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  • More than 5 million people globally have died from COVID-19.
  • More than half of U.S. adults are now fully vaccinated.
  • COVID-19 booster shots are now available for some people in the United States.

Update on COVID-19 numbers

  • Globally, there have been more than 252.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 5 million associated deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • The United States has reported more than 46.9 million confirmed cases and more than 760,000 associated deaths.
  • Currently, more than 224.6 million people in the United States have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with more than 194.3 million people fully vaccinated.

Healthline updates this page on weekdays. For up-to-date information about the virus, go here.

11/12/21 1:36 p.m. PST — COVID-19 cases increase in the Mountain West while improving in Florida and Texas

The coronavirus Delta variant is bringing increased hospitalizations in the U.S. Mountain West, a disturbing sign of what this winter might bring, reported The Associated Press (AP).

Even as pandemic trends improve in southern states like Florida and Texas, which experienced the worst of summer’s surge, Delta is still a danger.

“We’re going to see a lot of outbreaks in unvaccinated people that will result in serious illness, and it will be tragic,” Dr. Donald Milton of the University of Maryland School of Public Health told AP.

Austria mulls lockdown of unvaccinated people

According to the BBC, Upper Austria province is days away from implementing a lockdown for its unvaccinated population as record COVID-19 cases are reported in the European nation.

Nationally, a record 11,975 COVID-19 cases were recorded in the past 24 hours.

Austria’s coronavirus commission has warned of a threat that “must be taken seriously,” reported the BBC.

The province has a population of 1.5 million, and borders Germany and the Czech Republic. It currently has Austria’s highest recorded cases and lowest vaccination rate, the BBC noted.

“It is clear that this winter will be uncomfortable for the unvaccinated,” Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg warned, reported CNN. “The lockdown could come much faster than some might think.”

Under the plan, unvaccinated Austrians will face severe pandemic restrictions once 30 percent of intensive care beds are filled with COVID-19 patients, according to CNN.

11/11/21 1:38 p.m. PST — Sleep apnea associated with severe COVID-19 outcomes, study finds

According to research published Wednesday in the American Medical Association’s JAMA Network Open, people with obstructive sleep apnea or other breathing difficulties that cause reduced oxygen during sleep are at greater risk of severe COVID-19.

The study, which tracked over 5,400 people with breathing issues, found about one-third of them tested positive for COVID-19 during the observation period, although severity of breathing symptoms did not affect infection risk.

However, those with more severe apnea were found to have a significantly higher risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19.

“In this cohort of patients from a large integrated health system, sleep-related hypoxemia was identified as a risk factor for increased severity of COVID-19 clinical outcomes, including hospitalization and mortality,” the study authors wrote.

COVID-19 cases rise slightly in the U.S.

Despite the wide availability of COVID-19 vaccines, cases are rising slightly in the U.S. The 7-day average is just over 74,000 according to the Centers Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s up from the 7-day average of about 63,000 cases towards the end of October.

At-home COVID-19 tests can make holiday gatherings safer

When combined with vaccination, at-home COVID-19 testing kits can add a “layer of safety and reassurance” by offering rapid results during the holiday season, reported the Associated Press.

“We will be using rapid tests to doublecheck everybody before we gather together,” Dr. Emily Volk, president of the College of American Pathologists, who is planning a holiday meal with six vaccinated family members, told the news outlet. “We’ll be doing it as they come in the door.”

According to Volk, while home testing kits aren’t as accurate as hospital-administered PCR tests, their advantage is getting results in minutes instead of days.

11/10/21 3:44 p.m. PST — Pfizer asks FDA to approve booster shots for everyone over 18

Drugmaker Pfizer has asked U.S. regulators to allow booster shots of its COVID-19 vaccine for everyone 18 years and older.

According to Pfizer, the request is based on results from its phase 3 randomized controlled trial that evaluated the efficacy and safety of a 30-microgram booster dose of vaccine.

The trial enrolled more than 10,000 participants during a period when the Delta variant was prevalent.

Pfizer’s trial concluded that a booster could restore protection against symptomatic infection to about 95 percent, even as the Delta variant surged.

Health officials have told The Washington Post this request might be approved by the last week of November.

Air pollution decreased during the pandemic shutdown

NASA reported that the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent global travel and other restrictions “drastically” decreased air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions within just a few weeks.

According to the new research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions dropped by 5.4 percent in 2020, although the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere continued growing at about the same rate as in previous years.

The study also found that nitrogen oxides, associated with increased atmospheric ozone, decreased significantly.

However, researchers found pollutant levels rebounded as pandemic restrictions were lifted.

“This suggests that reducing activity in these industrial and residential sectors is not practical in the short term” as a means of cutting emissions, the study authors noted.

“Reducing these sectors’ emissions permanently will require their transition to low-carbon-emitting technology,” they concluded.

Pandemic spotlighted ‘outdated’ infection control practices

A review published Nov. 9 in the Annals of Internal Medicine states that some longstanding infection control tactics used at healthcare facilities are “outdated.”

According to the review, it’s been traditionally accepted that most respiratory viruses, like influenza and the common cold, are mainly transmitted by respiratory droplets, which are relatively heavy particles expelled as people breathe.

They fall to the ground within feet from a person with an infection. Wearing a mask can stop these particles from traveling.

Other viruses, like measles and tuberculosis, are “aerosols,” meaning they can be transmitted through tiny particles that remain in the air for a longer time, and can accumulate in poorly ventilated areas.

According to the review’s authors, an increasing body of evidence questions this distinction.

“The primary risk factors for nosocomial (hospital originated) transmission are community incidence rates, viral load, symptoms, proximity, duration of exposure, and poor ventilation,” the authors wrote. “Failure to appreciate these factors may lead to underappreciation of some risks.”

The authors suggest that healthcare professionals consider wearing N95 masks in the care of all patients with a respiratory infection, and not only during aerosol-generating procedures, like intubation.

