FILE PHOTO: The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India, is displayed to the media in Kathmandu, Nepal, January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar/File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Even as the nation’s top infectious disease expert warned us to keep away from watch parties for Super Bowl LV, two vaccine developments suggest that next year’s Super Bowl celebration could be a banger.

 “As much fun as it is to get together (for) a big Super Bowl party,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief advisor for the White House’s response to COVID-19, “now is not the time to do that.”

However, early data released this week shows the first direct evidence that a vaccine lowers transmission risk of the coronavirus and protects from its symptoms. Scientists were optimistic that would be the case, and the new data examining the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine shows that transmission rates were cut by half. There was other evidence that other vaccines lower transmission rates, but these trials explicitly tested for those rates from the start.

The trials also revealed that one dose of AstraZeneca offers a high level of protection for up to 12 weeks. Britain health officials suggested that this justifies their decision to lengthen the time after residents receive a second dose in the hopes of protecting more people. The shot provided up to 76% efficacy after the first dose for three months.

The vaccine may soon be available at pharmaceutical chains across the U.S. The federal government will send one million vaccine doses to about 6,500 retail pharmacies on Feb. 11. The government hopes to eventually send vaccines to as many as 40,000 drugstores and grocery stores including Walgreens, CVS and Rite-Aid locations. That should help meet the goal of vaccinating at least 70% of the U.S. population before life can return to normal, Fauci said, which would include Super Bowl parties. So far, less than 2% of Americans have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.

To Encourage COVID-19 Vaccinations, Better Communication Is Needed – Blavity – 2/2/2021
Officials face another uphill battle against the disease with the notion of herd immunity, because they have failed, yet again, to invest in an apolitical, non-commercial communications effort to educate everyday people with factual information that could aid with voluntary vaccine acceptance.

How people are trying to convince their families to get vaccinated – Vox – 2/3/2021
Scott Carlson makes it a point to call his elderly parents every week. Each time, he asks if he can schedule them a coronavirus vaccination appointment, and each time, the answer has been no. The reason varies from week to week: They fear allergic reactions, or claim that they’re too old to need the vaccine.

Teachers don’t need COVID-19 vaccines for safe school reopenings, CDC says – Fox News – 2/3/2021
Teachers don’t need coronavirus vaccinations in order for schools to reopen safely, said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

AstraZeneca shot slashes COVID-19 transmission, too, study finds – The Washington Times – 2/3/2021
University researchers said they regularly tested participants in a U.K. trial and found a 67% reduction in positive readings compared to the placebo group.

Latinx COVID Deaths Soar 1,000% in Los Angeles as Communities of Color Lag Behind in Vaccine Rollout – Democracy Now! – 2/2/2021
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Black and Latinx people in the United States have died at higher rates, and new data shows that they are getting vaccinated at much lower rates than white people. 

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of tweets showing different viewpoints on the topic.

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