FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for kids 5 to 11Posted by Robert Leonard / October 31, 2021
Earlier this week, an FDA advisory panel unanimously recommended (including one abstention) that kids aged 5-11 get the low-dose version of Pfizer’s vaccine. Now, the FDA has authorized the vaccine for that age group.
Almost one month ago, Pfizer sent data tot he FDA in order to get approval for vaccines among children 5 to 11.
Last month, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that they were planning to ask regulators for approval to administer vaccines to children older than five. If granted, that should help reduce the risk COVID poses to school children.
According to the WHO, COVID will continue to mutate––just as the flu does––and it’s therefore going to be here to stay. Moderna is actually developing a single-dose booster shot that will cover both the flue and COVID.
The US has hit a new COVID milestones: 40 million cases. And the Delta variant is only just warming up––the former commissioner of the FDA has said that we haven’t seen the real Delta surge yet. It will come, he suggests, after Labor Day travelers spread the variant.
There’s no end to the COVID surge in sight, but Tennessee is already running out of hospital space. Hospitals in high-COVID areas, especially the South, are running out of oxygen. For example, sixty-eight Florida hospitals are running out of oxygen––they have only two days left before running out.
A small Texas town called Iraan, popular 1,200, has effectively shut down. First the school district closed, and then the city building. At least one resident has been airlifted out of Texas due to a lack of hospital beds.
Houston is in similarly dire straits. An ER doctor in Houston has described hundreds of patients waiting for admission, but a lack of beds means they’re stuck in a holding pattern. As early as last week, another Houston doctor has said the ICU in his hospital is “like a war zone.” Throughout the city, hospitals are erecting tents in preparation for the Delta surge filling up their ICUs.
The Delta variant has filled Mississippi hospitals with patients. Anyone who arrives at the hospital by ambulance simply won’t have space––they’ll be stuck in the hallways with a gurney.
The state of Florida has requested 300 ventilators from the federal government as cases continue to rise. Nevertheless, the state has done very little to slow the spread of the virus. Sad case in point: a vocal anti-vaccine activist broadcaster in Florida has died of COVID. His death is unfortunate, but it is a sign of how dangerous refusing the vaccine can be––and worse, how dangerous making people feel bad about getting vaccinated can be. In a sign of just how polarizing the vaccine has become, some Missourians are getting vaccinated in secret to avoid backlash from their families.
Just three states––Florida, Missouri, and Texas––account for 40% of the nation’s COVID surge. All three states are severely lagging in vaccination rates.
The US has extended its public health emergency as the Delta variant causes a new COVID surge. The number of COVID cases has tripled in the States––mostly among the unvaccinated––and misinformation about the virus and vaccine has only hindered vaccination rates.
While much of the country is returning to pre-COVID life, a Delta-driven surge has returned Arkansas to the kind of fear and suffering not seen since this time last year. Canada’s vaccination rate has overtaken the United States’s as of July 16, with 48.65% of its citizens fully vaccinated as compared to 48.05%.
The US’s slowing vaccination rates are causing issues. A hospital in Springfield, Missouri has opened its 6th virus ward as the Delta variant rages across the state.
During the past two weeks in Springfield, there has been a 225% increase in hospitalizations since June 1, in large part thanks to the new Delta variant. The Delta variant, a more infectious variant of COVID-19, is infecting a rising number of people in rural Kansas and Missouri. The spread of the variant likely stems from the regions low vaccination rates.
The Delta variant has also been found in Arizona. Its arrival is alarming because, so far, only a handful of states have reached the goal of a 70% vaccination rate. Anheuser-Busch is even giving away free beer when America reaches its vaccine goal. The fewer people who are fully vaccinated, the more likely there is to be another surge or new variants.
Fully vaccinated people in several southern California towns have tested positive for COVID, serving as a reminder that the vaccines are not 100% effective and thus as many people as possible need to get it. COVID rates are slowing in the South and the plains states, worrying health experts. Appointments for the first COVID shot have plummeted by about 50% in Los Angeles, worrying public health officials in a state thrashed by the virus.
The World Health Organization has classified a COVID variant from India as a global health risk because of its highly contagious nature and evidence suggesting that it can evade some vaccine protections.