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Conversation Starters: The COVID-19 Vaccine
February 21, 2021

As part of the Scroll’s mission of truth, we are  providing the Deerfield community with the resources for constructive, factually-rooted discussions beyond classroom settings in this column. Here, we will give an array of evidence from reputable sources that  feature a different topic, and a range of perspectives each issue. With this column, we hope that students are not only able to spark conversation in their halls, sit-down tables, and club meetings, but be incentivized to seek their own truths in media.

*All data was collected on February 11, 2021.

CDC: 34.7 million people (10.5% of the population) have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

New York Times: President Biden has announced his plans to administer 100 million doses of the vaccine by his 100th day of office.

NYT: 4 vaccines have been approved globally for full use. In the U.S., only the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are currently being administered. 2 other American candidates are currently seeking FDA approval.

Nature: Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA, the first of their kind to be used.  Preliminary research and staggered trials allowed for both vaccines to be produced in record times—a couple months as compared to 10 or more years.

NYT: mRNA vaccines work by injecting genetic material into an individual, temporarily producing a small portion of the COVID-19 virus. The antibodies built in this process provide immunity.

Reuters: COVID-19 variants are a key concern in vaccine administration, as they currently show indications of further mutation.

Associated Press: About 1 in 3 American adults are hesitant to receive the vaccine. Top rationales include concerns about side effects and a confidence that the COVID-19 vaccine is unnecessary. 

NYT: It is not yet known how much of a population needs to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity. Estimates currently range from 60-85%.

Wall Street Journal: 1 in 5 white and Hispanic adults in the U.S. do not have plans to get the vaccine, compared to 1 in 3 black adults.