Town Square

More COVID Vaccines Are Showing Promise. Here’s What We Know – And What We Don’t

Experts discuss latest vaccine developments and technologies, include the headline-making Moderna vaccine, as well as vaccine acceptance and distribution.

AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin
What does vaccine effectiveness mean?


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Town Square with Ernie Manouse airs at 3 p.m. CT. Tune in on 88.7FM or listen online. Join the discussion at 888-486-9677, or @townsquaretalk.

We now have another COVID-19 vaccine that looks promising.

Today, the biotech company Moderna said that its experimental vaccine was nearly 95% effective in preventing the disease.

This adds to the “ecosystem” of different vaccines making progress, including the Pfizer vaccine, recently reported to be more than 90% effective based on early results, and a Baylor College of Medicine-led vaccine currently in clinical trials.

What do we need to know about these and other developing vaccines? And how much longer until we’re out of the woods with COVID?

We've had some good periods here in Harris County, when infection rates were under control. But cases are trending up, and Harris County Public Health has announced a new door-to-door antibody testing program to fight COVID.

How do we continue to stay alert to protect ourselves and our community? What about safety tips for upcoming Thanksgiving holiday celebrations?

In this episode, medical experts join us to discuss all of that, plus listener comments and questions. Guests are:

Dr. Peter Hotez:

  • vaccine expert, pediatrician, author and professor
  • Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine
  • Director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital

Dr. Sherri Onyiego:

  • Director of Nutrition and Chronic Disease Prevention, Harris County Public Health

Dr. Susan McLellan:

  • Professor, Infectious Diseases Division, at UTMB in Galveston
  • Medical Director of their Biocontainment Care Unit

Houston Public Media reporter Matt Harab also joins Ernie with updates from today's Mayor of Houston press conference, including:

  • The city's health department is reporting a positivity rate of 7.9% (about 1% jump from last week).
  • Harris County hospitals are reporting 234 covid-19 patients in their ICUs collectively (up from 200 a week ago).

Town Square with Ernie Manouse is a gathering space for the community to come together and discuss the day’s most important and pressing issues.

Audio from today's show will be available after 5 p.m. CT. We also offer a free podcast here, on iTunes, and other apps.

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Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Senior Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

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