Clearing up the latest confusion around boosters

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New data from the National Institutes of Health suggests that people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may benefit from getting a Pfizer or Moderna booster shot. But J&J has asked the FDA to approve a second shot for its own vaccine.

  • Plus, new attention to Mia Marcano and missing and murdered women of color.
  • And, Snapchat is trying to inspire its users to run for Office.
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guests: Nerdshala Caitlin Owens and Alexey McCammond, and attorney Marlon Hill.

credit: Nerdshala Today is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The squad consists of Niala Boodhoo, Sarah Keholani Goo, Dan Bobkoff, Alexandra Botti, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Sabina Singhani, Alex Sugiura, Lydia McMullen-Layard, Michael Hanf and David Toledo. The music is composed by Ivan Viola. You can reach us at [email protected] You can text questions, comments, and story ideas to Niyala as text or voice memos at 202-918-4893.


go in:

Niala Budhu: Good morning! Welcome to Axis Today.

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October 14 is Thursday.

I am Niala Boodhu.

Here we are following: Mia Marcano, and new attention to missing and murdered women of color. Also, Snapchat is trying to motivate its users to run for office.

But first, one big thing today: clearing up the latest confusion about COVID boosters.

New data from the National Institutes of Health suggests that people who have received the J and J vaccine may benefit from getting a Pfizer or Moderna booster shot. But Johnson & Johnson has asked the FDA to approve a second shot for its own vaccine. So what’s the right move here?

Here to explain is Caitlin Owens, a healthcare reporter for Nerdshala, who is also there to explain what you need to know ahead of several booster-related panels that the FDA has, starting today. Used to be. Hey Caitlin.

Caitlin Owens: Hey, thanks for having me.

NIALA: Caitlin, this is so confusing, I feel like that’s all I should say to you, but what does this new data tell us about mixing and matching boosters?

Caitlin: So obviously the J&J recipients, there aren’t as many of them. There are about 15 million in America. They’ve only got one shot. That’s going to be a big emerging question: Should they get another shot of J&J or should they get one of these MRN shots, which, you know, according to data released yesterday by the NIH, a more neutral Elicits an antibody response, which is a form of immune defense.

NIALA: So who’s authorized to get a booster shot right now?

Caitlin: So right now, remember that the first group to be authorized for a booster shot were immunocompromised people. Then a few weeks ago we had the Pfizer Booster procedure. And this FDA panel said, we’re going to limit it to people 65 and older, as well as high-risk people, and then the CDC added high-risk occupations. And those are the only Pfizer recipients. Perhaps by the end of next week, it could be expanded to people who got J&K and then a really similar population, people 65 years of age and above and people at high risk of serious illness. Groups that got Moderna will be eligible for boosters. Another interesting thing that may come to the fore this week when the FDA panel is meeting is that Moderna is more effective than Pfizer over a longer period of time. So, we can see a little bit of logic that if Moderna is doing a better job in the long run, why do these people need to be promoted, at least for now?

NIALA: As we’re having this conversation about boosters, Caitlin, I just want to ask you a question of medical ethics, which a lot of people are still thinking about. That is, America is talking about booster shots, while in many countries people have not been able to get even a shot.

Caitlin: These conversations about boosters are happening together as we talk about vaccinations in the rest of the world. The question is whether one debate is hurting the other, right? You know, there’s the booster buzz – giving the world a harmful booster for the goal of vaccination. A lot of people say yes, and again, some argue that we can do both at the same time. There are shots, such as the Chinese vaccine, that don’t work very well. it turns out. So, even the argument for people who got AstraZeneca, you know, there are other people who have been vaccinated and in theory there’s a strong case for getting a booster even before people who get Pfizer and Moderna.

NIALA: So Caitlin, these FDA panels are starting today. What do people need to know about the process?

Caitlin: So, it’s a multi-step process. You know, it’s kind of an advisory panel, they look at the data, there’s a lot of debate about it. The FDA will have to decide for itself whether or not to authorize the booster and for whom, so that it will come. And then a CDC advisory panel will meet and discuss further recommendations. But it can be confusing for someone who is casually tuning in to the process.

