Back to top
Live:
Coronavirus Updates

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE have announced a new clinical trial that will test the ability of four experimental messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine candidates to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The trial in the United States will be at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the University of Maryland.

In Germany — where BioNTech has its headquarters — the companies launched a similar trial with the vaccine (called BNT162) last month, dosing the first subjects in the German trial in late April.

The vaccines being studied are all part of a class called mRNA vaccines. These types of vaccines are made up of viral messenger RNA, genetic material similar to DNA that instructs cells to make new proteins.

A successful vaccine teaches the immune system to recognize microbial invaders for future encounters. Two of the study vaccines contain viral mRNA with instructions for the "spike protein." This protein is used by SARS-CoV-2 to attach to human cell surfaces and invade human cells. The other two vaccines contain viral mRNA with instructions for receptor-binding domains, regions of the spikes that help attach the virus to human cells. By including the viral instructions for the spike protein and receptor-binding domains, the vaccines could allow our bodies to recognize and destroy important viral components early.

The initial phase of the study will test safety, dosing and the number of doses needed by midsummer with 360 healthy participants. Patients will receive either 1 or 2 doses of one of the vaccines or a placebo (saline solution). Participants will be split into two age groups: 18 to 65 years old and 65 to 85 years old. Younger adults will be tested first, and when there is initial evidence of safety, older adults will be tested.

Mark J. Mulligan, M.D., is the director of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology and the Vaccine Center at NYU Langone Health. "Vaccines have always been our most effective weapons to protect the health of the public from infectious disease threats, which is why it's so important to study these candidates closely," he said in a press release. Further phases of the trial will determine if these vaccines will be effective in the global fight against COVID-19.

Read more about the trial.

In our latest HealthDay Now interview, Mabel Jong spoke to Dr. G. Caleb Alexander, a professor at Johns Hopkins who served on the FDA advisory committee that nearly unanimously advised against approving Biogen's new Alzheimer's drug. Dr. Alexander shared his thoughts on the drug's highly uncertain efficacy and discussed whether the FDA's reputation has been permanently damaged by the controversial approval of the drug.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

HD Live! Videos

Two world-renowned medical groups — the European Hematology Association (EHA) and the International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (ICML) — conducted virtual meetings this month to share advances in the care of blood-based cancers.

In our latest HealthDay Now, Dr. Joshua Richter, assistant professor of medicine at the Tisch Cancer Institute, gave insights on the EHA meeting. Then, Dr. Anastasios Stathis, an oncologist and a member of this year's ICML organizing committee, joined us to discuss ICML.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.


In our latest HealthDay Now, Mabel Jong spoke with Dr. Lori Pierce, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and a cancer radiation specialist at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Pierce shared important takeaways from the recently concluded 2021 ASCO annual meeting and discussed why equity was the chosen theme this year.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

In our latest HealthDay Now, Dr. Hina Talib, a pediatrician and adolescent health specialist at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore, debunks myths and common concerns parents may have about giving their children Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, which was recently approved for use in children and teens ages 12 and up.

HealthDay Now's Mabel Jong also speaks with Alan Santee, a high school freshman from Massachusetts, about why he didn't hesitate to get vaccinated, and Ethan Lindenberger, a 20-year-old vaccine advocate from Ohio, about his experience having a mom who is anti-vaccine and how kids and parents can approach these conversations.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Watch our latest HealthDay Now to hear about the state of mental health and why many people fear returning to their social and work lives.

HealthDay's Mabel Jong spoke to Dr. Vivian Pender, president of the American Psychiatric Association, and Sherry Amatenstein, a social worker and therapist who has been dealing with these anxieties herself.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Watch our latest HealthDay Now for a preview of the American College of Physicians Annual Meeting 2021, covering topics like the alarming shortage of primary care physicians, bringing basic health delivery needs to rural residents, and why the ACP will focus on privacy concerns at its conference.

HealthDay Now's Mabel Jong speaks with Dr. Jacqueline Fincher, president of the American College of Physicians and an internist in a rural community in Georgia.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Watch our latest HealthDay Now as we cover the latest on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine investigation. An independent advisory panel to the CDC is waiting on additional information before making recommendations on the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after reports about rare blood clots.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Lynn Bahta, a member of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and a clinical expert for vaccines at the Minnesota Department of Health.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Watch our latest HealthDay Now as we recap the highlights of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2021.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Antoni Ribas, former president of the American Association for Cancer Research and professor of medicine at UCLA, and Anna Plym, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Watch our latest HealthDay Now as we dive into the latest details on multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Mary Beth Son, Program Director of Boston Children's Hospital's Rheumatology Program, and Brian Padla, father of James Padla, who has MIS-C.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.