COVID-19 Media

Print and Electronic Media

CFI is continuing the fight against COVID-19. Below is a collection of written articles that showcase CFI's efforts.


Minnesota Republicans cite natural immunity in debate over COVID vaccine mandates

Star Tribune- 01/23/2022
Dr. Marc Jenkins is interviewed in the Star Tribune story about the debate over natural immunity and vaccine mandates. "Natural immunity can be very potent but it can also be not so potent, and that depends on the level of the initial infection," Jenkins said. "Because of that, and in the absence of a robust antibody testing program, it's best to try and get people to very high levels of protection through vaccination."

Minnesota set to jump ahead on boosters  

Star Tribune - 11/18/2021
Dr. Marc Jenkins, director of the Center for Immunology, spoke with from the Star Tribune about SARS-CoV-2 immunology and the importance of boosters. Dr. Jenkins says that the best strategy, for now, is for everyone to get boosters to increase protection in everyone rather than risk leaving some people vulnerable to infection.  

Star Tribune - 10/1/2021
Dr. Marc Jenkins, from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, published research that backs vaccines for those who had a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. The study, published in Cell Reports, shows that people with prior infections who received the two-dose mRNA vaccination had five times more memory B cells — a better immune response — compared to those who received the same vaccination but were never previously infected.

Our Best Shot: COVID shots are not 'gene therapy'

Dr. Marc Jenkins describes mRNA as "one of the important worker bees of the body." Learn how new mRNA vaccines utilize naturally occurring processes in our bodies to protect ourselves against COVID 19. Read the Star Tribune article: or view the entire Star Tribune Editorial Board's #OurBestShot series, which enlists Minnesota health and community leaders to deliver timely trustworthy answers. Link here

Why mixing vaccines could help boost immunity

David Masopust highlights the promise and potential issues of mixing vaccines and vaccine types over time in a May 6, 2021 piece by Cassandra Willyard from MIT Technology Review. Read here

Do I have to get the Covid vaccine in my arm?

Marc Jenkins is quoted in an article written by Christina Caron from The New York Times about whether a person has to get the COVID vaccine shot in the arm.

So, what’s your titer?

That question, still strange sounding, may soon become important as vaccines bring about the endgame for COVID-19.  Dr. Marc Jenkins talks with  from the Star Tribune on December 7, 2020 about a newly developed blood test made by Imanis Life Sciences in Rochester, MN.  The test will give consumers a quantitative measurement of their neutralizing antibody titers that will definitively provide the amount of virus-killing antibodies in their systems . Click here to read the full article.

UMN research could help inform future COVID-19 vaccines

The Minnesota Daily's Madeline Deninger writes about how Dr. Marc Jenkins and other members of CFI have been working to understand how the body develops antibodies once it has been infected with COVID-19. Click here

Dr. Marc Jenkins is quoted in an article by Elizabeth Weise published on May 8, 2020 in USA Today about whether it is possible to catch the coronavirus twice.

Drs. Amy Karger and Marc Jenkins provided factual information to The Wall Street Journal about antibody tests—blood tests designed to detect who was previously infected with the new coronavirus and have developed antibodies to it. Click here

CFI director Dr. Marc Jenkins explains how the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic are close to unveiling antibody tests that can determine if people have already been infected by the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and are no longer threats to get or spread the infection. To read the entire Star Tribune article from March 30, 2020 click here.

The Star Tribune's Christopher Snowbeck and CFI's Director Marc Jenkins talk about "a whole new approach to vaccines" using viral RNA instead of the way current vaccines are produced using a weakened or killed form of a virus to stimulate an immune system response that produces antibodies.  To read the entire Star Tribune article click here.

Radio and TV

Local News and Seminars

In the1/5/2022 episode of "The Health Variant" podcast, host and NewsMD Health Correspondent Jeremy Fugleberg talks with immunologist Dr. Marc K. Jenkins at the University of Minnesota. Jenkins discusses what we know and don't know about the omicron variant, explains about why it's not so easy to know if you have the natural immunity you need to fight off COVID-19 (but could in the foreseeable future), and details what happened to the hopes for herd immunity. 

