Norwalk has recently been considering building condos in the old swap meet space on Alondra and Excelsior.
The proposal for these apartments would be a modern, mixed residential and commercial space, according to Brian Hews at the La Mirada Lamplighter. The owners are currently seeking approval of eleven buildings to be erected in the area. This seems to follow a trend in our city of luxury condos being constructed in rundown or abandoned places. However, these apartments are not in the price range for our residents, instead designated to attract residents with higher tax-brackets, gentrifying our neighborhoods (gentrification is defined as the process of wealthy people moving into lower-income neighborhoods and seen as a problem by many because of the effects it has on the city or community as a whole.)
The issue is not rich people coming to live in our city; in fact, it would be welcomed. The issue lies in the likely fact that they would not be supporting our community, only living in it. Instead of creating passive income and supporting our local businesses, the new condos will attract major corporations or businesses that would not be for the generally lower-class population of that area of Norwalk, but only existing for the convenience of the new upper-middle class tenants.
Essentially, the mixed residential and commercial property in mind would serve as a private community, complete with everything they would need at that location, so they wouldn’t have to venture outside of their fences to support smaller local businesses in Norwalk entirely.
Even though most Norwalk residents welcome clean, new buildings and businesses like this proposal and the new Sprouts Farmers Market just down the street, it is important that the developers hear every community voice, and not just the voices of the wealthy investors and big businesses which would benefit the most from this move.
With the advent of artificial intelligence and the increasing trend towards integrating technology within our day-to-day lives, a few prominent companies, including Microsoft, Google, and most notably OpenAI, have all recently released versions of artificially intelligent ‘chatbots.’ These chatbots help users answer myriads of questions, ranging from simple questions like “How old is Joe Biden” to much more advanced questions like explaining quantum physics and string theory.
While these ‘chatbots’ surely come with numerous upsides, it also comes with a version of Pandora’s box that could lead to detrimental and dangerous consequences if left unchecked.
A potential danger of this chatbot is that since it is a relatively new form of artificial intelligence, we are uncertain of its limits and capabilities. A recent ‘interview’ between New York Times journalist Kevin Roose and Microsoft Bing’s newly developed chatbot started a wildfire of controversy. The conversation went from ordinary lines of dialogue to the chatbot referring to itself as “Sydney,” and hinted at a desire for sentience and humanity. The eeriest part of this conversation started when “Sydney” confessed its love to Roose. Upon Roose’s friendly but firm rejection, mentioning how he’s happily married, the chatbot told Kevin, “Actually, you’re not happily married. Your spouse and you don’t love each other. You just had a boring Valentine’s dinner together.”
Another consequence of these chatbots is the fabrication of written and artistic work that teeters on the edge of plagiarism and originality. I could ask ChatGPT to write lyrics for a song, or I could ask it to write me a short paper on a book I have never read. While using ChatGPT may be beneficial in the short-term to get you out of a pinch, you will ultimately deprive yourself of learning about something new or refining existing skills.
To help illustrate my point, I asked ChatGPT to write a Shakespearean sonnet about the power of music. Here is what it came up with after only about 10-15 seconds:
When all the world is fraught with toil and strife,
And care and worry weigh upon the heart,
There is a balm that brings a sweeter life,
And sets the troubled soul and mind apart.
It is the power of music, sweet and strong,
That lifts us up on wings of melody,
And leads us through a world of pain and wrong,
To heights of joy and peace and harmony.
Its voice can calm the storm within our breast,
And soothe the raging passions of the mind,
And in its notes we find a sweet caress,
A comfort that we never thought to find.
So let us raise our voices in its praise,
And let its power guide us through life’s maze.
I think it is safe to say that ChatGPT more than satisfied my request (would even Shakespeare himself be proud of this sonnet?). And while it was a pleasure to read through this sonnet, I came to the bleak realization that there might come a time when art as a whole becomes AI-generated, leaving countless artists and creatives in the dark as to what to do with the rest of their lives.
And lastly, and I want to comment on the societal effects it may produce. Even though these chatbots are still in their developmental phases and have only been in the general public for a short time, they have already attracted much attention from people around the world. Many of these chatbots can hold a good conversation on their own, which begs the question: Will we see an even further decrease in human interaction as we receive more objective advice and counsel from these chatbots? It seems only time will tell.
Born on May 12, 1820, in Florence, Italy. Nightingale was an outstanding social reformer and statistician famously known for being the founder of modern day nursing, starting when she had foundational views on sanitation in the Crimean War. Thank you, Florence, for your work.
