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The Pfizer vaccine gets full FDA approval, eliminating a primary argument for not getting it

The FDA has given full approval for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, marking a major milestone in the fight against the global coronavirus pandemic.

Since FDA Emergency Use Authorization was issued for the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines earlier this year, some hesitant people have refused to get the vaccine, citing the fact that it wasn't fully approved by the FDA. Now that full FDA approval has been granted for the Pfizer vaccine (which is actually officially named Comirnaty—who knew?), that argument is moot. And with Moderna's approval submission clocking about a month after Pfizer, it's entirely likely we'll have two fully approved vaccines for COVID-19 in the coming weeks.

The big question now is—will it actually make that much difference?

On the hopeful side, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 31% of unvaccinated Americans they surveyed last month indicated that they would be more likely to get vaccinated if the vaccine received full FDA approval. If all of those people changed their minds due to this approval, we'd have millions more Americans receiving the vaccine. With hospitals filling up with unvaccinated people across the country, putting a heavy strain on already burnt-out healthcare workers, getting more people vaccinated is imperative.

But even full approval doesn't seem to be budging the die-hard never-vaxxers.


A small-but-loud minority of Americans simply have a blanket distrust of the FDA (or any government regulatory agency), and this full approval is just seen as another untrustworthy move by an untrusted source. Social media today is filled with people asking how much the FDA was paid to give this full approval. Figuring out how to reach these people is an ongoing mystery.

Another minority of Americans are immersed in media that pushes misinformation about the vaccines and the pandemic in general, leading people to the erroneous belief that they're better off risking a COVID infection than getting the vaccine. Though COVID misinformation can be outright lies, more often it's studies or statistics or stories that are cherry-picked and used in misleading ways. (Watch the comments on this article if you read it on Facebook. There will be no shortage of such misinformation being shared. Happens every time.)

One example of such misleading information is reports of the number of vaccine reactions in VAERS, the U.S. government's Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System. If a person were to just look at the numbers in that database (which is available for anyone to see) without proper analysis, they could easily believe that the vaccines were dangerous, leading to thousands of people's deaths and sickening thousands more.

However VAERS numbers have to be taken for what they are—self-reported, unverified reactions that 1) may not be real or accurate since anyone can submit to it, and 2) have not been demonstrated to actually be caused by the vaccine.

Here's one example of why raw VAERS numbers are essentially meaningless: When we're vaccinating more than 100 million people in a handful of months, basic statistics would tell us that a certain number of those people will die of out-of-the-blue heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms, or other sudden death events within a close window of receiving the vaccine, even though such events actually have nothing to do with the vaccine.

Here's how that math works: According to the American Public Health Association, around 2,200 Americans die each day of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases every day. That's about one person every 40 seconds, and that's in years when there's not a mass vaccination effort happening. At the peak of vaccinations in April, the U.S. was administering over 1,300 vaccine doses every 40 seconds. Statistically, it's completely expected that some sudden deaths would coincide closely with a vaccine dose—but that doesn't mean that the vaccine caused them. Doctors investigate all reported deaths following vaccines, and there is simply no indication that vaccines are causing people to die or be severely impacted in any statistically significant way.

One might assume that the FDA's pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for safety review when a correlation between the vaccine and a higher than normal incidence of rare, severe (but treatable) blood clots was discovered would have given people some faith that the safety monitoring systems work as they should. But memories are short and paranoia is high. Add in the fact that we're watching science happen in real-time, and that accurate information and guidance have changed many times as we've learned more, and it's not surprising that a lot of people simply don't know what to think anymore.

While this full FDA approval won't convince everyone who is hesitant to get the vaccine, hopefully it will convince some. (For those still on the fence, you can read the FDA insert that will now accompany the Pfizer vaccine here and an FAQ about the vaccine and the approval of it here.)

As always, look to the majority of experts in the epidemiology/virology/immunology fields for accurate information and ignore the handful of skeptics-with-credentials who thrive on social media attention and feed on people's distrust of institutions and authority. And for the love, run from anyone who says, "Do your own research," unless you actually have the expertise and ability to conduct clinical research. (For real, watching YouTube videos and searching hashtags on Twitter does not count.)

Let's celebrate the incredible medical feat of the world's top medical scientists during the pandemic, do our part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and get the free, widely available, and now fully FDA-approved vaccine as soon as possible.

