Tag Archives: COVID vaccine

Roundup: 103rd Birthday, COVID Vaccine, Insurrection Arrest, More

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Happy 103rd birthday today to the incomparable Lee Greenberg.

The long-time — very long-time — Westporter (and Rotary Club member) — is as active as ever.

Arlene Yolles writes: “I first met her at Compo, where we played backgammon (she’s pretty good) with a set with 2 checkers missing. In their place, she used stones from the beach.

“You can find her there, with her lady Gina, around 3 p.m. almost any day of the year, by the one tree on South Beach. Her car tag says ‘Lee Gee.’

“I’ve attended several of her Cultural Salons (think Gertrude Stein in Paris) in her lovely home. She has a grand piano, and invited accomplished, talented musicians to perform.”

Lee Greenberg is a Westport treasure. The entire town honors her today!

PS: Just how “long-time” a Westporter is Lee? She’d already been here for years when, in 1957, she and her husband Nat rented their Long Lots Road home to Liz Taylor and her husband, Mike Todd.

Lee Greenberg celebrated her 100th birthday with Zefera, one of 4 great-grandchildren.

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All around town, Westporters are asking friends and neighbors about the COVID vaccine.

On Thursday, February 11 (7 p.m.), you can hear all about Pfizer’s creation and rollout of it, from 4 of the company’s top executives. They’re familiar to us, too — they’re our friends and neighbors.

The Westport Library virtual event features Jeremy Price, director of clinical innovation and strategic partnerships (and a Library trustee); Westport resident Rady Johnson, executive vice president and Pfizer’s chief compliance, quality and risk officer; Southporter John Kelly, vice president, quality operations and environment, health and safety, and Rob Goodwin, vice president and head of global product development operations’ Center of Excellence.

They’ll provide an in-depth look at the Pfizer vaccine, from the first days of research to manufacturing and distribution.

Click here to register for the free online event. Unfortunately, samples are not available.

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Speaking of vaccines: The Senior Center was a site yesterday. This was the scene.

If you are a glass-half-empty person, you’d see a long line.

If you’re glass-half-full, you’d think about all the folks who already got inside, and received shots.

(Photo/Ted Horowitz)

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And speaking still of vaccines:

According to State Senator Will Haskell, Connecticut has released more information the vaccination rollout, although all dates are tentative and largely dictated by federal supply chains. Individuals over the age of 75, health care workers, and seniors who reside in long term care facilities are currently eligible to receive the vaccine.

Individuals over the age of 65 will likely be able to sign up for their shots in early February. Frontline essential workers and adults with health conditions that put them at higher risk will be able to sign up in late February or early March. Future phases, which will include residents under the age of 65 who are not frontline workers and do not have high-risk conditions, are likely to go into effect in May and June.

According to state statistics, people over 75 make up just 8 percent of Connecticut’s population, yet represent just over 71 percent of all COVID deaths in the state. Those over the age of 70 also make up half of all COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state.

Meanwhile, individuals over 65, who represent 18 percent of the population, make up 88 percent of all deaths in the state. By focusing high-efficacy vaccine doses on this vulnerable population, Connecticut aims to save lives and reduce hospitalizations.

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The FBI has arrested another man accused of carrying several guns to Washington, for the insurrection at the Capitol.

Samuel Fisher lives on the Upper East Side. But he’s a 2007 graduate of Weston High School.

Using the name Brad Holiday, he’s got a series of YouTube videos and a website dedicated to sales and business.

But he also wrote provocative posts — like this one in which he predicted that on January 6 Ted Cruz and others would betray “Trump and We The People”; that “they will allow Antifa and BLM to run roughshot [sic] in the streets of D.C. and bear spray, search and arrest patriots,” or that perhaps if “1 million Patriots”  showed up for Donald Trump’s speech, he “just needs to fire the bat signal… deputize patriots… and then the pain comes.”

Fisher/Holiday had a handgun, rifle, shotgun, 1000 rounds of ammunition and 2 bulletproof vests when the FBI took him into custody.

He was not hard to find. He posted photos of himself inside the Capitol on social media, and was quoted in the Daily Beast: “It was awesome. It was dangerous and violent. People died … but it was fucking great if you ask me …. i got tear-gassed and pepper-sprayed.”

And now, arrested.

Click here for the full New York Post story.

Samuel Fisher in Washington on January 6.