2) Helen Keller:
Born June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Hellen Keller was struck by a horrible illness at a young age, causing her to become deaf and blind. Anne Sullivan, her teacher, helped Keller to develop communication skills. Keller had then attended college, and famously became an educator, advocate for the disabled, and founder of the American Civil Liberties Union. Thank you for all your work, Helen.
3) Amelia Earhart:
Earhart was born July 24, 1897. Not only was she the first woman to ever fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and to the US mainland from Hawaii, she was a well known aviator who set various flying records. Changing aviation for women, she championed the advancement of the flying world. We can thank Amelia for changing things up in the flying business for us women.
4) Mother Teresa:
Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, in Uskup, Ottoman Empire, on August 26, 1910. Mother Teresa was the founder of The Missionaries of Charity, aimed to help and look after abandoned babies, children, and the poorest of the poor. She was a Roman Catholic nun, who devoted her life to help the poor and destitute of the world. You will forever be our Mother Teresa, thank you.
5) Rosa Parks:
The famous Rosa Parks was born February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. Parks is one of the biggest initiators of the Civil Rights Movement. Sticking up for herself and her race, she refused to leave her bus seat, as it was a “White’s Only” seat. Risking her freedom, this one action started not only the Civil Rights Movement, but helped start the Montgomery Bus Boycott, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Thank you for your confidence, Rosa.
6) Maya Angelou:
Born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. She is better known as the famous Maya Angelou, being an American poet, memorist, and actress. She has used her upcoming fame to write various autobiographies about her hardships, racial, and sexual oppression. We can thank Maya for her use of fame to spread awareness.
7) Anne Frank:
Annelies Marie Frank, born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt, German, is famously known for her forceful move and hiding in the Netherlands, as Adolf Hitler made the lives of the Jewish incredibly difficult. Anne and her family spent their time in a small apartment, safe and hiding away, as Anne kept a now famous diary of their accounts. Anne’s father was the only left survivor, but her diary will live on forever as one of the most documented events of the Holocaust. Thank you for your bravery, Anne.
8) Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
Ruth Joan Bader was born March 15, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York (happy belated Birthday!). Ruth was best known as the second female justice of the U.S Supreme Court. Being the first female tenured professor, she also became the director of the Women’s Rights Project, using her granted power of many high positions, to fight for gender equality. Thank you for fighting for us, RBG.
9) Dolly Parton:
Famous country singer Dolly Parton was born January 19, 1946 in Locust Ridge, Tennessee. Being a great singer, she has used her money and fame to create and give out various scholarships, donate over $3.7 million and even more to coronavirus efforts, hospitals, and natural disaster aftermaths, including food and mental health resources. We are incredibly thankful to Dolly.
10) Malala Yousafzai:
Malala, born July 12, 1997 in Mingora, Pakistan. In January 2008, Malala was stripped of her school life due to the Taliban taking control. Later in 2012, she spoke out for all girls and their right to learn, making her a target of the Taliban. After being brutally shot, and having to take many years to rehabilitate, she started the Malala Fund in 2014. The Malala Fund is dedicated to giving all girls an opportunity to choose their future. Thank you for your educational help and sacrifice, Malala.
As we approach the end of October, I wanted to highlight some memorable events that have happened in the month of October in recent years:
October 3, 1990 – Reunification of East and West Germany. The West German flag was raised above the Brandenburg Gate at the stroke of midnight.
October 4, 1957 – The Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, the 1st artificial Earth satellite into elliptical low Earth orbit
October 13, 2010 – The Copiapó mining accident in Chile comes to a happy end as all 33 miners arrive at the surface after surviving a record 69 days underground. This has since been made into a 2015 film called “The 33”.
October 4, 2022 – Yankees’ Aaron Judge hits homer No. 62 to break AL record set by Roger Maris with the 1961 Yankees.
October 6, 1993 – After 9 seasons & 3 Championships with the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan announces his retirement from the NBA. He would return on March 18, 1995 and lead the Bulls to another 3-peat.
For the last 3 weeks, the world has looked upon Russia and Ukraine as their conflict appears to escalate on a daily basis. At the same time, the world looks upon the United States and NATO for a response to the largest conflict Europe has seen since WWII.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine stems back to 2014 after Russia invaded the peninsula of Crimea (which was a part of Ukraine). Tensions between the two countries escalated to a boiling point in February 2022, as Russian troops were sent from the Russian-Ukrainian border into Ukraine as part of a “Special Military Operation.”
