Monthly Archives: January 2021

Covid Vaccines Explained

Christina Kingan ’23
EE Staff Writer

Hope is in the air with a new year, and our normal lives potentially just around the corner. The long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine is finally becoming available to the public. After many trial and error processes, the CDC has approved four different ways of fighting the virus, all of them aiming to prepare the immune system to be able to fight off the virus if ever exposed to it. Each works in its own specific way according to the Vaccine Alliance organization, Gavi.

The first type is the whole-virus vaccine. This type of vaccine weakens the virus and makes it nonpathogenic (inactive). When the inactive virus enters the body, it stimulates an immune response without causing disease to the body. When the body’s immune system reaches the virus, it will attack it with antibodies and T cells. The purpose of this is to allow memory cells to remember the virus and be able to know what cells to produce to target the virus more efficiently the next time the body encounters it. 

The second type is the protein subunit vaccine. This method takes the spike proteins of the virus and introduces them to the body. Like the previous method, this type of vaccine is also incapable of causing disease.

The benefit of this vaccine is that it is cheaper and easier to make. The disadvantage is that since the fragments cannot infect host cells and are less threatening, the immune system may not recognize them as attacking cells. The problem with this is that they will prompt a weaker immune response. To prevent this from being the case, vaccines of this type will usually include chemical agents known as adjuvants, which will trigger a more robust response from the body. Another alternative is the administration of booster shots, which are extra doses of the vaccine to boost the immune system even more. 

Where these vaccines rely on exposing the body to the virus by putting the antigens inside, other vaccines have been developed that allow for the body to learn to fight off the virus by using their own cells. By controlling the cell mechanisms, these vaccines have the ability to copy the way the virus usually reproduces during what would be an actual infection. As opposed to producing copies of the virus, the cells will only produce large quantities of antigen, which will trigger strong immune responses.

Making History: Vice President Kamala Harris

McKaylan Connolly ’23
EE Staff Writer

On Wednesday, January 20th, 2021, Kamala Devi Harris was sworn in as the Vice President of the United States in front of the U.S. Capitol by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. This makes her the highest-ranking woman in United States political history. Vice President Harris commemorated Inauguration Day as a day of many firsts. Kamala Harris is the first ever woman Vice President, breaking the glass ceiling by holding a position held by men since the start of our democracy. Not only is Harris the first woman holding the nation’s second-highest office, but also the first Black woman and person of South Asian descent to hold the position. 

Harris started her education at Howard University. She then went on to earn her law degree at the University of California, Hastings. She began her career at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and became the top prosecutor for San Francisco in 2003. Then, she started her political career when she was elected Attorney General of California in 2010, becoming the first woman and the first black person to serve as California’s attorney general. She was even re-elected to the post in 2014. Harris then went on to serve as the junior United States senator from California from 2017 to 2021. She made a name for herself in Washington with her bold prosecutorial techniques in Senate hearings, and slammed her adversaries at prudent moments that at times went viral. On January 21, 2019, Harris officially announced her candidacy for president of the United States in the 2020 United States presidential election. However, she eventually withdrew from seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination and became President Joe Biden’s running mate. 

Kamala’s position is significant in more ways than one. By holding the position of Vice President, Kamala has expanded the role of women and racial diversity in politics and government. Millions of people who have never seen such representation in this country will now see themselves reflected in one of the country’s highest-ranking leaders. Her position in office is even more relevant in a time where the nation is grappling over institutional racism and the disproportionate effects that COVID-19 has on black and brown communities. 

Kamala brings a notion of hope to a variety of communities and starts a legacy for many to follow. As she stated herself, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last.”

Food Pantry Seeks Donations

McKaylan Connolly ’23
EE Staff Writer

The pandemic has taken a lot from people: many have lost their jobs, their business, and are struggling to keep afloat. Coronavirus is hitting people and families even harder since the end of the holiday season. In the midst of the chaos of the pandemic and everything else going on around us, we can forget that there are people who are really struggling. Fortunately, there are many ways we can help within our community. 

Trumbull has many organizations that are available in a safe way  to help those in need. One of these organizations is The Trumbull Food Pantry. The Trumbull Food Pantry is available to all Trumbull residents who meet income guidelines or are facing food insecurity. In light of the current pandemic, their food donation procedure has temporarily changed.

Traditional food drives have been discontinued because of health concerns. Instead, the Trumbull Food Pantry is encouraging people to make more monetary and gift card donations, in light of this change. Gift cards are recommended to be from Stop and Shop, Big Y, Target, and/or Walmart. These contributions are accepted by mail to the Department of Human Services, addressed to 23 Priscilla Place Trumbull, CT 06611. 

The Trumbull Food Pantry will still be accepting food donations, but they will need to be pre-arranged with staff. Food pantry donations can be dropped directly at the Priscilla Place center between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or dropped off at the Trumbull Stop and Shop on Quality Street.

Hit Counter provided by Los Angeles SEO