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China’s Vaccine, TikTok, Pakistan Stock Exchange: Your Tuesday Briefing

Jessica Bennett, who covers gender and culture for The Times, spoke with Zee, Tiana Day, Shayla Turner and Brianna Chandler — four teenage girls who organized a protest and are part of the young generation at the forefront of activism for racial justice.

Zee and Tiana, neither of you had ever led a protest before. What propelled you?

Zee: It’s crazy. I’ve never been to a protest before — like, ever. I got inspired by what people were doing all across America, but there was no protest in Nashville at the time. I was like, why isn’t Tennessee doing anything? Why are they silent?

So I was like, enough is enough. We’re going to do something.

Tiana: For me, I was never really an activist before. But this movement lit a fire in me. I live in San Ramon, a suburban town in California, and I’ve grown up around people who didn’t look like me my whole life. And I’ve been constantly trying to fit in. I would stay out of the sun so I wouldn’t tan. I would straighten my hair every day. There’s so many things that I did to try to suppress who I was and what my culture was. I just never felt like myself.

But I have always had this, like, boiling thing, this boiling passion in my body to want to make a change in the world. We bought three cases of water because we thought it was enough. It was, like, four miles straight of people who were there to support the movement.

How have your families responded?

Shayla: My mom actually found out I was protesting through the newspaper. She was in Walgreens and did a double take because I was on the cover of the The Chicago Tribune.

What’s something about your generation that people get wrong?

Brianna: That our anger is not valid, that we don’t have a reason to be angry, that we don’t have a reason to riot. You know, there is that super popular Malcolm X quote: “The most disrespected person in America is the black woman.”

That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Melina

Thank you
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the rest of the break from the news. You can reach the team at

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about proposals to defund the police, with a conversation with a police union leader.
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• The writer Kevin Powell discussed his New York Times essay “A Letter From Father to Child” on NPR’s Morning Edition.

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Coronavirus vaccine is ready for first tests, says Biotech company Moderna

Initial trials of the potential vaccine could begin in April, but the process of testing and approvals would last at least a year.

Moderna (MRNA) said in a statement Monday that the first batch of its novel coronavirus vaccine, called mRNA-1273, has been sent to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Shares in the company, which is located near Boston, were trading 15% higher in New York on Tuesday.

Moderna said the first vials of the experimental vaccine would be used in a planned Phase 1 study in the United States, which typically involves testing a vaccine on a small number of healthy humans.

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said that a clinical trial could start by the end of April, the “first step” in potentially making a vaccine available for use.

The Wall Street Journal, which was first to report the development, said that two doses of the vaccine would be tested on volunteers to see if it produces an immune response that protects against the virus. Fauci told CNN that 45 people would participate in the trial.

Even if the clinical trial is successful, further testing and regulatory approvals would be needed before the vaccine could be deployed widely.

Health officials and pharmaceutical companies around the world are working at a breakneck pace to identify treatments or a vaccine to help fight the coronavirus, which has infected more than 80,000 people around the world.

Fauci previously told CNN that researchers could expedite the approval process for a vaccine following a successful Phase 1 trial in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus.

But even when proceeding at an “emergency speed,” a vaccine would not be available for use for at least a year or 18 months, he said Tuesday.

Moderna is not the only drug company hoping to find an immunization for the virus.

Pharma giants Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and GlaxoSmithKline (GLAXF) are working on vaccines, as are government scientists including some at NIAID.
Shares in Gilead (GILD) gained nearly 5% on Monday after the World Health Organization said that one of its drugs, remdesivir, is showing signs of helping to treat the coronavirus.

While the experimental vaccine developed by Moderna remains unproven, the speed at which it was created represents a breakthrough.

According to Moderna, the vaccine was developed within 42 days of the company obtaining genetic information on the coronavirus.

By comparison, it took researchers about 20 months to start human tests of the vaccine for SARS, an older coronavirus, according to a journal paper written by Fauci.

mRNA vaccines

Moderna has yet to produce a proven vaccine with its mRNA technology platform, which aims to make drugs that direct cells in the body to make proteins to prevent or fight disease. It makes use of messenger ribonucleic acid, a molecule vital to the proper functioning of the body’s cells.

The technology has had positive results from Phase 1 tests across six different vaccines, one of which is currently in a Phase 2 trial, according to a company spokesperson.

The mRNA approach can produce vaccines faster and for less money than traditional methods, according to UK health policy think tank PHG Foundation.

— Paul R. La Monica contributed reporting.

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Battle Brewing Over HPV Vaccine Legislation – CBS New York

EAST SETAUKET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Some parents are urging lawmakers to nix any proposed vaccination bills involving sexually transmitted diseases and elementary school children.

The controversy is about HPV legislation.

Should school children age 9 and above have mandated immunization against the sexually transmitted disease human papillomavirus, or HPV, without requiring their parents’ approval?

“Separation of pharma and state. People want the right to choose what goes into their children’s bodies,” said East Setauket parent Jessica Rudin. She recently began a social media campaign, which more than 82,000 have signed, slamming the proposed HPV requirement in schools.

Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show spikes in cervical cancers and the sciences is solid that the vaccine works best if it’s administered before sexual activity begins.

Some New York lawmakers are cosponsoring two bills.

“Why not give our young people the opportunity to guard against, protect themselves against, anal and cervical cancer?” said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin. “To me it’s a no-brainer. I don’t understand why we would leave this one out.”

New York state schools already require children, regardless of parental approval, to be inoculated against nearly a dozen diseases, including hepatitis B, which can also be sexually transmitted.

Advocates now want the HPV vaccine added to this group and enforced by law.

“I think it’s a great idea. At a young age, just to make sure everybody is being safe and everybody is being protected,” one man told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.

“Parents should have the choice whether or not they want their child to have that vaccine,” one woman said.

Some pediatricians are getting pushback from some parents.

“It is definitely a safe and effective vaccine. Where I have a problem, where a lot of the physicians in this area have a problem, is the state trying to shove this down people’s throats without parents being in the loop,” said Dr. John Zaso, a pediatrician with the Nassau Board of Health.

Advocates in Albany believe that may be the price to pay to eradicate a sexually transmitted disease.

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