On the afternoon of Sept. 22, I became a data point in the search for a vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
That’s when I received the first of two shots in a clinical trial to develop a vaccine, and became one of 30,000 volunteers to take a needlestick for science.
Why am I doing it? A combination of altruism, curiosity, and a sense of duty as a journalist. But more on that later.
Aside from the nurse who injected me and the hospital pharmacy that supplied her with the injection, no one else knows whether I received a placebo or the would-be vaccine. Not me. Not even Dr. Bindu Balani, the principal investigator in the trial at Hackensack University Medical Center, one of 89 study sites around the country.
This is called a double-blind study because both the researchers and the participants are blind to what was inside that syringe.
New York and New Jersey on Thursday announced the launch of new COVID-19 apps based on the Apple and Google Exposure Notification framework.
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy made the announcement on Thursday. In a press release, Gov. Cuomo’s office also noted that the apps are interoperable with similar exposure notification titles recently released in Pennsylvania and Delaware, meaning the apps provide patchwork coverage across state lines.
With integrated apps, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware were able to create a regional COVID Alert network similar to one in development on the West Coast. The state of Connecticut has also announced that it will launch a similar exposure notification system “in the coming weeks.”
“Testing is to identify a person, so you can isolate and quarantine that person and then find the connections from that person, and that’s contact tracing. We have