Antivirus: This week in COVID-19 research

By Mary Beth Griggs

What we're learning about the coronavirus, notable news from the vaccine and treatment fronts, and stories that remind us that there's more to the case counts than just numbers.

What we're learning about the coronavirus, notable news from the vaccine and treatment fronts, and stories that remind us that there's more to the case counts than just numbers.

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Antivirus: This week in COVID-19 research



Pharma is winning the big business popularity contest

It used to be easy to hate pharmaceutical companies. Between soaring drug costs and the opioid crisis, the industry was widely perceived as one that put profits over people’s health. In a 2019 Gallup survey, pharma was ranked dead last for positive perception…


Memorials to honor COVID-19 dead begin to take shape

How can we possibly memorialize the brutal toll of COVID-19? It’s something I’ve been thinking about this week. The US observed Memorial Day on May 31, honoring people who died in military service. Artists, politicians, and activists are now starting to think…


The future of COVID-19 immunity looks good — Antivirus: Issue #35

Our COVID-19 vaccines have passed their first tests with flying colors. They work unbelievably well, and they’re helping to slow the spread of disease in countries where they’re widely available. Now, scientists are turning to the next key question: how long …


Time, money, and the new vaccination push

In the US, COVID-19 vaccines are free, but it turns out that money is still a big barrier to vaccination. See, even though the vaccines don’t cost a thing, it still takes time to go and get a shot and potentially recover from any side effects. For working adu…


Vaccine drives in the US are getting younger — Antivirus: Issue #33

This week, the FDA authorized the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for people 12-15, a moment that many families have been eagerly waiting for since the vaccine rollout began in the US. As shots became available, parents rushed to get their kids the vaccine. But the d…


We may never know the exact toll of the pandemic - Antivirus: Issue #32

This pandemic has taken millions of lives around the world — and researchers are realizing that the true death toll may be much higher than the official numbers we see every day. As of May 3rd, the death toll in the US officially stood at 574,043, but a new a…


Halftime shots and savings bonds - Antivirus: Issue #31

If you’re one of the few thousand people heading to see the Milwaukee Bucks play the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, May 2nd, you have a chance to get a very special souvenir during the game — your first dose of a Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The unusual vaccination dri…


The first problem was vaccine supply. Now, it’s demand. — Antivirus: Issue #30

Hi everyone! This week's newsletter is from our health reporter, Nicole Wetsman. Thursday marked a major milestone in the United States’ COVID-19 vaccination campaign: 200 million shots given in President Biden’s first 100 days in office. Over 40 percent of t…


For many, COVID-19 vaccines come with a side of side effects — Antivirus: Issue #29

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine comes with a lot of benefits. There’s the protection against a world-altering virus, the ability to travel more safely, and hanging out in people’s houses again. There are also doughnuts. But there’s also a pretty good chance that a…


We’re on the knife’s edge of the pandemic — Antivirus: Issue #28

This is a surreal moment in the pandemic, brimming with hope and fear. Here in the US we’re at the last leg in a marathon — vaccines are here, and appointments to get those shots are becoming more plentiful. People are planning for the moments they’ve put off…


Vaccines are changing how we interpret COVID-19 numbers — Antivirus: Issue #27

Hello! This week’s introduction is from The Verge‘s health reporter, Nicole Wetsman.It’s never been possible to know for sure how many people in the United States are sick with COVID-19 at a particular time. Instead, we combine all of the metrics — the percen…


Welcome to the age of vaccine diplomacy — Antivirus: Issue #26

Millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines currently sitting in United States warehouses are now destined for vaccination sites in Mexico and Canada, according to the White House. The donation marks one of the US’ first steps into the dawning — and deeply content…


Some research got a huge pandemic boost - Antivirus: Issue #25

Billions of dollars have been spent fighting the pandemic, with a huge proportion of that money going towards vaccine development. Other areas of research have also gotten a big boost during the pandemic — and the results could make a huge difference to publi…


COVID-19 vaccine supplies are on the rise in the US- Antivirus: Issue #24

The US government is feeling optimistic about vaccines. By the end of May, it should have enough to vaccinate every adult in the country, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday. Not only that, but Americans are feeling pretty good about the vaccine, too. About 6…


Vaccine centers embrace stickers and selfie stations — Antivirus: Issue #23

The best picture I’ve seen this week was a selfie from my father-in-law who just got his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Along with the shot, they gave him a sticker that says “I got vaccinated!”As the vaccine rollout continues, clinics and distribution cen…


Stretched vaccine timelines re-enter the spotlight - Antivirus Issue #22

As the pandemic drags on, experts are exploring ways to stretch still-limited vaccine supplies to get as many people protected as possible. One idea that’s resurfaced this week involves allowing more time in between the first and second doses of the two-dose …


Vaccine rollout won’t be equitable unless health care reckons with racism — Antivirus: Issue #21

The pandemic has been anything but “the great equalizer” that some people called it when it started more than a year ago. Here in the US, COVID-19 has sickened and killed a disproportionate number of Black, Native American, and Latinx people. Vaccine rollout …


Why the FDA is taking 22 days to look over J&J’s data - Antivirus: Issue #20

A billion years ago last summer, people were getting antsy about vaccines. They wanted things to move faster, maybe skip a few steps in clinical trials to speed things up. This was, at the time, generally considered a bad idea that would result in less accura…


A good COVID-19 vaccine is good enough — Antivirus: Issue #19

Experts have been looking forward to seeing results from Johnson and Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine trials for months. The vaccine is a logistical dream compared to the other two authorized in the US. It’s much easier to store, and it requires only one shot inste…


A year into coronavirus, we’re still counting the dead

A year ago this week, The Verge published our first story about the virus. It was January 21. The first case had arrived in the US. We’d only heard of about 300 cases reported in China and six deaths. We still knew there was a chance it could get bad. “It’s b…