Today I woke up to some much-needed good news: The Pfizer vaccine is 100% effective in adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15, according to the company. If the findings hold up to peer review, they could be a game-changer for kids (and their parents) desperately hoping for a safe return to school. Right now, kids under 16 still aren’t eligible for vaccination, as science journalist Emily Willingham wrote in the Coronavirus Blog, but it looks like they could be soon.
Meanwhile, more and more adults across the country are getting vaccinated (I’m currently seeking a slot for myself in New York!) now that all states have either expanded or have plans to expand eligibility to people age 16 and over. This is terrific news and bodes well for our future, but it’s so important that we keep in mind that we’re not out of the woods just yet.
On Tuesday, Rochelle Walensky, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pleaded with Americans to stay vigilant despite the promise widespread vaccination holds, as science journalist Dana G Smith reported on the Coronavirus Blog. “We are just almost there but not quite yet,” Walensky said. “And so I’m asking you to just hold on a little longer, to get vaccinated when you can so that all of those people that we all love will still be here when this pandemic ends.”
I’m urging you to do the same. With a little more patience, we’re going to get there.
Stay safe and stay hopeful,
Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog
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A quick Q&A: Why can’t all nations just make the vaccine?
Global vaccine distribution has been terribly lopsided, with more vaccines going to rich countries. If this continues, warned one expert in the journal Nature, the pandemic could go on for seven more years. One way to address this issue would be for drug companies to lift patent restrictions on vaccines so that developing nations can produce the doses themselves, writes journalist Amy Martyn in Future Human. Though this idea has widespread support, the pharmaceutical industry has refused to do so, arguing that it would stymie innovation. Read more.
New on the Coronavirus Blog
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- Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women Have a High Antibody Response After Vaccination
- How to Make Sense of the AstraZeneca Vaccine Data Drama