Covid News Watch
Lawsuits Challenge Washington, D.C. Law Allowing Kids to Get Vaccines Without Parental Permission
Two lawsuits filed in D.C. federal court this month challenged a city law passed last year that allows minors to be vaccinated without their parents’ knowledge, saying the legislation violates religious liberty.
The litigation comes as health officials across the country debate how much information minors should be given about vaccines, with at least one state seeking to limit teenagers’ access to shots that would protect them from COVID-19 and other illnesses.
In October, the District passed the Minor Consent to Vaccinations Amendments Act, which allows children as young as 11 to get vaccines without their parents’ knowledge if a doctor determines that they are capable of informed consent.
Foo Fighters ‘Vaccinated Only’ Concert Canceled After Band Member Gets COVID as CDC, States Report Increases in Breakthrough Cases
Reports of COVID breakthrough cases continue to rise — as of July 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 5,492 breakthrough cases resulting in death and hospitalization.
A breakthrough case refers to anyone who is diagnosed with COVID after being fully vaccinated. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson(J&J) vaccine.
CDC Vaccine Committee to Discuss COVID Booster Doses for Immunocompromised People This Week
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s influential vaccine advisory committee plans to meet Thursday to discuss the new safety warning for Johnson & Johnson’s JNJ, -1.28% COVID-19 vaccine and whether immunocompromised people will need a booster dose of a COVID-19 shot. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has met several times during the pandemic to discuss COVID-19 vaccines. The meeting will be webcast.
Only Children 12 and Over With Down’s Syndrome and Severe Disabilities or Who Live With Vulnerable Adults Will Get COVID Vaccines for Now, Health Chiefs Say
Children over 12 who have underlying conditions, or are living with someone who does, will be offered a COVID vaccine, health chiefs said today.
This includes youngsters with severe neurodisabilities, Down’s syndrome, immunosuppression and multiple or severe learning disabilities, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said today.
Additionally, young people aged 12 to 17 who live with an immunosuppressed person, such as an adult receiving chemotherapy, will be offered the vaccine.
A COVID Vaccine for Kids: Clinical Trial Leader Explains Efforts, Importance
More than half a year has passed since the first vaccine for COVID-19 was given emergency authorization, and almost half the United States has protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus as a result. Yet children under the age of 12, for whom the vaccines haven’t yet been authorized, have been unable to take advantage.’
Vaccine makers have been working to make their products available to younger patients, launching clinical trials to evaluate whether the vaccines can safely and effectively protect children as young as six months.
FDA Grants Priority Review to Pfizer/BioNTech COVID Vaccine; Agency Official Says Approval Decision Expected Within Two Months
Pfizer and BioNTech said Friday that the US Food and Drug Administration has granted priority review designation to their application for full approval of their COVID-19 vaccine, and an FDA official said the decision will come “soon.”
The FDA official told CNN on Friday that a decision on full approval is likely to come within two months. The agency considers this matter a priority, said the official, who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
San Diego Mother Contracts COVID After Moderna Vaccine
A San Diego mother had a “breakthrough case” of COVID-19 after receiving the Moderna vaccine. A breakthrough case simply means a virus broke through the vaccine’s protection.
“It was shocking. I didn’t think it could happen to me,” said Amber Delecce-Forge, a San Diego mother of two who was suffering from COVID-19, even though she got fully vaccinated with Moderna in February.
“I’ve been vaccinated for five months,” she said.
Five Texas House Democrats Who Traveled to Washington, D.C. Have Tested Positive for Coronavirus
The five lawmakers are among House Democrats who fled to Washington, D.C. to stave off GOP priority voting bills during the special legislative session. The members who tested positive all have been fully vaccinated, which helps protect against severe illness. All of the lawmakers are showing no symptoms or only mild symptoms.
Over Half of Unvaccinated Americans Say They’re Not Concerned About Delta Variant: Poll
More than half of unvaccinated or partially vaccinated Americans said they are not concerned about the fast-spreading Delta COVID-19 variant, despite warnings from public health experts that both groups run a higher risk of getting ill.
According to a new CBS/YouGov poll released Sunday, just 48 percent of unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated Americans said they “are personally concerned” about the Delta variant. By contrast, 72 percent of those who are fully vaccinated said they are worried about the fast-moving coronavirus strain.
