Nearly three years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic began to wreak havoc on the world, setting into motion a global scramble to develop vaccines and drugs aimed at vanquishing the virus. However, the pandemic also touched off a flurry of misinformation that left the world’s researchers and public health officials struggling to address outright falsehoods while answering legitimate concerns.
Among the most outspoken of these researchers was Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and professor of pediatrics and of molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine.
In this interview with GEN’s Alex Philippidis, Hotez shares lessons that researchers and public health professionals learned from COVID-19. He assesses the success of FDA-approved vaccines and explains how his team co-developed a COVID-19 vaccine for use in developing countries. He also discusses current public health challenges—ranging from monkeypox to the spread of misinformation—as well as the vitriol and attacks he experienced as a result of his advocacy for vaccination and other public health measures.