“No one is safe until everyone is safe”

February 2, 2021
Should we hold back vaccines for second doses? Dr. Michelle answers on CNN. Meanwhile, the OECD recommends 25 actions to meet our climate goals—and it’s no surprise that biotech has a key role in many of them. (948 words, 4 minutes, 44 seconds)
BIO

Should we hold back vaccines for second doses? Dr. Michelle answers on CNN. Meanwhile, the OECD recommends 25 actions to meet our climate goals—and it’s no surprise that biotech has a key role in many of them. (948 words, 4 minutes, 44 seconds)

 

“No one is safe until everyone is safe”

 
 

With less than 2% of the U.S. population fully vaccinated and new mutations rapidly making their way around the country, many public health experts are calling for all vaccine doses to be released in order to get more people vaccinated—even if it means delaying some second doses. BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath joined CNN to discuss the implications.  

“The variants have made everything much more urgent,” said Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath. “We’re in a race against time and we have to get as many people vaccinated as possible.”

“It’s still important for people to get two doses of the vaccine eventually,” she continued. We don’t know the “ideal length of time” between the two doses—just that two provide maximum efficacy based on what we learned in initial clinical trials. “But at this point, we need to spread it to as many people as possible.” 

But this must be a global effort—or else new mutations like the ones in the UK, South Africa, and Brazil will continue to pop up.

“With infectious diseases, no one is safe until everyone is safe,” she continued. This is why we must work to increase supply and vaccinations both within the United States as well as globally through efforts like the COVAX Facility and ACT Accelerator.

Watch the whole thing to hear what else Dr. Michelle had to say about ending the pandemic. 

Do you have more questions about the COVID-19 vaccines? We recently updated www.COVIDVaccineFacts.org with more Q&As—including about allergic reactions to vaccines and whether the vaccines will impact pregnancy or fertility.

 

More Health Care News:

AP: Racial disparity seen in U.S. vaccination drive
“An early look at the 17 states and two cities that have released racial breakdowns through Jan. 25 found that Black people in all places are getting inoculated at levels below their share of the general population, in some cases significantly below.” 

Bloomberg: Reddit traders declare ‘biowar’ as shorted biotechs soar
“BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. blew past a five-year high as Reddit investors rallied around a call to start a ‘#BioWar’ on the bears behind a heavily-shorted biotech that develops rare disease drugs.”

 
 
 
Twitter
 
LinkedIn
 
Facebook
 
 
BIO Celebrates Black History Month
Ronald McNair - Astronaut & Physicist

Ronald E. McNair was a Black NASA astronaut—the second to fly to space—who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986 at age 35. 

He grew up in racially segregated South Carolina—at 9 years old, he once refused to leave a segregated library until a librarian would let him check out booksand eventually received his Ph.D. with honors in physics from MIT. 

After his death, the U.S. Department of Education founded the McNair Scholars Program to provide members of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and first-generation college students with the support to go to graduate school. 

“I wouldn’t be here in the D.C. area building my life without this program,” says Jessica Torres, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at BIO. “McNair fought for equitable access in education. He fought segregation and stood up to the racist structures of inequality, and worked hard to earn his Ph.D. at MIT. His legacy helped determine the path for my life and for thousands of others who owe our success to him.”

Throughout Black History Month, GoodDay BIO will be profiling Black trailblazers in biotechnology and science. And we know there are countless stories within the biotech community that have yet to be told. We want to help share those stories!

So, if you would like us to highlight a Black leader, influencer, or pioneer in science (maybe someone you work with every day), drop us a note at GoodDayBIOreply@bio.org.

 

These 25 actions can help tackle climate change

 
 

How do we REALLY tackle climate change? The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recommends 25 actions across five sectors to help us meet our climate goals—and we need biotechnology to do them. 

By focusing on actions across five sectors—agriculture, energy, infrastructure, buildings, and transportation—we can tackle 90% of emissions and improve human and environmental health, says the OECD.

And biotech plays a key role in almost all of them—here’s how.

Agriculture actions include…

1. Improve productivity sustainably through innovation, to lower emissions and feed a growing population.
Technology like carbon capture and no-till farming can reduce farm emissions, while gene editing can make crops more resilient and nutritious.

4. Include agriculture in national climate mitigation strategies. For example, BIO has called for legislation that would support America’s farmers, ranchers, and foresters who want to adopt innovative practices that combat climate change.

5. Inform consumers and producers about food choices and how to reduce food waste. Where to start? Innovature has more about how biotechnology can improve our food, reduce waste, and save the planet.

Energy and transportation actions include…

11. Drive investments in green energy development, deployment, and infrastructure.

12. Phase out coal and tap the potential of new sources of energy generation.

21. Scale up research, production, and use of zero-emission fuels.

As we said in a new policy briefing paper, liquid biofuels can reduce transportation air pollution. Supporting the production and deployment of sustainable fuels is essential to significantly reducing emissions in transportation while also creating quality jobs across rural America.

And when it comes to industry, we need to…

16. Scale up research and development to create new low-carbon industrial processes.

17. Lead the way for other economic sectors in shifting from linear to circular resource efficiency. 

Innovations like bioplastics and biobased manufacturing can reduce the emissions of industrial and common household products.

See the whole list. 

Learn how we can fight climate change with biotechnology innovation.

 

More Agriculture and Environment News: 

Agri-Pulse: Vilsack pledges focus on racial injustice, climate change
Tom Vilsack, set to take a historic second stint as agriculture secretary, is pledging to make the “pandemic, racial justice and equity, and climate change” priorities for the Agriculture Department.

Bloomberg: McDonald’s quietly rolls out McPlant burger in test markets
“McPlant, which McDonald’s co-developed with Beyond Meat Inc., is made from pea-based protein, according to McDonald’s Danish and Swedish websites.”

 
 
 
Twitter
 
LinkedIn
 
Facebook
 
 
BIO Beltway Report
BIO Beltway Report
 
Paragraph (sm) - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Quis ipsum suspendisse ultrices gravida. Risus commodo viverra maecenas accumsan lacus vel facilisis sample link.
 

President Biden’s Tuesday: He will sign executive orders on immigration today at 5 PM ET.

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: Ten Senate Republicans countered President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package with a $618 billion proposal. After meeting with the White House for two hours yesterday, all attendees were reportedly upbeat about “continuing to work together—but with no deal in hand,” reports The Washington Post. We’re watching two hearings today: Senate Agriculture on the nomination of Tom Vilsack for Agriculture secretary (10:30 AM ET) and House Energy and Commerce on solutions to increase COVID-19 vaccinations in the states (11 AM ET).

 
 
Paragraph (normal) - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Quis ipsum suspendisse ultrices gravida. Risus commodo viverra maecenas accumsan lacus sample link.
 
Twitter
 
LinkedIn
 
Facebook