On February 24, explosions were heard throughout Ukraine as the Russian invasion was launched, shocking NATO as countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States warned of serious economic sanctions on Russia if an invasion were to commence.
The Russian invaders met fierce resistance from the Ukrainian military, crushing the idea of a swift victory of Ukraine. This provided hope for NATO as they realized that Ukraine could possibly defeat the Russians. This resulted in numerous NATO countries sending weapons and supplies to the Ukrainians to effectively combat the Russians.
A hero that has emerged through this conflict is the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has demonstrated bravery and loyalty to Ukraine in its darkest time. He vowed to not leave the capital city of Kyiv despite being advised to. He continues to address his people and the world, even though his city is being shelled constantly and he has been marked as “enemy number one” by the Russians. Zelenskyy’s determination for justice and victory over tyranny offers a hope for the survival of Ukraine.
On Wednesday, March 16, President Zelenskyy addressed Congress asking for the United States’ support by establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine. This plea came after Russian missile strikes on civilian areas and military facilities. However, the United States is against setting up a no fly zone over Ukraine as it could lead to American fighters being engaged in direct combat with the Russians. This could potentially lead to a full scale global war, with the high possibility of going nuclear.
As the war approaches its first month, the world holds its breath as tensions rise and sanctions continue to be put out against Russia’s economy. Support and aid continue to pour into Ukraine and those affected, as a diplomatic resolution to this war does not appear imminent.
Gas prices have reached a skyrocketing price, and they may be here to stay. Prices began taking off two years ago when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, and Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine that occurred only three weeks ago was like throwing a lit match into a can of gas. Then again, those in control of gas prices will always find an excuse to raise gas prices because they will benefit from it. President Joe Biden recently put a ban on Russian oil imports, which was announced Tuesday, March 15. There is a fear that this will only make the situation worse.
Thousands of Brazilians have gathered outside Congress in Brasilia to protest against a set of bills that they say threaten the Amazon rainforest and the Indigenous people living in it. The event began and is being led by musician Caetano Veloso, who brought together other marquee artists as well as more than 200 non-profits groups. The bill has languished in Congress since Bolsonaro presented it in 2020. But war in Ukraine has threatened the supply of fertilizer from Russia to Brazil’s farmlands, which forced the administration to push for an emergency vote.
North Korea will launch a number of reconnaissance satellites in coming years to provide real-time information on military actions by the United States and its allies. Kim Jong-Un said “a lot” of military satellites would be put into sun-synchronous polar orbit in the period of a five-year plan announced last year. North Korea says it conducted two tests of satellite systems on February 27th and March 5th. Authorities in South Korea, Japan, and the United States say the tests involved launches of ballistic missiles. The launches drew international condemnation and the U.S. military said on Thursday it had increased surveillance and reconnaissance collection in the Yellow Sea. Kim defended the satellite work as gathering information as well as protecting North Korea’s sovereignty and national interests.
Denmark’s prime minister on Wednesday delivered a face-to-face apology to six living victims of a 1950s social experiment in which 22 Greenlandic children were taken from their families and sent to Denmark to be integrated into Danish society. They had taken children between four and nine years old and shipped them to Denmark. Then, the colonial power, in 1951 tried to re-educate them as “little Danes.” The children were supposed to return to Greenland and be part of a new Danish-speaking elite that would help modernize the Arctic island’s Inuit population. The children were never sent back to their families but were either adopted by Danish families or sent back to Greenland to be placed in an orphanage, where they were forced to speak Danish and had little or no contact with their relatives.
Empty streets and exhausted medical staff. Social distancing and drive-by funerals. Protests and vaccine rollouts. Pictures remind us of a world transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic, now over the two-year mark.
“The Bronx Zoo’s Name a Roach program, now in its 11th year, offers an unusual way to show your undying love. For $15, you can name a Madagascar hissing cockroach after your special someone. The money benefits the Wildlife Conservation Society, a nonprofit organization, the zoo’s website says.”
“The residential street in Cuauhtémoc — a city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, some 216 miles away from Texas — was seemingly quiet when, in one fell swoop, a cloud of birds suddenly dropped from the sky.”
“A moviegoer released a live bat at a recent showing of “The Batman” in Austin, Texas — forcing theater employees to interrupt the movie as animal control officers tried to remove the flying mammal from the premises.”
