Back to top
Live:
Coronavirus Updates

A new potential vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease, has been developed by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, according to a press release from the University of Pittsburgh.

A peer-reviewed study on the vaccine was published in eBioMedicine.

The vaccine, which is called PittCoVacc (short for Pittsburgh CoronaVirus Vaccine), would work the same way as the seasonal flu shot, but with a high-tech delivery. It uses strands of viral protein made in the lab to build up immunity — which is how the flu shot vaccine works — but instead of injecting them via one needle, it delivers them through a fingertip-sized patch that has 400 microneedles made of sugar and the protein pieces. With this unique design, the tiny needles would dissolve into the person's skin.

According to the study's authors, the patch increases the potency of the protein pieces and gets them right into the skin, where the immune response is said to be the strongest. The method is relatively painless, according to Louis Falo, one of the study's co-senior authors. The patch is applied like an adhesive bandage, and in the press release Falo said it feels "kind of like Velcro."

When tested in mice, the researchers discovered that the vaccine generated a surge of antibodies, an immune response that neutralizes the virus, within two weeks of getting the vaccine.

The swift creation of this potential vaccine came from the team's past research on other coronaviruses.

"We had previous experience on SARS-CoV in 2003 and MERS-CoV in 2014," co-senior author Andrea Gambotto said in the press release about the project. "These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus. We knew exactly where to fight this new virus."

As a result, the research team was able to identify this particular protein quickly.

The University of Pittsburgh's press release said the vaccine is "highly scalable," an encouraging factor for a potential vaccine because of the pandemic's current magnitude and swift progression.

The study's authors hope to start a phase I human clinical trial in the coming months if they receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Read the full press release.

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.