Mexico Says Will Soon Authorize Moderna’s COVID Vaccine
Mexico will soon authorize Moderna Inc’s (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccine, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Saturday.”Good news: soon, very soon, the Moderna vaccine with a technological profile similar to that of Pfizer (PFE.N) will be approved in Mexico,” Ebrard said on a Twitter post.
151 Dead, 563 Hospitalized in Illinois Breakthrough COVID Cases
According to data updated Wednesday by the Illinois Department of Public Health, 151 people in Illinois have died due to COVID-19 or complications after being fully vaccinated. That figure equates to 2.2% of COVID-19 deaths in the state since Jan. 1, officials said.
At least 563 fully vaccinated people have been hospitalized in Illinois, IDPH said. The state only reports breakthrough infections among those who have been hospitalized or died, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, IDPH said.
Nearly 11,000 Deaths After COVID Vaccines Reported to CDC, as FDA Adds New Warning to J&J Vaccine
Data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) included 463,457 reports of injuries and deaths, across all age groups, following COVID vaccines — an increase of more than 25,000 compared with the previous week.
The data comes directly from reports submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System(VAERS), the primary government-funded system for reporting adverse vaccine reactions in the U.S.
Every Friday, VAERS makes public all vaccine injury reports received as of a specified date, usually about a week prior to the release date. Reports submitted to VAERS require further investigation before a causal relationship can be confirmed.
COVID Vaccines: Hypothetical Benefits to Adults Don’t Outweigh Risks to Children
As the majority of adults in multiple rich western countries have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the focus is turning to children.
While there is wide recognition that children’s risk of severe COVID-19 is low, many believe that mass vaccination of children may not just protect children from severe COVID-19, but also prevent onward transmission, indirectly protecting vulnerable adults and helping end the pandemic.
However, there are multiple assumptions that need to be examined when judging calls to vaccinate children against COVID-19.
U.S. FDA to Decide on Pfizer COVID Vaccine Approval by January 2022
The U.S. health regulator will review Pfizer (PFE.N) and German partner BioNTech SE’s (22UAy.DE) application for full approval of their COVID-19 vaccine in people 16 years and older by January, the companies said on Friday.
The vaccine is among the three being used in the United States under the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization alongside shots from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N)and Moderna Inc (MRNA.O).
Pfizer/BioNTech finished submitting their application for a full U.S. approval in May and the agency will review the data under its “priority review” pathway.
COVID Vaccines for Kids Under 12 Expected Midwinter, FDA Official Says
Emergency authorization for COVID-19 vaccines in children under 12 could come in early to midwinter, a Food and Drug Administration official said Thursday, a move that could bring relief to many parents who have been unable to vaccinate their children. The agency hopes to then move quickly to full approval of the vaccine for this age group.
One sticking point for some families who remain hesitant, the official said, is that the vaccines currently in use are administered under emergency use authorization and have not been given full approval by the FDA. Full approval, if it comes quickly after the emergency round, could alleviate that concern.
EU Likely to Decide on Moderna COVID Vaccine for Kids Next Week
A top official at the European Medicines Agency said a decision on whether to recommend that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine be authorized for children is expected late next week. If approved, it would be the first such license for the shot’s use in children globally.
At a press briefing on Thursday, Dr. Marco Cavaleri, the EU drug regulator’s head of vaccines strategy, said its expert committee was currently evaluating Moderna’s application to extend the use of its coronavirus vaccine for children 12 to 17 years old.
“We expect that the committee will reach a conclusion by the end of next week,” he said.
Royal Navy Flotilla Reports COVID Outbreak With 100 Cases Despite All Sailors Being Vaccinated
The vessels affected include the Royal Navy’s flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier, with unconfirmed media reports saying the group of warships recently stopped off for a brief spell of shore leave in Limassol, Cyprus.
The virus has spread through the strike group’s 3,700 strength crew despite them being fully vaccinated. “As part of routine testing, a small number of crew from the Carrier Strike Group have tested positive for COVID-19,” a Royal Navy spokesman confirmed in a statement.
Lisa Shaw Death: Husband Calls for Vaccine Choice
A man whose wife’s death is being investigated over possible links to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 jab is calling for people to have their choice of vaccine. A coroner is considering if the vaccine contributed to the death of BBC radio presenter Lisa Shaw, 44, in May.
Her husband Gareth Eve said the jab had been “outstanding” but its “risks” should be “recognised”….