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And finally …  The Apple Macintosh 128 — the first consumer computer to popularize a mouse, built-in screen and graphical user interface, bundled with the brand-new MacWrite and MacPaint — was introduced through a now-historic “1984” Ridley Scott Super Bowl XVIII ad.

Meanwhile, do I know what the #1 song was on January 22, 1984? Yes …

 

 

 

 

 

Roundup: Vaccine, Scavenger Hunt, Art, More

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The COVID vaccine is now available in Connecticut for people 75 or older. They (or someone helping them) can sign up online (click here). After registration, they’ll get an email detailing next steps.

There may be an initial delay in scheduling, but access should grow quickly soon.

More than 100 healthcare providers statewide will offer the vaccine. More locations and a map of them will be available in coming weeks.

The scheduling link also contains a list of frequently asked questions about the vaccine.

People without internet access, or who need help, can call 877-918-2224 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Brendan Murphy’s works are drawing raves at his one-man show at the POP’TArt gallery downtown.

In return, the fast-rising contemporary artist asked curator Jennifer Haviland how he could support Westport. She chose an organization she loves: Wakeman Town Farm.

Murphy chose one of his 8-layer silver-based chrome heart sculptures, and offered it for auction. Measuring 24 x 24 x 8 inches, it’s valued at $18,000.

The heart is on display with Murphy’s show, “96% Stardust” at POP’Tart (1 Main Street).

Auction co-chair Nicole Gerber says, “Wakeman Town Farm has a rich history in Westport, and resides at the heart of our community. The Farm is committed to inspiring local residents through sustainable practices, education opportunities, and community service. In this crucial time in our history, The Farm is actively supporting local organizations focused on alleviating food insecurity in our area. We are honored to support a nonprofit that allows the people it serves to serve others as well.”

Bidding starts at $5,000, by email: BrendanHeartWakeman@gmail.com. For more information on the auction, click here. For more information about Brendan Murphy, click here.

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The Westport Parks and Recreation Department invites you to participate in a socially distanced “scavenger hunt”, hosted by the Goosechase App!

Who doesn’t love a scavenger hunt?

Westport’s Parks & Recreation Department is organizing one, for families or teams.

Registrants first download the GooseChase app on their phones, search for the “Westport Winter Goose Chase,” then click here to receive a game password.

Winners get a gift basket of items from Westport businesses. For more information, click here.

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One River — the art and design school — is sponsoring a downtown show. The opening next Sunday (January 24, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.).

David Waldman and BTS Realty donated their storefronts: 33 Elm Street, Brooks Corner and Sconset Square. Two hundred works — from children to adults — will be on view through February 7.

Also included: One River’s high school portfolio development class, with traditional and digital works.

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It’s official: Most high school winter sports can begin tryouts and practices this Tuesday (January 19). Basketball, ice hockey, swimming, gymnastics and indoor track got the go-ahead yesterday from the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference.

Games may begin February 8, except for track which cannot compete until March. The number of games is limited; there will be no state tournaments, though a “post-season experience” can be held (similar to fall sports).

In addition, athletes will be required to wear masks during competitions. Coaches and players will also have to wear masks and be socially distanced on the sidelines. Officials are required to wear masks at all times.

There will be no wrestling or competitive cheer, however. The state Department of Public Health categorized those as “high-risk activities.”

Football — a fall sport — had hoped to play a shortened late winter/early spring season. However, the CIAC canceled that option yesterday.

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And finally … happy 87th birthday to the brilliant mezzo-soprano, Marilyn Horne!

COVID Vaccine: Am I Eligible? How Do I Register?

1st Selectman Jim Marpe and the Westport Weston Health District pass along important information about the COVID-19 vaccine:

Right now, only people eligible under Phase 1a or 1b may register for the vaccine. Click here for the form to register with the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).

Phase 1a includes:

  • Healthcare Personnel: All paid and unpaid personnel serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients of infectious materials.
  • Long Term Care Facility Residents: Adults who reside in facilities that provide a range of services, including medical and personal care, to persons who are unable to live independently.
  • First Responders at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their response to medical emergencies, such as emergency medical technicians, police officers, and firefighters.

Phase 1b includes:

  • Individuals 75 and older (proof of age required at the clinic).
  • NOTE: The state Department of Public Health is still finalizing its definition of Phase 1b eligible residents.

To register (see above), full name, date of birth, zip code, occupation (including “retired”), and email address are required.

The information entered will only be used for purposes of scheduling a vaccination and will remain confidential.

Once submitted, a confirmation email will be sent from the Department of Public health/VAMS, followed by another email that approves or denies the registration.