They also recommend a review of minimum ventilation standards, and increasing standards for nonclinical areas of the hospital and those outside of patient care.

11/9/21 2:26p.m. PST — Novavax COVID-19 vaccine candidate has no major side effects

A protein-based vaccine platform previously used against hepatitis and shingles could be a pandemic “game-changer,” according to the Boston Herald.

The drugmaker announced their submission to the World Health Organization for emergency use November 4.

“Today’s submission reflects our continued focus on accelerating access and equitable distribution as we work to bring our vaccine to people in need around the globe,” said Stanley C. Erck, president and chief executive officer of Novavax, in a statement.

“We continue to work with urgency to deliver our COVID-19 vaccine,” he added. “Built on a proven, well-understood vaccine platform, because no one is safe until everyone is safe.”

According to a not yet peer-reviewed study of 30,000 people, the Novavax shot offered over 90 percent protection against symptomatic COVID-19.

Pfizer and BioNTech will seek an EUA for a COVID-19 booster for everyone over 18

While COVID-19 booster shots have been authorized for some people in the United States, including people at high risk for getting COVID and those over 65, Pfizer and BioNTech will seek authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for everyone over the age of 18.

The Washington Post says the request could be made as soon as this week, but it will have to be vetted by officials before they recommend everyone get a booster shot.

Currently, people over age 65, people with underlying conditions, or those at risk of developing COVID-19 due to their job are among people who can get a booster shot. Additionally, people over 18 who had the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine can get a booster shot.

11/8/21 2:35 p.m. PST — Travel restrictions lifted for vaccinated travelers to U.S.

After almost 2 years of strict border and travel restrictions in place due to the pandemic, the U.S. government lifted those restrictions for vaccinated travelers from a long list of countries.

The change will allow travel from 33 nations, most them in Europe, but also includes Brazil, China, India, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, according to United Press International (UPI).

U.S. citizens returning home won’t have to show proof of vaccination, but those who don’t must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 1 day.

Grim milestone: Global COVID-19 cases pass 250 million

Global COVID-19 cases surpassed 250 million on Monday, reported Reuters. Some Eastern European countries are experiencing record outbreaks, even as the Delta variant surge dies down and many nations resume normal travel and trade.

According to a Reuters analysis, the daily average number of cases has fallen 36 percent over the past 3 months, yet 50 million people still contract the Delta variant COVID-19 every 3 months.

Experts say next year may see some improvement.

“We think between now and the end of 2022, this is the point where we get control over this virus… where we can significantly reduce severe disease and death,” Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD, an epidemiologist leading the World Health Organization (WHO), told Reuters.

White House encourages schools to host vaccination clinics, inform parents

The Biden administration is encouraging school districts to host COVID-19 vaccination clinics for children and offer parents information on the benefits of the shots as the White House works toward rapidly distributing COVID-19 vaccines to kids aged between 5 and 11 years, reported the Associated Press (AP).

Officials are also reminding school districts that billions of dollars in federal coronavirus relief money are available to support the pediatric vaccination effort, reported the news outlet.

According to AP, there are about 28 million kids in this age group that are now eligible for shots, and the Pfizer vaccine is approved for them. The federal government has procured enough of the vaccine for every child.

11/5/21 3:10 p.m. PDT — New Pfizer drug reduces hospitalization, deaths by almost 90%

Drugmaker Pfizer announced today that its new, oral COVID-19 drug has been found to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death in high-risk people by nearly 90 percent.

“The scheduled interim analysis showed an 89% reduction in risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization or death from any cause compared to placebo in patients treated within three days of symptom onset,” said the company in a press release.

According to Pfizer, if the new drug, called Paxlovid, is approved or authorized, it would be the first oral antiviral of its kind.

The drugmaker says Paxlovid is meant to be prescribed at the first signs of infection or awareness of exposure, and can potentially help people avoid severe illness. It works by blocking an enzyme the coronavirus needs to replicate.

“Today’s news is a real game-changer in the global efforts to halt the devastation of this pandemic,” Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer, said in a statement.

“These data suggest that our oral antiviral candidate, if approved or authorized by regulatory authorities, has the potential to save patients’ lives, reduce the severity of COVID-19 infections, and eliminate up to nine out of ten hospitalizations,” he continued.

Germany sees steep rise in COVID-19 cases

Health officials in Germany warn that the country is experiencing a “very worrying” spike in cases, and unvaccinated people face severe risks.

This warning comes after the European nation recorded its second new record in daily infections, according to CNN.

More than 37,000 new cases were reported today — 3,000 more than recorded yesterday, reported CNN.

The spike in infections is occurring during a significantly slower vaccine rollout than seen in other large European nations.

11/4/21 1:37 p.m. PDT — Biden administration announces new COVID-19 vaccine and testing guidelines

By early in 2022, most U.S. employers with at least 100 workers must ensure that unvaccinated employees be tested at least weekly and are masked in the workplace, in accordance with new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines, the White House announced today.

According to the Biden administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at the Department of Health and Human Services will also require that healthcare workers at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid are fully vaccinated.

In an emailed statement, Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), told Healthline the CMS guidelines might worsen an already dire staffing crisis.

“While we support the overall intent of this CMS policy, we are concerned that the execution will exacerbate an already dire workforce crisis in long-term care,” he said.

“A hard deadline with no resources for providers or glide path for unvaccinated workers is likely to push too many out the door and, ultimately, threaten residents’ access to long-term care,” explained Parkinson.

This new rule will affect more than 17 million workers at approximately 76,000 healthcare facilities, including hospitals and long-term care facilities.

The testing requirement for unvaccinated workers will begin after January 4, according to the White House. However, employers have until December 5 to comply with requirements like paid time off for employees to be vaccinated and masking for unvaccinated workers.