Mr Eve said he and his wife, who was a presenter on BBC Radio Newcastle, had both been “excited” about being vaccinated so she could “give her mam a hug” having been a “stickler” for following lockdown rules. A week after getting her first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, she started getting headaches and ended up being taken to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) for treatment for blood clots.
Pentagon: 70 Percent of Service Members Have Received First Dose of COVID Vaccine
Seventy percent of U.S. active duty service members have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, the Pentagon announced on Friday, and 62 percent of the force is now fully vaccinated.
The latest numbers come despite initial skepticism from a broad swath of the military toward the shot. In February, members of the top brass testified before Congress that roughly one-third of troops had declined to get vaccinated.
Such hesitancy among America’s armed forces prompted a group of Democratic lawmakers in March to demand President Joe Biden make the vaccine a requirement for all service members. At the time, the Pentagon’s top spokesperson confirmed that option was under consideration by military leaders.
AP Source: 2 NFL Teams Remain Under 50% Vaccinated
Two NFL teams remain under 50% vaccinated less than two weeks from the start of training camp, a person familiar with the vaccination rates told The Associated Press.
As for Friday, Washington and Indianapolis had the two lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates among the 32 teams in the league, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the league hasn’t released the numbers, which are changing daily.
China Should Provide Raw Data on Pandemic’s Origins – WHO’s Tedros
The head of the World Health Organisation said on Thursday that investigations into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic in China were being hampered by the lack of raw data on the first days of spread there and urged it to be more transparent.
A WHO-led team spent four weeks in and around the central city of Wuhan with Chinese researchers and said in a joint report in March that the virus had probably been transmitted from bats to humans through another animal.
It said that “introduction through a laboratory incident was considered to be an extremely unlikely pathway”, but countries including the United States and some scientists were not satisfied. “We ask China to be transparent and open and to cooperate,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference on Thursday.
Olivia Rodrigo Boosts White House Youth Vaccine Push
Olivia Rodrigo wants people to know that the COVID-19 vaccines are “good 4 u.”
The 18-year-old pop star and internet sensation was at the White House on Wednesday to meet with President Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci as part of the administration’s efforts to encourage younger Americans to roll up their sleeves and get a coronavirus shot.
Rodrigo, who rose to fame as a Disney Channel star, was set to tape a joint social media message with the president and the nation’s top infectious disease expert on Wednesday afternoon. She also made an appearance at the start of the daily White House press briefing “to help spread the message of the importance of youth vaccination.”
As Moderna Launches COVID Vaccine Clinical Trials for Pregnant Women, Experts Warn of ‘Huge Risk’
Moderna will begin studying its COVID vaccine in pregnant women, according to a posting on ClinicalTrials.gov. The observational study, expected to begin July 22, will enroll about 1,000 females over age 18 who will be studied over a 21-month period.
Women who received a Moderna vaccine during the 28 days prior to their last menstrual period, or at any time during pregnancy, are eligible.
Doctors for COVID Ethics: Halt Use of Pfizer COVID Vaccines in Adolescents ‘Immediately’
For months, Doctors for COVID Ethics, a Europe-based international alliance of hundreds of concerned doctors and scientists, has been issuing urgent warnings about the short- and long-term risks of COVID vaccines, particularly for children.
In May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) extended Pfizer’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) — previously granted for ages 16 and up — to 12- to 15-year-olds.
Autopsy Shows Man Who Died After Pfizer Shot Had Enlarged Heart, Coroner Says Vaccine Not to Blame — Wife Not Convinced
Tim Zook, an x-ray technologist at South Coast Global Medical Center in Santa Ana, was hospitalized Jan. 5 — just hours after being vaccinated. Zook’s wife, Rochelle Zook, told the Orange County Register her husband’s health rapidly deteriorated after receiving his second dose of Pfizer’s vaccine. Tim Zook died Jan. 9.
At Least 8 Fully Vaccinated Vegas Hospital Workers Test Positive in ‘Breakthrough’ Cluster
In all, 11 coworkers were infected after an off-site pool party on June 7, the vast majority came down with the Delta variant, which is believed to spread more easily, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, citing emails obtained from the Southern Nevada Health District.
Two out of the three who weren’t fully vaccinated had received at least one dose of the vaccine, the newspaper reported.
