Stopping the COVID Pandemic
Dr. Paul Offit
The vaccines for COVID-19 were developed in record time, and if herd immunity can be reached, they offer society the only realistic means of returning to pre-pandemic norms. Dr. Offit will discuss the science behind these vaccines, along with their efficacy and safety. He will describe how herd immunity is achieved and counter some of the misinformation that may be keeping it from being achieved. Finally, Dr. Offit will share his thoughts on the new COVID-19 variants and how we will need to deal with Coronavirus variants in the future.
Paul A. Offit, MD is the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as well as the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology and a Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a recipient of many awards including the J. Edmund Bradley Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics from the University of Maryland Medical School, the Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development from the Infectious Disease Society of America, and a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Offit has published more than 160 papers in medical and scientific journals in the areas of rotavirus-specific immune responses and vaccine safety. He is also the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq, recommended for universal use in infants by the CDC; for this achievement Dr. Offit was honored by Bill and Melinda Gates during the launch of their Foundation’s Living Proof Project for global health. Offit is also the author of eight medical narratives including Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All (2011), which was selected by Kirkus Reviews and Booklist as one of the best non-fiction books of the year, and Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine (2013), which won the Robert P. Balles Prize in Critical Thinking from the Center for Skeptical Inquiry and was selected by National Public Radio as one of the best books of 2013.