An advisory panel of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet on 2 November to discuss the use of Covid-19 vaccines in children aged between 5 and 11 years, Reuters reports.
Advisors to the US Food and Drug Administration had on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to recommend that the regulator authorise Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine for younger children. The jab has been authorised for ages 12-15 since May and it was cleared for those aged 16 and above in December last year.
The US administered 416,154,424 doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the country as of Wednesday morning and distributed 507,637,305 doses, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Those figures are up from the 415,012,026 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by 26 October out of 504,584,715 doses delivered. The agency said 220,936,118 people had received at least one dose while 190,990,750 people are fully vaccinated as of 6.00am ET on Wednesday, Reuters reports.
The CDC says the seven day average of Covid cases in the U.S is down 16% to 765,900 per day, Reuters reports.
Another In-N-Out restaurant in California was forced to close after refusing to enforce Covid-19 vaccination rules.
Health officials in Contra Costa county indefinitely shut the Pleasant Hill location of the popular burger chain on Tuesday after it ignored repeated warnings to verify that customers who wanted to dine indoors had vaccination cards or proof they had tested negative for the virus in the past 72 hours.
Public health authorities see vaccination enforcement requirements as vital tools in slowing Covid-19 at a time when 1,500 or more Americans are dying each day from the virus. However, In-N-Out, based in Irvine, in southern California, has consistently refused to heed the requirements in the Bay Area, which are some of the strictest in the state.
“We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government. It is unreasonable, invasive, and unsafe to force our restaurant associates to segregate customers into those who may be served and those who may not,” In-N-Out said in a statement.
The persistent syndrome of Covid-19 after-effects can develop after “breakthrough” infections in vaccinated people, a study shows.
Researchers at Oxford University in the UK reviewed data on nearly 20,000 US Covid-19 patients, half of whom had been vaccinated.
Compared to unvaccinated patients, people who were fully vaccinated – and in particular those under age 60 – did have lower risks for death and serious complications such as lung failure, need for mechanical ventilation, ICU admission, life-threatening blood clots, seizures, and psychosis.
“On the other hand,” the research team reported on medRxiv ahead of peer review, “previous vaccination does not appear to protect against several previously documented outcomes of Covid-19 such as long Covid features, arrhythmia, joint pain, Type 2 diabetes, liver disease, sleep disorders, and mood and anxiety disorders.”
The absence of protection from long Covid “is concerning given the high incidence and burden” of these lasting problems, they added, Reuters reports.
That is it from me, Hannah Ritchie, this evening. Nadeem Badshah is taking over shortly to bring you more coronavirus updates from the UK and around the world.
Here’s a quick summary of today’s key stories before I go:
- The UK recorded 43,941 new Covid-19 cases Wednesday and 207 more people have died within 28 days of a positive test, official figures show.
- Opposition leader Keir Starmer missed PMQs and his chance to respond to the government’s new budget after testing positive for coronavirus this morning.
- Europe was the only region in the world to report an increase in both Covid-19 cases and deaths this week, according to the WHO’s latest epidemiological update.
- Covid-19 infections continue to surge across Eastern Europe in particular, with reported cases rising in Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic today.
- Novavax Inc. has filed for authorisation of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate in the UK.
- A landmark licensing deal between Merck and the UN-backed Medicines Patent Pool could expand access to the company’s antiviral Covid-19 pill throughout the developing world.
Labour leader Keir Starmer has posted a video update on Twitter after testing positive for Covid-19 Wednesday and missing his chance to respond to the government’s new budget.
“I’m fine but it is obviously important we all follow the rules. But wasn’t Ed Miliband at PMQs and Rachel Reeves in the Budget response just brilliant?,” he told his followers.
Children and teenagers across the US could receive Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine within the coming weeks, the company’s CEO Stéphane Bancel told Reuters Wednesday.
Bancel said children aged 6 through 11 could get Moderna shots by the end of this year, and that the company plans to apply for US regulatory clearance for that age group “very soon”.
“It’s entirely possible that this side of Christmas, children 6 to 11 years of age would have access to Moderna’s vaccine,” Bancel told Reuters.
In June, Moderna applied for US authorisation of its vaccine for children and teenagers aged 12 to 17, a process which is still ongoing.
Novavax files for authorisation of its Covid-19 vaccine in the UK
Novavax Inc. announced Wednesday it had completed its rolling regulatory submission to the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for authorisation of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate.
The application is based on clinical data from a phase 3 trial involving 15,000 volunteers in the UK, in which the vaccine “demonstrated efficacy of 96.4% against the original virus strain, 86.3% against the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant and 89.7% efficacy overall.”
The submission also includes supporting data from a 30,000-person clinical trial in the US and Mexico, which demonstrated “100% protection against moderate and severe disease and 90.4% efficacy overall,” according to Novavax.
If approved, Novavax will be the first protein-based vaccine available in the UK.
Europe was the only region in the world to report an increase in both Covid-19 cases and deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday.
Europe reported a rise in cases for the fourth consecutive week, amounting to a 18% increase in infections compared with the previous week. The region also saw a 14% increase in deaths week on week, according to WHO’s weekly epidemiological update.
The figures represent more than 1.6 million new cases across Europe and over 21,000 deaths.
With over 513,000 new cases, the United States reported the highest number of infections last week, the UK was second, followed by Russia.
Singapore has reached a grim milestone, reporting its highest single-day rise in Covid-19 infections since the pandemic began.
The health ministry reported 5,324 new cases Wednesday, and 10 more coronavirus related deaths.
Infections have surged in Singapore following the relaxation of some restrictions earlier this month, prompting the country to pause plans for a full reopening.
Last week, public health officials warned that Singapore’s hospitals are at risk of being “overwhelmed”, after the country reported its highest ever daily death toll.
Of the country’s 366 ICU beds in public hospitals, 306 have occupants and 171 of those patients are being treated for coronavirus, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health Monday.
Over 80% of Singapore’s total population are fully vaccinated against the virus.