Page 4 - Boca ViewPointe - February '21
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Page 4, Viewpointe                                                  February 2021

      Molecular Mechanisms Of The COVID-19 Vaccine

      By Tina Fernandez                                  government, states, pharmaceutical companies and health-care   cells to send out an immune response. Scientists found that
                                                         providers.”                                       mRNA stimulated an even stronger immune response than
         In saying goodbye to the rollercoaster of a year that 2020      However, in this article my goal is not to talk about the   previous vaccines by producing antibodies but also immune
      was, we say hello to hope & a light at the end of the tunnel: the   logistics of vaccine distribution, but rather about the science   system killer cells, as Dr. Komaroff from the Harvard Health
      COVID-19 vaccine. As different pharmaceuticals companies   behind the vaccine and the coronavirus. I aim, above all, to   Letter described it, a “double strike at the virus.”
      continue to announce their success in developing a vaccine   inform you all on how the coronavirus infiltrates the body,      3. After hijacking a host cell, how does the coronavirus
      against the coronavirus, we feel one step closer to normality   how the Pfizer mRNA vaccine works, and how we went from   replicate?
      again. Of course, vaccination efforts themselves are a whole   a clinical trial to a functioning vaccine so quickly.      a. There are really four steps that are crucial for replication:
      other handful of logistics- between mass producing them,      1. How does COVID enter the body and how does the      #1: Viral attachment: the coronavirus fuses to the host cell’s
      distributing them, and molding public opinion in favor of the   vaccine aim to deter that?           membrane in order to enter the cell.
      vaccine, it is no easy feat. And still many questions linger in      a. The coronavirus has a specific (spike) protein on its      #2: Viral disassembly: the virus is basically undone by
      the air: when will I receive a vaccine? What about my family?   surface, called S Protein, which attaches to a human receptor   powerful organelles in the cell called lysosomes, which contain
      My friends? Neighbors? As per Carolyn Y. Johnson from The   enzyme called Angiotensin Converting Enzyme II (ACE-2).   a variety of enzymes that help catalyze the breaking down
      Washington Post, “Distributing the vaccine will be a formidable   ACE-2 is ubiquitous; it is found in many membranes of many   of specific materials. The lysosomes help expose the single-
      proposition, requiring elaborate coordination among the federal   different cells- lung cells, kidney cells, stomach cells, skin cells,   stranded RNA from the virus, a step necessary to proceed with
                                                         much of the respiratory system, and even brain cells. This fact   replication.
                                                         makes the coronavirus even more dangerous because of all        #3: Translation and transcription of the RNA from the virus
                                                                                                             #4: Viral Assembly: Post-translational modifications occur in
                                                         the different types of cells it is able to target. ACE-2 functions
        In Memoriam                                      to split a protein called angiotensin II which serves to control   the endoplasmic reticulum in order to “re-assemble” the virus,
                                                                                                           adding a viral envelope so that the newly replicated virus can
                                                         inflammation by inhibiting bradykinin (a peptide that increases
                                                         inflammation). So, you can imagine that if the ACE-2 protein   attach to and bind to the correct protein on the host cell it will
           Our heartfelt condolences to Gloria Greenberg, the   is nonfunctional, your bodily cells will be much more prone to   now be able to invade.
        cherished scribe of the Current Events class, on the   the inflammatory response.                     4. What did the clinical trials to test the Pfizer vaccine even
        loss of her beloved husband Jerry Greenberg. May he      b. Once the coronavirus hijacks the cell, it uses the   look like?
        rest in peace.                                   mechanisms of the host cell (its organelles, molecular reactions,      a. There were a total of 43,448 participants aged 16 and over
           Our condolences to Nancy Lubman on the passing   and metabolic processes) to reproduce and proliferate.   that received injections- 21,720 with BNT162b2 and 21,728
        of her husband, Ronald Lubman on January 25, 2021.      c. The vaccine aims to expose the body to the virus in a safe   with a placebo.
        Ronald and Nancy have been Boca Pointe residents   way to stimulate the immune response’s preparation in case of      b. Two injections, each 30 micrograms of BNT162b2 were
        since 1992.                                     a real infection. The details on how an mRNA vaccine works   given twenty-one days apart to the deltoid muscle.
                                                         are in the next question.                            c. Seven days after the second dose of the vaccine, only 8
                                                            2. What is an mRNA vaccine?                    members of the population that received the vaccine displayed
                                                            a. Traditional vaccines, like the ones for polio and measles,   symptoms of COVID-19. Meanwhile, 162 of the participants
                                                         are not mRNA vaccines. Traditional vaccines work by growing   from the population that received the placebo vaccine
        Golf Carts                                       a “inactivated” version of the polio or measles virus in a   experienced COVID-19 symptoms. The clinical trials had
                                                                                                           subjects from all around the world- mostly from the United
                                                         laboratory, and then reinjecting the “weakened” virus into the
        Please Drive                                     body so that an immune response is elicited. The process of   States, but also from countries like Argentina, Brazil, South
                                                                                                           Africa, Germany, and Turkey.
                                                         “weakening” the virus is costly, time-consuming, and obviously
                                                                                                             d. No patients died during the clinical trials due to the
        Carefully!                                       very complex. In addition, it poses a much higher risk for     vaccine.
                                                            b. On the other hand, mRNA vaccines can be produced      5. What are some limitations of the clinical trials conducted?
                                                         in cell-free systems, and thus more quickly and in larger      a. Obviously the sample size could’ve been bigger, and
                                                         quantities. Thanks to the advancements in genetic sequencing,   according to the report, the clinical trials did not include anyone
                                                         the DNA (and therefore mRNA) sequence of the coronavirus   younger than 16, subjects in special risk groups, nor pregnant
                                                         was identified and publicly published by scientists in China just   women.
                                                         weeks after COVID-19 emerged.                     Sources:
                                                            c. mRNA is the intermediate product that comes after DNA      1.
                                                         and before a protein (transcription and translation). The DNA   covid-moderna-vaccine/\
                                                         is like the recipe to make your cake (the final protein), and the      2.
                                                         mRNA is the intermediate of that process. By knowing the exact   PMC7745181/
                                                         sequence of mRNA that makes the S Protein of the coronavirus      3.
                                                         (what is used to infiltrate the host cell), scientists are able to mass   novel-technology-to-prevent-and-treat-disease/
                                                         produce mRNA in a laboratory. Then, like any other vaccine,
                                                         the mRNA is injected into the body, where it “educates” your      Tina Fernandez is a resident of The Palms. 

