News Analysis: It’s Harder to Justify COVID Vaccine for Children if Pandemic’s End Is Near

Los Angeles Times reported:

The virus appears to be in retreat. New infections and deaths have both plunged more than 45% since a surge in September. And after multiple waves of infections, more than 1 in 4 U.S. residents have likely battled the coronavirus and gained some immunity as a result.

All that is good news, but it also means that widespread vaccination of the nation’s grade-school population offers less of an upside than it would have before.

That makes it harder to say there’s enough to be gained by the shot to offset the theoretical possibility of heart risks — a downside that’s not yet been measured.

Dr. Jeff Barke Warns Against Vaccinating Children Despite FDA’s Approval of Pfizer Vaccine

KUSI News San Diego reported:

Dr. Jeff Barke, Board Certified Primary Care Physician, joined KUSI’s Jason Austell on Good Morning San Diego to discuss his analysis of vaccinating children with the COVID-19 vaccine.

While children have died from COVID-19, there is statistically zero risk of death in those who are less than 18 years of age, said Dr. Barke.

Many of those children also had existing comorbidities, Dr. Barke added.

CNBC reported:

Moderna said the Food and Drug Administration will need more time to complete its assessment of the biotech company’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 17.

The agency is looking specifically at the risk of myocarditis in kids, Moderna said in a statement Sunday, and the review may not be completed before January 2022. Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle.

Moderna also said it will delay filing a request for emergency use authorization for a smaller dose of the vaccine for younger kids ages 6 to 11 while the FDA completes its review.

Millions of Kids’ Covid Vaccines Shipped Ahead of CDC Clearance

Bloomberg reported:

An estimated 15 million doses of kids’ vaccines will arrive at thousands of sites across the U.S. over the next week as the White House prepares for widespread inoculations if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signs off.

The Food and Drug Administration’s Friday authorization of the Pfizer Inc.BioNTech SE vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 was a “critical operational milestone” that allowed doses to start shipping, said Jeff Zients, who is President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 response coordinator.

A CDC advisory committee is meeting Tuesday and Wednesday to weigh whether to allow the shots. If it does, the CDC director has the final say on whether shots should be given to children.

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Politico reported:

The same week British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care for COVID-19, two studies came out identifying obesity as a significant risk factor for serious illness and death. It was April 2020, and doctors were scrambling to understand why coronavirus gave some people mild symptoms and left others so sick they were gasping for air.

Other countries, too, have ramped up action as officials begin to recognize diet-related diseases such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes have made their citizens much more vulnerable during the pandemic.

In Washington, there has been no such wake-up call about the link between diet-related diseases and the pandemic. There is no national strategy.

America Has Lost the Plot on COVID

The Atlantic reported:

We know how this ends: The coronavirus becomes endemic, and we live with it forever. But what we don’t know — and what the U.S. seems to have no coherent plan for — is how we are supposed to get there.

We’ve avoided the hard questions whose answers will determine what life looks like in the next weeks, months, and years: How do we manage the transition to endemicity? When are restrictions lifted? And what long-term measures do we keep, if any, when we reach endemicity?

Nursing Home Residents Overlooked in Scramble for COVID Antibody Treatments

Kaiser Health News reported:

Of the dozens of patients Dr. Jim Yates has treated for COVID-19 at his long-term care center in rural Alabama, this one made him especially nervous.

The 60-year-old man, who had been fully vaccinated, was diagnosed with a breakthrough infection in late September.

At the first sign of the man’s symptoms, Yates had placed an order with the Alabama Department of Public Health for monoclonal antibodies, the lab-made proteins that mimic the body’s ability to fight the virus. But six days passed before the vials arrived, nearly missing the window in which the therapy works best to prevent hospitalization and death.

Toronto Students Told Not to Speak During Lunch to Reduce Spread of COVID

CTV News Toronto reported:

Parents of elementary school children in Toronto are expressing concern after their children were asked not to speak during lunch in an effort to curb transmission of COVID-19.

While the health and safety measure is meant to minimize aerosol transmission of the virus, some parents are concerned that the time, usually meant for socialization, is being replaced with screen time.

When reached for comment, the Toronto District School Board’s spokesperson, Ryan Bird, told CTV News Toronto that, “based on the advice of Toronto Public Health, we have required lunches to be brief and quiet.”

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MaineHealth Network to Help Study Long-Term COVID Effects

Associated Press reported:

Maine’s largest health network said Monday it will receive $1.5 million from the federal government to take part in a nationwide study about long-term effects of COVID-19.

The effort is called the Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery, or RECOVER, Initiative. It’s designed to learn why some people suffer prolonged symptoms or develop new or returning symptoms after the end of the acute phase of infection.

With COVID Rising Among Vaccinated, Health Experts Urge Booster Shots

New Hampshire Union Leader reported:

Nearly a third of those hospitalized with COVID-19 in New Hampshire in recent weeks were fully vaccinated, according to the state health department.

Lori Shibinette, commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services, said last week that breakthrough cases among those vaccinated for COVID-19 are rising, as immunity from the vaccines wanes amid the spread of the aggressive Delta variant.

United Arab Emirates Approves Pfizer COVID Vaccine for Children Aged 5 to 11

The National News reported:

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children aged between 5 and 11 on an emergency basis.

Until now, Sinopharm was the sole UAE-approved vaccine for young children aged 3 to 11.

A significant number of children aged between 12 and 17 have already received either Sinopharm or Pfizer, which were approved for teenagers earlier this year.

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