NIALA: Nerdshala Caitlin Owens. You can follow Caitlin on Twitter for more details on this, especially for the next few days. Thanks, Caitlin.

Caitlin: Thanks.

Niala: In an instant, we’re back with activism inspired by the death of a woman.

Welcome again to Nerdshala Today. I am Niala Boodhu.

Today, 19-year-old Mia Marcano will be held at a funeral in her hometown of Cooper City, Florida. I’ve closely followed her disappearance and death over the past few weeks because, like me, Mia was Caribbean-American and from South Florida.

Mia was murdered by a maintenance worker in the apartment building where she was staying in Orlando, on her way to university.

“The community is deeply distressed and saddened, but by turning this pain into a purposeful force, the community is also upbeat.”

That’s Marlon Hill, a Caribbean-American lawyer—an old friend of mine from Miami—and a good friend of the Marcano family.

Sadly, Mia is one of many. Last year, 268,884 girls and women were reported missing in the US, according to the National Crime Information Center. And a third Women were reported to be missing in black—far more than their share of the total female population.

Marlon told me that the family of Mia Marcano is starting a foundation to provide support and resources for those whose loved ones go missing. Specially who are the most vulnerable of the families.

“Whenever someone’s missing, you know, we really need to treat it. To do something closure for families, with a high degree of urgency and the contribution of resources. And especially those families. For those who don’t have high visibility or, or can come from, service communities, which are actually communities of color at times.”

We shall a link For more details in our show notes.

Snapchat claims to reach more than 90% of Americans aged 18 to 34, which is why the app is venturing into the realm of civic engagement by providing its users with information to help them run for political office. Nerdshala political reporter Alexie McCommond is following the story.

Alexey, how does this young candidate project with Snapchat?

ALEXI MCCAMMOND: So it’s called Run for Office Mini, and it’s a module you can use when it’s in the Snapchat app. And it’s basically pretty simple, from there you enter your zip code and then you can pick up to five issues from a list of about 30, to figure out what kinds of local issues might align with your interests. and available to you. Then you get a list of things you can sign up for in your area, for everything from local school boards to city councils and mayors. Snapchat says they know these young people are thinking about politics and engaging in politics, but now they’re trying to take them a step further and actually do something about it beyond voting. are.

NIALA: What are some of the issues that are being expressed? What do we know about what exactly is included in this January?

Alexey: Out of the roughly 2 million Snap users that I mentioned connected with this run for the Office module, the top five issues they indicated were citizens, right. Education, environment, health and employment. There are a few things missing in that top five. Of course, I think about infrastructure, which we’re hearing a lot about, especially coming out of Washington and those who hold federal offices, but that’s not necessarily something this new generation needs. Be engaging and inspiring and motivating. You may want to run for the local office. So I think that’s an interesting thing that I took away from that data.

NIALA: People in the political sphere are telling you what they think about this Snapchat effort.

Alexey: Well, I, you know, you look across the country and you see some of the secretaries of state, even the Republican secretary of state, put this module in their hands through local press interviews. deliver components. He has done so on TV and otherwise in recent times. You know, these fellow organizations work with youth, you know, state level elected officials who are talking to constituents every day. So I think Snapchat has a great relationship with the hill people. They have partnered with lawmakers in Congress, in the US Senate, before. So is his presence, which I think will help him in his efforts to move forward.

NIALA: Nerdshala political reporter, Alexie McCommond. Thanks, Alexey.

Alexey: Thank you very much.

Niala: Okay, one last thing before I go today – it’s hard to miss, but did you notice that William Shatner has become the oldest person to go into space? I was absolutely delighted with how far the experience was going to be for Captain Kirk. The 90-year-old went aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket yesterday — and told Bezos what it’s like to experience the blackness of space — and see the blue of our planet below:

William Shatner: “What you have given to me is the most profound experience – I am so …


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