Pipe dreams versus boosters

Donald Trump

Militia

Hannah Allam and Spencer S. Hsu, “Oath Keepers founder draws scrutiny from federal officials and followers,” Washington Post, September 17, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/rhodes-oath-keepers-capitol-riot/2021/09/16/a6a872c0-10b6-11ec-a511-cb913c7e5ba0_story.html

Coup attempt

News of this rally, in support of those charged in the January 6 coup attempt, has been slow to reach me. It’s scheduled for today (September 18).[1]

Luke Broadwater, “Republicans, Wary of Political Fallout, Steer Clear of Rally for Riot Suspects,” New York Times, September 15, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/15/us/politics/republicans-justice-for-j6-rally.html

Geneva Sands, “DHS warns of potential for violence surrounding the ‘Justice for J6’ rally in intelligence brief,” CNN, September 16, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/16/politics/dhs-intelligence-brief-potential-violence/index.html


Pandemic

National

Boosters are a good thing:[2]

[The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] found that the biggest difference between the vaccine made by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNtech’s vaccine was driven by a decline that started about four months after people were fully vaccinated with Pfizer’s vaccine.[3]

Despite that,

Expert advisers to the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously Friday to recommend that the agency authorize a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine six months after vaccination for people 65 years and older and for anyone at risk for severe illness.

The vote is not binding, and Peter Marks, the FDA official overseeing coronavirus vaccines, indicated that the final decision could be slightly different, encompassing people who are at higher risk of infection because of their professions, such as health-care workers and front-line employees, including teachers. The advisory committee members were polled on whether they would agree with making boosters available to people who were at risk of infection because of workplace exposure, and they all said yes.[4]

In this coverage, I’m not seeing a coherent argument against booster shots for all. The only one I’m aware of is that the World Health Organization would really rather the shots be distributed to places where people are currently unable even to get their first shots,[5] but the assumption here seems to be that shots not administered in the U.S. can be distributed elsewhere; given expiration dates for these vaccines, I’m not clear that that’s the case and I’m frankly not seeing the will to produce and distribute vaccines for a population well north of 7 billion people. Criticize policymakers for this and more[6] all you like; you’ll be absolutely right, but apart from token measures, they appear unmoved.

So the question here is whether we cling to a pipe dream of a proper international distribution that would actually help to contain the disease and limit new, potentially more dangerous variants, or we do what we can for the people that we can.

I’m also not seeing how or if this affects the earlier recommendation for a booster for most people eight months after being fully vaccinated.[7]

At least until I hear otherwise—I’m 62 years old and thus below the age threshold recommended in this Food and Drug Administration panel vote[8]—I remain scheduled for a booster with the Moderna vaccine on October 9.[9] It will have been 197 days since my second shot of the Pfizer vaccine. Driving for Uber in an area with many vaccine refusers, I’m certainly on the front lines.

Oni Blackstock and Uché Blackstock, “We’re not calling out Nicki Minaj. We’re calling her in,” Washington Post, September 17, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/09/17/nicki-minaj-vaccine-tweet-covid-infertility-misinformation/

Maggie Fox, “Moderna’s vaccine is the most effective, but Pfizer and J&J also protect well, CDC-led study says,” CNN, September 17, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/17/health/moderna-vaccine-most-effective-cdc-study/index.html

Michael Hiltzik, “‘Death panels’ arrive — in COVID-stricken Republican Idaho,” Los Angeles Times, September 17, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2021-09-17/death-panels-republican-covid-stricken-idaho

Carolyn Y. Johnson, Laurie McGinley, and Joel Achenbach, “FDA panel endorses coronavirus boosters for older adults and those at risk of serious illness,” Washington Post, September 17, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/09/17/covid-booster-shots-fda-recommendation/

Times of Israel, “Study: COVID booster recipients 20 times more protected against serious illness,” September 17, 2021, https://www.timesofisrael.com/study-covid-booster-recipients-20-times-more-protected-against-serious-illness/

Evictions

Liz Theoharis, “The Land of the Free, Where So Many of the Brave Are Homeless,” TomDispatch, September 16, 2021, https://tomdispatch.com/the-land-of-the-free-where-so-many-of-the-brave-are-homeless/


