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States Turn Down Hundreds of Thousands of Vaccine Doses
Several states are turning away COVID vaccine doses from their federal government allocations, as the daily average of coronavirus vaccine doses administered across the United States has fallen below two million for the first time since early March. Experts say the states’ smaller requests reflect a steep drop in vaccine demand in the United States.
Wisconsin officials have asked for just 8 percent of the 162,680 doses the federal government had set aside for the state next week, according to The Associated Press. In Iowa, officials asked for just 29 percent of the state’s allocated doses. And in Illinois, the state is planning to request just 9 percent of its allotted doses for everywhere, except for Chicago, for next week, The A.P. reported.
North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington State and Connecticut are also scaling back on their vaccine requests.
Teen Hospitalized With Blood Clots in Brain After First Dose of Pfizer Vaccine
Everest Romney, 17, received the vaccine April 21 and began experiencing neck pain, fever and severe headaches one day later. His mother, Cherie Romney, said her son’s pediatrician initially dismissed the symptoms as a pulled neck muscle. However, she was convinced it was something else, ABC4 News reported.
After more than a week of symptoms and being unable to freely move his neck, the family got this diagnosis: two blood clots inside his brain, and one on the outside.
After Vaccine Safety Review, EU Regulators Call on Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca for More Data on Heart Inflammation, Guillain–Barré Syndrome
EU regulators Friday called on Pfizer and Moderna to provide additional data related to the companies’ COVID vaccines and a potential link to heart inflammation, after the agency completed a safety review of all four COVID vaccines authorized for emergency use in the EU.
The European Medicines Agency’s safety committee, (PRAC), also asked AstraZeneca for data related to reports of Guillain–Barré syndrome in people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine, and they recommended Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) update their labels with side effect warnings.
In a report issued May 7, PRAC disclosed its members were aware of cases of myocarditis and pericarditis following Pfizer vaccination. Regulators said they didn’t see an indication the vaccine caused these cases, but as a prevention, PRAC requested Pfizer provide further data, including an analysis of events according to age and gender in its next pandemic summary safety report and will consider if any other regulatory action is needed.
FDA Approval of Pfizer Vaccine Could Lead to Vaccine Mandates
On Friday, Pfizer became the first COVID-19 vaccine producer to request full FDA approval. Virginia’s Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula anticipated that approval would have several implications, including the possibility of more vaccination mandates across the country.
“This is just the final formal step that Pfizer should take,” said Dr. Melissa Viray, Deputy Director for the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts. “We want this vaccine to be around, even when there isn’t a public health emergency.”
White House, State Officials Scramble to Get Docs’ Help With Lagging Vaccination Effort
The Biden administration and state health officials are rushing to overcome logistical hurdles to get more COVID-19 shots into doctors’ offices, believing that physicians who have largely been excluded from the inoculation effort so far could be key to boosting vaccination rates.
For months, doctors have lobbied the White House and states to ship them doses, but officials instead focused their efforts on mass vaccination sites and other places that could quickly immunize hundreds or even thousands of people daily. With demand for shots now slipping faster than health experts expected, officials are now trying to steer doses to smaller, local sites like doctor offices that can make targeted efforts to reach people who are hesitant to get vaccinated or have faced other obstacles like lack of transportation.
CDC Admits the Coronavirus Is Airborne, Can Be Transmitted More Than 6 Feet Away
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is finally acknowledging something that health experts have been saying for a while now: COVID-19 spreads through the air and can be inhaled by someone who is more than six feet away. The CDC said in a document published Friday that it has “repeatedly documented” instances of the virus spreading through the air to people who were more than six feet away “under certain preventable circumstances.” This marks a change for the agency that previously said most infections took place through “close contact, not airborne transmission.”
“COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch. People who are closer than 6 feet from the infected person are most likely to get infected,” the CDC now says on its website.
Woman Accidentally Vaccinated With Six Pfizer Doses
A 23-year-old woman in Italy‘s central Tuscany region was accidentally administered six doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Sunday, but ended up discharged after 24 hours when she did not appear to suffer any severe effects.
The woman, a clinical psychology trainee in the town of Massa, was scheduled to receive her first dose of the vaccine as a health worker, according to the news agency Agenzia Giornalistica Italia (AGI). But instead of being given a single Pfizer dose, she was accidentally injected with an entire vial — which amounts to six doses.
Poll Finds Many Parents Hesitant to Get Younger Children Vaccinated
Only 29% of parents of children younger than 18 years said they would get their child vaccinated “right away,” according to data published Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Another 32 percent said they would wait to see how the vaccine is working before getting their child a shot, while the remaining parents said their child would be vaccinated only if their school requires it (15%) or they definitely would not be vaccinated (19%).
In Thursday’s Kaiser survey, parents’ intentions for their children typically mirrored their intentions for themselves. Among parents who have already received at least one dose or want it as soon as possible, three-fourths said they would get their children vaccinated right away (48%) or wait and see (29%).
N.J. Gov. Murphy Open to Paying People to Get COVID-19 Vaccine
“We might, I think all things are on the table frankly,” Murphy told FOX 5 New York in an interview. “We have to get to our objective, which is 70% of the adult population by the end of June.”
Last week, Murphy launched the “Operation Jersey Summer” campaign, which is aimed at helping the state reach its vaccination goal.
Novavax Reports Promising Early Study of Combined COVID-19, Flu Vaccine
The combination vaccine produced “robust” antibody responses to both coronavirus and the flu in a study in ferrets, the company said. The shot is still early in the process, and the company said clinical trials in humans “are expected to begin by the end of the year.”
Expert Panel Calls On Norway To Ditch AstraZeneca And Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccines Over Blood Clot Risks
An expert panel in Norway recommended the country drop vaccines made by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson from its COVID-19 immunization campaign due to a small risk of rare blood clots, the group announced Monday, a decision that could potentially set back the country’s efforts to offer a shot to all adults by a month.
A raft of countries halted AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccine rollouts over the past few weeks, following reports of very rare blood clotting. Regulators in Europe, the U.S. and the World Health Organization determined that there is a rare risk of clotting, though overwhelmingly said the vaccines’ benefits outweigh any possible risks of blood clotting. A number of countries — including France, Germany, the U.K. and Canada — have restricted the shot to older populations, who are believed to be less at-risk of clotting. Denmark has stopped using them entirely despite rising COVID-19 infections.