COVID-19 Vaccine Updates, Videos 116 & 117

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    In our latest videos in the COVID-19 Explained Clearly series, Dr. Seheult starts his deep dive into updates on coronavirus vaccine candidates. So far, we’ve covered recent preliminarydata from the Pfizer/BioNTech trials, as well as updates from the Moderna vaccine trials. You can find all of this — and more — at, where we’ve got videos on COVID-19 and a wide range of helpful topics in medicine. 


    Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Explained

    In update 116 on COVID-19, Dr. Seheult discusses the status of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine trials. First, he reviews the biochemistry of a SARS-CoV-2 infection, describing the role of ACE-2 receptors on human cells and spike proteins on the virus. In addition, Dr. Seheult explains the vaccine’s objective of delivering engineered mRNA (within a lipid bilayer) to the cytoplasm of human cells, where it can be translated into a protein very similar to the spike protein on SARS-CoV-2.  Since the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is typically immunogenic, antibody production begins. The German company, BioNTech, has worked extensively on the delivery mechanism of the mRNA vaccine and teamed up with Pfizer for this candidate.

    Regarding safety, this New England Journal of Medicine article provided a first look at the safety and immunogenicity of Prizfer/BioNTech’s two RNA-based vaccine candidates. Their second vaccine, BNT162b2, moved into phase 2-3 trials; an initial press release of these preliminary results showed the vaccine to be over 90 percent effective. A significant drawback, very cold refrigeration (-70 degrees Celsius, -94 degrees Fahrenheit) is required for the vaccine’s preservation.


    Moderna vs. Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine (mRNA vaccines)

    In our 117th COVID-19 update, Dr. Seheult directly compares the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine with the Moderna vaccine, both of which are mRNA-based. He looks at differences in refrigeration and storage, injection timelines, and preliminary (not yet peer-reviewed) data on safety, efficacy, and side effects. While preliminary data on both of these vaccines suggests efficacy in preventing COVID-19 disease, it is unclear whether or not they also prevent infection. In the video, Dr. Seheult explains the difference between the two.

    Lastly, Dr. Seheult explains recent shutdowns in the western United States and talks about a new publication in JAMA about “collateral damage” (i.e., higher instances of at-home cardiac arrest) associated with pandemic safety measures. 


    Stay Tuned for More COVID-19 Updates 

    All of our COVID-19 videos are always available and free (and ad-free) at In addition, check out our full library of courses and lectures on subjects ranging from Vasopressors to the Adrenal Gland and many more!

    Meanwhile, here’s a list of all the COVID-19 resources we’ve shared so far:

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