Dear Parents, Kids Need Camp
As a pediatrician and a pediatric psychiatrist, we have watched children in New York City experience tremendous challenges over the last 17 months. Like anyone who has spent time with or worked with kids during this phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are thinking carefully about what is safe for kids and how to balance the relative risks of COVID-19 with the risks of the social isolation, decreased physical activity, disruption of normal childhood activities, and loss that the past year has brought.
How do we encourage children to foster relationships past the computer screen and recondition them — and ourselves! — in a gentle, supportive way to be comfortable once again with navigating social interactions and new routines?
Pfizer Fails to Convince FDA on Immediate Need for COVID Booster Shots
After meeting with Pfizer executives Monday, U.S. regulators said they are still not ready to recommend COVID vaccine booster shots.
Pfizer executives met privately with U.S. senior scientists and regulators Monday evening to press their case for quick authorization of COVID booster vaccines amid pushback from federal health agencies who last week said the extra doses are not needed.
The COVID Lab Leak Hypothesis: Did the Media Fall Victim to a Misinformation Campaign?
For most of 2020, the notion that SARS-CoV-2 may have originated in a lab in Wuhan, China, was treated as a thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory. Only conservative news media sympathetic to President Donald Trump and a few lonely reports dared suggest otherwise. But that all changed in the early months of 2021, and today most outlets across the political spectrum agree: the “lab leak” scenario deserves serious investigation.
Understanding this dramatic U turn on arguably the most important question for preventing a future pandemic, and why it took nearly a year to happen, involves understanding contemporary science journalism.
WHO Warns Against People Mixing and Matching COVID Vaccines
The World Health Organization’s chief scientist on Monday advised against people mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines from different manufacturers, calling it a “dangerous trend” since more data is needed about the health impact.
“It’s a little bit of a dangerous trend here,” Soumya Swaminathan told an online briefing. “It will be a chaotic situation in countries if citizens start deciding when and who will be taking a second, a third and a fourth dose.”
Health Official Fired in Retaliation for Coronavirus Vaccine Guidance for Teens, She Says
Tennessee fired its top immunization official Monday, the official said, in retaliation for her attempts to let teenagers choose whether to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
Michelle Fiscus said she was fired from her job as director of immunization programs at the Tennessee Department of Health on Monday afternoon as retaliation for the department’s efforts to vaccinate teenagers against the coronavirus, a plan that angered several state lawmakers.
J&J, Astrazeneca Explore COVID Vaccine Modification in Response to Rare Blood Clots
Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca PLC and the University of Oxford, along with outside scientists, are conducting early-stage research into whether potential modifications of their COVID-19 vaccines could reduce or eliminate the risk of rare but serious blood clots associated with the shots, according to people close to the process.
Fast-developing clues into how the clots form — driven in part by independent scientists in Europe, the U.S. and Canada — are boosting hopes of identifying the cause and possibly re-engineering AstraZeneca’s shot by next year, according to some of these people. It is too early to know whether either shot can be modified, or whether doing so would make commercial sense, these people say.
Fauci Says He Would Be ‘Astounded’ if Pfizer, Moderna and J&J COVID Vaccines Don’t Get Full FDA Approval
White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci fully expects the coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson will receive full approval from U.S. drug regulators, he told CNBC on Tuesday.
“The data are about as good as it gets. … I would be astounded if these vaccines, namely the mRNA and the J&J, didn’t get full approval,” Fauci said on “Squawk Box.”
Merkel Tells Germans to Get Vaccinated for ‘More Freedom’
Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday urged Germans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying the more people get the shot “the more free we will be again.”
Vaccination rates in Germany have slowed in recent weeks. About 58.7% of the population has received at least one shot and 43% are fully vaccinated, according to official figures.