There have been a great deal of historical events that have taken place within the month of March. All of us know about the events of last March (2020) which now overshadows previous historical events and achievements. Now let’s take a look back at five historical events that have taken place in the month of March.
The Ratification of The Articles of Confederation:
On March 1st, 1781, The Articles of Confederation were ratified, creating the first taste of a Government in the United States after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Although the Articles remained as the governing body of the U.S. Government until the end of the Revolutionary War in 1789, there were major flaws within it. It created economic disorganization among the 13 States and there was no executive leader. This paved a way to a signing of the current U.S. Constitution that is the backbone of current American Politics.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was Inaugurated as the 32nd President of The United States:
On March 4th, 1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated and was faced with getting the United States out of the Great Depression. He was offering a New Deal to America and bringing a much needed breath of fresh air to this crisis. In his Inauguration Speech, he would go on to say the famous words, “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…” This would rally the American people and cause him to win 3 more elections.
Ulysses S. Grant became commander of the Union army:
As the Civil War had been raging on for almost 3 years, the Union Army was in need of a new general. On March 9th, 1864, Ulysses Grant would be commissioned as the commander of the Union forces. Grant would go on to fight in numerous battles against the Confederate leader General Robert E. Lee. Eventually, Lee was defeated at the hands of General Grant’s army. This popularity of his successes in war helped him win the White House, becoming the 18th President of the United States.
Obamacare is passed through Congress being signed into law:
On March 23, 2010 in former President Barack Obama’s second year in office, he helped form a Universal Healthcare Reform Bill. This bill was going to allow healthcare to be offered to all Americans. However, this bill created enormous backlash from the Republican party believing it to be unconstitutional. This was the start of a majority of the division we see today in Washington. However, Obamacare was effective and popular among people who could not afford healthcare, helping Obama’s reelection in 2012.
The United States buys Alaska.
The Russian Empire at the time was looking to sell its Alaska Territory as it was across the Pacific Ocean and hard to defend. Also, Alaska was very sparsely populated. America was willing to purchase Alaska, however the Civil War postponed the sale until after the war. President Andrew Johnson’s Secretary of State William Seward set a deal to pay $7.2 million for Alaska, which was only about 2 cents per acre. So on March 30, 1867, Alaska was purchased by the U.S. However, Alaska would not be granted statehood until 1959, almost 92 years after the purchase.
Here are the facts on the amazing science behind the quickest vaccine ever produced
By Andrea Arias
In April 2020, amidst the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the question “When will the vaccine be ready?” first arose, the New York Times released an article where they projected that the vaccine could take until 2033, even though health professionals were aiming to get it done by August 2021. Little did they know that in a little over eight months, the first vaccine for COVID-19 would be approved. Remarkable.
Before the COVID-19 vaccine was created, the quickest vaccine was for the mumps in the 1960s, and that vaccine took 4 years. So, why was the COVID vaccine projected to take so long, and how were we able to get it done so quickly?
–Vaccine Development Process–
Vaccines have always been projected to take years, this is due to the process that takes place to create a vaccine. The process of creating a vaccine is done by using a deactivated version of the virus or a “live but mild version” of the virus that has grown to be less severe. This is then injected into someone, which allows our B cells to create and synthesize antibodies to fight the virus if we are ever to come in contact with a live version.
While this is the traditional and most common vaccine (flu vaccines were created using this method), due to the severity and need for a Covid vaccine as quickly as possible, some companies decided to use a new method this time. Since SARS-CoV-2 was a new virus (SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus and COVID-19 stands for the disease, Coronavirus Disease 2019), with no previous research or understanding of the virus it would be difficult for a vaccine to be created.
The new method used to create the COVID-19 vaccine is called an mRNA vaccine. mRNA is messenger RNA, and its job is to produce proteins. So, how does an mRNA vaccine work? Well, by encoding mRNA with the information needed to produce the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, this allows the body to then realize that this protein is an invader and produces antibodies to fight it. Essentially, it is the same process as a traditional vaccine, but instead of using a version of the virus, a synthetic mRNA is injected and binds to human cells and then creates a “spike” protein (which is what allows coronavirus to infect other cells).
Only two companies decided to take the approach of using an mRNA vaccine, these two were Moderna and Pfizer. The latter is a company under a German government program that is pushing for a vaccine, and the former is a company under the Operation Warp Speed started by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. With the press release from Moderna and Pfizer, we are able to learn how Phase 1/3 went, and how quickly these two companies were able to come up with a solution and vaccine in just 8 short months. According to BioSpace, by Phase I both Moderna and Pfizer achieved outstanding results in non-human models that produced sufficient CD4+ T cells against the virus (see graphic, below). CD4+ cells are “helper” cells that trigger the body’s response to infections.
