FDA panel to review Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for children ages six months to 4 years on June 15

The Food and Drug Administration said Monday that an advisory group will meet on June 15 to discuss the use of vaccines developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, as well as one developed by Moderna MRNA,
in children aged 6 months to four years.

The announcement came after Pfizer and BioNTech said three doses of their vaccine were shown to be 80% effective in preventing symptomatic infections in children in this cohort.

If the panel adopts a positive opinion on the vaccines, the FDA could authorize them as soon as June 16 or 17, relieving the parents of children who will finally be eligible for vaccination.

The news comes as COVID cases continue to rise in the United States and are trending to the highest levels seen since March, driven by omicron’s BA.2 variant and two other subvariants that appear to be even more contagious. .

The United States is seeing an average of 107,316 cases a day, up 46% from two weeks ago, according to a New York Times tracker. Cases are higher in almost every state, but the Northeast and Midwest are particularly hard hit with case reports in both regions now higher than they were at the height of the Delta surge. last summer. There are fears that the number of cases could be even higher, as many people are now testing from home and data is not being collected.

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Also see: COVID-19 reminders for children will be rolled out

The country is recording an average of 24,747 hospitalizations per day, up 28% from two weeks ago. The daily death toll has fallen to an average of 312, down 15% from two weeks ago.

The presumptive Republican candidate for governor of Connecticut has tested positive for COVID, a day after attending a face mask group’s so-called ‘Freedom Family Cookout’. reported the New York Times.

Bob Stefanowski said in a statement that he was asymptomatic. “I’m vaccinated, boosted and feeling great so far. I will continue to follow all CDC protocols,” he said.

Connecticut is one of the northeastern states that has seen a sharp rise in cases in recent months. Stefanowski had tweeted images of him enjoying the event.

Coronavirus update: MarketWatch’s Daily Roundup organizes and reports all the latest developments each day of the week since the start of the coronavirus pandemic

Other COVID-19 news you should know:

• Airbnb ABNB,
plans to shut down its domestic operations in China after harsh COVID-19 shutdowns compounded the pain of growing local competition, according to people familiar with its decision, The Wall Street Journal reported. Bookings for stays and experiences in China typically make up about 1% of Airbnb’s overall revenue, the sources said. The flatshare company is a small competitor in China’s travel industry. It had more than 500,000 active properties through April, according to market research firm AirDNA, out of its more than 6 million active global listings.

See now: Philadelphia reinstates face mask mandate for students and teachers, and WHO chief warns pandemic ‘definitely not over’

If you already had the Covid, why can you have it again? The WSJ’s Daniela Hernandez explains what the possibility of reinfections means for the future of public health policy and the Covid-19 pandemic. Illustration: David Croc

• China is trying to manage its biggest coronavirus outbreak without a tool it could have adopted months ago, the kind of vaccines that have been shown to offer the best protection against the worst COVID-19 outcomes, reports the Associated Press. As early as spring 2020, a Chinese pharmaceutical company, Fosun Pharma, entered into an agreement to distribute – and eventually manufacture – the mRNA vaccine manufactured by Pfizer PFE,
and BioNTech BNTX,
It has still not been authorized in mainland China, although it has been authorized for use by separate authorities in Hong Kong and Macao. Now health experts say the delay — the result of putting politics and national pride above public health — could lead to preventable coronavirus deaths and deeper economic losses, as entire cities would be locked down to isolate the country’s unprotected population.

• In another sign of changing times, TaskRabbit announced on Monday that it was closing its offices, including its San Francisco headquarters, and moving to a “remote first” work policy, Mike reported. Murphy from MarketWatch. “For us, remote priority is the concept of making virtual work and remote participation the priority and the primary way our employees work, with all other ways of showing up for work as secondary,” the company said. company in a press release. “Most importantly, distance first refers to How? ‘Or’ What we work rather than where we work. The company said it polled employees a few times a year during the pandemic about the importance of flexibility and maintaining a work/life balance.

• Billionaires around the world – especially those in the food and energy sectors – raked it in the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbating wealth inequality at a time when low-income people were become poorer and sicker, reported Emma Ockerman of MarketWatch. In fact, 573 new billionaires have sprung up in the past two years of the global health crisis, according to a report from global charity Oxfam, released just as the global elite and ultra-rich gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum this week. This means that the pandemic has created a billionaire “at the rate of one every 30 hours”, according to the report, while around 263 million more people are expected to fall into extreme poverty this year, a rate of 1 million. people every 33 hours.

Here’s what the numbers say

The global tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases topped 526.13 million on Monday, while the death toll topped 6.27 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.

The United States leads the world with 83.5 million cases and 1,002,542 deaths.

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tracker shows that 220.9 million people living in the United States are fully immunized, or 66.5% of the total population. But only 102.8 million had a first booster, or 46.5% of the vaccinated population.

Only 12.5 million people aged 50 and over eligible for a second booster had one, or 20% of those who had a first booster.

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