2021-02-04 20:19:41 | Your Friday Briefing – The New York Times


Story by: Melina Delkic The New York Times World News

Countries across the world have authorized a growing menu of coronavirus vaccines, but the question now confronting health officials is who should be given which shots.

The issue is most pressing in the European Union, after regulators authorized the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine — the third shot now available. Officials in eight countries, including Germany, Italy and France, plan to limit that vaccine to younger people, citing insufficient data on the vaccine’s effectiveness in older people. The doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines would be set aside for older people.

Some scientists say that targeting the vaccine to those in whom it is known to be effective was an urgently needed stopgap, especially as variants gain steam. Others said it would only delay injections for the people most in need of protection.

Context: When the British scientists planned large-scale clinical trials of the AstraZeneca vaccine last year, they chose not to vaccinate older participants until they knew the vaccine was safe in younger ones, a decision that led to fewer older people being inoculated. Britain, India and others authorized it for all adults anyway, but European officials have been more cautious.

The prevalence of climate anxiety, or being very worried about the effects of climate change, has grown. But so has the number of people working to alleviate it.

Eco-distress can manifest in many ways, like anguish over what the future will hold or extreme guilt over individual purchases and behaviors, said Dr. Lise Van Susteren, co-founder of the Climate Psychiatry Alliance. Workshops, volunteer opportunities and counseling specific to this anxiety have sprung up around the U.S.

For many Americans, counseling for climate distress is relatively accessible. In some communities, however, especially less wealthy ones, it may seem more like a rare privilege.

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Where to begin: Social support networks and climate actions taken in groups can help. “If people aren’t ready or they run from grief, it’ll continue to haunt them,” said Sherrie Bedonie, co-founder of the Native American Counseling and Healing Collective.

Snapshot: Above, Dr. Sheetal Khedkar Rao, who decided last year she could not continue practicing medicine. A year into the pandemic, medical workers in the U.S. are feeling not only burned out, but also traumatized by what they’ve endured. “After awhile, the emotional burden and moral injury become too much to bear,” Dr. Rao said.

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What we’re listening to: This episode of The Atlantic’s “Experiment” podcast. It delves into a place in Yellowstone National Park where one could potentially get away with murder because of a peculiar glitch in the U.S. Constitution. It’s fun to listen to and smart.

Why was Aung San Suu Kyi released from her house arrest in 2010?

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I think the junta, it had spent years, decades actually, creating a road map for what it called “discipline-flourishing democracy,” which is kind of an oxymoronic political system. Essentially it was a hybrid civilian-military system in which there was this kind of facade of democracy. But at the same time, the military would be able to control major levers of power in the country.

How do you explain her defense and in some cases her abetting of the military’s genocidal campaign against the Rohingya?

There is in Myanmar a feeling that the Rohingya are ultimately foreign interlopers in the country and that in a Buddhist majority nation, there are certain people who don’t belong. And I think that Aung San Suu Kyi, as unpalatable as it might be to say, shares those beliefs.

How do we get to the point where Aung San Suu Kyi is somehow betrayed and removed from power by the military?

I think fundamentally it sprang from her fraying and then really frosty relationship with the guy who is the real ruler in Myanmar, and that’s Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. When she refused to kind of cultivate a relationship with him, she left him kind of out in the cold.

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

— Melina

Thank you
Carole Landry helped write this briefing. Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected]

• We’re listening to “Sway.” Our latest episode features an interview with the billionaire Mark Cuban.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Jennifer who performed at Biden’s inauguration (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
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Source References: The New York Times World News

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