COVID-19 Vaccine

Life sciences is poised to be Boston’s dominant industry. Has the area become the Silicon Valley of biotech?

The biotech sector seems poised to emerge from the pandemic as the city’s dominant and most visible industry. A major indication that Boston is the undisputed hub of the life sciences industry was the fact that all three COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States have ties to Boston – including much of the research underlying Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine conducted at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. (Boston Globe, June 15, 2021)

Emergency room entrance to a hospital

Contending with long COVID

Jason Maley, MD of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, who leads BIDMC’s Critical Illness and COVID-19 Survivorship Program and has worked with hundreds of COVID-19 long-haulers, said individual patients report unique constellations of symptoms, but fatigue is the cohort’s most common—and longest-lasting—complaint. In addition to improving quality of life for its patients, Maley’s program seeks to uncover the biological underpinnings of the debilitating condition, which affects a still-unknown percentage of the virus’s survivors. (Harvard Magazine, June 10, 2021)

Masked doctor

We know vaccines are working against new COVID variants. Now scientists are starting to understand why.

In a new study published in Nature, Dan Barouch, MD, PhD of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and colleagues report on the antibody and cellular immune responses generated by the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine against the original viral strain and against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. The team found that this vaccine induced immune responses against all the viral variants. (ABC News, June 10, 2021)

Emergency room entrance to a hospital

Immunocompromised and getting the COVID-19 vaccine

In a study published in JAMA led by Ai-ris Collier, MD and Dan Barouch, MD, PhD and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, researchers evaluated the immunogenicity of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in pregnant and lactating women who received either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, finding that both triggered immune responses. (U.S. News & World Report, June 9, 2021)

COVID-19 Vaccine

Mixing COVID-19 vaccines appears to boost immune responses

Early data suggest mixing COVID-19 vaccines may actually be beneficial to boost immune responses. In three recent studies, researchers have found that following one dose of the vaccine made by AstraZeneca with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine produces strong immune responses, as measured by blood tests. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said two different vaccines may be more potent than either vaccine alone. (Science Magazine, June 9, 2021)

COVID-19 Vaccine

U.S. moves closer to Biden’s July 4 COVID-19 vaccination goal

As President Biden aims to have 70% of adults vaccinated with at least one shot by July 4, NPR’s Allison Aubrey discussed with experts their thoughts on if the country is on track to meet the target and answered questions including the need for vaccine booster shots. Aubrey also spoke with Dan Barouch, MD, PhD of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center about why it's just too soon to determine any specific booster strategy. (NPR, June 7, 2021)