Health Variant 1-5-2022

Researchers at the University of Minnesota are trying to answer major questions of which the world still has no answers: At what point will coronavirus vaccines give long lasting immunity? And unlike most other vaccines, why does the immunity from these go away so quickly?

On Jan. 6, 2022 Chris Hrapsky and Kare11 visited the Jenkins Lab to see what the frontline of COVID research looks like.

Jan 6 2022 Kare11 story

Kare11 TV-12/15/2021
Chris Hrapsky spoke with health experts including Dr. Marc Jenkins, to answer some of your latest questions on the coronavirus.

Kare 11 vaccine vax 12-15-21

Mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez of Richfield, MN wants to keep her community informed regarding a variety of topics. Since early 2020, a dozen "A Moment with the Mayor" episodes have aired, ranging from the city's new dog park to the COVID-19 pandemic to heroes that make Richfield a better place to live, learn, work and play. On Nov. 19, 2021 the mayor thought it would be a good idea to speak with one of the state's leading experts in immunology, Dr. Marc Jenkins, to separate the facts from the fiction of all the COVID-19 information out there regarding case rates, vaccine safety, boosters and everything in between.

Vax Facts: Explaining how booster shots work

Dr. Marc Jenkins spoke with Kare11's Chris Hrapsky about SARS-CoV-2 immunology and the importance of boosters, explaining that getting boosters increase protection in everyone rather than risk leaving some people vulnerable to infection.
11-18-21 interview

What has better protection, COVID infection or COVID vaccine?

KARE-TV - 10/29/2021
Studies show potential for strong "natural immunity" after infection, but that protection varies. A new study suggests vaccines better prevent serious illness. Chris Hrapsky from KARE-11 talks to Dr. Marc Jenkins to find the answer.
KARE 11 interview 10-29-21

CFI researchers continue to answer your COVID questions: A team led by Dr. Marc Jenkins has found those who’ve had COVID get a huge Immunity Boost from the vaccine. WCCO news Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield talks with Dr. Jenkins about the results.
WCCO 10-6-21

With the FDA approving Pfizer and Moderna booster shots for immunocompromised, Dr. Marc Jenkins spoke with Jay Kolls from KSTP news last night about the vaccine booster for those with weakened immune systems.
Marc on KSTP

Dr. Marc Jenkins, sat down on 7/25/2021 for an extended interview with Chris Hrapsky from Kare11 news to talk about all things COVID19.

Four new studies are helping to answer just how protected people are after a coronavirus infection and how potent a vaccine can be after infection. The research shows good evidence that natural immunity lasts at least a year and could last much longer, according to experts, but it’s unclear if the protection is enough to neutralize several variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Dr. Jenkins and Mr. Hrapsky sit down to discuss these findings and more.

YouTube link for full interview

On May 29, 2021 Dr. Marc Jenkins was interviewed by the Star Tribune opinion writer Jill Burcum.

The Star Tribune Editorial Pages have launched "Our Best Shot," an occasions series addressing questions and concerns about COVID-19 vaccine. The Star Tribune Editorial Board enlisted Dr. Jenkins to address concerns about Pfizer and Moderna vaccines' important role in ending the pandemic, as part of its ongoing "Our Best Shot" series tackling vaccine hesitancy. To read the newspaper editorial, go to

Marc- Start Tribune

On April 6, 2021 Jeff Wagner from WCCO asked:

Why are many vaccines administered as a shot? Dr. Marc Jenkins has the answer:

“A goal of most vaccines is to induce a strong immune response,” said Dr. Marc Jenkins, director of the Center of Immunology at the University of Minnesota. “And the place in the body where you can do that the best are in organs called lymph nodes.”

WCCO: why are vaccines in the arm

U of M scientists discover cells that SARS-CoV-2 infects first, confirm the effectiveness of Remdesivir treatment

Dr. Langlois, KARE-11 2-15-21

KARE-11 Explains: Everything you need to know about vaccines

Chris Hrapsky from Kare11 and Dr. Marc Jenkins give a quick overview of the types of vaccines that are available and how they work to fight viruses. They also explain the new COVID-19 vaccine and how it is different yet more effective than the old vaccines.

