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The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) first granted Emergency Use Authorization to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine earlier this month, with Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine shortly gaining the same authorization very shortly thereafter. There have been many questions asking how these two vaccines stack up against one another, but a huge question remains largely unanswered: how do they both stack up against the Invincibility Stars or Starmen from Super Mario Bros.?

TARGET POPULATION: Not medical students. An Invincibility Star is reserved only for Mario, maybe Luigi.

EFFICACY: The Pfizer and Modern COVID-19 vaccine were >90% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19, the former 7 days after the second dose and the latter 14 days after the second dose. An Invincibility Star is immediately effective at preventing not only symptomatic COVID-19 but also any attacks by Bowser’s henchmen.

DURATION OF PROTECTION: Unclear, but the hope is both Pfizer & Moderna vaccines will convey protection on the order of several months. Sadly, Invincibility Star convey protection only for a few seconds.

BACKGROUND MUSIC: The Invincibility Star is accompanied with a musical theme. The COVID-19 vaccines do not come with a musical theme, something which has drawn the ire of healthcare personnel and gamers alike.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines are pain at the injection site, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, hope, relief, and optimism. The most common side effect of the Invincibility Star is post-Invincibility Star depression.

PREGNANT OR LACTATING WOMEN: The Covid-19 vaccines or Invincibility Stars have not been studied in pregnant or lactating women.

STORAGE: The Pfizer vaccine must be kept at -94 Fahrenheit and used within 5 days of thawing. The Moderna vaccine must be kept at -4 Fahrenheit, and can be stored in the refrigerator for 30 days or room temperature for 12 hours. Starmen must be used before it exits the screen.

PURCHASE: Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be purchased from the companies directly; a minimum order of 100 and 975 doses, respectively. An Invincibility Star cannot be purchased; it must be found through sheer determination and luck after breaking lots and lots of bricks.

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Dr. 99
First there was Dr. 01, the first robot physician, created to withstand toxic levels of burnout in an increasingly mechanistic and impossibly demanding healthcare field. Dr. 99 builds upon the advances of its ninety-eight predecessors by phasing out all human emotion, innovation, and creativity completely, and focusing solely on pre-programmed protocols and volume-based productivity. In its spare time, Dr. 99 enjoys writing for Gomerblog and listening to Taylor Swift.