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Morning Brief: Testing Out Vaccines, Increasing Cybersecurity, And Buying Music In Person

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A residential neighborhood in Rosemead. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s March 23.

Coronavirus vaccinations are now well underway. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 126 million doses have been administered in the U.S.

In L.A., eligibility now includes anyone over the age of 65, folks between the ages of 16 and 64 with certain health conditions, a number of frontline and essential workers, and more. But for some local families, there was no time to wait until everyone qualified. My colleague Jackie Fortiér spoke with a family in South Pasadena that chose to participate in vaccine trials to keep the father, who is immunocompromised, safe.

Mark Deetjen, 50, had simultaneous kidney and pancreas transplants due to damage caused by Type 1 diabetes, and later had a heart attack. His wife, Lisa Henderson, read about the possibility of participating in trials before Mark — or anyone else in the family, including their two teenage children — was eligible for the vaccine.

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“It just seemed like an obvious way for us to protect him,” she said.

Enrolling was straightforward, and now Lisa and the couple’s 18-year-old son are testing a vaccine by Novavax, which is in Phase 3 trials, and the couple’s 15-year-old daughter is part of a study that tests the Moderna vaccine in adolescents.

According to the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society, more than a dozen vaccines have been authorized around the world, and nearly 60 are in trials or development. Gov. Gavin Newsom has predicted that all Californians will be eligible by the end of April, and President Biden recently announced that there will be enough doses for all Americans by the end of May.

For families such as the Henderson/Deetjens, participating in vaccine trials has been a way to be part of the solution — and to grow closer in a time of stress and hardship.

"Just the fact that everybody around me cared enough to do that,” said Mark, “is incredibly humbling.”

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Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

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What Else You Need To Know Today


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Before You Go … This Week’s Pick: A Quiet Scene: L.A., Official Selections

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The Music Center and dublab will screen selections from their recent 'A Quiet Scene: L.A. film competition.on the plaza. (From Donald Parungao's 'Chinatown,' courtesy of the Music Center)

A Quiet Scene: L.A. asked people to submit an original short film that reflected the city during the pandemic, scored to tracks from Roger and Brian Eno's Luminous EP. Starting this week, official selections will be screened at The Music Center plaza in downtown.

Or, some other options: Learn about Orange County's wildflowers. Watch a livestreamed sunset concert from Griffith Park. Visit the Bowers Museum or the Petersen Auto Museum — in person. Scarf down pretzels, plant-based hot dogs and boysenberry treats. And more.


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