The new guidelines do not require employers to pay the cost of COVID-19 testing.

Colorado governor authorizes hospitals to turn away patients amid pandemic surge

On Sunday, Colorado governor Jared Polis signed an executive order (EO) granting healthcare workers the authority to prioritize crisis care as directed by the state’s health department.

The order will empower the governor, “in the event of an emergency epidemic that has been declared a disaster emergency,” to respond by ordering hospitals “to transfer or cease admission of patients or perform medical examinations of persons.”

According to the EO, while Colorado has a nearly 80 percent vaccination rate, hospitals are overwhelmed with unvaccinated patients experiencing severe COVID-19.

The most recent data from the state’s COVID-19 dashboard shows about 1,400 people hospitalized with severe COVID-19 as of Wednesday, a significant increase over the last month.

Cold weather brings record levels of COVID-19 to Europe

According to Reuters, the World Health Organization describes record levels of COVID-19 in Europe as a “grave concern,” as fall temperatures dip significantly.

The surge in cases, especially in Eastern Europe, is prompting debates on what pandemic restrictions, if any, to reintroduce before the Christmas season — and how to encourage more people to be vaccinated, reported the news outlet.

“The current pace of transmission across the 53 countries of the European Region is of grave concern,” regional WHO head Dr. Hans Kluge told Reuters, emphasizing that the spread was worsened by the Delta variant.

Kluge also warned that should European cases follow their current trajectory, by February there could be a half-million COVID-related deaths in the region.

11/3/21 1:44 p.m. PDT — Kids under 12 start getting COVID-19 vaccines

One day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced their approval of Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, children ages 5 through 11 have started receiving their first doses.

On Tuesday, it was announced that CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer pediatric vaccine.

According to the CDC press release, the agency has expanded vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the United States for this age group and will allow healthcare workers to begin vaccinating them immediately.

“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus that causes COVID-19,” said Walensky in a statement.

“We know millions of parents are eager to get their children vaccinated and with this decision, we now have recommended that about 28 million children receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” she added.

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr. Anthony Fauci, told CNN that the United States will “hit the ground running” to vaccinate children ages 5 to 11.

“That was what the preparedness was about,” Fauci told the network. “It’s a good thing. We’ll hit the ground running, and probably by the beginning of next week, we’ll be at full speed.”

He added that the pediatric version of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine will be available in pharmacies, pediatricians’ offices, children’s hospitals and certain community locations.

Indian drugmaker’s COVID vaccine candidate granted WHO emergency approval

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced emergency use approval of Indian drugmaker Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine, called Covaxin, reported CNBC.

According to a press release from Bharat Biotech, validation from the WHO means countries can now expedite their regulatory approval processes to import and administer Covaxin.

“The EUL [emergency use listing] authorization for COVAXIN will enable us to contribute to accelerating the equitable access of Covid-19 vaccine, and the access to our vaccine globally thereby addressing the current public health emergency,” Dr. Krishna Ella, chairperson and managing director at Bharat Biotech, said in a statement.

11/2/21 5:06 p.m. PDT — CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccine for younger kids

The CDC is formally recommending the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. A key CDC advisory panel voted in favor of the recommendation earlier Tuesday.

Pfizer announced the proposed dose for younger children is one-third the dose given to people over age 12. Children between 5 and 11 years old would receive two injections spaced about 3 weeks apart.

According to United Press International (UPI), the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) agree that children in this age range can receive the vaccine.

White House Coronavirus Response coordinator Jeffrey Zients said Monday that the Biden administration has ordered enough vaccines to cover all U.S. children in the 5–11 age range, reported the news outlet.

Vaccinations for this age group could start this week.

15 million COVID-19 shots rolled out for children by next week, says White House

On Monday, the White House announced that U.S. distribution of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 years old will begin this week, reported Reuters. However, most of the 15 million shots slated for use are unlikely to be available before next week.

According to Reuters, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said that millions of doses formulated for children in that age group will start arriving at distribution centers over the next few days, and the federal government purchased enough doses for all 28 million eligible children.

“We are ready to execute, pending CDC’s decision. And starting the week of November 8th, our vaccination program for kids ages 5 through 11 will be running at full strength,” Zients told reporters at a briefing.

Kentucky governor emphasizes importance of COVID-19 booster shots

Increasing numbers of vaccinated Kentucky residents have developed COVID-19, with some being hospitalized, reported the Associated Press (AP). This signals the importance of receiving booster shots, said the state’s Governor Andy Beshear on Monday.

“I think when you look at this growth, the only natural explanation is that the immunity does lessen a little bit over time,” the governor said at a news conference, reported the AP.

“The Delta variant is part of it, right? But this means you need to get your booster,” he said.

According to AP, the governor also said 67 percent of people in Kentucky who are eligible to receive the vaccine have received at least the first dose.

“We need to push this more, but two-thirds of eligible Kentuckians isn’t bad — we just know we have to do better,” Beshear added.

11/1/21 1:37 p.m. PDT — Global pandemic deaths reach 5 million

Global deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic have reached approximately 5 million in a little less than 2 years, according to the most recent data from Johns Hopkins University.

The United States has seen the highest number of recorded deaths, losing more than 746,000 people to COVID-19.

According to the U.N. secretary-general, this number represents a failure in the worldwide fight against the pandemic.

“This devastating milestone reminds us that we are failing much of the world,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement.

“This is a global shame. It would be a mistake to think that the pandemic is over,” he said.

“As restrictions ease in many places, we must also match vaccines with vigilance — including through smart and proven public health measures like masking and social distancing,” he added.

White House press secretary tests positive for COVID-19

Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said in a statement yesterday that she’s been diagnosed with COVID-19, reported CBS News.

Psaki is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and confirmed she’s only experiencing a mild case of the disease.

This occurred days after announcing she wouldn’t accompany President Biden on an overseas trip due to a “family emergency,” reported the network.

