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Pfizer, Moderna Expand Studies of COVID Vaccine to Children Age 5 to 11
At the urging of federal regulators, two coronavirus vaccine makers are expanding the size of their studies in children ages 5 to 11 — a precautionary measure designed to detect rare side effects including heart inflammation problems that turned up in vaccinated people younger than 30.
Appearing at a televised town-hall-style meeting in Ohio last week, President Joe Biden said that emergency clearance for pediatric vaccines would come “soon.” The White House has declined to be more specific on the timeline, and it was unclear whether expanding the studies will have any effect on when vaccines could be authorized for children.
Senator Asks DOJ to Investigate Fauci, WSJ Editorial Board Says Congress Must Probe Taxpayer Funding of Virus Research in Wuhan
Paul is asking Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Fauci for allegedly lying to Congress when he said the National Institutes of Health (NIH) “has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
Last week, Paul asked Fauci if he wanted to retract the statement he made to Congress during a May 11 hearing. Paul said, “Dr. Fauci, knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11, where you claimed the NIH never funded gain-of-function research and move on?”
FDA Likely to Approve Pfizer Booster Shots — Even if They Don’t Work — Thanks to Outdated Rules Favoring Drug Companies
The drugmaker Pfizer recently announced that vaccinated people are likely to need a booster shot to be effectively protected against new variants of COVID-19 and that the company would apply for Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for the shot.
Top government health officials immediately and emphatically announced that the booster isn’t needed right now — and held firm to that position even after Pfizer’s top scientist made his case and shared preliminary data with them last week.
This has led to confusion. Should the nearly 60% of adult Americans who have been fully vaccinated seek out a booster or not? Is the protection that has allowed them to see loved ones and go out to dinner fading?
CDC Urges Labs to Use COVID Tests That Can Differentiate From Flu
The CDC said Wednesday it will withdraw its request for the “Emergency Use Authorization” of real-time diagnostic testing kits, which were used starting in February 2020 to detect signs of the coronavirus, by the end of the year.
“CDC is providing this advance notice for clinical laboratories to have adequate time to select and implement one of the many FDA-authorized alternatives,” the agency said.
Survey Finds U.S. Parents Split on COVID Vaccination for Kids Under 12
As a new school year approaches, U.S. parents are nearly evenly split on whether they’ll vaccinate their young kids when a COVID-19 vaccine is approved for their age group, a new survey finds.
“It’s important that parents and providers don’t wait for full COVID vaccine approval to begin discussions about vaccination,” said Sarah Clark, co-director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, at Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan.
COVID-19 vaccines are authorized for Americans 12 years and older, and clinical trials are underway for their use in kids under 12.
Sparked by Pandemic Fallout, Homeschooling Surges Across U.S.
Although the pandemic disrupted family life across the U.S. since taking hold in spring 2020, some parents are grateful for one consequence: They’re now opting to homeschool their children, even as schools plan to resume in-person classes.
The specific reasons vary widely. Some families who spoke with The Associated Press have children with special educational needs; others seek a faith-based curriculum or say their local schools are flawed. The common denominator: They tried homeschooling on what they thought was a temporary basis and found it beneficial to their children.
Massachusetts State Officials to Hold Hearing on COVID Vaccinations in Children
A public oversight hearing regarding vaccination in children and teenagers will be held at the Museum of Science in Boston on Monday. State lawmakers will meet with medical professionals to try and develop a plan to distribute vaccines to children under the age of 12, as soon as the vaccines are approved.
Stanford University Reports 7 Breakthrough Cases of COVID Among Fully Vaccinated Students
All seven students were symptomatic, according to the school.
“As you have seen in the national news, cases of COVID-19 have been ticking upward,” Stanford University officials said in a letter to students on Thursday. “We are seeing some of this in our own community, where we are experiencing an increase in the number of student COVID cases, including among fully vaccinated individuals.”
Fauci Wants To Make Vaccines for the Next Pandemic Before It Hits
In one sense, the world got lucky with the new coronavirus. By sheer chance, scientists just happened to have spent years studying coronaviruses, developing exactly the tools needed to make COVID vaccines as soon as the virus’ genetic sequence was published.
But what will happen if the next pandemic comes from a virus that causes Lassa fever, or from the Sudan strain of Ebola, or from a Nipah virus?
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is promoting an ambitious and expensive plan to prepare for such nightmare scenarios. It would cost “a few billion dollars” a year, take five years for the first crop of results and engage a huge cadre of scientists, he said.
A Reality Check on the GOP’s Push for Coronavirus Antibody Testing
When the GOP Doctors Caucus gathered to publicly encourage vaccines last week, the message came with a caveat: Talk to your doctor about an antibody test.
For example: “If you haven’t had the vaccine, or if you haven’t tested positive for the virus, go to your doctor. Ask him for the antibody test,” said Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), who is an OB/GYN.
“And then you and your doctor should decide the pros and cons, the risks and benefits and if you want the vaccine.”