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Coronavirus update: Pfizer applies to vaccinate children

Unvaccinated people with COVID-19 likely to be reinfected, study finds

Young girl getting COVID-19 shot from doctor
Photo (c) zoranm - Getty Images
Coronavirus‌ ‌(COVID-19)‌ ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 44,096,019 (43,990,314)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 708,434 (706,522)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 236,742,215 (236,044,100)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 4,832,862 (4,820,945)‌

Pfizer seeks to vaccinate children five to 11

Pfizer has filed papers with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking approval to use its vaccine to inoculate children between the ages of five and 11. Currently, the vaccine is only approved for individuals 12 and older.

If the FDA agrees, young children would receive two injections of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with the second shot coming three weeks after the first. Before a decision is made, the clinical trial data will be reviewed by an FDA advisory committee.

A number of states have traced the rise in COVID-19 cases to various school districts, whose officials have urged regulators to approve vaccinations for children. Schools have emerged as a likely venue for vaccinations, much the way they were for the polio vaccine 60 years ago.

Unvaccinated people with COVID-19 are more likely to be reinfected

If you get COVID-19 and recover, you are likely to gain some immunity from future infection, at least for a while. Researchers at Yale University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte have found that the protection unvaccinated people get from the infection doesn’t last very long.

“Reinfection can reasonably happen in three months or less,” said lead study author Jeffrey Townsend. “Therefore, those who have been naturally infected should get vaccinated. Previous infection alone can offer very little long-term protection against subsequent infections.”

The researchers came to that conclusion by analyzing reinfection and immunological data. They believe they were able to accurately model COVID-19 reinfection risk over time.

Employees more stressed by work than COVID-19, survey finds

Much has been made about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Americans’ mental health. The isolation and disruption to daily routines are often cited as major factors.

But a new survey by The Conference Board shows that 57% of workers who cited mental health issues didn’t trace their problems to worry about the pandemic; they blamed it on their mounting workload. Women are disproportionately suffering from work-related pressures -- at more than 1.5 times the rate of their male counterparts. 

Half of the respondents reported that pressure related to their workloads harmed their mental health. Many businesses in a variety of industries have struggled to maintain pre-pandemic workforces, requiring more work from the remaining staff.

Around the nation

  • New Jersey: State health officials say school-based outbreaks are on the rise in New Jersey. The state has experienced at least 69 outbreaks in schools that have infected 319 students and 60 staff members. Overall, Gov. Phil Murphy says the state’s numbers are “going in the right direction.”

  • Nebraska: On a statewide basis, the COVID-19 case numbers in Nebraska are falling. Federal health officials say new cases in the state dropped nearly 17% over the past week. As of last Thursday, the 7-day average of cases stood at 670. The numbers are still rising in some rural areas of the state.

  • Colorado: The number of COVID-19 patients in Colorado hospitals hit its highest level this week since January, before the vaccine rollout. A frustrated Gov. Jared Polis said reversing the trend would be easy if more state residents would get a vaccination.

  • Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered school districts across the state not to impose mask mandates, but 102 school districts have done it anyway. An analysis by KXAN-TV in Austin shows that districts that have imposed mask mandates have reported fewer cases of COVID-19.

  • Illinois: The City of Chicago has fined six more businesses for violations of the city’s mask mandate. Inspectors issued citations to 12 businesses last week. Under the mandate, places of business must require any individual, regardless of vaccination status, age two or older, to wear a mask when indoors in any public place. 

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