According to Psaki’s statement, the emergency was that members of her household tested positive for COVID-19.

“Since then, I have quarantined and tested negative (via PCR) for COVID on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday,” Psaki said.

“However, today, I tested positive for COVID,” she continued. “While I have not had close contact in person with the president or senior members of the White House staff since Wednesday — and tested negative for four days after that last contact — I am disclosing today’s positive test out of an abundance of transparency. I last saw the president on Tuesday, when we sat outside more than six feet apart, and wore masks.”

COVID-19 vaccines do not affect children’s fertility, experts say

According to a new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, among parents’ chief concerns regarding vaccinating children against COVID-19 is how it could potentially affect their future fertility.

However, doctors and public health officials are united in assuring parents that the vaccines do not affect fertility.

“Unfounded claims linking COVID-19 vaccines to infertility have been scientifically disproven,” the American Academy of Pediatrics confirmed in a statement.

“There is no evidence that the vaccine can lead to loss of fertility,” the organization added. “While fertility was not specifically studied in the clinical trials of the vaccine, no loss of fertility has been reported among trial participants or among the millions who have received the vaccines since their authorization, and no signs of infertility appeared in animal studies.”

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), evidence clearly shows COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, even during pregnancy.

“Pregnancy is a risk factor for severe complications from COVID-19,” cautioned ACOG in a statement.

“ACOG and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine strongly recommend that all pregnant people be vaccinated against COVID-19,” the organization added. “Leading medical organizations have repeatedly affirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines have no impact on fertility.”

10/29/21 2:49 p.m. PDT — FDA says children 5 to 11 can get COVID-19 vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

A key panel had recommended the vaccine be given to children between 5 and 11 earlier this week. The vaccine doses are likely to be available as soon as next week.

Vaccinated people can pass Delta variant at home, but it’s worse for unvaccinated people

A study published in The Lancet found fully vaccinated people can contract — and transmit — the coronavirus to other vaccinated people.

However, unvaccinated people have an even higher infection risk.

The findings suggested people who received two doses of the vaccine experience a lower, although not zero, risk of infection with the Delta variant of COVID-19 at home compared with the unvaccinated.

Researchers found that only 25 percent of vaccinated household contacts tested positive for COVID-19, compared with about 40 percent of unvaccinated household contacts.

They also confirmed that vaccinated people recover from infection more rapidly than the unvaccinated.

However, their “peak viral load,” the largest amount of the virus found in the respiratory passages, was close to that of unvaccinated people. This might explain why it’s possible for them to pass the virus in household settings.

The findings may influence decisions about pandemic measures going into the cold weather season.

“Our findings show that vaccination alone is not enough to prevent people from being infected with the Delta variant, and from spreading it onwards, in household settings,” Professor Ajit Lalvani of the National Heart & Lung Institute at Imperial College London, who co-led the study, said in a statement.

“This is likely to be the case for other indoor settings where people spend extended periods of time in close proximity, as will occur increasingly as we head into winter,” Lalvani continued.

Over one third of employers mandate vaccination, new poll finds

A new Gallup poll found that 36 percent of U.S. employers require staff without a medical exemption to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to Gallup, this percentage has increased steadily over the last 3 months, rising from only 9 percent in July.

The survey also found:

  • About 39 percent of workers say their employer encourages but doesn’t require vaccination, a decline from 62 percent in July.
  • Only 25 percent of workers say their employer doesn’t have a vaccine policy, a figure that has held steady since Gallup asked in May.

10/28/21 3:18 p.m. PDT — Antidepressant drug might boost recovery from severe COVID-19

A trial including roughly 1,500 people in Brazil found that those who took an inexpensive drug called fluvoxamine were significantly less likely to progress to severe COVID-19 and require hospitalization, according to The Associated Press (AP).

Fluvoxamine is approved to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental health conditions.

“The study is very interesting and does show a modest association between taking that SSRI and a reduction in hospitalization and death due to COVID,” Dr. Eric Cioe-Peña, director of global health at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park in New York, told Healthline.

“I would be very cautious in interpreting these results,” he continued. “It is a very small study, even though it has 700 people enrolled in this arm. Those numbers are small when thinking about COVID worldwide.”

He also pointed out that the study was conducted at only one site in Brazil, and he’s not sure the association is backed up by a plausible mechanism of action.

“I think further study is necessary to interpret these results,” Cioe-Peña said.

WHO closely tracking AY.4.2 Delta Plus variant

The World Health Organization (WHO) is closely tracking the “Delta Plus” coronavirus variant AY.4.2 to determine whether it’s more infectious.

According to the WHO’s weekly epidemiological update, the organization also wants to determine whether this subvariant is significantly more resistant to human antibodies that fight the virus.

“Epidemiological and laboratory studies are ongoing to assess if AY.4.2 confers any additional phenotypic impacts (e.g. a change in transmissibility or a decrease in the ability of antibodies to block the virus),” reads the WHO update.

AY.4.2 has been identified in an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom, and it might be a factor in the country’s worsening COVID-19 crisis.

10/27/21 12:00 p.m. PDT — Some people may require 4th vaccine dose, CDC says

New COVID-19 vaccine guidelines released by the CDC say that people who are “moderately or severely” immunocompromised may require a fourth vaccine dose.

The fourth shot would be needed at least 6 months after the third dose. However, the CDC has not yet released guidance specific to a fourth shot.

“In such situations, people who are moderately and severely immunocompromised may receive a total of four COVID-19 vaccine doses,” reads the CDC guidance.

According to CNN, a recent study from Johns Hopkins University found that vaccinated, immunocompromised people were 485 times more likely to be hospitalized with or die from COVID-19 compared with the majority of vaccinated people.

In-N-Out location shut down over vaccine mandate defiance

An In-N-Out restaurant in Contra Costa County, California, was closed over violations of the county’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, reported The Hill.

