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Black Couple Sues Real Estate Appraiser After Home Valuation Increases By $300,000 When Shown By White Colleague

A Maryland couple is suing a local real estate appraiser and an online mortgage provider after alleging that the housing appraisal they received was unfairly low due to their race, violating the Fair Housing Act.

Corona Vaccine

University Of Maryland Joins In Most Advanced Covid-19 Vaccine Trial In America

The University Of Maryland’s School of Medicine is joining 30 other US centers that have begun recruiting thousands of citizens currently living in Covid-19 hot spots throughout the country. The goal is to get as many volunteers as possible to participate in what’s being called the most advanced trial for a vaccine against Covid-19. 

The vaccine was developed by Moderna, a Massachusetts biotech company who has been working with the National Institutes of Health on a vaccine since the beginning of this pandemic; it’s among several other vaccines throughout the world that are entering into Phase 3 of development. This specific trial in the US will be the first one to run under ‘Operation Warp Speed,’ a federal program that will hopefully be able to quickly identify, make, and distribute over 300 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine whenever one does get approved. 

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The trial will use around 30,000 volunteers after initial tests showed that the vaccine is safe and effective when administered among smaller groups. Dr. Matthew Laurens is one of the lead investigators at the University of Maryland, who claims that the biggest goal is finding a cure, but initial plans are to at least slow the rapid spreading in the US. 

“We hope it stops 100% of transmissions, but if it decreases the severity of the disease, that’s important for public health. At the end of the day, if it saves lives, that’s what’s most important.”

Five of the 27 active human trials throughout the world are in phase 3 of testing. Others are closely behind in terms of development, and many other treatments and therapies that can be used to slow the spread of the virus are also undergoing human trials. Again, the biggest goal is to save lives at any means possible. 

If the Moderna vaccine shows that it can successfully prevent an individual from being infected with Covid-19, officials believe it could be approved federally for mass distribution by mid-2021. The Moderna vaccine’s main claim is that by using messenger-RNA, their vaccine will be able to give our bodies immune system a “set of instructions” on how to create antibodies to fight the coronavirus, so that if the individual is infected, their body is already equipped to fight it off. 

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Pfizer Incorporated is a German biotech company that is also about to begin human trials on a messenger RNA vaccine; like in the US this trial is set to have up to 30,000 participants to ensure accuracy. Dr. Anthony Fauci recently spoke with the media about the incessant need for a vaccine, especially in America where so many individuals and businesses are actively ignoring health and safety procedures. 

“Although face coverings, physical distancing and proper isolation and quarantine of infected individuals and contacts can help us mitigate [coronavirus] spread, we urgently need a safe and effective preventive vaccine to ultimately control this pandemic.”

Moderna claims that if they’re successful with their vaccine it will cost around $32 – $37 per dose. The trial itself will consist of researchers drawing blood from volunteers and then administering two separate doses of the Covid-19 vaccine four weeks apart. Half will receive the actual vaccine while the other half will receive a placebo. All participants are encouraged to continue to stay home, wear masks, and maintain social distancing when in public spaces. 

Participants will also have to keep a daily journal of any symptoms or side effects they may be experiencing from the vaccine. The researchers will be doing weekly check-ins with everyone, but anyone who’s showing signs of Covid-19 will be immediately tested and given proper treatment if necessary. Researchers plan to follow this group for the next two years to see how long their immunity actually lasts, so for now, like always, it’s more of a waiting game.