By Terry Miller
Oscar-winner Sean Penn’s nonprofit group, Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), that runs the COVID-19 testing site at Dodger Stadium hopes to increase testing capacity there and get it ready for vaccine distribution, according to a local news report for KABC.
The first COVID-19 vaccine, from Pfizer, appeared before a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) committee for approval Thursday. The committee voted to recommend approval of the vaccine and the F.D.A. is expected to issue an emergency use authorization Friday evening.
Pfizer and BioNTech say its final analysis found 95% effectiveness of its vaccine with no safety concerns. However, CNN reports that after two health care workers “responded adversely” to the vaccine, UK health officials warned Wednesday that people with a “significant history of allergic reactions” should not be given the shot.
Moderna, with a 94.5% effective vaccine, is expected to seek an emergency use authorization from the F.D.A. after Pfizer.
“The experimental vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, technically called BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 respectively, are created synthetically using messenger Ribonucleic acid (or mRNA). RNA and DNA (Deoxyribonucleic) are nucleic acids that carry genetic instructions for creating life,” explains Justin Vallejo of The Independent.
“Rather than injecting an organic version of the virus to generate an immune response, mRNA contains snippets of the coronavirus spike protein’s genetic code that tells the body’s cells to produce a small facsimile of that spike protein, which kickstarts the immune system to produce antibodies,” Vallejo writes.
If the F.D.A. approves an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine, Governor Gavin Newsom said the first anticipated 327,000 vaccine doses from the company could be arriving in California five days later. Health care workers are slated to receive the first doses and it will be a few months before the entire populace can be inoculated.