According to The Hill, health officials shut down the restaurant yesterday after it refused to check the vaccination status of patrons who asked to eat indoors.

Officials told The Hill that the restaurant received multiple warnings before the order to close indefinitely for violating the mandate.

“The Pleasant Hill In-N-Out location received four citations in recent weeks and fines totaling $1,750, all for the same health order violation, before today’s action,” Contra Costa Environmental Health said in a statement, reported The Hill.

10/26/21 3:51 p.m. PDT — FDA panel recommends vaccines for children 5 to 11

A key advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that children 5 to 11 be able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, according to the New York Times.

Currently, only children over age 12 are authorized to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA doesn’t have to take the panel’s recommendations on, but it usually does.

Another expert panel convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will meet next week to discuss COVID-19 vaccines for children 5 to 11.

Study finds cash lotteries for vaccines didn’t boost immunization rates

A new study finds that cash lotteries to boost COVID-19 immunization rates didn’t work. The research published in the JAMA Health Forum found that vaccine rates didn’t increase in the 19 states that started cash lotteries.

Ohio had the first lottery with a $1 million prize every week for 5 weeks.

Massachusetts lawmakers propose bonus for low-income earners who worked through pandemic

Lawmakers on Beacon Hill in Massachusetts have proposed millions of dollars toward bonuses for low-income workers who stayed on the job during the worst of the pandemic, reported WCVB News.

According to the news outlet, this would include workers at grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations who worked through the pandemic state of emergency.

The bonuses would range from $500 to $2,000 and be reserved for state residents who earn up to 300 percent above the federal poverty line.

That would include individuals with an annual income of nearly $39,000 or a family of four earning $79,500, reported WCVB.

10/25/21 2:47 p.m. PDT— Vaccination for 5- to 11-year-olds possible by early November, says Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci predicts that children between ages 5 and 11 could be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination by early November.

“So, if all goes well, and we get the regulatory approval and the recommendation from the CDC, it’s entirely possible, if not very likely, that vaccines will be available for children from 5 to 11 within the first week or two of November,” Fauci told ABC’s “This Week.”

Biden administration to speed authorization of at-home COVID-19 tests

The Biden administration has announced a multistep plan to speed authorization of at-home tests for the coronavirus, according to NBC.

Using funds from the American Rescue Plan, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will spend $70 million for a program to accelerate test makers through regulatory hurdles, while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to streamline its authorization process.

“Working hand-in-hand with FDA, NIH will produce the precise data needed to make authorization decisions quickly,” NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins said in a statement, reported ABC.

CDC study finds that vaccinated people have lower death rates from any cause

According to a new report published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 are less likely to die from any cause.

The study involved 6.4 million vaccinated people and 4.6 million unvaccinated people.

Researchers found that vaccinated people were less likely to die from any cause, not just COVID-19.

Study authors say this robust data reinforces the fact that vaccines are safe and effective.

10/22/21 12:00 p.m. PDT — CDC expands booster shot eligibility

Today, the CDC announced expanded eligibility for who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the CDC, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their first shots:

  • 65 years and older
  • 18 years and older who live in long-term care settings
  • 18 years and older who have underlying medical conditions
  • 18 yeas and older who work or live in high-risk settings

Boosters are also recommended for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who are over 18 years old and were vaccinated 2 or more months ago.

Also, people may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose, since the CDC’s recommendations currently allow for this type of “mix and match” dosing for the shots.

“These recommendations are another example of our fundamental commitment to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

“The evidence shows that all three COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are safe — as demonstrated by the over 400 million vaccine doses already given,” she continued.

“And, they are all highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even in the midst of the widely circulating Delta variant,” she said.

Pfizer vaccine over 90% effective against symptomatic infection in children ages 5 to 11

Drugmaker Pfizer said its mRNA vaccine is safe and 90.7 percent effective against symptomatic infection in children ages 5 to 11 in documents released by Pfizer-BioNTech ahead of a key meeting of the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisers, reported CNN.

These results come from a clinical trial that included about 2,000 children. There were only three cases detected among the group receiving the vaccine, compared to 16 cases in the placebo group.

Pfizer is currently seeking FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) to allow children in this age group to receive a reduced dose version of its COVID-19 vaccine.

“COVID-19 is a serious and potentially fatal or life-threatening infection for children,” Pfizer said in a briefing document. “The pediatric population remains vulnerable to COVID-19, and pediatric cases have increased in the US, especially with widespread dissemination of the highly transmissible B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant.”

10/21/21 2:54 p.m. PDT — White House announces more vaccine doses will be donated

The United States donated its 200 millionth COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to fight the pandemic, reported The Associated Press (AP).

The donated vaccines include more than 120 million from the U.S. stockpile of surplus doses, and the initial deliveries of 1 billion doses purchased from Pfizer by the Biden administration for international donation by September 2022, according to the news service.

“These 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have helped bring health and hope to millions of people, but our work is far from over,” U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power said in a statement, reported AP.

India celebrates vaccination milestone

India has administered 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine as of today, according to Reuters.

India’s vaccination campaign started slow in the middle of January.

India has recorded 34.1 million COVID-19 cases and more than 451,000 deaths since the pandemic began. Experts have said that India’s death toll is actually far higher than the recorded amount.

10/20/21 3:01 p.m. PDT — The FDA has authorized the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster shots

The fight to stop COVID-19 reached a key milestone today when the FDA authorized booster shots for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

The FDA also will allow a “mix-and-match” strategy for the COVID-19 vaccines in the hopes of bolstering people’s immunity against the coronavirus even further.

There are some restrictions on who has access to booster shots. People who had Moderna will only be eligible if they’re over age 65 or at high risk for developing a severe case of COVID-19 due to health conditions or where they work.