Afghanistan

Emma Graham-Harrison, “Taliban ban girls from secondary education in Afghanistan,” Guardian, September 17, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/17/taliban-ban-girls-from-secondary-education-in-afghanistan

Alex Horton et al., “U.S. military admits ‘horrible mistake’ in Kabul drone strike that killed 10 Afghans,” Washington Post, September 17, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2021/09/17/drone-strike-kabul-afghanistan/

Julia Ioffe, “The Divorce Heard Around Washington,” Puck, September 17, 2021, https://puck.news/the-divorce-heard-around-washington/


Infrastructure

Andrew Restuccia, “Biden Push to Replace America’s Lead Pipes Faces Challenges,” Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-push-to-replace-americas-lead-pipes-faces-challenges-11631880001


Jefferson

The text originally here has been moved, expanded, and revised in a new blog post entitled, “What is the State of Jefferson?

Ryan Sabalow, “Newsom lost big in California’s conservative State of Jefferson. It barely mattered,” Sacramento Bee, September 15, 2021, https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/article254263153.html

Hailey Branson-Potts, “In red California, anger over recall blowout. ‘The Democratic Party is the New York Yankees,’” Los Angeles Times, September 17, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-09-18/rural-red-california-recall-election


  1. [1]Luke Broadwater, “Republicans, Wary of Political Fallout, Steer Clear of Rally for Riot Suspects,” New York Times, September 15, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/15/us/politics/republicans-justice-for-j6-rally.html; Geneva Sands, “DHS warns of potential for violence surrounding the ‘Justice for J6’ rally in intelligence brief,” CNN, September 16, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/16/politics/dhs-intelligence-brief-potential-violence/index.html
  2. [2]Maggie Fox, “Moderna’s vaccine is the most effective, but Pfizer and J&J also protect well, CDC-led study says,” CNN, September 17, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/17/health/moderna-vaccine-most-effective-cdc-study/index.html
  3. [3]Maggie Fox, “Moderna’s vaccine is the most effective, but Pfizer and J&J also protect well, CDC-led study says,” CNN, September 17, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/17/health/moderna-vaccine-most-effective-cdc-study/index.html
  4. [4]Carolyn Y. Johnson, Laurie McGinley, and Joel Achenbach, “FDA panel endorses coronavirus boosters for older adults and those at risk of serious illness,” Washington Post, September 17, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/09/17/covid-booster-shots-fda-recommendation/
  5. [5]Helen Branswell, “WHO director-general slams notion of Covid-19 vaccine booster doses given global health needs,” Stat, July 12, 2021, https://www.statnews.com/2021/07/12/who-director-general-slams-notion-of-covid-19-vaccine-booster-doses-given-global-health-needs/; Bryan Pietsch, Adela Suliman, and Hannah Knowles, “WHO calls for moratorium on booster vaccine shots through September, citing global disparity,” Washington Post, August 4, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/08/04/coronavirus-covid-live-updates-us/
  6. [6]Hindu, “U.S. defends restrictions on export of COVID-19 vaccine raw materials amid India’s request to lift ban,” April 23, 2021, https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/us-defends-restrictions-on-export-of-covid-19-vaccine-raw-materials-amid-indias-request-to-lift-ban/article34391251.ece; Christopher Rowland, Emily Rauhala, and Miriam Berger, “Drug companies defend vaccine monopolies in face of global outcry,” Washington Post, March 20, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/03/20/covid-vaccine-global-shortages/
  7. [7]Sharon LaFraniere, “U.S. to Advise Boosters for Most Americans 8 Months After Vaccination,” New York Times, August 16, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/16/us/vaccination-booster-shots.html
  8. [8]Carolyn Y. Johnson, Laurie McGinley, and Joel Achenbach, “FDA panel endorses coronavirus boosters for older adults and those at risk of serious illness,” Washington Post, September 17, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/09/17/covid-booster-shots-fda-recommendation/
  9. [9]There is some evidence that mixing vaccines, at least in the initial doses, induces a more robust immune response. I’m hoping for the same with the booster. Tala Michel Issa, “Is it safe to mix-and-match COVID-19 vaccines? Here’s what we know so far,” Al Arabiya, June 23, 2021, https://english.alarabiya.net/coronavirus/2021/06/23/s-it-safe-to-mix-and-match-COVID-19-vaccines-Here-s-what-we-know-so-far

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