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Very Few Kids Need to Shield From COVID, Large U.K. Study Finds
Most young people face an “extremely low” risk of illness and death from COVID-19 and have no need to shield from the virus, according to researchers behind a large U.K. study.
The analysis, which its authors say is the most comprehensive on the topic to date, backs up clinical reports that show children and teens are less likely to be hospitalized or face severe effects from the virus. COVID-19 does increase the chance of serious illness in the most vulnerable children — those with complex disabilities and severe existing medical conditions — but even in those cases the risks are smaller compared with adults.
Updated CDC Schools Guidance Prioritizes In-Person Learning, Even if All COVID Safety Measures Aren’t in Place
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday updated its COVID-19 schools guidance to emphasize in-person schooling is a priority in the fall, regardless of whether all mitigation measures can be implemented.
As K-12 schools will have a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people, the agency says it’s still necessary to layer strategies such as masking and physical distancing, and most importantly, vaccinations for everyone eligible — people age 12 and older.
Number of Deaths Reported After COVID Vaccines Jumps by More Than 2,000 in One Week, According to VAERS
Data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) included 9,049 reports of deaths, across all age groups, following COVID vaccines — an increase of more than 2,000 compared with the previous week. The data comes directly from reports submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
VAERS is the primary government-funded system for reporting adverse vaccine reactions in the U.S. Reports submitted to VAERS require further investigation before a causal relationship can be confirmed.
Every Friday, VAERS makes public all vaccine injury reports received as of a specified date, usually about a week prior to the release date.
Pfizer to Seek Emergency Use Authorization for COVID Booster Shots — But CDC, FDA Say Science Is Lacking
Pfizer announced Thursday it will seek Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August for a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine. The drugmaker predicted those who have been fully vaccinated will need a booster shot within six to 12 months of receiving their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
But hours later, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a joint statement by the FDA and Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) saying, “Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time.”
The statement did not explicitly mention Pfizer, but said “a science-based, rigorous process” headed by the CDC, FDA and the National Institutes of Health would determine when or whether boosters were necessary.
New Zealand Children Falling Ill in High Numbers Due to COVID ‘Immunity Debt’
New Zealand hospitals are experiencing the payoff of “immunity debt” created by COVID-19 lockdowns, with wards flooded by babies with a potentially-deadly respiratory virus, doctors have warned.
Wellington has 46 children currently hospitalised for respiratory illnesses including respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. A number are infants, and many are on oxygen. Other hospitals are also experiencing a rise in cases that are straining their resources – with some delaying surgeries or converting playrooms into clinical space.
EU Finds Potential Link Between Heart Inflammation and mRNA COVID Shots
Europe’s drug regulator has found a possible link between very rare heart inflammation and COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech (PFE.N), (22UAy.DE) and Moderna (MRNA.O), it said on Friday, stressing that the benefits of the shots outweighed any risks.
The conditions, myocarditis and pericarditis, must be listed as side-effects of the two mRNA vaccines, the safety committee of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said, adding that such cases primarily occurred within 14 days of inoculation.
El Paso Woman in Her 60s Dies of COVID Despite Vaccination
An El Pasoan who was fully vaccinated has died of a COVID-19 infection, the first such incident in the Sun City, officials confirmed Thursday.
A spokeswoman for the El Paso health department identified the victim as a woman in her 60s with underlying health issues. Out of 2,658 El Paso County deaths reported to date due to COVID, this was the only fatality involving a vaccinated person.
Moderna Plans Triple Vaccine Targeting Flu, COVID and RSV
The first patents have now been enrolled into the study of the shot – codenamed mRNA-1010 – which is designed to generate antibodies against influenza A H1N1, H3N2 and influenza B Yamagata and Victoria – all of which are recommended by the World Health Organization.
Ultimately, the goal is to develop a shot that combines seasonal flu, COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) protection with a single vaccine, said the biotech. It is also looking at including human metapneumovirus (hMPV), another common cause of upper respiratory tract infections.
U.S. Swimmer Michael Andrew Is Biggest Olympic Name to Reveal They Have Not Received COVID Vaccine
Michael Andrew, a U.S. swimming star who will compete in multiple events in Tokyo later this month, became the biggest Olympic name yet to reveal that he has not been vaccinated, saying he didn’t want taking the vaccine to interfere with his training schedule.
As an unvaccinated athlete in the midst of a locked-down Olympic Games, Andrew’s status could present problems for the U.S. Olympic team in the event of a COVID-19 scare or contact tracing during the Games. Considerations are expected to be made for vaccinated Olympians in those cases – but not for the unvaccinated.
Awaited Ivermectin Review Is Out
These results were finally published this week in Open Forum Infectious Diseases, and they’re positive — but they haven’t escaped criticism, and most researchers still want results from a randomized controlled trial.