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Mother Calls for Better Risk Advisory Around mRNA COVID Vaccines for Kids

The Epoch Times reported:

An Australian mother is calling for better advice for parents and for long-term health studies on mRNA COVID-19 vaccines after her 12-year-old son was hospitalized with life-threatening pericarditis within hours of getting the jab.

Nat’s eldest son, whose name The Epoch Times is not disclosing to protect his privacy, was a “happy, healthy” 12-year-old prior to being injected with Moderna’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, commonly known as Spikevax. But now, he has chosen to isolate himself from his friends and has been on strict rest to keep his heart rate down.

Nat said that she chose to vaccinate her son despite being hesitant about the immunization due to the lack of research on the long-term health risks associated with the mRNA vaccines, believing she was doing the right thing.

But within seven hours of vaccinating her eldest son, he was unable to sit or lie down without severe chest pain and complained of breathing difficulties. Nat rushed him to the hospital where the doctors confirmed the boy had an adverse reaction to the vaccine.

Moderna Says Its Low-Dose COVID Shots Work for Kids Under 6

Associated Press reported:

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine works in babies, toddlers and preschoolers, the company announced Wednesday — a development that could pave the way for the littlest kids to be vaccinated by summer if regulators agree.

Moderna said in the coming weeks it would ask regulators in the U.S. and Europe to authorize two small-dose shots for youngsters under 6. The company also is seeking to have larger doses cleared for older children and teens in the U.S.

Moderna says early study results show tots develop high levels of virus-fighting antibodies from shots containing a quarter of the dose given to adults.

But that key antibody finding isn’t the whole story. COVID-19 vaccines aren’t as effective against the super-contagious Omicron mutant — in people of any age — and Moderna’s study found the same trend.

WHO: COVID Cases Rise for 2nd Straight Week, Deaths Fall

Associated Press reported:

The number of new coronavirus cases globally increased by 7% in the last week, driven by rising infections in the Western Pacific, even as reported deaths from COVID-19 fell, the World Health Organization said.

There were more than 12 million new weekly cases and just under 33,000 deaths, a 23% decline in mortality, according to the U.N. health agency’s report on the pandemic issued late Tuesday.

In recent weeks, numerous countries including Britain, France, Italy and Germany have relaxed many of their public health measures against COVID-19, even as numbers have continued inching upward. More than 85% of virus sequences shared with one of the world’s largest platforms are of the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron, the WHO said.

BA.2 Variant Takes Hold in U.S. as New York Cases Start to Climb

Bloomberg reported:

More than a third of last week’s U.S. COVID-19 cases were caused by the Omicron BA.2 subvariant, a notable increase from a week earlier when the strain was estimated to account for just under one in four cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The fast-growing lineage of the coronavirus is most common in New England and in the New York region, where it accounted for more than half of all new infections, according to agency projections.

While COVID cases have continued to drop nationally, New York City saw infections rise about 33% to 924 for the week ending March 19, according to a separate tally of cases from the agency — well below levels during the winter Omicron surge. BA.2 isn’t believed to be more dangerous than other strains, though there are indications that it is more infectious.

Americans Want to Return to Normal. But Also They Don’t.

The Atlantic reported:

Recent opinion surveys give mixed messages about how Americans perceive the current state of the pandemic, and what they think we should do about it. In a February Washington Post/ABC News poll, for example, 58 percent of Americans said that controlling the spread of the coronavirus is more important than loosening restrictions on normal activities. In a Yahoo News/YouGov poll conducted the same week, 51 percent said we need to learn to live with COVID-19 and get back to normal.

These are two of several examples that show Americans have seemingly conflicting views about the pandemic. A natural question to ask is why — is it the polls or the American people who are confused? And what do Americans really think?

White House Officials Say U.S. Has Exhausted Funds to Buy Potential Fourth Vaccine Dose for All Americans

The Washington Post reported:

The Biden administration lacks the funds to purchase a potential fourth coronavirus vaccine dose for everyone, even as other countries place their own orders and potentially move ahead of the United States in line, administration officials said Monday.

Federal officials have secured enough doses to cover a fourth shot for Americans age 65 and older as well as the initial regimen for children under 5, should regulators determine those shots are necessary, said three officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to detail funding decisions.

Federal regulators and health officials have not yet determined whether a fourth shot is needed, and some experts question whether the extra dose will be necessary to boost protection for the entire population.

How Protected Are We Against COVID? Scientists Search for a Test to Measure Immunity

CNN Health reported:

Millions of Americans — not just those with weakened immune systems — are wondering about their protection after a winter of booster shots and Omicron infections. As mask mandates are lifted and restrictions removed in a step toward normalcy, a test to measure immunity would be a powerful tool to measure individual risk.

Dr. Dorry Segev, professor of surgery at New York University Langone Health, advocates using tests that measure antibodies as a way to check immune protection in people who are immunocompromised.

About 95% of Americans 16 and older have antibodies against COVID-19 as of December, the most recent date that data is available, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that use information from blood donors.

But it’s one thing to measure antibody levels. It’s another to measure how much they protect you against COVID-19.

Hillary Clinton Tests Positive for COVID, Pushes Vaccines

The Daily Wire reported:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced late Tuesday afternoon that she had tested positive for COVID-19. She noted that her symptoms were mild, a fact that she attributed to the vaccine, and she encouraged everyone else to make sure that they got the vaccine and available booster shots as well. She then asked for some movie recommendations to keep her entertained while she rode out the illness.

Clinton is just the most recent in a string of high-profile Democrats who have tested positive for the virus.

Novavax Says Its COVID Vaccine Gets India Authorization for Teens

Reuters reported:

Novavax Inc (NVAX.O) said on Tuesday its COVID-19 vaccine has got emergency-use authorization from the Drugs Controller General of India for children aged 12 to 17 years.

The authorization is a global first for the age group for the vaccine, which is manufactured and marketed in India by the Serum Institute of India under the brand name Covovax.

Novavax last month said its vaccine was 80% effective against COVID-19 in a late-stage trial testing the shot in 2,247 teens aged 12 to 17 years.

COVID Vaccine Maker Moderna Flags Japan Ambition With Sumo Sponsorship

Reuters reported:

Moderna Inc. (MRNA.O) is sponsoring sumo flags in its first such promotion in Japan, as the COVID-19 vaccine maker seeks to wrestle market share from compatriot Pfizer Inc. (PFE.N).

The U.S. firm’s introduction to the broader Japanese public was set back after some of its doses last year were found to be contaminated, although it has clawed back market share since with the help of a government-endorsed programme.

Now, as the government plans a fourth-dose vaccination program, Moderna is looking to sumo to boost its public appeal as it seeks to expand beyond COVID-19 shots.

Mexico Sticking to Plan to Package Russian COVID Vaccine

Reuters reported:

Mexico is sticking to its plan to package domestically the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V because health matters are separate from political conflicts, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday.

“We’re going to continue with our plan, commitments made are kept,” said the president, who has ruled out imposing economic sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Russia calls the incursion a special military operation.