Shortly after 9 a.m. on Monday, vaccinations took place in Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, N.Y. The pandemic has scarred New York State profoundly, leaving more than 35,000 people dead and severely weakening the economy. The vaccinations started after the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Friday night, and as the U.S. coronavirus death toll approaches 300,000, with a steady surge in new cases daily.
While we wait, it’s also good to know that both mouthwash and baby shampoo have been shown to provide additional protection. (No, we aren’t supposed to gargle with baby shampoo or put mouthwash in our hair. It’s quite straightforward.)
What I really want to see, though, are some additional, mandatory vaccines:
Protection against false claims of fake news, fake election results, and generally fake anything you happen to disagree with
A vaccine against racism, antisemitism and Holocaust denial
100% protection against ignoring the reality of climate change
99.9% protection against stupidity — 100% being simply unrealistic
A vaccine against meanspiritedness, unneighborly behavior and selfishness
And, finally, a shot that will permanently erase 2020.
The first coronavirus vaccine to be tested in people appears to be safe and able to stimulate an immune response against the virus, its manufacturer, Moderna, announced on Monday.
The findings are based on results from the first eight people who each received two doses of the vaccine, starting in March.
Those people, healthy volunteers, made antibodies that were then tested in human cells in the lab, and were able to stop the virus from replicating — the key requirement for an effective vaccine. The levels of those so-called neutralizing antibodies matched the levels found in patients who had recovered after contracting the virus in the community.
The company has said that it is proceeding on an accelerated timetable, with the next phase involving 600 people to begin soon. But U.S. government officials have warned that producing a vaccine that would be widely available could take a year to 18 months. There is no proven treatment or vaccine against the coronavirus at this time.
If the trials go well, a vaccine could become available for widespread use by the end of this year or early 2021, Moderna’s chief medical officer said. [Note the contradiction between the company projection and the government statement.]
Nurses become nurses to help people. But they can spend up to 30% of their time on unsatisfying tasks that don’t involve seeing patients, such as delivering lab samples and gathering supplies.
Now, a robot named Moxi proposes to change that. Designed to be socially intelligent, Moxi debuted at Texas hospitals in September 2018. The robot features an expressive face with an arm, hand, and four wheeled base, and can use its hand to pick up medical supplies and deliver them to nurses or doctors; remove bags of soiled linen; and bring samples to on-site labs. This helps hospitals manage their workflow and frees up more staff time for patient care.
A.I. programming even allows Moxi to learn from human teachers. Someone, please teach it to cook appetizing hospital meals!