The race to a COVID vaccine has become a global effort — and fight. There are more than 200 vaccine trials currently worldwide, 29 of those in clinical trials with a handful in large-scale/phase 3 trials. Track the Vax is a weekly podcast from MedPage Today and Everyday Health to keep you informed on the development of a covid-19 vaccine, from trials to distribution and everything in between. We take a science-driven look at what's going on behind the scenes. Hosted and produced by medical correspondent Serena Marshall, with Executive producer health journalist Lara Salahi this podcast will bring you interviews and conversations with all the key players — from leading researchers to pharmaceutical companies to distributors, and even those in line to get the shot.
Can We Spread COVID After Vaccination?
Wear your mask. Or, don't wear your mask if you are vaccinated, as long as you are outside. But, keep masking and social distancing inside even if you are vaccinated. It's confusing to many.
Vaccines have been proven to prevent serious infection, and studies that show a reduction in transmission are building, but they aren't foolproof. A recent study by Public Health England found that a single dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or AstraZeneca vaccine reduced household transmission by up to half. Those both require two doses to be considered "fully vaccinated." The study comes as we hear more about breakthrough COVID cases.
In this episode, Colleen Kelley, MD, an associate professor of infectious diseases at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and a principal investigator for the Moderna and Novavax phase III clinical trials at the Ponce de Leon Clinical Research Site, joins us to explain the risk of transmission after vaccination.
Are Side Effects Why Many Pass on COVID Shots?
Fever. Sore arm. Flu-like symptoms. These are the COVID-19 vaccines' side effects, which now also include possible rare blood clots in the brain, and maybe even shingles.
But are the side effects worse than getting COVID? For roughly 5 million Americans, they are concerned enough to skip that second dose, according to the CDC.
Even as we learn about the possibility of these side effects, others are no longer a concern. Bell's palsy, for example, which was noted during clinical trials and at the FDA meetings as something to watch, has now been determined following an analysis to be no more likely than with other viral vaccines.
So which side effects do we need to be on the lookout for, and which ones will pass just as quickly as we felt them? In this episode, Dial Hewlett Jr., MD, medical director for the Westchester County, New York Department of Health and fellow with the Infectious Diseases Society of America, joins us to explain. Dr. Hewlett also previously worked at Pfizer with their global medical product evaluation team.
What's in a Name? COVID Vaccine 'Passports' vs 'Verification'
Across the country, states are moving forward to either require or ban vaccine passports, even as nations move forward with bilateral agreements to allow travel without quarantining if you have one. As more people get vaccinated it will become the travel conundrum. Many cruise lines already say they will require proof of vaccination for crews and passengers.
Sports and entertainment venues in certain states also say it will be required for entry. The federal government has maintained they won't be mandating one, but private companies are saying that a "passport" or COVID vaccine card is your ticket in.
Would a vaccine passport, called by any other word, be as controversial?
To find out how exactly these passports or verification cards would work, and "what's in a name," we spoke with Dakota Gruener, Executive Director for ID2020, a nonprofit group that's working on digital identification and is part of the Good Health Pass Collaborative; and Brian Castrucci, DrPH, MA, an epidemiologist and President & CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation.
Fair Shot? Does COVID Vaccine Availability Ensure Equity?
The vaccine rollout so far has shown us that the process has been all but equitable for some of the most vulnerable populations. According to newly posted CDC data, more than half of all American adults have now received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, and a third are fully vaccinated.
A disproportionate number of those already vaccinated, however, are white. Black and Hispanic communities received a smaller share of the vaccine. As vaccine eligibility nationwide opens up to all adults, it's worth asking whether that will equate to equitable access.
Richard Besser, MD, a pediatrician, former acting CDC Director, and the current President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's largest non-profit dedicated to health, joins us on this week's episode to examine how equitable the vaccine distribution has been and where efforts need to be focused.
Summer Surges: Will COVID Vaccines End the Pandemic?
COVID surges and vaccination rates. Are the two inextricably linked? Vaccination rates continue to increase as many states have opened availability to all adults. But also increasing? COVID-19 surges, apparently resulting from a combination of eager travelers, relaxed distancing and mask mandates, and new variants that are more transmissible and perhaps more dangerous. What does that mean for vaccines and the ability to stop this pandemic? Nahid Bhadelia, MD, MALD, the medical director for Boston Medical Center Special Pathogens Unit and associate professor of infectious diseases at Boston University School of Medicine, joins "Track the Vax" host Serena Marshall on this week's episode to discuss whether we can vaccinate our way out of the pandemic.
COVID Vaccine Side Effects: Is the System Working?
It's now 100 days since the first COVID shot was given in the largest mass vaccination campaign in U.S. history. With more than 2 million shots administered daily, more vaccines are going in arms each day in America than in all of the clinical trials combined. Each vaccine's clinical trial had 30,000-40,000 participants and was required to produce data for at "least two months after completion of the full vaccination regimen to help provide adequate information to assess a vaccine's benefit-risk profile." Today, that means we are getting more and more real-world data from a larger and more diverse group than any clinical trial could ever hope to produce. And as vaccine makers continue to seek FDA authorization, the real-world data also require intense scrutiny. According to the CDC, the current vaccine safety monitoring program is one of the most intense ever. But how does it work — and is it intense enough? Aaron Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, joins us on this week's episode to answer that question and explain the possible shortfalls, as well as what you should know if you need to report something.
Refreshing approach to questions and answers
Serena asked the obvious questions that people want answers for but are usually ignored in favor of political ones. Finally a place to hear understandable science from people using common sense and not afraid of admitting they don’t know everything. Having an MD and PhD and teaching residents for 40 years I appreciate the lack of arrogance and posturing so often encountered with interviews of the “experts”.
Johnson & Johnson
Where can I find J & J vaccine near me
92583 Riverside county
Accurate and engaging, 100% needed information for everyone.
Serena is a bright and engaging host asking the folks in charge a range of questions that we all probably have in one way or another.
This is a must listen in this crazy time.
Thank you to the host and sponsors for this critical piece of the story to supplement the rumor and speculation swirling in the current environment.