The theme of this month’s Monday Bwoglines continues to be: vaccines!

Happening in the world: More vaccine news! The Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine’s Phase 3 trial results indicate a vaccine that is, on average, 70.4% effective, but could reach up to 90% efficacy with adjustments. Though the efficacy is not as high as that of the vaccine candidates of some of its competitors, such as Moderna and Pfizer, the AstraZeneca vaccine is significantly cheaper to produce and easier to store, easing the logistics of distributing it en masse. (BBC)

Happening in the US: President-elect Joe Biden has announced some of his cabinet picks, including Secretary of State and UN Ambassador. Antony Blinken, his closest foreign policy adviser, is set to be nominated for Secretary of State, while Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a diplomat with 35 years of experience in foreign service, will be his pick for UN Ambassador. The choices, seen as somewhat centrist picks, are crucial to Biden’s goal of recrafting the image of the US abroad after the “America First” politics of the Trump administration. (NYT)

Happening in NYC: Hours-long waiting times have become commonplace at testing sites around the city in the days leading up to Thanksgiving and as COVID-19 cases rise. In one CityMD testing line, wait times reached up to four hours. The long lines come in spite of a steady increase in the amount of tests administered and processed across the city and the state, where a record 207,907 tests were processed on Friday. (Gothamist)

Happening in our community: Tomorrow from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, Columbia will be hosting a conversation through the Grand Rounds on the Future of Public Health Series with the Commissioner of Health for New York State and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The conversation, titled “Grand Rounds on the Future of Public Health: Protecting (Not Isolating) the Vulnerable,” will explore how to restructure the US public health system, especially in the wake of COVID-19, to address its structural inequalities. To register for the event, click here.

Happening in my mind: The AstraZeneca news makes it feel like all the vaccine-makers are a group of friends sharing their results on the midterm, and Moderna and Pfizer are thrilled with their 95%, and AstraZeneca is just happy they passed.

Yet another vaccine image via Wikimedia Commons