30% Of Immigrants in ICE Custody Have Refused a Coronavirus Vaccine
Three in 10 immigrants in U.S. detention centers are saying no to the COVID-19 vaccine, Axios has learned.
Vaccine hesitancy among detained immigrants has added an unlikely twist to the challenges of a pandemic-era increase in border migration.
ICE did not provide the exact numbers of immigrants who were offered the shot but declined. But the 30% figure has been shared internally, according to sources familiar. There have been nearly 20,000 COVID-19 cases and nine deaths among ICE detainees , according to agency data. There are currently more than 900 confirmed cases.
Mississippi Official Apologizes for Overstating Number of Kids With COVID on Life Support
Mississippi’s top health official issued an apology Tuesday evening after previously posting a tweet that misstated the number of children currently on life support in their battle against COVID-19.
State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs said the information he originally shared was based in part on a hospital report that was later corrected.
A tweet Dobbs posted earlier Tuesday, which has since been deleted, said 12 children in Mississippi were receiving treatment for their COVID-19 infections in hospital intensive care units, with 10 of those children on ventilators. Dobbs later posted an update saying seven children were in the ICU with two on ventilators.
COVID Outbreak Sweeps Through Sonoma County Homeless Shelter, Including Many Vaccinated Residents
At least 59 residents at Sonoma County’s largest homeless shelter have tested positive for the coronavirus, with another possible 26 positive cases, county officials said on Wednesday.
Nearly half of those who tested positive were fully vaccinated, said Dr. Sundari Mase, the county’s health officer.
The shelter first reported 20 positive cases July 2. Since then, more than a third of the 156 residents at Samuel L. Jones Hall in Santa Rosa have tested positive.
Surgeon General Warns of Dangers of Misinformation Amid Misleading Vaccine Claims
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy warned in a new advisory that health misinformation is “a serious threat to public health,” as administration officials grow increasingly concerned about misleading claims about coronavirus vaccines.
“I am urging all Americans to help slow the spread of health misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” Murthy wrote in a 22-page advisory released Thursday. “Health misinformation is a serious threat to public health. It can cause confusion, sow mistrust, harm people’s health, and undermine public health efforts. Limiting the spread of health misinformation is a moral and civic imperative that will require a whole-of-society effort.”
Indonesia Regulator Allows Ivermectin Use for COVID Treatment
Merely mentioning the name of the vaccine-busting drug Ivermectin in the US is enough to get you carted off for “questioning” to the nearest illegal CIA blacksite, have the NSA leak all your private information to MSNBC, WaPo and the NYT and quietly shipped off to Guantanamo for permanent re-education under the daily auspices of Critical Race Theory. But not in the “banana republic” of Indonesia, where on Thursday, Ivermectin was officially approved for COVID treatment in a vicious blow to the “buy my vaccine” pharmaceutical lobby around the world.
According to Bloomberg, Indonesia’s food and drug regulator, known as BPOM, has issued a letter approving the distribution of Ivermectin, Remdesivir, Favipiravir, Oseltamivir, immunoglobulin, Tocilizumab, Azithromycin and Dexametason to be used in treatment of COVID-19, according to a statement from the agency. The latter, Bloomberg adds, was issued as guidance for distributors of the drugs.
Tennessee Abandons Vaccine Outreach to Minors — Not Just for COVID
The Tennessee Department of Health will halt all adolescent vaccine outreach – not just for coronavirus, but all diseases – amid pressure from Republican state lawmakers, according to an internal report and agency emails obtained by the Tennessean. If the health department must issue any information about vaccines, staff are instructed to strip the agency logo off the documents.
The health department will also stop all COVID-19 vaccine events on school property, despite holding at least one such event this month. The decisions to end vaccine outreach and school events come directly from Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey, the internal report states.
Woman Who Experienced ‘Life-Altering’ Injuries After COVID Vaccine Teams Up With U.S. Senators to Demand Answers
Brianne Dressen is a preschool teacher from Utah who was injured after participating in AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine clinical trial in November 2020. She has accumulated more than $250,000 in medical bills as a result of injuries she believes were caused by the vaccine.
Dressen said within one hour of being vaccinated she had tingling down her arm. By the time she got home her vision was blurry and doubled. Her sensitivity became so severe that she had to wear earmuffs and sunglasses all the time.
