#160 - Paul Offit, M.D.: The latest on COVID-19 vaccines and their safety, herd immunity, and viral variants


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By Peter Attia, MD, Peter Attia, and MD. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Paul Offit is a pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases and an expert in virology and vaccine development. He currently serves on the FDA committee evaluating COVID-19 vaccines. In this episode, Paul’s second appearance on The Drive, he provides an update on all the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines currently deployed, explains why the concerns raised around the mRNA vaccines are not legitimate, and offers his view on the prospects and timeframe of reaching herd immunity. He also takes a deep dive into immunology, explaining the short-term and long-term immune response to both natural infection and vaccination and how these two can function together to provide durable immunity. Additionally, they discuss the theories on the origins of this virus, what impact the new COVID-19 variants might have, and the recent pausing of the J&J vaccine. Finally, they discuss how we can be better prepared for an inevitable future outbreak of a novel virus. This episode was originally recorded on April 14, 2021.

We discuss:

  • Overview and current status of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine strategies [4:10];

  • Addressing concerns about mRNA vaccines [9:00];

  • How the failure to make an effective HIV vaccine aided the development of a COVID-19 vaccine [16:45];

  • Where SARS-CoV-2 falls on the spectrum of its ability to mutate and what that means for immunity and vaccination [21:30];

  • How the combination of short-term and long-term immune response to SARS-CoV-2 work together to provide durable immunity [28:00];

  • Importance of understanding relative vs. absolute risk reduction [38:15];

  • Implications of pausing the J&J vaccine due to reports of blood clotting in the brain [42:45];

  • What constitutes herd immunity and the concerns of rising vaccine hesitancy [47:45];

  • When we might reach herd immunity, future vaccines for children, and long-term outlook for maintaining population immunity [58:45];

  • Theories about the origins of SARS-CoV-2 [1:07:00];

  • Preparing for the possibility of a future pandemic and how we can learn from our mistakes [1:10:40]; and

  • More.

Learn more: https://peterattiamd.com/ Show notes page for this episode: https://peterattiamd.com/pauloffit2 Subscribe to receive exclusive subscriber-only content: https://peterattiamd.com/subscribe/ Sign up to receive Peter's email newsletter: https://peterattiamd.com/newsletter/ Connect with Peter on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

216 episodes