Religious objections were once used only sparingly around the country to get exempted from various required vaccines, but they are becoming a much more widely used loophole against the COVID-19 shot.
About 3,000 Los Angeles Police Department employees are citing religious objections to try to get out of the required “Fauci Ouchie”.
In Washington state, hundreds of state workers are seeking similar exemptions, and an Arkansas hospital has been swamped with so many such requests from employees that it is apparently calling their bluff.
New data out of Israel offer favorable news about the Covid-19 booster shot. The information comes as an FDA advisory panel meeting to discuss booster shots. The Israeli study, meanwhile, is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
GROW AND EAT YOUR OWN VACCINES?
The future of vaccines may look more like eating a salad than getting a shot in the arm.
UC Riverside scientists are studying whether they can turn edible plants like lettuce into mRNA vaccine factories. Messenger RNA or mRNA technology, used in COVID-19 vaccines, works by teaching our cells to recognize and protect us against infectious diseases. One of the challenges with this new technology is that it must be kept cold to maintain stability during transport and storage.
If this new project is successful, plant-based mRNA vaccines — which can be eaten — could overcome this challenge with the ability to be stored at room temperature. The project’s goals, made possible by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, are threefold: showing that DNA containing the mRNA vaccines can be successfully delivered into the part of plant cells where it will replicate, demonstrating the plants can produce enough mRNA to rival a traditional shot, and finally, determining the right dosage.
“Ideally, a single plant would produce enough mRNA to vaccinate a single person,” said Juan Pablo Giraldo, an associate professor in UCR’s Department of Botany and Plant Sciences who is leading the research, done in collaboration with scientists from UC San Diego and Carnegie Mellon University.
Contact Jay Allen at [email protected]