Your Thursday Briefing – The New York Times
We’re covering the green light for a malaria vaccine for the first time and making a push for at-home COVID tests in the US
WHO approves first malaria vaccine
The World Health Organization first endorsed a vaccine to prevent malaria, a disease that kills about 500,000 people each year, including hundreds of thousands of African children under the age of 5.
The vaccine, made by GlaxoSmithKline, stimulates a child’s immune system to thwart the deadliest and most prevalent of the five malaria pathogens. Clinical trials showed an efficacy of about 50 percent against severe malaria in the first year, but that figure dropped to near zero by the fourth year.
Some experts have questioned whether the vaccine, with its moderate efficacy, is a worthwhile investment in countries with many other problems. But the director of the WHO’s global malaria program called the new vaccine a historic event. This is not the first vaccine for malaria, but it is the first vaccine developed for any parasitic disease.
Effect: A study last year estimated that if vaccinated in countries with the most cases of malaria, it could prevent 5.4 million cases and 23,000 deaths in children under 5 each year.
Next Step: Gavi, a global vaccine alliance, now has to determine whether a vaccine is a worthwhile investment. If so, the organization will buy the vaccine for countries that request it, a process that is expected to take at least a year.
America will spend $ 1 billion on Kovid test at home
The White House announced on Wednesday that it will spend US$1 billion to quadruple the availability of rapid at-home coronavirus tests by the end of the year.
Officials said 200 million rapid tests will soon be available to Americans each month, reflecting a growing demand for home testing as a tool to slow the spread of COVID-19. As the school year went on and some workers returned to the office, pharmacies and retailers struggled to keep tests in stock, or put limits on how many customers could buy.
Rapid tests are not as sensitive as PCR tests, but experts have said they are still accurate in detecting the virus in someone who is in the first week of displaying symptoms.
related: Earlier this week, US drug regulators authorized Akon Laboratories’ at-home testing, which officials said could double its at-home testing capacity in the coming weeks.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
out of power in australia
While about a quarter of Australia’s population is non-white, only 6 percent of its parliament is made up of members from minority groups. A debate over the lack of diversity has broken out in the open.
When Tu Le, a young Australian lawyer with Vietnamese refugee parents who had been determined as a Labor Party candidate for parliament, was passed for a white American-born woman, Lay did not quietly chose to go. Instead, he and other young members of the political left began to agitate for change into a Labor Party, which sees itself as a bastion of diversity.
Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, defended his party’s actions and said the white candidate to replace Ley was an expatriate “success story”. But politicians from minority groups said they experienced a political system that immediately shuts them down.
Worth quoting: “The Australia I live in and the Australia I work in are two completely different worlds,” said Greens party senator Mehreen Farooqui. “It’s because people are unwilling to step aside and really make room for this representation.”
What do fictional characters eat?
Would you like to try the Vulcan staple, Plumec Soup? It’s one of the recipes that Chelsea Monroe-Castle is developing for “The Star Trek Cookbook,” and she watched hours of episodes and movies to determine what could go into red soup. (She settled on tomatoes, strawberries, and a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar.)
Pop-culture cookbooks have been around for decades—including entries from “Dark Shadows” and “The Partridge Family” in the ’70s—though they were usually novelties that only named recipes for characters. But recent hits, like “The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook,” which sold more than a million copies, showed that the genre can be lucrative, reports Priya Krishna. Publishers devoted more resources, and writers took more care, creating recipes that accounted for the fictional world’s climate and the characters’ food preferences.
The ideal subject for a cookbook is one with an invested fandom. Brendan O’Neill, editor-in-chief of Adams Media, said, “People may love a series like ‘Survivor,’ but there’s a slight disconnect between that and a cultural phenomenon and the fan engagement that you see on ‘Harry. Potter’ and ‘The Simpsons’ where this universe exists.”
play, watch, eat
what to cook
That’s all for today’s briefing. See you again. — Matthew
PS Blake Hounschel, who played several key roles at Politico, is joining The Times to help build a new team for our On Politics newsletter.
The latest episode of “The Daily” is about a Facebook whistleblower’s Senate testimony.
Sanam Yar wrote today’s art and thoughts. You can reach out to Matthew and team [email protected].
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