How Immunocompromised People without Strong Vaccine Protection Are Coping with COVID

George Franklin III is one of the longest-surviving kidney transplant recipients in the U.S. Now 67, he received his lifesaving surgery 46 years ago, which has enabled him to lead a healthy and active life—swimming, bowling, visiting friends and even competing in a sporting tournament known as the International Transplant Games. But since the beginning … Read more

Latest COVID Surge Pushes Parents to Next-Level Stress

The list of U.S. parents’ pandemic burdens this winter is longer and more chaotic than ever: More kids have been infected with the novel coronavirus, or SARS-CoV-2, despite scrupulous safety measures. Outbreaks have occurred in staff-strained schools and daycare centers. Many have faced dreaded returns to remote learning. COVID vaccine boosters remain unauthorized for most … Read more

COVID Threatens to Bring a Wave of Hikikomori to America

In 2014, a vibrant and well-traveled patient I will call Alice, whom I (Berman) was treating for bipolar disorder, began refusing to leave her home after a prolonged course of physical rehabilitation for a spinal injury. None of the usual diagnoses—depression, anxiety or agoraphobia—explained her withdrawal, which continued after medications stabilized her mood. Patients with … Read more

What’s Holding Up New Omicron Vaccines?

All the vaccines we use to ward off SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID, share one crucial feature: they were designed to protect against its ancestral form, which surfaced in Wuhan, China, more than two years ago. Today’s virus, however, is not the same as it once was. SARS-CoV-2 has been evolving, with successive variants … Read more

Some COVID Patients Need Amputations to Survive

In late summer Candice Davis and her brother, Starr, returned to South Philadelphia from a trip to Mexico, and Davis quickly knew that something was wrong. Both she and Starr felt ill, and both subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. But Starr, who had been immunized, experienced only mild flulike symptoms and felt better within a … Read more

Nurses Struggle through a New COVID Wave with Rage and Compassion

To health care workers in the COVID era, holidays mean death, and we knew Omicron was coming before it had a name. The wave caused by this variant has barely begun, rapidly gathering steam, and we are exhausted, attempting to pull from reserves badly drained by earlier surges. Back in August, the beds of my … Read more

Flurona Is a Great Example of How Misinformation Blooms

Earlier this week, Israeli media reported a person who was hospitalized with evidence of both seasonal flu and COVID at the same time. This unvaccinated and pregnant person had mild symptoms and was discharged without any complications. A person being infected with both the COVID-causing SARS-CoV2 virus and an influenza virus can happen; we just … Read more

How Communication Around COVID Fuels a Mistrust of Science

The highly contagious COVID Omicron variant is shattering new U.S. daily case records. With Omicron carrying a risk of breakthrough infection five times higher than that of the Delta variant, we are witnessing a significant impact on the American workforce in all sectors. The increase in cases among essential workers has sidelined many health care … Read more

A COVID Vaccine for All

While the Omicron variant spreads across the world and major producers of COVID vaccines squabble over granting global access, a vaccine developed by the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development (Texas Children’s CVD) and Baylor College of Medicine is ready to be deployed. In the last week of 2021, India’s drug regulation agency authorized … Read more

Will Giving COVID Booster Shots Make It Harder to Vaccinate the Rest of the World?

Editor’s Note (12/21/21): This article is being showcased in a special collection about equity in health care that was made possible by the support of Takeda Pharmaceuticals. The article was published independently and without sponsorship. As people in the U.S. and other wealthy countries begin lining up for COVID vaccine booster shots, most of those … Read more