Congratulations to Abigail, a 5th grader at the Alden School in Duxbury! Her drawing was selected for the cover of our annual holiday greeting card contest. Abigail won a gift certificate to Rock, Paper, Scissors toy store and I made a $100 donation to the Alden School PTO in her name. We had a brief presentation today in front of the school with her family and friends from the Alden school staff & PTO. There were more than 100 elementary school students acrossdrawings. A handful of them were also included on the inside of the card as shown here. We will be posting a video later that features ALL of the student entries soon. Thanks to everyone who participated and all the elementary school teachers who helped. Most of the organizing work behind the scenes was done by my aide Lilla and she got an assist from my Lila, also a student at Alden, who read the official State House Citation today. Great to spread a little holiday cheer!
More encouraging news on the vaccine front. Here is some information we just received from Pfizer:
- Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate is 95% effective against COVID-19 beginning 28 days after the first dose
- We expect to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021
- We plan to submit within days to the FDA for EUA and share data with other regulatory agencies around the glob
- Efficacy was consistent across age, gender, race and ethnicity demographics; observed efficacy in adults over 65 years of age was over 94%
- Safety data milestone required by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) has been achieved
- Data demonstrate vaccine was well tolerated across all populations with over 43,000 participants enrolled; no serious safety concerns observed; the only Grade 3 adverse event greater than 2% in frequency was fatigue at 3.8% and headache at 2.0%
- Pfizer is confident in its vast experience, expertise and existing cold-chain infrastructure to distribute the vaccine around the world
One of Pfizer’s facilities in the manufacturing and supply chain is located in Andover, Mass.
Recognizing the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on children’s mental health, the Baker Administration recently launched HandholdMA.org, a new family-friendly website for parents and guardians of school-aged children who are concerned about their child’s mental health. The website provides families with tips, tools, and resources designed to help them navigate their child’s mental health journey. The content, which is targeted to families with kids age 6-12 years, was developed by a team of mental health and child development experts as well as family and community partners. Developed with input from individuals representing diverse Massachusetts communities, the content is available in six languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Haitian Creole, and Vietnamese.
Yesterday, the Legislature passed legislation to retroactively assist individuals receiving unemployment benefits. The legislation allows for certain qualified unemployment recipients to retroactively collect up to $1,800 in benefits. In July, through the first week of September, FEMA established the Lost Wages Assistance Program which provided for an additional $300 per week of unemployment benefits for 5 weeks. Unfortunately, many receiving unemployment benefits did not receive the minimum benefit amount ($100 or more in weekly benefits) to qualify of the additional monies. The legislation passed yesterday and signed into law by Gov. Baker will ensure that all recipients of unemployment receive the extra $300 per week from the FEMA Lost Wages Assistance Grant.
If you had been receiving unemployment benefits from the end of July to the first week in September, but were receiving less than $100 per week, you are qualified to receive this additional assistance.
If you need assistance with your unemployment claim, please call our office at 617-722-2810 or visit the Massachusetts’s Dept. of Unemployment website here.