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                                                                 What To Do Legally When Your

                                                                                         Partner Dies

                                                          By Martin Zevin, Attorney                        new Deed to avoid probate when you die.
                                                                                                              If you do not have a Revocable Living Trust, this appointment
                                                            Losing your spouse, partner                    will be a good opportunity to discuss the creation of a Trust and
                                                         or significant other is a very                    preparation of a Deed in order to avoid probate on your home and
                                                         traumatic event. It is most                       other real estate. You can also discuss the option of a Life Estate
                                                         important for your physical and                   Deed to avoid probate.
                                                         emotional health to give yourself                    If you do have a Trust, this may be an appropriate time
                                                         time for the grieving process.                    to consider doing an Amendment to the Trust based on new
                                                            Once  you feel mentally and                    circumstances. Your home and other real estate (in Florida and
                                                         emotionally able to do so, you                    out-of-state) should be owned by you as Trustee of the Trust.
                                                         should schedule an appointment                    You may wish to name one of your children as Co-Trustee to
                                                         with an attorney to review all legal documents.   make it easier to manage the assets in your Trust if you become
                                                            You should bring your Will and/or Revocable Living Trust, Deed   incapacitated. You may also wish to make changes in your Living
                                                         to your home and any other real estate, certified copy of the death   Will, Durable Power of Attorney and Designation of Health Care
                                                         certificate and, if married, date of your marriage. If you have advanced   Surrogate or create those documents if you do not have them.
                                                         care directives such as a Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney and      In most cases, there is no urgency to contact an attorney. It
                                                         Designation of Health Care Surrogate, you should bring those as well.  is much better to have peace of mind and clarity. Some lawyers,
                                                            If everything you owned was in both names, it is not necessary   including myself, will offer a free consultation. This consultation
                                                         to probate the Will. However, regarding your home, and any other   should include your options and give you the opportunity to sleep
                                                         real estate, it is important to “Clear the Title.” The lawyer will   on it before finalizing any new legal documents.
                                                         prepare and have you sign a “Continuous Marriage Affidavit,”      During this time of social distancing, I offer a free phone
                                                         which is why you need the date of your marriage. The Affidavit   consultation for all matters regarding Durable Power of Attorney,
                                                         will state that you were married on a certain date and remained   Designation of Health Care Surrogate, Living Will, Wills, Trusts,
                                                         continuously married without divorce until the date of death. It   Life Estate Deeds, Probate and Estates. I am also available for a
                                                         will provide the legal description of your home and other real   free consultation regarding any issue pertaining to personal injury
                                                         estate and indicate your intention to clear title. This document will   claims or car insurance coverage. Call me at 954-569-4878. My
                                                         be recorded, along with an Affidavit of No Florida Estate Tax Due   address is 3275 W. Hillsboro Blvd., Suite 204, Deerfield Beach,
                                                         and the Death Certificate without the cause of death. Recording   Florida 33442. My website is and my
                                                         these documents will clear title and allow you the option to do a   e-mail address is
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