Anyone over age 18 who had Johnson and Johnson is eligible for a booster shot.

People will also be able to “mix and match” booster doses, so someone who had the Johnson & Johnson will be able to get the Moderna booster.

“Today’s actions demonstrate our commitment to public health in proactively fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, MD.

“As the pandemic continues to impact the country, science has shown that vaccination continues to be the safest and most effective way to prevent COVID-19, including the most serious consequences of the disease, such as hospitalization and death,” Woodcock said. “The available data suggest waning immunity in some populations who are fully vaccinated. The availability of these authorized boosters is important for continued protection against COVID-19 disease.”

White House plans vaccine rollout for children ages 5–11

Today, the White House announced their plan to get children ages 5 to 11 their COVID-19 vaccine doses from healthcare professionals and potentially in schools, once given the OK by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Biden administration has detailed plans for a vaccine authorization in this age group, as authorization for the shots is expected within weeks.

“The start of a vaccination program for children ages 5–11 will depend on the independent FDA and CDC process and timeline, but our planning efforts mean that we will be ready to begin getting shots in arms in the days following a final CDC recommendation,” reads the White House brief.

The administration also confirmed that they’ve procured enough COVID-19 vaccine doses for the country’s 28 million children that are 5 to 11 years old.

Reinstate pandemic measures to avert winter crisis, UK health officials warn

The U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) warned that without “preemptive action over winter from the government and the public,” the country’s recovery from the pandemic could be at risk.

The NHS also requests the government enact a “Plan B,” that’s part of the organization’s recently unveiled winter strategy. Measures included in the plan involve mandatory mask wearing and COVID-19 certification.

According to the NHS, these measures should be implemented “sooner than later so that if cases of coronavirus still rise to worrying levels, the government can then introduce tougher measures, if needed.”

New York’s municipal employees must be vaccinated to stay employed

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Oct. 20 that all unvaccinated city workers must have received their first shot against COVID-19 by the end of October or lose their jobs.

As an added incentive, city workers will get a $500 bonus for receiving their first dose at a city-run vaccination site, an offer that expires at the end of next week.

“Vaccinations are critical to combating the COVID-19 pandemic. This mandate is a bold step that protects our families, friends, and communities, including those that are not yet eligible for the vaccine such as our City’s youngest residents,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Melanie Hartzog, in a statement.

10/19/21 1:52 p.m. PDT — FDA likely to OK vaccine mixing for booster shots

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may allow vaccine mixing for COVID-19. This means that regardless of the vaccine you first received, your booster can be any of the available vaccine brands.

People familiar with the plan told The New York Times that no shot would be recommended over another, but the government may advise using the same vaccine as your initial doses.

“If you look at the data, it certainly looks like it might be better,” Dr. Paul A. Offit, the director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told the Times regarding Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech boosters for Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients.

“I think we should move quickly on this, because it’s already happening,” he continued.

According to the Times, tens of millions more people could be eligible for extra shots in the United States after a CDC advisory committee takes up the booster issue this Thursday before issuing its own recommendations.

Colin Powell was vulnerable to COVID-19 due to age, cancer

The death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell from complications of COVID-19 has put a spotlight on vaccine effectiveness.

Although Powell was fully vaccinated against COVID-19, he was still vulnerable to the disease due to his advanced age and multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that impairs the body’s ability to fight infections or respond well to vaccines.

“It’s been repeatedly shown in patients with hematologic malignancies that the response to COVID-19 vaccine has been limited,” Dr. Craig Devoe, chief of hematology-oncology in the department of medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and North Shore University Hospital, told Healthline.

“The reason for this modest response is because both the disease and the treatment itself are highly immunosuppressive,” he continued.

Research from July confirms that some people with weakened immune systems may not develop substantial levels of COVID-19 vaccine-induced antibodies.

Rise in U.K. COVID-19 cases due to slow vaccine distribution

COVID-19 transmission among children in the United Kingdom has fueled a recent rise in the nation’s cases. It’s causing concern among scientists that vaccines are being distributed too slowly to schools, risking the health of both children and adults, according to Reuters.

“The concern at the moment is that it is clear that the vaccination schedule between the ages of 12 and 15 is not going very well,” Lawrence Young, PhD, a virologist at the University of Warwick, told Reuters.

He added that the transmission of other viruses could lead to a “perfect storm” in winter for the National Health Service (NHS) if older, more vulnerable adults contract an infection.

Cases of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom as a whole are much higher than in other European countries and still on the rise, reported Reuters.

10/18/21 3:28 p.m. PDT — Colin Powell, who was undergoing cancer treatment, dies due to COVID-19

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has died at age 84, reported The New York Times.

Powell, also the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had been undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, which weakened his immune system.

He then contracted the coronavirus even though he was fully vaccinated.

He had been unable to get a booster shot, since he developed COVID-19.

Older adults and people undergoing cancer treatment are some of the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Cancer treatment can cause the immune system to weaken, therefore making vaccines less effective.

‘Get vaccinated,’ Fauci tells police

Speaking on “Fox News Sunday” yesterday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), reminded police officers that they, and other public workers, have a responsibility to get vaccinated.

“I’m not comfortable with telling people what they should do under normal circumstances, but we are not in normal circumstances right now,” Fauci said.

“Take the police. We know now the statistics, more police officers die of COVID than they do in other causes of death. So, it doesn’t make any sense to not try to protect yourself as well as the colleagues that you work with,” Fauci said.

His statement comes as police push back against vaccine mandates nationwide, with the most recent protest happening in Chicago.

According to CNN, up to half of Chicago police officers may face discipline due to a dispute between their union and Mayor Lori Lightfoot over a mandate requiring city employees to be vaccinated and disclose their vaccine status.

“Think about the implications of not getting vaccinated when you’re in a position where you have a responsible job and you want to protect yourself because you’re needed at your job, whether you’re a police officer or a pilot or any other of those kinds of occupations,” Fauci said.