Approved registrants may then register in VAMS and select a vaccination appointment.

Every individual must have a unique email to be registered and vaccinated. Someone using their personal email to register an elderly parent may not be able to register or be vaccinated using that same email. The Westport Department of Human Services’ vaccination helpline (203-341-5037) can help.

VAMS is the only way right now for an individual not in a congregate setting to register for and receive the vaccination in Connecticut.

This is a state program. Westport residents do not need to be vaccinated in Westport. VAMS may suggest vaccination appointments in nearby communities based on the supply of available vaccinations.

(For more Connecticut vaccine information, click here.)

COVID Vaccine: Questions & Answers

State Senator Will Haskell says:

Starting yesterday, thousands of health care workers across Connecticut began receiving the first dose of a vaccine developed by Pfizer and approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Connecticut ought to be especially proud that some of Pfizer’s Groton-based employees played a critical role in developing the vaccine.

Many more people will be vaccinated in the coming months, helped along by the expected approval of the Moderna-developed COVID-19 vaccine. Other promising vaccination candidates, including ones designed by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, may find approval in the winter.

We’ve lost more than 5,300 Connecticut residents to this terrible virus, and each of us have struggled to maintain a sense of sanity and normalcy during this trying time. Finally, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

In speaking with constituents, I’ve heard a few frequent questions about how our state will administer the vaccine. Below, I’ve tried to answer just a few of them. Of course, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have a question that I haven’t addressed below.

Hartford Healthcare’s Keith Grant was among the first in Connecticut to receive a COVID-19 vaccine yesterday. Governor Ned Lamont looked on.

When does the vaccine arrive?

The COVID-19 vaccine is already being administered in Connecticut. With Phase 1a underway, you can read more details about the upcoming phases of distribution by visiting ct.gov/coronavirus. The United States has ordered 200 million total doses of these two-shot vaccines (enough to inoculate 100 million individuals nationwide). Negotiations with vaccine producers are ongoing, and other promising candidates may still be approved in coming weeks and months. Of course, this would dramatically accelerate the delivery of future doses.

Is it like a flu shot, where I only need to get one dose?

While some vaccine candidates for COVID-19, including the one developed by Johnson & Johnson, are expected to only require one dose, the COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna both require two doses to fully prime immune systems for full protection against the virus.

Are there side effects?

If you’ve ever received a flu shot, you likely remember having a slightly numb arm and mild cold symptoms as your body reacted to the immunization. The COVID-19 vaccine is reported to have similar results. While mild flu-like symptoms after each dose may not sound like fun, they reportedly abate within one day of receiving a dose.

When can I get my shot?

That depends on a variety of factors, including the state’s supply and your personal details. The first group to receive the vaccine will be health care workers and other medical first responders, since they face a disproportionate risk of contracting the virus from patients. Also included in Phase 1a are long-term care facility residents and staff, since approximately 70 percent of Connecticut’s total deaths caused by COVID-19 took place inside these facilities.

Next, vaccines will be delivered to members of the critical workforce, those living in congregate settings where transmission risk is high, adults over the age of 65 and high-risk individuals under the age of 65. Adults older than 65 see the highest rate of deaths from COVID-19.

Is the vaccine mandatory?

No. At this point, the demand for the vaccine far outstrips the supply. Both the Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention will be closely monitoring vaccine recipients who develop any side effects.

How does the vaccine work?

These vaccines use messenger-RNA, or mRNA, that teach the body how to recognize and fight COVID-19. Once both doses are administered, antibodies will develop to help us fight infection after future exposure. Pfizer’s vaccine has an efficacy rate of 95% among study participants, and the vaccine was equally efficacious among all age groups, genders and races. Importantly, the vaccine becomes effective one week after the second dose is administered.

Will the vaccine give me COVID-19? Will I be contagious?

These vaccines cannot infect you with COVID-19. Importantly, they will have a 6-week period to reach full protective effect, so recipients are asked to continue wearing masks and social distance after receiving them. It may be possible to catch COVID-19 through community spread after receiving the vaccine but before it is fully effective (one week after the second dose).

So the vaccine will end the pandemic?

Not immediately. Vaccinations will need widespread adoption in order to reduce the spread of the virus and achieve herd immunity. However, this is a major step forward in the fight to save lives and re-open our economy.

I have more questions. Where can I get them answered?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state government, hospitals including Hartford HealthCare and Yale New Haven Health and your personal physician will all likely be able to provide more information about the vaccine.