The 217 Today Podcast

217 Today: Wednesday March 3, 2021

 
 Paul Mensah, vice president of a Bioprocess Research and Development group at Pfizer in St. Louis, led a team of scientists, engineers and technicians to develop Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Paul Mensah, vice president of a Bioprocess Research and Development group at Pfizer in St. Louis, led a team of scientists, engineers and technicians to develop Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Courtesy of Paul Mensah

Today’s headlines:

  • More than 105,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson will be shipped to Illinois this week. Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines Illinois has been receiving since December, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose.

  • llinois and other states want to allow school districts to skip federally mandated standardized testing this year. But the Biden administration recently announced that schools must administer the exams.  

  • Champaign-Urbana public health officials are reporting 20 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the number of active cases to 299, their lowest level since mid-September. 

  • So far, about 28% of Champaign County’s COVID-19 vaccine eligible population has received their first dose of a vaccine. About 17% have been fully vaccinated.

  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team shocked second-ranked Michigan Tuesday night in Ann Arbor 76-53. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from Paul Mensah with Pfizer in St. Louis. He led a team that developed the company’s COVID-19 vaccine. 

217 Today is produced by Olivia Butts. Reporting today contributed by Hannah Meisel, Lee Gaines, Rob McColley, and Marissanne Lewis-Thompson.