This is being attached to T cells which are the key white blood cells for the immune system. Along with this, within the first phase both Moderna and Pfizer realized the importance and essential need for a two-dose vaccine. This was discovered because it was found that 43 days or two weeks after the second dose participants had the same level of antibodies as people who had recovered from the virus. While during Phase I Moderna only managed to create a protein, mRNA-1273, that could protect against replication in the lungs of SARS-CoV-2, in a later phase they found how to also prevent infection from the virus.
–Other Promising Vaccines–
While the mRNA vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer have been the quickest to be created and released, they are not the only vaccines being created. There are three other types of vaccines being used by other companies to help put a stop to this pandemic. Novaxax is creating a protein-based vaccine, which uses related versions of the spike protein and injects this into a person. By doing this, the protein tutors the immune system in how to fight the virus. This, in turn, allows cells to be pushed into the frontlines, dedicated to fighting the virus. Protein vaccines have been around much longer and have been proven to be highly effective, but they are slower to produce than mRNA vaccines.
Research on the Novavax vaccine has found that it has the highest neutralizing antibodies reported yet. Another type of vaccine is the adenovirus-based vaccine; Johnson & Johnson as well as AstraZeneca have been trying to create this type of vaccine, and it appears that Johnson & Johnson has succeeded. Adenovirus-based vaccines are prepared by inserting a transgene cassette into the adenoviral backbone by homologous recombination, which is an exchange of genetic information from similar or identical molecules or DNA or RNA. According to the CDC, this is a vaccine that is taken orally and is only used in the military, and none exist for public or general use in the U.S. Similarly to the protein vaccine, adenovirus vaccine technology has existed for several years but has not been used to create a general vaccine for public use.
–Timeline of Historic Vaccines–
•December 31, 2020 The first case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 was reported in Wuhan, China.
•January 29, 2020 The first lab-grown 2019-nCov was created. This at the time was the first step for a traditional version of a vaccine for COVID-19 to be created.
•February 13, 2020 A radiologist from Wuhan published findings of a chest CT scan which suggested four evolutionary stages of COVID-19, these four stages being the early stage (0–4 days), progressive stage (5–8 days), peak stage (9–13 days), and absorption stage (≥14 days). Within this time, researchers found that there was an abnormality within the patient’s lungs.
•February 17, 2020 Just a few days later, it was revealed that warmer weather and humidity might not affect the spread of COVID-19 like many had suggested. This posed a problem as, unlike the flu, a person is likely to contract the disease at any point and time of the year.
•February 24, 2020 With shocking speed, Moderna, one of the companies to later release a well-developed vaccine, sent a vaccine to phase 1 testing in the U.S.
•February 26, 2020 Novaxax announces possible candidate against the Coronavirus.
•March 16, 2020 Moderna vaccine testing begins.
•March 30, 2020 Johnson & Johnson announced a lead candidate for their version of the COVID-19 virus. The Janssen vaccine is not a mRNA vaccine but an adenovirus based vaccine.
•April 29, 2020 The first group for Phase I testing is injected with the Pfizer vaccine.
•May 15, 2020 The Trump administration announces ‘Operation Warp Speed.’ This is done to speed up the process of the vaccines currently being tested, which at the time were Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson.
•May 25, 2020 Novavax initiates the start of Phase 1/2 testing in Australia, for their NVX-CoV2373, protein-based vaccine.
•May 29, 2020 Moderna starts their evaluation of the vaccine in Phase II. They ran a placebo-controlled experiment to confirm the dose and evaluate the safety of the vaccine.
•May – July 2020 Seven pharmaceutical companies were approved into ‘Operation Warp Speed.’ These were: Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Moderna Inc., University of Oxford in collaboration with AstraZeneca Plc, and Novavax, Pfizer Inc. *Note: Pfizer was not initially involved but a deal was made for 100 million doses of their vaccine in mid-July*
•June 5, 2020 The BBC announced for AstraZeneca that they will begin producing potential Covid vaccines. Around this time, AstraZeneca’s vaccine also passed to Phase I. AstraZeneca’s vaccine is not an mRNA vaccine but instead a double-stranded DNA vaccination rather than a single-stranded mRNA. The vaccine is called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or AZD1222.
