The US Has a Covid ‘Scariants’ Problem. Here’s How to Fix It

This sequencing boost is helping scientists map in finer detail the mutational landscape of the coronaviruses circulating around the country. So it’s not surprising that they’re starting to turn up more surprises. But as the pace of generating genomic data has accelerated, there has not yet been a similar, concerted push forward in what’s called […]

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J&J Shots Administered, States Reopen Too Soon, and More News

The first Johnson & Johnson shots are administered, some states begin opening prematurely, and new variants demand vigilance. Here’s what you should know: Want to receive this weekly roundup and other coronavirus news? Sign up here! Headlines US vaccinations increase as the first Johnson & Johnson shots are administered It was a good week in […]

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You’re Vaccinated and People Want to Visit. Now What?

That matters for two reasons. First, it’s still possible that someone who’s been vaccinated could actually get sick—the risk is very slender, but not zero. And second, because unvaccinated people can be infected with Covid-19 and transmit it to others without showing any symptoms, it remains possible that someone vaccinated could also still be, in […]

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The Secret Behind North Dakota’s Speedy Vaccine Rollout

Compared with chains, independent pharmacies are more likely to serve rural areas and low-income ones in cities, says Stacy Mitchell, codirector of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a nonprofit that advocates for small businesses, and who has studied North Dakota’s pharmacy law. One helpful comparison is with the state’s southern neighbor, where chains are dominant […]

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The Raging Evolutionary War Between Humans and Covid-19

The race is on. Vaccines against the virus that causes Covid-19 are needling into shoulders around the world, the tip-of-the-hypodermic spear of a year-long scientific triumph. But that protean virus, like all the things that infect humans and make them sick, jukes and dodges. Virology versus epidemiology. Vaccinology versus evolution. Mutation versus mutation, transmission versus […]

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A Shot Nears Approval, Experts Study Transmission, and More

Johnson & Johnson’s shot nears approval, experts look at the full scope of vaccine protection, and international Covax shipments begin. Here’s what you should know: Want to receive this weekly roundup and other coronavirus news? Sign up here! Headlines Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine nears approval in the US Today, a panel of experts will […]

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We Still Don’t Know How Well Covid Vaccines Stop Transmission

SARS-CoV-2 might cause its deadliest damage in the lungs, heart, and blood vessels. But its first stop in the human body is usually the nose, because that’s where inhaled viral particles first encounter cells they can invade and hijack in order to make copies of themselves. From there, the swarm of new viruses can expand […]

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Storm Delays for Vaccines, Expanded Sequencing, and More News

Vaccinations continue across the country amid weather complications, the US expands genome sequencing, and vaccine distribution takes shape worldwide. Here’s what you should know: Want to receive this weekly roundup and other coronavirus news? Sign up here! Headlines US vaccinations continue even as some shipments are stalled by winter storms This week, harsh winter weather […]

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What Happens When You Swap a Human Gene With a Neanderthal’s?

What are the key differences between modern humans and our closest relatives, the Neanderthals and Denisovans? For the Neanderthals, there doesn’t seem to be any sort of obvious difference. They used sophisticated tools, made art, and established themselves in some very harsh environments. But, as far as we can tell, their overall population was never […]

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Vaccine Progress, New Mask Guidelines, and More News

America makes deals for more vaccines, the CDC refines mask guidance, and school districts begin reopening. Here’s what you should know: Want to receive this weekly roundup and other coronavirus news? Sign up here! Headlines The US finalizes deals to secure enough vaccines for all eligible Americans by the end of July On Thursday, President […]

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Premature Babies and the Lonely Terror of a Pandemic NICU

In the beginning, Ruscica and D’Ambra brought their parents and friends to the NICU to see their son. D’Ambra worked part-time and took a bus and then a train from their home in New Jersey to NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, in northern Manhattan, each day. But every day, it seemed, the bus and the […]

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All These Mutant Virus Strains Need New Code Names

It’s not Tulio de Oliveira’s fault that every mutated variant of the virus that causes Covid-19 has more than one name, much less that they all read like hack-proof passwords. But de Oliveira might have inspired a new, international push to change that system. A bioinformatician and director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing […]

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A New Vaccine, Protection Against Strains, and More News

Oxford releases new data on vaccine efficacy against UK strain, Johnson & Johnson seeks FDA approval, and the US Senate passes a key resolution for coronavirus aid. Here’s what you should know: Want to receive this weekly roundup and other coronavirus news? Sign up here! Headlines The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine protects against the UK variant, while […]

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More Covid Vaccine Choices Mean New Equity Challenges

This fall, Schwartz and Paltiel, along with Rochelle Walensky, who’s now the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looked more closely at the question of which would save more lives: a highly effective two-dose vaccine, like those from Moderna and Pfizer, or one that’s less effective but easier to get into people’s […]

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