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Stories by Caroline Chen

A tiny number of people will be hospitalized despite being vaccinated. We have to learn why.

“Breakthrough infections,” cases in which people test positive for COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated, are extremely rare. Public health experts are anxious that these cases not be blown out of proportion and discourage people from getting vaccinated, yet they also say it’s critical to track and study these cases, because scientists do not fully understand who is susceptible to vaccine failure. Furthermore, as the coronavirus continues to mutate, breakthrough cases may be the leading indicator of a new variant that is more resistant to a vaccine, which could necessitate manufacturers adapting their vaccines or developing booster shots.... Read more»0

Fauci: COVID vaccines for kids could be authorized by September

For this to happen by the start of the next school year, trials need to prove the vaccine is safe and effective in children. Experts say manufacturers aren’t moving quickly enough, and that this is important for achieving herd immunity and stopping the spread of variants. ... Read more»0


Why opening restaurants is exactly what coronavirus wants us to do

Governors continue to open indoor dining before vaccinations become widespread. Experts warn this could create superspreading playgrounds for dangerous variants and squander our best shot at getting the pandemic under control.... Read more»0

The enraging deja vu of a 3rd coronavirus wave

The best way to help our medical workers isn’t to stand at windows cheering or to give them thank-you water bottles. It’s to stay out of their ERs and ICUs by keeping ourselves and our neighbors safe.... Read more»0


100,000 lives lost to COVID-19. What did they teach us?

Each person who died of coronavirus was somebody’s everything. Even as we mourn for those we knew, cry for those we loved and consider those who have died uncounted, the full tragedy of the pandemic hinges on one question: How do we stop the next 100,000?... Read more»0

What to know about asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus

Research shows that not only can people be infected and experience no symptoms or very mild symptoms for the first few days, but this coincides with when the so-called viral load — the amount of virus being emitted from an infected person’s cells — may be the highest. ... Read more»0

Internal emails show chaos at CDC slowed early response to coronavirus

Internal e-mails within the CDC provide a behind-the-scenes peek into the messy early stages of the U.S. response to the coronavirus, revealing an antiquated public health system trying to adapt on the fly. ... Read more»0

Key missteps at CDC set back ability to detect spread of coronavirus

The CDC designed a flawed test for COVID-19, then took weeks to figure out a fix so state and local labs could use it. New York still doesn’t trust the test’s accuracy.... Read more»0