Images provided by Pacifico

Making waves in the best way

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At last, summer is here. And for many people, that means it's time for heading to the beach and maybe even catching some waves. Surfing is a quintessential summertime activity for those who live in coastal communities—it’s not only really fun and challenging, it’s also a great way to celebrate Mother Nature’s beauty. Even after a wipeout, the cool water mixed with warm sunshine offers a certain kind of euphoria. Or, you know, just hanging back on the sand is plenty fun too. Simply being outdoors near the ocean is its own reward.

pacifico quiksilver beach cleanupLet’s protect the places where outdoor adventure happensAll photos provided by Pacifico

However, it's well known that our beautiful beaches are suffering the consequences of overcrowding, pollution and littering. What was once a way of playing in nature is now slowly destroying it. And of course, this affects beachgoers everywhere. The sad truth is—without taking action to preserve all the natural joys the earth provides, we will eventually lose them.

But there is hope. Two popular brands that both have roots in surf culture have teamed up to help make trips to the beach a more sustainable pastime. The best part? You don’t have to know how to hang ten in order to participate.

Pacifico®, a pilsner-style lager originally brought to the U.S. by surfers, and Quiksilver, an iconic apparel company loved by both surfers and beach goers alike, have created a brand-new range of clothing and accessories with sustainability in mind.

Take a look below. These threads are great for all kinds of fun in the sun, without compromising the environment.

pacifico quicksilver beach cleanupsReady to make some waves

The collection launches on July 5 and includes tees and woven shirts, boardshorts, hats, flip-flops and a special beach towel and tote bag. The unique collaboration features the vibrant, colorful designs that are the hallmark of Quiksilver combined with Pacifico elements, created to make a positive impact.

Each item has been thoughtfully curated to minimize an environmental footprint and protect the outdoors. The hats, for example, are made from NetPlus® by Bureo®, a raw material created from South American recycled fishing nets. Additionally, the board shorts are made from recycled plastic bottles, and tees are made with 100% organic cotton. Pretty rad stuff, to put it in surfer lingo.

The prices on these pieces are equally rad, ranging from $28 flip-flops to $60 boardshorts.

In keeping with the sustainable ethos and protecting the places we play, Pacifico and Quiksilver will celebrate the products’ launch by hosting two beach cleanups. The first is on July 5 at Sunset Point in Malibu, California, from 4-5:30pm, and the second is on July 9th at Deerfield Beach in Florida from 8:30 – 10:30am.

pacifico quicksilver clothing lineCleaning up and looking good while doing it

Theses beach cleanups are open to anyone over the age of 21 who’s ready to have some fun while taking care of nature’s playground.

Those who can’t make it to the beach (bummer, dude) don’t have to miss out on all the fun. The new collection will be available on July 5th at www.quiksilver.com/mens-collab-pacifico. And even if you don’t surf, never plan to surf, have no desire to even be near a surfboard, rest assured, the apparel is still cool. Plus sustainable choices are always good fashion.

Our planet provides us with an endless supply of beauty and adventure. But without more mindful actions from humanity, its natural wonders will eventually diminish. Fortunately Pacifico and Quiksilver are making it easier than ever for people to enjoy the great outdoors without jeopardizing it. That’s a wave worth riding.

This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


Being married is like being half of a two-headed monster. It's impossible to avoid regular disagreements when you're bound to another person for the rest of your life. Even the perfect marriage (if there was such a thing) would have its daily frustrations. Funnily enough, most fights aren't caused by big decisions but the simple, day-to-day questions, such as "What do you want for dinner?"; "Are we free Friday night?"; and "What movie do you want to see?"

Here are some hilarious tweets that just about every married couple will understand.

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Photo by DJ Paine on Unsplash

Mississippi teen saves three girls and a police officer.

Talk about being in the right place at the right time! Sixteen-year-old Corion Evans was passing by the river when he saw a car drive off the road and into the river with three girls inside, and without hesitation, the teen stripped down to his shorts and jumped in to save them. Amber Spradley at WLOX in Mississippi originally reported on the story.

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Paul Rudd in 2016.

Passing around your yearbook to have it signed by friends, teachers and classmates is a fun rite of passage for kids in junior high and high school. But, according to KDVR, for Brody Ridder, a bullied sixth grader at The Academy of Charter Schools in Westminster, Colorado, it was just another day of putting up with rejection.

Poor Brody was only able to get four signatures in his yearbook, two from what appeared to be teachers and one from himself that said, “Hope you make some more friends."

Brody’s mom, Cassandra Ridder has been devastated by the bullying her son has faced over the past two years. "There [are] kids that have pushed him and called him names," she told The Washington Post. It has to be terrible to have your child be bullied and there is nothing you can do.

She posted about the incident on Facebook.

“My poor son. Doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better. 2 teachers and a total of 2 students wrote in his yearbook,” she posted on Facebook. “Despite Brody asking all kinds of kids to sign it. So Brody took it upon himself to write to himself. My heart is shattered. Teach your kids kindness.”

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