COVID-19 Timeline: July 2020

October 1, 2021

At we have kept up with the spread of COVID-19 and the related bioethical questions that this pandemic brings. The posts that follow highlights news from July 2020 and were originally posted at These posts focus on the bioethical issues that medical professionals, bioethicists, public health officials, and scientists grappled with as SARS-CoV-2 swept the globe.

July 1: “Covid-19 Vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech Shows Positive Results” by Matthew Herper, STAT News

An experimental Covid-19 vaccine being developed by the drug giant Pfizer and the biotech firm BioNTech spurred immune responses in healthy patients, but also caused fever and other side effects, especially at higher doses.

July 21: “Covid-19 News: Oxford Vaccine Is Safe and Induces Immune Response” by Jamie Gumbrecht, Naomi Thomas, Dana Vigue, and Jacqueline Howard, CNN Health

A coronavirus vaccine candidate being developed by the University of Oxford in partnership with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is safe and activates an immune response in people, according to preliminary results from trials involving 1077 volunteers.

July 21: “U.S. Accuses Hackers of Trying to Steal Coronavirus Vaccine Data for China” by Julian E. Barnes, The New York Times

The Justice Department accused a pair of Chinese hackers on Tuesday of targeting vaccine development on behalf of the country’s intelligence service as part of a broader yearslong campaign of cybertheft aimed at industries around the world, including defense contractors, high-end manufacturing and solar energy companies.

July 28: “Moderna Vaccine Test in Monkeys Shows Promise” by Denise Grady, The New York Times

Monkeys given the Moderna coronavirus vaccine and then deliberately infected were able to fight off the virus, quickly clearing it from their lungs, researchers reported on Tuesday. The findings do not guarantee that the vaccine will perform the same way in people, but the results are considered encouraging and a milestone in the struggle against the pandemic.

July 31: “‘A Huge Experiment’: How the World Made So Much Progress on a Covid-19 Vaccine So Fast” by Andrew Joseph, STAT News

Never before have prospective vaccines for a pathogen entered final-stage clinical trials as rapidly as candidates for Covid-19. Just six months ago, when the death toll from the coronavirus stood at one and neither it nor the disease it caused had a name, a team of Chinese scientists uploaded its genetic sequence to a public site. That kicked off the record-breaking rush to develop vaccines — the salve that experts say could ultimately quell the pandemic.

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