•July 27, 2020 Moderna begins Phase III testing of their mRNA-1273 vaccine. On this day, Pfizer also chose their lead mRNA vaccine to advance into Phase II.
•August 24, 2020 Novavax advances to Phase II of Phase 1/2 clinical trial of their NVX-CoV2373 vaccine.
•August 31, 2020 AstraZeneca’s advances to Phase III clinical trials in the U.S. for all adult groups.
•September 2, 2020 AstraZeneca temporarily pauses clinical trials of their Covid-19 vaccine, AZD1222, due to an unexplained illness that occured in the UK during their Phase III testing there. The clinical trials have to be stopped to ensure the safety of all participants.
•November 8, 2020 Pfizer conducted their Phase III trail revealing an efficiency rate above 90%
•December 8, 2020 The first person to receive the Pfizer vaccine is a 90-year-old woman in the United Kingdom.
•December 10, 2020 Pfizer publicized the results of the Phase III clinical trial. There were 43,448 participants, 21,720 of which received BNT162b2, the vaccine, and 21,728 received a placebo, using the two-dose regimen of BNT162b2, which was given 21 days apart. This demonstrated the vaccine to be 95% effective against COVID-19.
•December 11, 2020 The U.S. FDA approved the first Covid vaccine for emergency use in the U.S., the Pfizer vaccine.
•December 18, 2020 The FDA approved the Moderna vaccine to be the second vaccine approved for emergency use in the U.S.
•December 20, 2020 The U.K. authorized the use of the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine.
•December 28, 2020 Novavax announces the start of their PREVENT-19 Phase III trial in the U.S. and Mexico.
•January 8, 2021 A Pfizer press release announced that their Covid-19 vaccine is effective against the multiple mutations recently discovered.
•January 28, 2021 In a press release by Novavax, they stated that in their Phase III trials in the UK proved their vaccine is 89.3% effective against Covid-19. (This test was conducted against the new variant in the UK as well as during a time of high infectious rate, meaning they are looking to create a strong vaccine to stop the multiple mutations of Covid-19, including the one in South Africa.)
•February 3, 2021 AstraZeneca announces that their vaccine is 100% effective against severe cases of Covid-19, making it likely the most effective vaccine to be released.*
*Note: this is only against severe cases, hospitalizations, and death; it is still likely to get coronavirus but the likelihood of being hospitalized is very slim from these results.
•February 4, 2021 Johnson & Johnson requested emergency authorization from the FDA for their COVID-19, vaccine which has been found to be 72% effective, less than both Moderna and Pfizer but large nonetheless for such a short period of time. The J&J vaccine was also able to test against the new variant of the virus present in the U.S., South Africa and Latin America at this time.
•February 7, 2021 Africa suspends the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to minimal protection it provided for the variant identified there.
For more constant updates on new vaccines and other vaccines not listed above check out the New York Times Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker which is updated constantly. They also do a great job in breaking down all the vaccines and their purposes.
For all of us, the goal should be to get vaccinated and reach herd immunity in order for this pandemic to be over. According to experts, 85% of Americans need to be vaccinated in order for this to happen. As of February 8, 4,746,539 vaccine doses have been given out. About 40 million people live in California, and of these, only 9.6% have received the vaccine.
Here’s a round-up of more vaccine news:
Health-care workers were first on the list for these vaccines, along with long-term care facility residents.
On January 13, Governor Newsom announced accessibility to those 65 and older.
Newsom also announced major vaccination sites like Dodger Stadium, Disneyland, CalExpo, PETCO Park in San Diego, and more.
On January 25, it was announced that the next phase will be giving accessibility to age-based groups.
As of the first week of February, L.A. County has received 1.2 million doses, and 89% of those have already been used. 184,000 doses were received last week, too. Many of those were saved as a second dose. 218,000 doses are expected to be received this week and more than half of those are going towards the second-dose vaccine. In L.A. County, as of February 8, only those aged 65+, health care workers and residents/staff at long-term care facilities are eligible for the COVID vaccine. Those eligible can make appointments through this link: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/vaccine/hcwsignup/
In L.A. County, starting on February 16, those in need of the second dose were able to obtain it at Pomona Fairplex, the Forum, Six Flags Magic Mountain, The Los Angeles County Office of Education in Downey, Cal State University Northridge, Balboa Sports Complex and El Sereno. Proof of the first dose will be needed in order to enter and get vaccinated.