New York Times, October 16, 2021 (with Noah Weiland and Sharon LaFraniere)

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When an advisory panel to federal regulators endorsed boosters for Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose Covid-19 vaccine on Friday, the scientists on the committee discussed a question many people are asking: Is it a good idea to mix and match vaccines?

The question came up after the panel heard a presentation about a study showing that the mix-and-match approach gives patients who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine a stronger antibody response.

Continue reading “An F.D.A. panel explores mixing and matching vaccine doses.”

New York Times, October 15, 2021 (with Sharon LaFraniere and Noah Weiland)

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WASHINGTON — A key federal advisory committee voted unanimously Friday to recommend Johnson & Johnson booster shots, most likely clearing the way for all 15 million people who got the company’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine to receive a second shot.

If the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention accept the recommendation, as expected, boosters could be offered by late next week. But many committee members made clear that they believed Johnson & Johnson recipients might benefit from the option of a booster of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, something a top F.D.A. official said the agency was considering.

Continue reading “F.D.A. Panel Unanimously Recommends Johnson & Johnson Booster Shots”

New York Times, October 14, 2021

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In the summer of 2020, half a year into the coronavirus pandemic, scientists traveled into the forests of northern Laos to catch bats that might harbor close cousins of the pathogen.

In the dead of night, they used mist nets and canvas traps to snag the animals as they emerged from nearby caves, gathered samples of saliva, urine and feces, then released them back into the darkness.

The fecal samples turned out to contain coronaviruses, which the scientists studied in high security biosafety labs, known as BSL-3, using specialized protective gear and air filters.

Continue reading “Newly Discovered Bat Viruses Give Hints to Covid’s Origins”

New York Times, October 13, 2021 (with Noah Weiland)

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People who received a Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine may be better off with a booster shot from Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, according to preliminary data from a federal clinical trial published on Wednesday.

That finding, along with a mixed review by the Food and Drug Administration of the case made by Johnson & Johnson for an authorization of its booster, could lead to a heated debate about how and when to offer additional shots to the 15 million Americans who have received the single-dose vaccine.

The agency’s panel of vaccine advisers will meet Thursday and Friday to vote on whether to recommend that the agency allow Moderna and Johnson & Johnson to offer booster shots.

Continue reading “Data From Federal Scientists Raise Questions About J.&J. Booster Shots”

New York Times, October 13, 2021 (with Noah Weiland)

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People who received a Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine may be better off with a booster shot from Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, according to preliminary data from a federal clinical trial published on Wednesday.

That finding, along with a mixed review by the Food and Drug Administration of the case made by Johnson & Johnson for an authorization of its booster, could lead to a heated debate about how and when to offer additional shots to the 15 million Americans who have received the single-dose vaccine.

Continue reading “People who received a J.&J. vaccine may be better off with a Moderna or Pfizer booster, a study finds.”