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Oxford scientists expect COVID-19 vaccine data by Christmas

FILE – In this Thursday, April 23, 2020 file screen grab taken from video issued by Britain’s Oxford University, showing a person being injected as part of the first human trials in the UK to test a potential coronavirus vaccine, untaken by Oxford University in England. A key researcher at the University of Oxford says scientists expect to report results from the late-stage trials of their COVID-19 vaccine by Christmas. Dr. Andrew Pollard, an expert in pediatric infection and immunity at Oxford, said Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 that research was slowed by low infection rates over the summer but the Phase III trials are now accumulating the data needed to report results.

What does COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness mean? It refers to the likelihood that a coronavirus shot will work in people.

Two vaccine makers have said that preliminary results from their late-stage studies suggest their experimental vaccines are strongly protective. Moderna this week said its vaccine appears nearly 95% effective. This comes on the heels of Pfizer’s announcement that its shot appeared similarly effective.

Those numbers raised hopes around the world that vaccines could help put an end to the pandemic sometime next year if they continue to show that they prevent disease and are safe.

Effectiveness numbers will change as the vaccine studies continue since the early calculations were based on fewer than 100 COVID-19 cases in each study. But early results provide strong signals that the vaccine could prevent a majority of disease when large groups of people are vaccinated.

U.S. health officials said a coronavirus vaccine would need to be at least 50% effective before they would consider approving it for use. There was concern that coronavirus vaccines might be only as effective as flu vaccines, which have ranged from 20% to 60% effective in recent years.

The broad, early effectiveness figures don’t tell the whole story. Scientists also need to understand how well the vaccine protects people in different age groups and demographic categories.

For both vaccines, the interim results were based on people who had COVID-19 symptoms that prompted a virus test. That means we don’t know yet whether someone who’s vaccinated might still get infected — even if they show no symptoms — and spread the virus.

Also unknown is whether the shots will give lasting protection, or whether boosters will be required.

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How was Kajal Aggarwal and Gautam Kitchlu’s grand wedding planned? All questions answered

a group of people wearing costumes: Image posted on Instagram by Kajal Aggarwal.

Image posted on Instagram by Kajal Aggarwal.

Kajal Aggarwal and Gautam Kitchlu’s wedding was nothing short of a dreamy affair as the couple married at a plush hotel in Mumbai on October 30. Everything about the grand wedding made headlines as Kajal trended all throughout the week.

Ambika Gupta, a wedding designer from South India, is responsible for the beautiful decorations and planning every aspect of the celebration.


Kashmir to Kanyakumari was the theme of Kajal’s wedding. Speaking of the preparations, Ambika said that all protocols were in place since the event was organised in the wake of the novel coronavirus crisis.

“Kajal and her family were extremely particular about safety and we rigorously followed all protocols without compromising on the aesthetics and the keen eye for detail they wanted. We observed Covid-19 precautions as specified by the Maharashtra government. 60-70 guests and members of the crew who were present at the wedding had to go through health clearances beforehand,” Ambika said.


It was Kajal’s sister Nisha who decided to assign the responsibility of planning the wedding to Ambika.

“It was completely serendipitous. Kajal’s sister Nisha took a brief look at my portfolio, and after a few calls and meetings, we were on,” Ambika said.


“Not a flashy person herself, Kajal wanted her wedding to be understated but elegant. Keeping that in mind and noticing their roots in the respective cultural legacies that she and her husband share, I came up with the complete idea. During the question-answer round, Gautam told me that he is from Kashmir and hence I came up with the Kashmir to Kanyakumari theme and we brought it all to life in just over 35 days,” Ambika said.


Inspired by diverse cultural references, Ambika designed the concept of a Brijwasi Krishna Bagh. It was a Radha and Krishna-themed puja held at Kajal’s home where the divine bond was depicted against a pastoral backdrop evoking Vrindavan with swings. A floral arch dotted with pink peonies, origami birds and brass bells hanging from trees were also installed. Peacock feathers and flutes were also there.


For the Haldi and Mehendi celebrations, Soufflé S’il Vous Plaît, an otherwise tropical French bistro at Churchgate was transformed into a Kitsch Mandi as a tribute to the artisans of India affected by the coronavirus crisis.


A post shared by Kajal Aggarwal (@kajalaggarwalofficial) on Oct 29, 2020 at 4:13pm PDT

“Kajal wore a specially handcrafted weave by Madhuraya Creations , which is an initiative to support weavers and revive traditional crafts. She has a soft spot for the unsung weavers of India and her wedding was the perfect opportunity to give back to them in some way,” Ambika said.


A post shared by Kajal Aggarwal (@kajalaggarwalofficial) on Oct 28, 2020 at 6:00pm PDT

“We curated and designed a backdrop made of pettis

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All Your Awkward Questions, Answered

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© Provided by SheKnows

December is right around the corner — believe it or not — and the holidays will be here before you know it. During these strange times, whether your child is learning in-person or virtually, you can show your appreciation with holiday gifts for our kids’ teachers. But where do you start? How much should you spend? To whom do you give it? What type of gift is appropriate, and when?! THE PARENTS ARE STRESSED, PEOPLE. Especially this year.

Luckily, we spoke with some helpful teachers to get the lowdown on school gifting (real talk: They have enough scented candles). The consensus was that gift cards are your best bet. And we got Sharon Schweitzer, an international etiquette and modern manners expert, to weigh in with helpful holiday tips and her own handy guide to school gift-giving. Read on for the truth about teacher gifts — and happy giving!

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What to gift teachers

Most teachers tell SheKnows that gift cards are what they prefer. Especially those that can be used on classroom supplies (sadly). So skip the knickknacks, parents. JoAnna Beernaert is a teacher near Hartford, Connecticut, and she tells SheKnows parents should avoid giving “weird-smelling candles, any kind of chocolate, homemade cookies (sorry moms!) or random weird gifts from home goods. Less stuff!”

Etiquette expert Schweitzer says to remember to check the school’s gift-giving policy before you buy. School gifting culture varies, and sometimes, certain gifts are prohibited. “Public and private schools vary, and some items are considered attempts to influence grades, especially cash and gift cards used as cash,” says Schweitzer. It’s always good to check with the front-office staff.

Some schools organize group gifts via room parents, which takes the guesswork out of what to give. And pooling also avoids favoritism, says Schweitzer.

As for how much to contribute, “I think it’s up to what the parents can afford,” says Jeannette Ybarra Childs, whose Redondo Beach, California, elementary school does group gifts. She says the average is $50 to $100 per parent toward a gift card. “Don’t go broke trying to impress,” Ybarra Childs tells SheKnows, “give from the heart.”

Lisa Santos Jackson teaches kindergarten in Los Angeles and tells SheKnows she receives mostly gift cards to places like Starbucks, Amazon and Target, and the average amount per card is $25.

“As a teacher, the best gifts are gift cards I can use on supplies for the classroom,” Shari Selman tells SheKnows. “Places like Amazon, Target, Michaels. The truth is we spend a lot of our own money on your children before we even meet them, so to have gift cards to help with supplies would be much appreciated.”

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