Arthur Allen

Arthur Allen

What the polio case in New York tells us about the end of polio

By: - August 8, 2022

No one studying polio knew more than Albert Sabin, the Polish-American scientist whose vaccine against the crippling disease has been used worldwide since 1959. Sabin’s oral vaccine provides lifelong immunity. It has one drawback, which Sabin, who died in 1993, fiercely disputed: In rare cases, the weakened live poliovirus in the vaccine can mutate, regain […]

Pfizer won the pandemic … and outsized profit and influence

By: - July 10, 2022

The grinding two-plus years of the pandemic have yielded outsize benefits for one company — Pfizer — making it both highly influential and hugely profitable as COVID-19 continues to infect tens of thousands of people and kill hundreds each day. Its success in developing COVID medicines has given the drugmaker unusual weight in determining U.S. […]

Why cheap, older drugs that treat COVID never get out of the lab

By: - April 25, 2022

In March 2020, Dr. Joseph Vinetz left the contemplative world of his Yale University infectious-disease laboratory and plunged into the COVID ward at Yale New Haven Hospital, joining an army of health care workers who struggled to treat the deadly viral disease. There were no drugs against COVID-19, and no way to predict which infected […]

COVID immunity through vaccination or infection: Are they equal?

By: - October 11, 2021

Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, a University of California-Irvine psychiatry professor, felt he didn’t need to be vaccinated against COVID because he’d fallen ill with the disease in July 2020. So, in August, he sued to stop the university system’s vaccination mandate, saying “natural” immunity had given him and millions of others better protection than any vaccine […]

Federal vaccine program hasn’t helped those whose lives were altered by COVID vaccine

By: - September 6, 2021

Angela Marie Wulbrecht jumped at the first chance to get a COVID-19 vaccine, driving three hours from her Santa Rosa, California, home to a mass-vaccination site on Jan. 19. Twelve minutes after her Moderna shot, she stumbled into the paramedic tent with soaring blood pressure and a racing heartbeat. And so began a calvary of […]


Analysis: Pressure on China about Wuhan lab could backfire

By: - June 9, 2021

President Joe Biden has ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to determine whether the covid virus, or a near ancestor, emerged from a cave, a live-animal market, a farm — or a secretive Chinese laboratory. But it’s doubtful this probe will yield definitive insights, and it could even backfire. Some experts hypothesize that global pressure could prompt […]

You don’t have to suffer to benefit from COVID vaccination — but some prefer it

By: - May 29, 2021

If you think vaccination is an ordeal now, consider the 18th-century version. After having pus from a smallpox boil scratched into your arm, you would be subject to three weeks of fever, sweats, chills, bleeding and purging with dangerous medicines, accompanied by hymns, prayers and hell-fire sermons by dour preachers. That was smallpox vaccination, back […]

To the bat cave: Scientists still trying to figure out COVID’s origins and Wuhan ‘lab leak’

By: - May 27, 2021

Once dismissed as a conspiracy theory, the idea that the covid virus escaped from a Chinese lab is gaining high-profile attention. As it does, reputations of renowned scientists are at risk — and so is their personal safety. At the center of the storm is Peter Daszak, whose EcoHealth Alliance has worked directly with Chinese […]

The case for donating U.S. COVID vaccines overseas

By: - April 5, 2021

A Senate committee grilled federal officials about the shortage of vaccines to protect Americans against a pandemic virus. Two months later, the U.S. public had lost interest in the virus, and millions of vaccines were sitting in warehouses — although poor countries still needed them. This happened during the 2009-10 swine flu pandemic. One official […]

States want more doses per vial, putting pressure on CDC

By: - March 25, 2021

President Joe Biden has promised enough covid vaccine to immunize every willing adult by June 1. But right now, the gap between supply and demand is so dramatic that vaccinators are discovering ways to suck the final drops out of each vaccine vial — if federal regulators will let them. Pharmacists involved in the covid […]

When your turn comes, don’t worry about the numbers

By: and - February 6, 2021

When getting vaccinated against covid-19, there’s no sense being picky. You should take the first authorized vaccine that’s offered, experts say. The newest covid vaccine on the horizon, from Johnson & Johnson, is probably a little less effective at preventing sickness than the two shots already being administered around the United States, from Pfizer-BioNTech and […]

Even presidential pressure might not get vaccines moving faster

By: , , and - January 26, 2021

Americans are dying of covid-19 by the thousands, but efforts to ramp up production of potentially lifesaving vaccines are hitting a brick wall. Vaccine makers Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are running their factories full tilt and are under enormous pressure to expand production or collaborate with other drug companies to set up additional assembly lines. That […]