The New York Times, August 25, 2021 (with Sharon LaFraniere)


As vaccine makers set their sights on boosters, new studies unveiled on Wednesday from Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer-BioNTech demonstrated that extra shots can dramatically raise antibodies against the coronavirus.

The companies said they were submitting the new data to the Food and Drug Administration for evaluation, and Pfizer has formally asked the agency to authorize a booster shot. The Biden administration said last week that it wants to provide booster shots for all Americans eight months after vaccination.

Continue reading “Extra Shots from J. & J. and Pfizer Give Immune Boost, Companies Report”

The New York Times, August 5, 2021


Novavax, the Maryland company that won $1.6 billion from the U.S. government last year to develop a Covid vaccine, on Thursday announced that continued production problems would delay the vaccine’s use in the United States until the end of the year.

But the two-shot vaccine, which performed well against the virus in clinical trials, might soon be used in other parts of the world. In partnership with the Serum Institute of India, Novavax has applied for emergency authorization in India, Indonesia and the Philippines, the company announced on an earnings call.

Continue reading “Novavax is still struggling to produce its vaccine”

The New York Times, August 5, 2021 (with Sharon LaFraniere)


The powerful protection offered by Moderna’s Covid vaccine does not wane in the first six months after the second dose, according to a statement released by the company on Thursday morning in advance of its earnings call.

But during the call, Moderna executives said they anticipated that boosters would be necessary this fall to contend with the Delta variant, which became common in the United States after the results were collected.

Continue reading “Moderna says its vaccine’s protection holds through six months”

The New York Times, July 30, 2021


A batch of early coronavirus data that went missing for a year has emerged from hiding.

In June, an American scientist discovered that more than 200 genetic sequences from Covid-19 patient samples isolated in China early in the pandemic had puzzlingly been removed from an online database. With some digital sleuthing, Jesse Bloom, a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, managed to track down 13 of the sequences on Google Cloud.

Continue reading “Those Virus Sequences That Were Suddenly Deleted? They’re Back”

The New York Times, July 28, 2021 (with Apoorva Mandavilli and Sharon LaFraniere)


Pfizer reported on Wednesday that the power of its two-dose Covid vaccine wanes slightly over time, but nonetheless offers lasting and robust protection against serious disease. The company suggested that a third shot could improve immunity, but whether boosters will be widely needed is far from settled, the subject of heated debate among scientists.

So far, federal health officials have said boosters for the general population are unnecessary. And experts questioned whether vaccinated people should get more doses when so many people have yet to be immunized at all.

Continue reading “Citing New Data, Pfizer Outlines Case for Booster Shots”