Miss a day, miss a lot. Subscribe to The Defender's Top News of the Day. It's free.

UNICEF: Battered by Pandemic, Kids Need Mental Health Help

Associated Press reported:

Governments must pour more money and resources into preserving the mental well-being of children and adolescents, the U.N.’s child protection agency urged in a report Tuesday that sounded alarms about blows to mental health from the COVID-19 pandemic that hit poor and vulnerable children particularly hard.

The United Nations Children’s Fund said its “State of the World’s Children” study is its most comprehensive look so far this century at the mental health of children and adolescents globally. The coronavirus crisis, forcing school closures that upended the lives of children and adolescents, has thrust the issue of their mental well-being to the fore.

Marc Pilcher, ‘Bridgerton’ Emmy Winner, Dies of COVID, Was Fully Vaccinated

CNN Style reported:

Marc Pilcher, the award-winning hair stylist and makeup designer who won an Emmy for his work on the hit Netflix show “Bridgerton,” has died of COVID-19 at the age of 53, weeks after winning the award.

According to the statement, Pilcher was “double vaccinated” and had no underlying health conditions. He took multiple COVID-19 tests and tested negative to make the trip to the U.S. for the Emmy’s ceremony and back to the UK.

Soon after returning, he became ill and his condition deteriorated over the weekend. He died on Sunday, Curtis Brown said.

At-Home COVID Tests Being Recalled Due to False-Positive Results

Newsweek via MSN reported:

In a statement, Ellume, the manufacturer of the tests, said, “In recent weeks, we noted an increased chance that Ellume COVID-19 Home Tests from specific lots may provide an incorrect positive result. Following a thorough investigation, we isolated the cause and confirmed that this incidence of false positives is limited to specific lots.”

According to Ellume, the company has worked with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue the voluntary recall and remove the affected at-home test kits from the market. The statement said that the tests included in the recall were distributed from April 2021 to August 2021.

Some Parents Remain Hesitant Over COVID Vaccine for Their Kids

CBS News reported:

As Pfizer awaits FDA approval to offer its COVID-19 vaccine to kids aged 5 through 11, some parents are expressing hesitancy. Dr. Aaron Carroll, professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, joined CBSN to discuss the skepticism among some adults.

AstraZeneca Seeks U.S. Approval for Drug Cocktail to Prevent COVID

Reuters reported:

AstraZeneca (AZN.L) has requested emergency approval from U.S. regulators for its antibody cocktail, the first protective shot other than vaccines against COVID-19, another potential major step in the global fight to combat the virus.

While vaccines rely on an intact immune system to develop targeted antibodies and infection-fighting cells, Astra’s biotech compound known as AZD7442 contains lab-made antibodies designed to linger in the body for months to contain the virus in case of an infection.

COVID-19 therapies based on the same class of monoclonal antibodies are sold by rivals Regeneron (REGN.O), Eli Lilly (LLY.N) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) and its partner Vir (VIR.O) to stop the disease from worsening during early, milder stages of the infection.

Pfizer/BioNTech COVID Vaccine Effectiveness Drops After 6 Months, Study Shows

Reuters reported:

The effectiveness of the Pfizer Inc (PFE.N)/BioNTech SE vaccine in preventing infection by the coronavirus dropped to 47% from 88% six months after the second dose, according to data published on Monday that U.S. health agencies considered when deciding on the need for booster shots.

The data, which was published in the Lancet medical journal, had been previously released in August ahead of peer review. The data suggests that the drop is due to waning efficacy, rather than more contagious variants, researchers said.

The Latest: WHO Reviews Sputnik Vaccine, Russia Presses Bid

Associated Press reported:

The World Health Organization says it’s still reviewing data about Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine as part of hopes that it can be approved for emergency use against the coronavirus, but no decision is imminent.

The clarification comes after Russia’s Health Minister Mikhail Murashko in recent days said administrative issues were the main holdup in the WHO decision-making process about whether to give an emergency use listing to Sputnik V — as it has for about a half-dozen other COVID-19 vaccines.

Japan’s Dip in COVID Cases Baffles Experts; Winter ‘Nightmare’ Still a Risk

Reuters reported:

Japan’s COVID-19 case numbers have plummeted to the lowest in nearly a year just as other parts of Asia are struggling with surging infections, leaving health experts perplexed and raising concern of a winter rebound.

New daily cases in Tokyo dropped to 87 on Monday, the lowest tally since Nov. 2 last year, and a precipitous decline from more than 5,000 a day in an August wave that hammered the capital’s medical infrastructure.

The pattern is the same across the country.

Could We See a COVID Winter Surge?

WCNC reported:

Doctors at the Medical University of South Carolina say COVID-19 case numbers are flattening across the state right now, but we’re not out of the woods just yet.

In fact, doctors haven’t yet ruled out the possibility of a spike during the holidays, just like we saw in 2020. So why would there be a winter surge if more people are getting vaccinated and many have already had COVID-19?

We still don’t know how long natural immunity  from a previous COVID-19 infection can protect you. And when it comes to the vaccine, we’ve already seen breakthrough infections as immunity wanes over time.

Former FDA Chief Gottlieb Expects Delta to Be Last Big Pandemic Wave in U.S.

Reuters reported:

The summer spike in cases fueled by the Delta variant of the coronavirus is likely the last big COVID-19 wave in the United States, but the pandemic is far from over globally, former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on Monday.

“I think this Delta wave is probably the last major surge of SARS-CoV-2 infection that we have in the U.S., barring something unexpected happening,” Gottlieb, author of “Uncontrolled Spread,” a new book on the U.S. response to the pandemic, said in an interview.

Although Delta is waning in Southern U.S. states, he said infections are picking up in some states in the West and Midwest.

Sweden to Give 12- to 15-Year-Olds Pfizer Vaccine, Rejects Moderna

Reuters reported:

Sweden’s Public Health Agency said on Monday it recommended the use of Pfizer-BioNTech‘s (PFE.N), Comirnaty vaccine against COVID-19 for children between 12-15, opting against rival Moderna‘s (MRNA.O) Spikevax.

“All in all, we see reason to choose the vaccine that we know the most about and that is most well-proven when it comes to vaccinating children between 12 and 15 years of age,” Anders Tegnell, head of department and state epidemiologist at the Health Agency said.

The agency said there was more data about Comirnaty’s use on children. In September, the Agency said that children aged 12 and over would be offered a COVID vaccination starting Oct. 11.