Cramm for 6/29/21


Some new studies have good news on the coronavirus vaccines. 



In late 2020, it was revealed that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines - which use mRNA technology - have an efficacy of about 95 percent. The world pulled out the streamers. But over the months, as new strains of the virus have spread around the globe and led to dangerous new outbreaks, there have been a lot of questions about whether the vaccines still hold up. 



Yesterday, scientists reported that there’s a chance that most people who got one of the vaccines using mRNA tech (so, not Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca) won’t need boosters. Yes, really. It all comes down to whether the virus and its variants don’t evolve much past their current forms - which isn’t a given. But the hope is that the more people get vaccinated, the less likely it is that the virus will spread and mutate. 



That’s not the only new study making headlines. Early results from a British study show signs that mixing brands of vaccines can create an immune response against coronavirus. To be clear: experts rec sticking to the same vaccine for both doses, but in instances when that’s not possible, it looks like there could be an alternative. 



These studies come as the US fails its goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the population by July 4 - and amidst a striking global vaccine inequity. 


WORLD: Recently, the UN Human Rights Council asked the world to pretty please take action against racism. Think: reparations to “make amends” for discrimination against Black people, educational reform, and formal apologies. The UN also said that police use of racial profiling and excessive force was systemic in much of North America, Europe, and Latin America. In other news, two more Catholic churches on First Nation reserves were just destroyed by fire - less than a week after two other churches on indigenous lands in Canada burned down. Investigators are treating the fires as “suspicious.” And meanwhile, rebels just seized the capital of Tigray, causing Ethiopian forces to ditch the region and declare a ceasefire. Stay tuned.


COURT: The US Supreme Court just handed a big win to transgender students. ICYMI, lots of school districts and states have tried to force students to use bathrooms correlating to their assigned sex at birth. That happened to Gavin Grimm, a transgender student who sued the school board in Gloucester County, Virginia, after they wouldn’t let him use the boy’s bathroom. The case ended up in an appeals court, which sided with Grimm, but the Supreme Court also took a look at it...and decided to leave Grimm’s win in place. In other news, yesterday, a federal judge threw out antitrust lawsuits brought against Facebook by the Federal Trade Commission and, like, 40 states. The judge said prosecutors failed to give enough facts to back up the claim that Facebook holds a monopoly over social networking. 


MONEY: For a while now, Juul has been facing lots and lots and lots of lawsuits from states claiming the vape biz has targeted teens in its marketing, or helped create a new public health problem among young people, get the idea. Fast forward to this week, and Juul agreed to cough up $40 million to settle a North Carolina case pointing fingers at the biz’s marketing practices for fueling widespread addiction to nicotine among teens and young adults. Juul still faces similar lawsuits from 13 other states. In other news, a powerful National Collegiate Athletic Association panel just rec’d that college athletes be allowed to make money from the use of their name, image, and likeness. You read that right. This comes amidst a debate over whether college athletes should have the chance to get paid. 


Dragon man:” a newly discovered species of early human. Um, where does the dragon thing come from? 


“Nude sunbathers running from deer fined for violating Sydney lockdown” - an actual headline. There’s so much to unpack here.

ICYMI, Cramm This Book is coming on February 15, 2022! Cramm This Book is a dive into the history that’s shaped the world as it is today, looking at the wars, the movements, the disasters, and more. Pre-order your copy today through Penguin Random HouseAmazonBarnes & NobleIndieBoundWalmart
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