Coronavirus update: Pfizer reports vaccine results for youngest children

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Scientists see some advantages from being infected and vaccinated

COVID-19 ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 83,291,791 (83,269,791)

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 1,002,178 (1,002,126)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 525,703,492 (525,430,667)

Total ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 6,277,424 (6,276,826)‌

Pfizer reports vaccine results for very small children

Pfizer and BioNTech, partners that developed one of the first approved COVID-19 vaccines, say three smaller doses of their vaccine are safe and effective when administered to young children between the ages of six months and five years.

The companies plan to cite results that were provided by a clinical trial as the basis for seeking emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later this week. According to the researchers who conducted the trial, antibody levels checked one month after the third dose showed that the vaccine produced a similar immune response as two doses in consumers between the ages of 16 and 25.

 “Our COVID-19 vaccine has been studied in thousands of children and adolescents, and we are pleased that our formulation for the youngest children, which we carefully selected to be one-tenth of the dose strength for adults, was well tolerated and produced a strong immune response,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.

Infection plus vaccination produces ‘super immunity,’ researchers say

Being vaccinated doesn’t mean you won’t get COVID-19. But if you do have a “breakthrough” case, researchers say the combination of being vaccinated and infected could have some benefits. Theodora Hatziioannou, a virologist and research associate professor at Rockefeller University, says it could produce a “hybrid” immunity.

“The use of the word hybrid is, for lack of a better term, what they are referring to is the immunity that a person acquires after having been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and then vaccinated, essentially trying to describe that you have had two slightly different exposures to the antigen, one via infection and one via vaccination,” she told NPR.

Hatziioannou says one advantage of the hybrid immunity produced by antibodies in the body is that the patient appears to have greater immunity against variants of the coronavirus.

Will monkeypox be the next pandemic?

Over the last two years, scientists around the world have learned how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, many are turning their attention to what may be a new public health threat – monkeypox.

So far, there have been only a limited number of cases of monkeypox – a disease that leaves distinctive blisters on the skin but rarely results in fatalities. Scientists are still learning about the disease but say people who have received a smallpox vaccination should have some protection against the disease.

Around the nation

  • New York: New York continues to be the national hot spot for the new subvariants of the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies 54 of NY's 62 counties as having a "high risk" for community COVID-19 spread. That number has more than doubled in the last three weeks, and the state's daily case total just hit a number unseen since January.

  • Wisconsin: State health officials say a number of different Omicron subvariants are behind a renewed spread of COVID-19 since late March. The state's seven-day average for new confirmed cases stood at just over 2,000, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

  • Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Coalition for Health Equity is calling for state officials to reinstate mask mandates across the state as cases of COVID-19 spread across New England. Some health experts believe the actual number of new cases is higher than what is being reported.

  • Tennessee: Gov. Bill Lee declined to sign Tennessee’s new “acquired immunity” law that equates a past COVID-19 infection with a vaccination when it comes to mandates imposed by governments and businesses. The legislation became law on Friday without the governor’s endorsement.

  • Arizona: The Arizona Department of Health Services updates its COVID-19 dashboard on a weekly basis, and the number of new cases has risen every week over the last month. However, health officials say the current number is still 96% below the January peak.

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