Weekend Update

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

On January 7, 2021, the Secretary of Health and Human Services extended the COVID-19 public health emergency for another 90 days from January 21 until April 21, 2020. The COVID-19 testing mandate and emergency use authorizations used for the vaccines hinge on the existence of the public health emergency.

Speaking of which NPR reports that people in the U.S. are beginning to receive the booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Many health care workers and others at high risk who had the Pfizer shots in mid December lined up for their “booster” shot this week, due to be given 21 days after the initial dose. * * * So far, there don’t appear to be widespread problems with people missing their second dose, but experts say it’s still early and the feasibility of a two-shot mass vaccine effort will be tested in the coming weeks, especially as those who received the Moderna vaccine await their follow up shot, which comes 28 days after the first.

A opinion piece in Bloomberg further advises

Take a look at the pipelines of Moderna and BioNTech. They include drug trials for treating cancers of the breast, prostate, skin, pancreas, brain, lung and other tissues, as well as vaccines against everything from influenza to Zika and rabies. The prospects appear good.

Progress, admittedly, has been slow. Part of the explanation [BioNTech founders Drs.] Sahin and Tureci give is that investors in this sector must put up oodles of capital and then wait for more than a decade, first for the trials, then for regulatory approvals. In the past, too few were in the mood.

Covid-19, fingers crossed, may turbo-charge all these processes. The pandemic has led to a grand debut of mRNA vaccines and their definitive proof of concept. Already, there are murmurs about a Nobel Prize for Kariko. Henceforth, mRNA will have no problems getting money, attention or enthusiasm — from investors, regulators and policymakers.

That doesn’t mean the last stretch will be easy. But in this dark hour, it’s permissible to bask in the light that’s dawning