Charles Horton, M.D.

Charles is WORLD's medical correspondent. He is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a physician. Charles resides near Pittsburgh with his wife and four children.


Vaccine tests and delays

Medicine | The road to a “safe and effective” coronavirus vaccine—and who will get it first
by Charles Horton, M.D.
Posted 10/14/20, 06:50 pm

Federal regulators last week issued new safety guidance for pharmaceutical companies developing coronavirus vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration stated that researchers would need to observe volunteers participating in final-stage vaccine testing for at least two months after giving them their last shot. The two-month period is meant to ensure that volunteers do not develop serious reactions to the vaccines. 

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Yaraslau Saulevich/iStock

Blowing the coronavirus away

Health | As cold weather approaches, consider these ways to minimize indoor coronavirus exposure
by Charles Horton, M.D.
Posted 9/29/20, 10:19 am

Mugs of hot cocoa, falling leaves, and—for those in northern climates—an approaching end to warm evenings outside with friends, 6 feet apart but still together. 

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AP Photo/Bruna Prado

Will herd immunity end the coronavirus?

Medicine | Some researchers suggest the threshold for herd immunity is lower than we thought, but ending social distancing measures prematurely would be a mistake
by Charles Horton, M.D.
Posted 9/11/20, 03:47 pm

In the COVID-19 debates, one topic manages simultaneously to be the most and least controversial: “herd immunity.” The concept of herd immunity is uncontroversial, and simply states that when enough members of a population develop immunity to a virus, the bug will fizzle out for lack of people to infect. The controversy, though, echoes every child’s favorite road-trip question: Are we almost there yet?

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