The Covid vaccine booster debate & 23andMe hits Wall Street

Is 23andMe a tech company? Do we really need booster shots of Covid-19 vaccines? And what happens when mRNA goes wrong?

We cover all that and more this week on “The Readout LOUD,” STAT’s biotech podcast. First, we sift through the week’s news, with some disappointing Covid-19 vaccine data, a pair of setbacks for biotech, and the Wall Street debut of 23andMe. Then, vaccinologist Paul Offit joins us to explain the scientific debate over whether we’ll need booster vaccine doses to stay protected from SARS-CoV-2. Finally, Truist Securities analyst Robyn Karnauskas calls in to talk about her bold 2020 prediction that Biogen’s controversial treatment for Alzheimer’s disease would eventually win FDA approval.

For more on what we cover, here’s the latest on CureVac; here’s the Vertex Pharmaceuticals news; here’s the Sage Therapeutics data; here’s the 2021 STAT Breakthrough Science Summit; here’s where you can subscribe to the First Opinion Podcast; and here’s our complete coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Be sure to sign up on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

And if you have any feedback for us — topics to cover, guests to invite, vocal tics to cease — you can email [email protected].


Interested in sponsoring a future episode of “The Readout LOUD”? Email us at [email protected].

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