? A new study suggests specific antibody tests that may reveal the answer.

Matthew Woodruff, Instructor, Lowance Center for Human Immunology, Emory University • conversation
Oct. 23, 2020 ~8 min

covid-19 immune-system pandemic antibodies sars-cov-2 viruses autoimmune-diseases autoimmune-illness