Katalin Karikó, 1955

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COVID-19 Vaccines Arrive at Penn Medicine

The COVID-19 vaccine has brought a palpable feeling of hope across Penn Medicine. Vaccinations began at Pennsylvania Hospital on the morning of December 16, marking what many experts are calling the “beginning of the end” of an unprecedented health crisis that has infected close to 17 million nationwide and killed 13,000 Pennsylvanians.

“It is fitting that the nation’s first hospital was the first to lead Penn Medicine to this new era in the fight against COVID,” said PJ Brennan, MD, chief medical officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. “The development and distribution of this vaccine will go down in history as one of the world’s most significant biomedical achievements, and beginning to deploy the vaccine to protect our own workforce is a thrilling milestone.”

Notably, it was mRNA research conducted at Penn — by Drew Weissman, MD, PhD, a professor of Infectious Diseases, and Katalin Karikó, PhD, a former adjunct associate professor — that helped pave the way for the development of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID vaccines.

Vaccine administration has only just begun and already more than 8,300 faculty, staff and providers have been offered the vaccine and thousands of doses were distributed in just the first few days.

Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine at Penn: pennmedicine.org/coronavirus/vaccine

#PennMedicine #COVID19 #Vaccine

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