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Coronavirus update: FDA considering kids’ vaccine

CDC says traveling to Ukraine is risky

COVID-19 classroom with teacher sanitizing children's hands
Photo (c) Halfpoint Images - Getty Images
Coronavirus (COVID-19) ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 45,558,326 (45,445,118)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 737,615 (735,943)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 244,264,890 (243,805,577)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 4,959,865 (4,951,264)‌

FDA panel meets to consider vaccinations for kids

Scientists advising the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will meet today to discuss vaccinating young children against the coronavirus. Specifically, the medical experts will review data on whether the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective when given to children between the ages of five and 11.

The FDA has already signaled its acceptance of the vaccine’s use in children. Last week, it said results from a late-stage clinical trial appeared to check all the boxes for use in that age group.

The panel of experts, officially known as the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, will review scientific data about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness in children, then decide whether to recommend the health agency authorize its use.

CDC says travel to Ukraine is risky

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has placed Ukraine on its list of nations where a visit carries a “very high” risk of COVID-19. The country has been moved up to “Level 3” when it comes to the spread of the virus.

Previously this month, the CDC cautioned Americans about traveling to Singapore. It’s a very different situation from August, when the agency warned about travel to 16 countries where the risk from the virus was high.

To reach the “very high” risk category, a country must report more than 500 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.

Pandemic has affected decision-making, survey finds

Among the many repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study suggests that it has made it harder for many people to make basic decisions. The survey from the American Psychological Association says the effects are most pronounced among young adults.

The survey found that nearly one-third of Americans agreed that sometimes they are so stressed about the coronavirus pandemic that they struggle to make even basic decisions, such as what to wear or what to eat. Forty-eight percent of millennials were likely to struggle with basic decisions, much higher than the rest of the population.

“The pandemic has imposed a regimen of constant risk assessment upon many,” said Arthur Evans Jr., CEO of the organization. “Each day brings an onslaught of choices with an ever-changing context as routines are upended and once trivial daily tasks are recast in the light of pandemic life.”

Around the nation

  • New Jersey: Gov. Phil Murphy’s Republican opponent in the race for governor is elevating the pandemic and the state’s response to it as a prime campaign issue. A recent poll shows that 25% of New Jersey residents think Murphy has done a “bad” job of handling the pandemic

  • California: The Los Angeles Times reports that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s directive that state workers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing is not being followed by a number of agencies. It reports that a number of agencies have low vaccination rates. Nearly 6,700 forest service employees are either not vaccinated or have declined to provide their status. Cal Fire said it is testing just 75 employees.

  • Alabama: Gov. Kay Ivey has signed an executive order to fight what she calls “the overreaching covid-19 vaccine mandates from the federal government.” Alabamians – and Americans alike – should and must have the choice to roll up their sleeves to get this shot and certainly not be forced by the government, she said. 

  • Connecticut: Connecticut’s metrics are improving except for one area; hospitalizations have remained around 200 for the last few weeks.“Generally the peak of people hospitalized will lag the peak of the prevalence of the community, once we see it go down a bit in the community, it takes a few weeks for the hospitalization rate to go down,” said Dr. Rick Martinello, medical director of infection prevention at Yale New Haven Health.

  • Utah: New cases of the virus rose by 8.8% in Utah in the week ending Sunday, as the state added 9,748 cases. That’s significantly higher than the 8,957 new cases of the virus that were reported the previous week, USA Today reports. Utah is among the states where the coronavirus is spreading the fastest.

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