MIT to host joint webinar on vaccines with Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital

Webinar will include Q&A about MIT’s vaccine planning

Members of the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard will host a webinar entitled “COVID-19: Vaccines and prospects for ending the evolving pandemic” on April 8 at 4 p.m.

The webinar will feature Bruce Walker, the founding director of the Ragon Institute, along with Galit Alter, Dan Barouch, and Bryan Bryson, SB ‘07, PhD ‘13.

President L. Rafael Reif wrote the webinar will explore “how an extraordinary collaboration across research disciplines, government and industry” has brought us to where we are in the vaccine rollout and “where we go from here,” in an email to the MIT community April 1.

Reif wrote that topics covered in the webinar will include why “viruses pose such a threat to humanity,” how “vaccines are designed,” what new viral variants “mean in terms of ending the pandemic,” and what “we can do now to prevent future pandemics.”

In an email to The Tech, Bryson wrote that members of the MIT community planning on attending the webinar “should expect to learn about SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, vaccination, and the consequences of viral evolution” and “to see how the collaborative spirit of MIT and the Ragon Institute was deployed to address this pandemic.” 

Barouch wrote in an email to The Tech that he hopes attendees will take away a “deeper understanding” of “COVID-19 immunity and vaccines.”

MIT Medical Director Cecilia Stuopis ’90 wrote to The Tech that “MIT is a data-driven place.” 

“It’s not surprising that members of the community have questions about how these vaccines work, or concerns about their development. We want everyone in the community to understand the science behind the vaccines, and why they are safe. It’s my hope that the webinar alleviates lingering concerns and convinces more people to get vaccinated, and also share what they learn with friends and family.”

Stuopis explained that by “getting vaccinated, we keep each other healthy, but it’s not just the community that benefits: Across the globe, MIT is a role model. Some of the technologies that made these vaccines possible were created right here. If our community gets the vaccine, we just may inspire others to do so.”

Stuopis will join the Ragon Institute members for questions after the presentations, and, according to Reif’s email, will “answer questions about MIT’s vaccine planning.”