“I think it will happen,” the source familiar with the plan said, adding that “there is growing concern from the FDA” that U.S. data will begin to show more hospitalizations among people under 65 who have been fully vaccinated.
Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized booster shots for people 65 and older who received the second shot of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago. For younger people, reinforcement is only allowed for certain groups, such as those with certain health conditions or those working in jobs that put them at high risk of contracting Covid-19.
Although Moderna’s promoters don’t yet have authorization, a group of FDA advisers recommended last week that Moderna receive the same standards as Pfizer’s promoters. They also recommended that people of all ages receiving a Johnson & Johnson vaccine receive a booster, which is also awaiting authorization, two months after its original shot.
If the FDA finally backed down the age reduction for boosters, the plan would go to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for signature. Vaccine advisers from this agency are meeting this week to discuss Covid-19 booster shots.
As the colder months approach, experts have warned that the best way to control the spread of Covid-19 is through vaccination. But there have been obstacles to reaching the level of the vast majority of the population that needed to be vaccinated.
“Yes, the vaccine protects you, but (what) protects you even better if everyone around you is vaccinated,” CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen said this week. “We vaccinate ourselves as healthy people in part to protect the most vulnerable among us.”
And for vulnerable populations, experts have stated that a booster dose may be helpful in maintaining protection or reaching adequate levels for people who might not get a sufficient immune response with their initial doses.
The numbers are declining in children, but experts remain concerned
Rates of serious illness are lower in children than in other age groups, but health officials are still concerned about pediatric infections.
More than 1.1 million cases of coronavirus infection have been diagnosed in children in the past six weeks, the group said.
In total, 6,177,946 cases of children have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic and children account for 16.4% of all cases.
“Available data indicate that hospitalization and death associated with COVID-19 are uncommon in children,” the group adds.
Children are also less likely than adults to suffer from serious illnesses. Hospitalizations were recorded in 24 states and in New York City. Children accounted for between 1.6% and 4.2% of the total accumulated hospitalizations. According to the report, between 0.1% and 2.0% of all child cases were hospitalized.
The CDC reports that 691 children have died from Covid-19.
Currently, vaccines are only available for children up to 12 years old, but new data show that vaccinated teens are well protected.
Schools try to test instead of isolating exposed students
Many students across the country are not yet eligible for vaccination, but are returning to their classrooms, leaving officials and experts to navigate while keeping them safe in group settings.
Some schools have implemented strict quarantine and isolation policies for children who are exposed to the virus, but the CDC is working with selected school districts across the country to evaluate permanence testing programs, which involve testing (rather than putting -the quarantined ones) to students. which may have been exposed to Covid-19 at school.
If exposed students test negative and show no symptoms, they can continue to go to school in person. If they test positive, they should be isolated at home.
“At Marietta we’ve been tracking students who give positive results through the permanence test, and it’s 3%,” Grant Rivera, superintendent of Marietta City Schools in Georgia, told CNN on Monday.
“Three percent of our students who participate in positive tests to prove their stay, that is, we can keep 97% in class,” Rivera said. “This is a measure of success.”
According to a traditional quarantine program, 97% of students who tested negative would still stay home from school.
“I think for the foreseeable future, we will be here every morning for a school day to make sure our kids have that option,” Rivera said about the permanence test.
The CDC points out on its website that permanence testing may be a practice that consists of regular testing and contact tracking, but it also maintains “layered prevention strategies, such as universal masking, to reduce the spread of Covid-19. “.
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