Japan becomes COVID-19 success story

Japan has unexpectedly become a COVID-19 success story, according to The Associated Press (AP).

Japan, unlike many countries worldwide, never implemented lockdowns. Instead, the country relied on a series of states of emergency, reported AP.

Daily new COVID-19 cases in Tokyo have now fallen from a peak of nearly 6,000 in mid-August to an 11-month low of fewer than 100.

Possible factors for the island nation’s success include a late but rapid vaccination campaign.

“Rapid and intensive vaccinations in Japan among those younger than 64 might have created a temporary condition similar to herd immunity,” Dr. Kazuhiro Tateda, a Toho University professor of virology, told AP.

10/14/21 11:15 a.m. PDT — Pfizer or Moderna booster might be best option for J&J vaccine recipients

A new study that hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed from the National Institutes of Health found that people who received the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine experienced a stronger immune response after getting a Pfizer or Moderna booster shot.

According to Reuters, the study looked at more than 450 adults who were given their first shots with Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. The findings suggest it’s safe to mix boosters for adults.

Using booster doses differing from the initial vaccine “may offer immunological advantages to optimize the breadth and longevity of protection achieved with currently available vaccines,” researchers wrote in the study.

President Biden speaks today about White House COVID-19 response

CNN reports that President Joe Biden will speak about his administration’s COVID-19 response today.

“After the President receives a briefing from his COVID-19 response team, he will deliver an update on the progress the United States is making in its pandemic response. He will highlight that thanks to his ‘Path out of the Pandemic’ plan and the administration’s urgent push for vaccine requirements, the country is seeing a strong uptick in vaccinations, while cases and hospitalizations continue to decline,” a White House official told the network.

The White House has recently announced “tremendous progress” with COVID-19 vaccinations, as cases trend downward across the country, underscoring success through private sector efforts to institute vaccines.

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters these mandates have increased vaccination rates by more than 20 percent, “with organizations routinely seeing their share of fully vaccinated workers rise above 90 percent.”

10/13/21 2:12 p.m. PDT — Biden vaccine or testing mandate nearing approval

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Labor Department took another step toward implementing President Biden’s vaccine mandate that requires all private sector workers be vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested regularly.

On Tuesday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) submitted initial text of the proposed standard to the White House for approval, signaling its release could soon follow, reported the Journal.

Two dozen Republican attorneys general are threatening to sue the administration over the vaccine mandate, claiming it’s “disastrous and counterproductive” in a joint letter from Sept. 16, reported Fox News.

Moderna did not meet all criteria for COVID-19 boosters, says FDA

On Tuesday, scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Moderna hadn’t completely met the agency’s criteria to support booster doses of the drugmaker’s COVID-19 vaccine, possibly because its efficacy after two doses has remained strong, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, staff at the agency said in documents that data for Moderna’s vaccine showed that while a booster dose did increase protective antibodies, there wasn’t a wide enough difference before and after the shot.

“There was boosting, sure. Was it enough boosting? Who knows? There’s no standard amount of boosting that is known to be needed, and nor is it clear how much boosting happened in the study,” John Moore, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, told the news outlet in an email.

CDC says number of new deaths from COVID-19 is likely to decrease in next few weeks

As COVID-19 cases decline in the United States, the CDC released a new report predicting that new deaths from COVID-19 will decline in the coming weeks.

The CDC said new deaths are not likely to exceed 13,100 in the week ending Nov. 6, and 740,000 to 762,000 total COVID-19 deaths are expected by that point.

10/12/21 1:34 p.m. PDT — Texas governor bans vaccine mandates

Texas governor Greg Abbott announced on Monday, Oct. 11, he would ban vaccine mandates in the state by executive order (EO), reported CNN.

Abbott’s EO was issued even as daily COVID-19 deaths in the state surge.

“No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19. I hereby suspend all relevant statutes to the extent necessary to enforce this prohibition,” reads the order.

Governor Abbott has also sent a message to the Texas State Legislature requesting them to consider passing a law banning vaccine mandates.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” Governor Abbott said in a statement.

According to CNN, Abbott’s policies have drawn the ire of President Joe Biden, who stressed the importance of vaccine mandates as a valuable tool to contain the pandemic.

“We’re facing a lot of pushback, especially from some of the Republican governors. The governors of Florida and Texas are doing everything they can to undermine the life-saving requirements that I’ve proposed,” Biden said last month, referring to both Abbott and Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, reported the network.

Vaccine-induced immunity in children superior to natural infection, study finds

A new, not yet peer-reviewed, study finds that children vaccinated against COVID-19 have significantly higher antibody levels than children who naturally contract the virus.

Researchers looked at children between ages 7 and 11 who received the Moderna vaccine.

Findings suggest that children vaccinated with the mRNA vaccine elicit a stronger immune response than observed in children who experienced natural infection. Critically, this protection extended across all COVID-19 variants of concern.

“We observed comparable SARS-CoV-2 titers and neutralizing activity across variants of concern,” the study authors wrote. “Our data indicate that mRNA vaccination elicits robust antibody responses and drives superior antibody functionality in children.”

Britain’s lockdown came too late, report finds

According to the Associated Press (AP), the U.K.’s first comprehensive report on its pandemic response finds thousands of people died unnecessarily due to failure to impose lockdowns early in the pandemic.

“The UK did significantly worse in terms of COVID deaths than many countries — especially compared to those in East Asia, even though they were much closer geographically to where the virus first appeared,” reads the report.

The report suggests the most serious failures at the start of the pandemic include “groupthink” among scientists and government officials, as well as not considering different approaches to border controls, and test and trace efforts.

“Painful though it is, the UK must learn what lessons it can of why this happened if we are to ensure it is not repeated,” reads the report.

