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March Newsletter

MARCH 2021

Vaccine Update

Chris Jones

Guilford Firefighter / Paramedic

The effort to vaccinate has been one that all involved are immensely proud of, and we have only just begun. The Moderna vaccine was approved for emergency use by the FDA on December 18, 2020. Prior to its approval, a “Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) review” was performed on the Moderna vaccine clinical trial that encompassed 30,000 participants between the ages of 18 and 95, a median age of 52, and used data from participants with a median follow-up timeframe of 2 months. Of the 30,000 participants, 52.6% were male, 47.4% female, and 25.3% were 65 years or older. 82% on participants were considered to have an “occupational risk” of exposure with 25.4% being healthcare workers. 22.3% had one or more “high-risk” conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, liver disease, or HIV. 4% of study participants had two or more high-risk conditions. Following the GRADE review, the Moderna vaccine was found to have a 94.1% efficacy after both doses were administered upon the two-month follow-up mark.

The Pfizer COVID19 vaccine was approved by the FDA for emergency use on December 11, 2020. A GRADE review of data pertaining to the Pfizer vaccine encompassed more than 43,000 participants with a median age of 52. Results were documented at a median of a two-month follow-up mark and showed a 95% efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine. Undoubtedly, 95% (Pfizer) and 94.1% (Moderna) efficacy rates are jaw-dropping. The effort to study and produce these vaccines is historic and even more so due to some of the highest efficacy rates ever seen in modern medicine.

In a previous article, we discussed the mRNA property of COVID19. Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines that have both shown incredible success. Simply, these two vaccines work as a “recipe” for the human body to create the COVID19 virus, and thus create antibodies to combat the virus during future exposures. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however, is a “viral vectored vaccine” which employs a simple “adenovirus” (a virus that causes the common cold) that is genetically engineered to carry the SARS-COV-2 virus and causes the COVID19 disease. In fact, this same process was utilized by Johnson & Johnson for their Ebola vaccine. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has shown an outstanding efficacy of 72% in the United States and 66% with geography considered.

Regardless of vaccine brand, the emphasis is purely on vaccinating as many people as soon as possible. In terms of Guilford, Connecticut, that effort is an extraordinarily strong one that is fully invested in the safety and health of all those who choose to receive a vaccine. Very proudly, we are fighting to get all of us back to a normal society where a handshake or a hug is a welcomed part of our lives.


Clock Changes and Fire Safety

John Planas

Guilford Firefighter / Paramedic and Deputy Fire Marshal

This year, on Sunday, March 14, states throughout the U.S. will be turning their clocks forward. Many people will use this event as a reminder to change their home’s smoke alarm batteries.

  • Because working smoke alarms are a critical element of home fire safety, Guilford Fire Department encourages all efforts to reinforce the importance of working batteries. However, today’s smoke alarms are not all designed the same, making battery messaging more nuanced.

  • Following is information to help make sure all smoke alarms have working batteries, accounting for the multiple types of smoke alarms on the market and their varying battery requirements:

  • Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.

  • Smoke alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year. If that alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.

  • When replacing a battery, follow manufacturer’s list of batteries on the back of the alarm or manufacturer’s instructions. Manufacturer’s instructions are specific to the batteries (brand and model) that must be used. The smoke alarm may not work properly if a different kind of battery is used.

Don't forget to check your fire extinguisher. Now is a good time to check any fire extinguishers and make sure they are not expired and or damaged. It is good practice to pick up the extinguisher and shake it to make sure the extinguishing agent inside is not clumped together. Sometimes the extinguishing agent may be clumped if the extinguisher has not been picked up for some time. This is also a great time to take apart the dryer vent hose and make sure there is not a buildup of lint that can cause a fire. If there is a large amount of lint, you can use compressed air to blow the vent out. Sometimes it is more practical to just replace the hose.

For more information, don't hesitate to contact the Office Of The Fire Marshal.


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