FDA Could Make Decision on COVID Vaccine for 6-Month-Olds by End of Year
Officials could have data on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines on children as young as 6-months-old by the end of the year, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci. However, it will be up to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to recommend whether they should be inoculated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that children 12 and older get vaccinated against COVID-19, as studies show it can prevent infection. While children are far less likely than adults to become seriously ill from the new coronavirus, some have died of the virus or passed it along to at-risk family members, driving a need for them to be protected, as well.
On Tuesday, Fauci told MSNBC‘s Andrea Mitchell that the federal government and pharmaceutical companies are doing age de-escalation studies. The purpose is to identify how safe and effective vaccines are in children in several age groups — 12- to 9-years-old, 9- to 6-years-old, 6- to 2-years-old, and 2-years-old to 6-months-old.
R.I. Approves Moderna COVID Vaccine for Teens Ahead of FDA Authorization
Rhode Island’s Vaccine Advisory Subcommittee on Tuesday morning approved a decision to start administering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to teenagers as young as 12 years old ahead of federal approval.
The committee also said the state will continue to administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which the US Food and Drug Administration on Monday warned can lead to an increased risk of a rare neurological condition known as Guillain–Barré syndrome.
Moderna recently applied for emergency use authorization with the FDA to start administering their COVID-19 vaccine to young teenagers. At this time, Pfizer’s vaccine is the only one authorized for use in adolescents as young as 12.
High School Students Studying Remotely Because of COVID Suffered Socially, Emotionally, and Academically
New research finds that high school students who attended school remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic suffered socially, emotionally, and academically compared with those who attended in person.
The study was published today in Educational Researcher (ER) by researchers Angela L. Duckworth, Tim Kautz, Amy Defnet, Emma Satlof-Bedrick, Sean Talamas, Benjamin Lira, and Laurence Steinberg. ER is a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association.
“Many news stories have reported on individual stories of teenagers who have suffered from anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges during the pandemic,” said lead author Duckworth, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the founder and CEO of Character Lab. “This study gives some of the first empirical evidence of how learning remotely has affected adolescent well-being.”
DHS Begins Administering J&J Vaccine to Immigrant Detainees
The Department of Homeland Security is administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to immigrant detainees as part of an effort to scale up vaccinations for COVID-19 at Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities, ICE told CNN in a statement.
An ICE spokesperson said in a statement that the department “remains committed to a public health guided, evidence-based approach to vaccine education that ensures those in our care and custody can make an informed choice during this global pandemic.” There were more than 27,600 immigrants in ICE custody as of July 9.
Phillies Players Believe Coronavirus Vaccine Causes Injuries
Teams across the professional sports sphere are attempting to hit a very important number as all leagues attempt to grasp at some semblance of normalcy after a terrible 2020. That number is 85 percent. NFL, MLB, and NBA teams that have 85 percent of their players vaccinated are free from most of the stringent rules and protocols designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 in clubhouses and locker rooms alike.
Of course, it has quickly come to light that it’s not as clear-cut as described above. Many athletes are hesitant to get vaccinated for one reason or another. The Athletic’s Matt Gelb dove into why the Philadelphia Phillies have failed to reach the 85 percent vaccination threshold yesterday, and at least part of the reasoning is that some believe there is a connection between getting vaccinated and getting injured.
Former FDA Chief: We Might Not Need COVID Boosters Forever
The former head of the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday said people might not need COVID-19 booster shots on a recurring basis, citing the ability’s body to build a long-lasting immune response after a jumpstart from vaccines.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb weighed in amid a debate about whether people who were vaccinated early will need a third shot, even as the U.S. and other countries push to get initial doses into their populations.
“It’s not clear that we’re going to need boosters forever,” he told CNBC. “It could be the case that after you give a third dose to people they get a much more durable response and it’s a multi-year response and you’re not boosting constantly. We just don’t know yet.”
Scientists Could Create a Single Vaccine That Fights Multiple Coronaviruses Within 5 Years, Potentially Preventing the Next Pandemic, an Expert Says
Scientists could soon create a vaccine that fights most coronaviruses, potentially preventing future pandemics, a foundation that funds vaccine development has said.
More than 20 research groups are trying to develop “broadly-protective” vaccines that can work against multiple coronaviruses. This is the family of viruses that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic, belongs to.
If these researchers are successful then the next time a coronavirus crosses from animals to humans — which is seen as the most likely cause of future coronavirus pandemics — we would immediately deploy vaccines that work against it.