A new study says low doses of the Pfizer vaccine are safe for kids as young as 5-years-old
kids in spiderman and Captain America costumes

Articles, tweets, and social media posts are all buzzing after Pfizer announced a study that shows low doses of it's COVID 19 vaccine is safe and effective for children as young as 5 years old, triggering a healthy and robust immune system equivalent to that of teenagers and adults who take the same vaccine in higher doses.

This might seem like great news to help parents, teachers, and pediatricians feel a bit more hopeful as COVID-/Delta outbreaks continue to disrupt education.

For a bit of context: Since schools have begun, even with the mask mandates, child cases have increased by 500,000 since school began.

But with endless debates about vaccine safety, mask mandates, and civic duty vs. oppression, will the vaccine approval really make a dent in the efforts of our health officials? There are a few things that make me wonder if we should be celebrating just yet.

One concern: will parents wait until the vaccine is approved?

Pfizer still needs to submit its data to the FDA before it can really be deemed safe for kids. Even if the information was sent in by the end of this week, the reviewing process could take weeks, even up to a month. Since Pfizer is currently approved by the FDA for 12-year-olds, some parents are asking pediatricians to bend the rules by giving it to their 11-year-olds. Thinking the current dose safe, parents unknowingly are injecting their pre-teens with three times the recommended amount for that age, according to the latest study.

Second (and this is the big one): will enough parents find the vaccine safe enough, even if approved by the FDA?

According to an interview in the Washington Post, pediatric disease specialist Sharon Nachman said that while the new child vaccine development is a "huge, huge step forward," she is still "cautiously optimistic" about the news. The vaccine side effects on muscle inflammation in the heart is certainly just one disconcerting aspect, even though officials say the benefits outweigh the risks.

Third: will parents even see the vaccine as necessary?

Many parents see the disease as harmless to young children, considering few report severe illness after receiving diagnosis. Or, they think that alternative methods, like higher vitamin doses, can prevent it.


This logic doesn't take into account that children are still being hospitalized, can still spread COVID to those with compromised immune systems, and reports show that it is, in fact, not harmless.

All of my concerns really stem from a much larger one, which is a widespread lack of accurate information due to fear mongering by unqualified influencers posing as health experts. No new news here, I know, but case and point below.

Special thanks to @scitimewithtracy for patiently debunking.

Personally, I understand the fear. At their core, parents want to do the right thing by their kids. No matter what side of the vaccine debate they stand on, parents are assuming a great deal of risk in their decisions, and I'm sure make no decision lightly.

However, I will leave this tweet from Ryan J. Reilly, showing a jaw dropping visual presentation of the current COVID death toll, as a lasting image indicating what everyone is really risking by not taking action:

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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You could say Marine biologist, divemaster and National Geographic Explorer Dr. Erika Woolsey is a bit of a coral reef whisperer, one who brings her passion for ocean science to folks on dry land in a fresh, innovative and fun new way using virtual reality.

Images courtesy of Meta’s Community Voices film series

Her non-profit, The Hydrous, combines science, design, and technology to provide one-of-a-kind experiential education about marine life. In 2018, Hydrous produced “Immerse 360”, a virtual underwater journey through the coral reefs of Palau, with Dr. Woolsey as a guide.

Viewers got to swim with sharks, manta rays and sea turtles while exploring gorgeous aquatic landscapes and learning about the crucial role our oceans play—all from 360° and 3D footage captured by VRTUL 2 underwater storytelling VR cameras.

Hydrous then expanded on the idea to develop two more exciting augmented adventures using Meta Quest 2 technology: “Expedition Palau,” a live event where audiences can share a “synchronized immersive reality experience”, which includes live narration from Woolsey, and “Explore,” a “CGI experience” to enjoy the magic of the ocean at home.


“I’ve been extremely fortunate to explore and study coral reefs around the world,” Woolsey said, sharing that it was “heartbreaking” to see these important habitats decay so rapidly while the latest scientific reports did not clearly lead to widespread compassionate action.

“How do we care about something we never see or experience?” she reflected. As she discovered, virtual reality would be a powerful solution for eliciting empathy. “VR has the ability to generate presence and agency and make you feel like you’re there. It's that emotional connection that can bridge scientific discovery and public understanding”

The combination of virtual reality and the ocean’s natural breathtaking beauty is, as Woolsey puts it, a “match made in heaven” for getting people more engaged in ocean education. “When you’re floating you can look up and down and all around you…seeing a school of fish surrounding you and reefs in these cathedral-like structures. Rather than watching a video of a scientist, you get to become the scientist.”

Hydrous also has special kits to provide middle school students hands-on learning about ocean life. In addition to a journal, activity cards and a smartphone VR viewer, each kit includes lifelike 3D printed model pieces of a coral reef so that middle school students can try building their own.

These reef models even turn white when temperatures rise inside the aquarium, which mimics the real “bleaching” that corals endure when they die due to higher than normal ocean temperatures. Students really do become scientists as they figure out how to bring color back to their reef.

While it’s true that the health of our oceans affects us all, the growing threats our oceans face—pollution, overfishing, climate change—don’t always affect us on an empathetic level. Through the use of technology, Woolsey has created an innovative way to connect hearts and minds to one of the Earth’s most important resources, which can inspire real and lasting change.

“We can’t bring everybody to the ocean, but we’re finding scalable ways to bring the ocean to everyone.”

To learn more about Hydrous, click here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21

Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.

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