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.
The Distribution Debacle
Vaccine distribution — it's been a rocky road. While millions of doses have been shipped, only about one-third have been administered. The federal government has said a lag in reporting as well as the holiday season are partly to blame.
But as long lines were seen across the country and in some states a bit of chaos, what happened? Was Operation Warp Speed more about vaccine development than distribution?
To examine the issues of what went wrong and what can be done to fix it, in this episode we speak with emergency physician and former Baltimore Health Commissioner Leana Wen, MD, as well as Mike Alkire, president of Premier, the giant medical supply and healthcare technology firm, and host of the "Inside Out" podcast.
How Did COVID Vaccine Development Move at Warp Speed?
As vaccine distribution ramps up across the U.S., and globally, skepticism remains. Many cite the speed at which vaccines have rolled out as one of their main concerns. In this episode we explore how we got here, how the biopharmaceutical industry readied for this very moment that allowed them to move at warp speed.
The vice president for science and regulatory advocacy at PhRMA, Jim Mayne, PhD, joins us to explain how the science-based, public-private partnerships aided in the momentum, how the R&D ecosystem has evolved and why he believes the bio-pharmaceutical industry was not caught off guard by the pandemic.
Why Aren't Highest-Risk People Better Represented in COVID Vaccine Trials?
Vaccination across the nation is now underway, with healthcare workers and those living and working in long-term care facilities among the first to receive the vaccines. Long-term and nursing home residents make up about 1% of the U.S. population, but have accounted for roughly 40% of all COVID-19 deaths, while those older than 50 are more likely to die from COVID-19 than younger age groups. However, they've accounted for less than a quarter of total COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial participants. Why are they so scarcely represented in trials? To learn more, we chatted with Sharon Inouye, MD, MPH, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and geriatrician at Hebrew Senior Life. She is also director of the Aging Brain Center at the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research. The episode kicks off with a discussion with 60-year old clinical trial participant Kelley Pick, to hear about her experience in a trial.
How Do We Inject Confidence Into Vaccine Hesitant Americans?
With a 'return to normal' from the pandemic practically hinging on COVID-19 vaccines, how do you overcome those who are vaccine hesitant? How does vaccination history impact perception and what role do medical professionals have in explaining the science? To learn more we chatted with MedPage Today Editorial Board member Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, Co-Director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's Hospital and Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
What Do We Really Know About Pfizer's New COVID Vax?
The first vaccine in the U.S. has been granted Emergency Use Authorization and begun distribution and inoculation among the first group of recipients: frontline healthcare providers and assisted-living residents. Questions remain, however, about Pfizer's data and long-term studies. To learn more we chatted with Pfizer's Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer for viral Vaccines, Dr. Phil Dormitzer, who leads Pfizer's research and development into viral vaccines.
How Do the New COVID-19 Vaccines Work?
The two vaccines showing most promise - and moving first through the regulatory process - are a new type of vaccine known as messenger RNA vaccines. Before COVID-19, mRNA vaccines have never been on the market, but they have been studied. To learn more about the mRNA vaccine technology we chatted with Richard Kuhn, Ph D, who holds an endowed chair at Purdue University and serves as editor-in-chief of Virology.
Customer ReviewsSee All
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.
Not Enough Scientific Information
I found this pod cast in a search for scientific UNBIASED information regarding the Covid 19 vaccines. I am a registered nurse of 20 plus years and generally very pro vaccine however, I was concerned regarding the rapid speed this vaccine was provided in. Through this podcast I was hoping to find unbiased scientific information about the development, study findings regarding efficacy as well as side effects and adverse reactions as related to this vaccine. The first 2 episodes I listened to provided some of that information however the third episode I listened to instead of addressing the hesitancy to get the vaccine especially health care workers legitimate concerns the guest expert focuses on blaming the government and anti vax groups. I don’t want to hear that! I want someone that address my concerns regarding side effects and adverse reactions. I’m not anti vax....I don’t buy into that ideology, I never have! But as a nurse who generally promotes vaccine administration, I want to hear what clinical knowledge there is related to the side effects of this vaccine and that episode missed the mark and turned me off of the entire series!
A science-based podcast about this COVID vaccine. I am a health worker who is first in line to get this vaccination and wanted to learn more about it. Listening to your podcast has helped me feel more at ease. Thank you! Looking forward to future releases!