Miss a day, miss a lot. Subscribe to The Defender's Top News of the Day. It's free.
FDA Authorizes Pfizer Vaccine for 12-15-Year-Olds
The Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for children ages 12 and up, widening the U.S. population that will be protected against the virus and bolstering chances for a safe return to full-time school in the fall, the Food and Drug Administration announced Monday.
“We know this is a big step for our country. Vaccinating a younger population brings us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic,” acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said at a press briefing on Monday night.
Woodcock said parents and guardians can “rest assured that in making our decision, the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available scientific data, as we have with all the COVID-19 vaccine authorizations.”
Pfizer Vaccine Could Be Available For Ages 2 and Up as Early as This Fall, Exec Says
Data from Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine trials in children aged two years and older could be available as early as this fall, Pfizer’s Senior Vice President of Vaccine Clinical Research and Development Dr. William Gruber said, possibly paving the way for use before the end of 2022.
The drugmaker is also conducting clinical trials on their vaccine for babies aged six months and older. Gruber anticipates data from those trials will likely be available “late at the end of the year or beginning of 2022.”
64 Days and Counting — Why Won’t the CDC Answer Our Questions?
On March 8, The Defender contacted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with a written list of questions about reported deaths and injuries related to COVID vaccines. We requested information about how the CDC conducts investigations into reported deaths, the status of ongoing investigations into deaths and injuries reported by the media, if autopsies were being conducted, the standard for determining whether an injury is causally connected to a vaccine, and education initiatives to encourage and facilitate proper and accurate reporting …
It has been 64 days since we sent our first email inquiring into VAERS data and reports, but still no response.
Patients Died From Neglect, Not COVID-19, in Ontario LTC Homes, Military Report Finds
Dozens of residents in two Ontario nursing homes hit hard by the coronavirus died not from COVID-19 but from dehydration and neglect, the Canadian military says in reports obtained by The Globe and Mail.
The documents contain new details about the deplorable conditions in two Toronto homes before the Forces stepped in last year, revealing for the first time that causes other than COVID-19 hastened the deaths of residents as outbreaks spiralled out of control and staffing collapsed.
At Downsview Long Term Care Centre, where one in four residents succumbed to the virus, another 26 died from dehydration before a military team arrived last June to provide humanitarian and medical support.
Why FDA Should Not Authorize COVID Vaccines for Kids, Teens
For adults, the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination are enormous, while for children, they are relatively minor. Rare side effects from adult COVID-19 vaccination are unlikely to lead to future vaccine hesitancy whose public health impact could be comparable to the benefits of the adult COVID-19 vaccination program itself.
But accelerated mass child vaccination under Emergency Use Authorization — perhaps even spurred by school mandates and “vaccine passports” — presents a different balance of risks and benefits. Rare adverse events really could prove to be the most durable public health legacy of an EUA for child COVID-19 vaccines.
Slovakia Suspends Use of Astrazeneca COVID-19 Vaccine as a Recipient Dies
Slovakia’s Health Ministry said on Tuesday it was suspending the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for people getting their first doses, after experts reviewed the death of a recipient.
The state drug regulator, SUKL, said last week that the death of a 47-year-old woman was likely to be connected to the vaccine because of a predisposition that she had.
“The Health Ministry is considering various options at the moment, how to proceed with this issue,” spokeswoman Zuzana Eliasova said. “At the moment, people waiting for their second dose are being inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.”
A Misleading CDC Number
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines last month for mask wearing, it announced that “less than 10 percent” of COVID-19 transmission was occurring outdoors. Media organizations repeated the statistic, and it quickly became a standard description of the frequency of outdoor transmission.
But the number is almost certainly misleading.
It appears to be based partly on a misclassification of some COVID transmission that actually took place in enclosed spaces (as I explain below). An even bigger issue is the extreme caution of CDC officials, who picked a benchmark — 10 percent — so high that nobody could reasonably dispute it.
Brazil Agency Calls for Suspending AstraZeneca Vaccine for Pregnant Women
Anvisa said late Monday that its recommendation was the result of “constant monitoring of adverse events related to Covid vaccines in use in the country,” without giving further details.