Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine will not be available anytime soon for children under 5.
In early testing, the lower dose given to children 2 to 5 years old did not produce as much immune protection as injections given to other age groups, a Pfizer scientist said on Wednesday in an interview. meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee, developing the information provided. at the end of last year.
The company hopes that a third dose of vaccine eight weeks after the first two injections will provide the desired efficacy, said Dr Alejandra Gurtman, vice president of clinical vaccine research and development at Pfizer, in a statement. Immunization Practices Advisory Committee meeting.
But that does mean waiting until the end of March or early April for results, she said, allowing time for the children in the trial to receive a third injection and then test their immune responses.
“It could be a three-dose vaccine,” Gurtman said, adding that Pfizer-BioNTech was also testing a third dose in children aged 5 to 12.
The vaccine has been shown to be safe in young children, she said, as it was for older children and adults.
Also in the news:
► COVID-19 indicators for New Hampshire rose sharply last week after three weeks of steady declines. The number of new cases per day is now almost double what it was at the peak of the first wave at the end of 2020.
► Alaska Airlines is cutting its remaining flight schedule by 10% in January as it continues to tackle COVID-19 employee shortages and recent inclement weather.
► More than 1,000 police, firefighters and paramedics in the Los Angeles area were sick or in home quarantine Tuesday after testing positive.
??The numbers of the day: The United States has recorded more than 58 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 833,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: Over 300 million cases and 5.4 million deaths. More than 207 million Americans – 62.4% – are fully immunized, according to the CDC.
??What we read: A new study indicates that the technology used in mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 could also be used in the treatment of heart disease, offering hope to millions of people.
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WHO: record number of cases worldwide, but fewer deaths
The World Health Organization said on Thursday the world reported a record 9.5 million cases of COVID-19 in the past week, a 71% increase from the previous week.
But unlike the rapid increase in the number of cases, which the WHO has likened to a “tsunami,” the number of deaths reported each week has declined.
“Last week, the highest number of COVID-19 cases were reported so far in the pandemic,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. He added that the WHO was certain it was an underestimate due to a delay in testing around the year-end vacation.
The United Nations health agency said the weekly number of COVID-19 cases reached 9,520,488 new cases. 41,178 deaths were recorded last week, up from 44,680 the previous week.
Mayo Clinic fires 700 workers who missed vaccination mandate deadline
The Mayo Clinic, one of the best healthcare systems in the United States, laid off 700 employees this week who failed to meet the organization’s mandate to get vaccinated on Monday, January 3.
Mayo said workers would lose their jobs if they didn’t meet the company’s deadline, which was to either receive a dose of the vaccine or be late for a second dose. Mayo said he granted the majority of medical and religious exemption requests, according to the New York Times.
Last summer, New York state imposed the vaccination mandate on healthcare workers, which allows medical exemptions, but not those based on religious objections.
In October 2021, New York health care provider Northwell Health announced that 1,400 employees would quit their jobs after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
New York health care workers have filed a lawsuit, claiming in a lawsuit that the lack of a religious exemption violates their First Amendment right to practice religion. But in December, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the state’s tenure to continue without religious exemptions.
Contribution: The Associated Press