Federal health officials said Sunday that the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 appears safe and effective for children under the age of 5, removing another obstacle in the way of adding the group to the country’s vaccination program.
The FDA released its Pfizer PFE review,
shot ahead of a meeting Wednesday where outside experts will vote on whether the shots are ready for the 18 million children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years living in the United States, the Associated Press reported.
Late last week, the FDA released a similar analysis of Modern MRNA,
vaccine in very young children. If regulators clarify the features of one or both companies, vaccinations could begin as early as next week with drug manufacturers ready to quickly deliver government-ordered doses. Parents have been pressuring federal officials for months to have the opportunity to protect their youngest children as more adults take off their masks and abandon other public health precautions.
Also read: According to experts, COVID patients with weak immune systems should receive priority care to prevent the emergence of new variants.
Although only about 3% of COVID cases in the United States are in the age group of 6 months to 4 years, hospitalization and mortality rates in this group are higher than those of older children. , according to the FDA analysis, one of the reasons why experts have said it protects this group. it is so important.
The Pfizer vaccine for young children includes three injections that appeared to be 80% effective in preventing symptomatic disease, although it was based on only 10 cases among study participants and before the onset of the highly omicron variant. transmissible.
The Moderna vaccine for young children involves only two injections and was 40% to 50% effective in preventing milder infections. It was tested during the omicron wave.
The news comes when cases in the United States average 103,193 a day, 6% less than two weeks ago, according to a New York Time tracker. This number is considered to be underestimated, as many people are now testing at home and are not collecting test data.
But conditions are improving in the northeastern U.S. states that were hot spots recently, while the south and west are becoming hot spots. Cases have more than doubled in the past two weeks in Wyoming and Oklahoma.
The country has an average of 29,753 hospitalizations a day, 10% more than two weeks ago, with more in the south and west. The daily death toll has dropped to 331 on average, 11% less than two weeks ago.
In other medical news, Sanofi SAN,
these preliminary data show that their experimental reinforcement of the next generation of COVID-19 provided a 40-fold increase in antibody protection against BA.1, a subvariant of omicron, in adults who had previously been vaccinated with mRNA injections. Next-generation vaccines and enhancements are based on newer variants of SARS-CoV-2, compared to currently available vaccines, which were designed to protect against the original strain of the virus first detected in 2019.
he said he proposed a reparation plan to the European Commission after learning of plans to terminate the purchase agreement of the Valneva COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
If the agreement reduces the total amount of vaccine in the order, it will affect the sustainability of the company’s vaccine program, the company said.
The Valneva vaccine uses a different technology from mRNA vaccines. It is an inactivated whole virus, which has been seen as an alternative option for people who are concerned about mRNA technology.
“We continue to receive messages from people looking for more traditional vaccine technology and look forward to receiving a significant order size to support public health in Europe,” Valneva CEO Thomas Lingelbach said in a press release.
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Other news about COVID-19 you should know:
• Japan has the lowest number of COVID deaths per capita among rich nations, according to new data, with health experts citing the country’s mask habit and low obesity rate as possible reasons, it reported. the Wall Street Journal. On Sunday, the cumulative deaths in Japan per million population stood at 245, according to Our World in Data, a website that collects COVID-19 statistics. This is the lowest figure among the 38 member states of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, a club of rich nations that includes the United States and most of Europe.
• China’s capital, Beijing, has put an online school in one of its main districts amid a new COVID-19 outbreak linked to a nightclub, the AP reported. A total of 166 cases have been reported to the Heaven Supermarket club in the downtown Gongti nightlife area after an infected person visited it on Thursday. Of these, 145 were customers, while the rest were staff or people with whom customers later came in contact. The entire area, along with the adjacent Sanlitun shopping and dining complex, was closed until further notice.
• The head of the World Trade Organization predicted a “coconut and stony” path when he opened his top-level meeting in 4 and a half years on Sunday, with issues such as pandemic preparedness, food insecurity and overfishing of the world’s seas on the agenda, the AP. reported separately. At a time when some are questioning the relevance of the WTO, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala hopes that member nations, which make decisions by consensus, can reach an agreement on whether to temporarily relinquish intellectual property protections. of the WTO on COVID-19 vaccines.
• United Airlines Holdings Inc. UAL,
and Delta Air Lines Inc. DAL,
The stand will benefit most from the lifting of the COVID test requirement for international travelers that took place on Sunday, a Wall Street analyst said on Friday. The two were able to see tailwinds through their transatlantic airstrips, among the most lucrative and busy for legacy airlines. “The testing requirement has been singled out as one of the main impediments to unblocking travel demand, especially on the business side, across the Atlantic,” Jefferies analyst Sheila Kahyaoglu said in a statement.
That’s what the numbers say
The overall number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 exceeded 535.3 million on Friday, while the number of deaths exceeded 6.3 million, according to data added by Johns Hopkins University.
The United States leads the world with 85.5 million cases and 1,011,277 fatalities.
Monitoring by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 221.7 million people living in the U.S. are fully vaccinated, equivalent to 66.8% of the total population. But only 104.4 million have had a first reinforcement, equivalent to 47.1% of the vaccinated population.
Only 15.6 million people aged 50 and over who are entitled to a second reinforcement have had one, equivalent to 24.7% of those who had a first reinforcement.