AstraZeneca says drug helps reduce risk of severe COVID-19

The pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday that their antibody treatment AZD7442 was effective at preventing severe COVID-19 in a phase 3 trial.

The double-blind study looked at 903 people. Half were given the antibody treatment, while the other half were given a placebo.

Those given the drug were half as likely to develop a severe case of COVID-19.

Massive study finds vaccines drop risk of severe COVID-19 by 94 percent

A large study based out of France is adding to the large body of evidence that vaccines are effective at preventing symptoms of severe COVID-19, according to Business Insider.

The study looked at more than 24 million people between ages 50 and 74. They found in the 5 months after being vaccinated, people were 94 percent less likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 compared to people who were unvaccinated.

10/11/21 4:19 p.m. PDT — Merck requests molnupiravir emergency use authorization

Drugmaker Merck announced on Monday that the company submitted an emergency use authorization application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its oral antiviral medication called molnupiravir.

According to Merck, this submission is based on positive results from planned interim analysis from the Phase 3 MOVe-OUT clinical trial.

The trial evaluated Molnupiravir in non-hospitalized adult patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 at increased risk of progression to severe COVID-19 or hospitalization.

Interim analysis found Molnupiravir reduced risk of hospitalization or death by about 50 percent.

“The extraordinary impact of this pandemic demands that we move with unprecedented urgency, and that is what our teams have done by submitting this application for molnupiravir to the FDA within 10 days of receiving the data,” said Robert M. Davis, the chief executive officer and president of Merck, in a statement.

A new poll finds parents split on getting younger children vaccinated

A new poll from CBS and YouGov asked parents of children ages 5 to 11 whether they plan to vaccinate their children once the vaccines are approved for that age group.

The poll found 37 percent of parents plan to get their child vaccinated against COVID-19, while 35 percent do not.

Another 26 percent are not sure if they will vaccinate their children against the disease. The FDA and CDC are expected to meet about vaccinations for children this month. If the vaccines are given emergency use authorization, they may be available by November for children ages 5 to 11.

10/8/21 2:08 p.m. PDT — Some hospitals see surge of rare COVID-19 complication that affects children

Yesterday, the CDC announced it has seen reports of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) increase by 12 percent since late August, reported CNN.

“We had a nice long break from those cases over the summer and even into the fall where we could get an occasional MIS-C case here and there,” Dr. Amy Edwards, an infectious disease specialist at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, told CNN.

“But in the last three or four weeks, there has definitely been an uptick. And I would anticipate that to continue through the next several weeks,” she said.

According to the CDC, the average age of patients with MIS-C is 9 years old, with half of MIS-C cases in children between ages 5 and 13. There have been 46 deaths so far.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) has also seen an increase in MIS-C cases in late September, occurring roughly 9 weeks after the region saw a spike in COVID-19 cases, reported CNN.

However, Jennifer Burkhardt, a CHOA spokesperson, told CNN that the condition is still considered rare, and has developed in less than 5 percent of more than 7,000 children treated for COVID-19 at CHOA.

San Francisco to ease some indoor mask mandates, announces mayor

San Francisco will start easing certain indoor masking rules beginning Oct. 15, as long as new coronavirus infections and hospitalizations decline or remain stable, city officials said, reported The Washington Post.

“I’m excited that we’re once again at a place where we can begin easing the mask requirements, which is the direct result of the fact that we have one of the highest vaccination rates in the country, our cases have fallen, and our residents have done their part to keep themselves and those around them safe,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement.

The full criteria for eased mask mandates can be found at SF.gov.

According to a press release from the mayor’s office, even as masking restrictions lift, indoor masking will remain in effect where required under state or federal rules.

This includes public transportation, hospitals, jails, homeless shelters, and schools, as well as a recommendation for everyone to mask in large, crowded outdoor settings, and as a requirement if there is an outbreak of cases.

10/7/21 1:55 p.m. PDT — Over 140,000 children lost caregivers during pandemic

New research published in the journal Pediatrics finds the number of U.S. children orphaned during the COVID-19 pandemic is larger than previously believed. Black and Hispanic children experienced the greatest loss.

According to the CDC, these findings underscore “orphanhood” as an ongoing secondary tragedy caused by the pandemic.

The findings emphasize that caring for these children is a “necessary and urgent part” of our pandemic response, for as long as the pandemic continues, and in the post-pandemic era.

“We found that from April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, over 140,000 children in the US experienced the death of a parent or grandparent caregiver,” the study authors wrote.

According to researchers, the risk of this loss was up to 4.5 times higher for children of marginalized racial and ethnic groups, compared with non-Hispanic white children.

The highest burden of COVID-19-associated deaths of parents and caregivers happened in Southern border states for Hispanic children and Southeastern states for Black children, as well as states with reservation areas for Indigenous populations.

“During 15 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, 120,630 children in the US experienced death of a primary caregiver, including parents and grandparents providing basic needs, because of COVID-19-associated death,” researchers wrote.

Another 22,007 children experienced death of secondary caregivers, according to researchers, bringing the total number to more than 140,000.

Finland joins Sweden and Denmark to limit Moderna vaccine

Today, Finland joined Sweden and Denmark to pause use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for younger people, reported Reuters.

Finland will now limit the vaccine’s use in younger males due to reports of a rare side effect.

“A Nordic study involving Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark found that men under the age of 30 who received Moderna Spikevax had a slightly higher risk than others of developing myocarditis,” said Mika Salminen, PhD, director of the Finnish health institute, told Reuters.

According to Reuters, both Swedish and Danish health officials announced yesterday they would pause use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for all young adults and children, citing the same unpublished study.

Pfizer announces it will seek FDA approval to vaccinate 5- to 11-year-olds

Today, Pfizer and BioNTech announced on social media that they have submitted a request for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of their COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

“We and @BioNTech Group officially submitted our request to @US_FDA for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of our #COVID19 vaccine in children 5 to


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