City of Richfield, MN awards Dr. Marc Jenkins the key to the city

Some cities hand out Keys to the City like the practice is going out of style. The City of Richfield on the other hand only awards Keys to the City to individuals who have made a major impact in the community, State of Minnesota, nation, or in the case of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the world. This past June, the city council awarded Dr. Marc Jenkins with the key to the city to recognize his accomplishments in the field of immunology, recent election to the National Academy of Sciences, and his work to better public education in Richfield.    

On August 11, 2020, for the fifty-second episode of the That’s Rich(field) podcast, we sat down with Dr. Jenkins to discuss his career accomplishments, his research team's recent creation of a COVID-19 antibody test, and what it is like being elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Marc Jenkins joined Fox9 Morning Buzz on 7-29-20 to answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines and how UMN is following less traveled roads to find a long term solution.

Marc talks with Tolar

Fox9 the Morning Buzz interview with Alex Kendall and Ryan Langlois

Morning Buzz 5-14-20

Department of Orthopedic Surgery Grand Rounds: 5-8-2020GRAND ROUNDS 5-8-20

KARE-11 interview with Chris Hrapsky on May 7, 2020

KARE 11 5-7-20

KARE-11 interview with Kent Erdahl on April 15, 2020 

Kare 11 4-15-20 

KARE-11 (4/1/2020)

KARE-11 4-1-20



A new study led by Dr. Kathy Pape from the Jenkins lab is revealing that people who received an mRNA vaccination for COVID19 have greater immune responses compared to others. The study shows differences in immune responses among those vaccinated, including the amount of memory B cells and their vaccine binding performance. Cell Reports paper:


Thanks to the expertise of the Advanced Research and Diagnostics Laboratory, University scientists and physicians were able to quickly led screenings for #COVID19 among patients and healthcare workers. ➡️

Dr. Ryan Langlois describes the four major discoveries about the virus, including one that validates the effectiveness of remdesivir – an FDA-approved antiviral drug – as a form of treatment for severe COVID-19 disease after a UMN team of researchers studied SARS-CoV-2 infections at individual cellular levels. Read paper here

More than 100 vaccine projects in various stages across the globe take subtly different approaches to achieve the same goal: trigger the body’s immune response to COVID-19 before the virus has an opportunity to spread and cause harm. U of M experts explain three ways to create a COVID-19 vaccine and offer optimism about when we might have a viable option.

The University of Minnesota has been hard at work trying to end the COVID-19 pandemic and ease the impact on those affected by it. Read about all the ways that donors, researchers, colleges and students have stepped up to support research and innovation. 

Dr. Tyler Bold led the collaboration of several CFI labs to study the neutralization activity of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies from convalescent plasma in donors with a history of non-severe disease.

A new vaccine development approach, now being studied at the University of Minnesota Medical School, hopes to protect against current and future strains of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Drs. Geoffrey Hart and Marco Pravetoni have partnered together to prove that a universal vaccine or antibodies are possible in the fight against future variants of SARS-CoV.

Responses by Drs. Matt Pullen, MD- Infectious Diseases Fellow and David Boulware, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine- Infectious Diseases on current data, what are the recommendations for use of hydroxychloroquine in SARS-CoV-2 infection?

Dr. Tyler Bold explains how sera from patients who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection (convalescent sera) could be used immediately to provide protective immunity.

What have we and what can we learn from the sequences of the SARS-Cov-2 genome as the viruse mutates and spreads around the world? 

Dr. Karger discusses the need to create and validate the UMN laboratory-developed tests for COVID-19. Marc Jenkins, PhD, and Fang Li, PhD, had laid the foundation for a new antibody (or serology) test but needed a leader and a lab to bring it up for clinical use. Dr. Karger stepped in.

Interview with Dr. Marc Jenkins on the Antibody Testing Capabilities Developed at the University of Minnesota for SARS-CoV2

What vaccines are under development, and how would they work to prevent COVID-19 infection?

What are the most promising drugs currently being tested against the COVID-19 coronavirus, and how do they work?

 “Structural basis of receptor recognition by SARS-CoV-2" Nature, March 20, 2020.

This paper discuses the 3-dimensional structure determined by Dr. Fang Li in collaboration with Dr. Hideki Aihara.