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Coronavirus update: CDC experts consider Pfizer vaccine for young children

More people quit ahead of vaccination mandates

COVID-19 vaccine doses
Photo (c) Morsa Images - Getty Images
Coronavirus (COVID-19) ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 46,099,376 (46,006,251)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 747,296 (746,289)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 247,286,553 (246,929,884)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 5,009,199 (5,003,404)‌

CDC panel considering Pfizer vaccine for kids

After getting a green light from one advisory committee, a panel of experts advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is preparing to take up the issue of using the Pfizer vaccine to inoculate children between the ages of five and 11.

A committee advising the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already endorsed the vaccine for that use. Backing from the CDC panel of experts would likely clear the way for millions of young children to get the shot.

Many states have already obtained supplies of child-sized vaccine doses in anticipation of approval. Children would get a much smaller dose of the vaccine than adults have received.

COVID-19 may be fueling the ‘Great Resignation’

Americans are continuing to quit their jobs, and economists attribute most of the resignations to people seeking a change in lifestyle after months of the pandemic. However, some people point to vaccination mandates as the main culprit. Under the mandates, employees who refuse to get the shot will lose their jobs.

Reuters did a deep dive and found that nearly half of the employees at two aircraft companies -- Textron Inc and Spirit AeroSystems -- are not vaccinated, despite a mandate. That’s about 5,000 people who could be headed to the unemployment line.

Cornell Adams, head of a local Machinists union district in Texas, said the vaccine itself is not the objection. He says workers are more upset about being ordered to get vaccinated. "We're going to lose a lot of employees over this," Adams said.

Scientists identify new virus-fighting antibody

Duke and North Carolina may be big rivals on the basketball court, but their scientists are working together on new treatments for COVID-19. Researchers from the two universities report that their collaboration has produced an antibody that limits the severity of infections from the virus.

The antibody was identified by scientists working at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI). It was then tested in animal models at UNC-Chapel Hill. Researchers published their findings on Nov. 2 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

“This antibody has the potential to be a therapeutic for the current epidemic,” said co-senior author Barton Haynes, M.D., director of DHVI. “It could also be available for future outbreaks, if or when other coronaviruses jump from their natural animal hosts to humans.”

Around the nation

  • Florida: State health officials are optimistic that the state has turned the corner in its battle with COVID-19. The number of daily cases has dropped for nearly two weeks. The 12,880 cases reported from Oct. 22-29 is 92% lower than the daily caseload in August.

  • New York: As many as 9,000 New York City employees are now on unpaid leave following yesterday’s deadline to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Mayor Bill de Blasio said about half that number of employees have submitted exemption requests that have not yet been processed.

  • Nebraska: Gov. Pete Ricketts has ordered state agencies not to comply with the U.S. government vaccination mandate. Ricketts said Monday that Nebraska’s attorney general would seek an injunction as soon as the requirements were announced.

  • Alaska: State Medical Examiner Dr. Anne Zink is calling on public officials to stop spreading misinformation about the virus and the vaccines. She said these officials should work toward building trust. “I think as scientists, as health care professionals, and as public health professionals, we need to do a better job about communicating the science in a way that people can understand, that they can feel comfortable asking questions,” she said.

  • Maine: Hospitals across the state are working with fewer employees this week because a state mandate for hospital workers to be vaccinated took effect. Health officials say hundreds of employees quit or were fired at the end of last week but that the vast majority have been vaccinated.

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