Scott Hensley edits stories about health, biomedical research and pharmaceuticals for NPR's Science desk. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has led the desk's reporting on the development of vaccines against the coronavirus.
Hensley has worked on award-winning investigations in collaboration with journalistic partners.
He was the lead NPR editor on an investigation with the Center for Public Integrity in 2018 that exposed drug industry influence on the choices of preferred medicines by Medicaid programs. The work won the 2019 Gerald Loeb Award for audio reporting.
In 2017, Hensley was the lead NPR editor on an investigation with Kaiser Health News that showed how the pharmaceutical industry exploits government incentives intended to encourage the development of treatments for rare diseases. The stories won the 2019 digital award from the National Institute for Health Care Management.
Hensley has been editing in his current role since 2019. He joined NPR in 2009 to launch Shots, a blog that expanded to become a digital destination for NPR health coverage.
Before NPR, Hensley was a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal. He was the founding editor of The Wall Street Journal Health Blog, which focused on the intersection of health and business. As a reporter, he covered the drug industry and the Human Genome Project.
Hensley served on the board of the Association of Health Care Journalists from 2012 to 2020.
He has a bachelor's degree in natural sciences from Johns Hopkins University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University.
Before becoming a journalist, Hensley worked in the medical device industry. He remains, now and forever, a lover of Dobermans, lacrosse and Callinectes sapidus.
Updated study results say the vaccine is 76% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 and 100% effective against severe disease. Independent monitors had been concerned about a previous report.
The Food and Drug Administration gave Johnson & Johnson's vaccine the green light for emergency use Saturday, a day after a panel of advisers to the agency endorsed it in a unanimous vote.
The Food and Drug Administration typically follows the advice of its expert advisers. A quick agency decision on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is expected given the state of the pandemic.
The Food and Drug Administration released an analysis of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday morning that appears to support its authorization for emergency use.
The vaccine did better at preventing disease in the U.S. – 72% — and less well in South Africa – 57% efficacy. The efficacy seen in Latin America was 66%.
Novavax says its COVID-19 vaccine is 89% effective at preventing illness, according to an interim analysis of a U.K. study. But the vaccine wasn't as effective against some viral variants.
Two days before a panel of experts is set to review Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine and advise the Food and Drug Administration, documents show the vaccine is 94% effective and well-tolerated.
In a 17-4 vote, an expert committee concluded that the scientific evidence supports the authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech for emergency use during the pandemic.
The Food and Drug Administration finds "no specific safety concerns" that would stand in the way of authorization of the vaccine for emergency use. Effectiveness is 95% after two doses.
The president, who is being treated for COVID-19, has been downplaying the severity of the disease. He said falsely that, compared with the flu, COVID-19 is "in most populations far less lethal."