Pfizer to donate 500M COVID vaccine doses to US for low-income nations

Moderna announced Thursday that it has applied for an “emergency clearance” from the Food and Drug Administration for its COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12-17.

The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine has already received FDA approval for children ages 12 and up. Access to vaccines for children is a critical part of efforts to normalize classroom learning in just over two months in some school districts for the 2020-21 school year.

Moderna, which had previously applied for adolescent approval with Health Canada and the European Medicines Agency, planned to file a similar application with authorities around the world.

“We remain determined to help end the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, in a statement.

Also on the news:

►Two passengers aboard MSC Cruises’ MSC Seaside ship tested positive for COVID-19 and disembarked on Tuesday during a scheduled port visit in Sicily, Italy. MSC Cruises has been sailing in Europe again and again since August.

►Ohio has two more Vax-a-Million winners: Mark Cline of Richwood, Union County won $ 1 million and Sara Afaneh of Sheffield Lake, Lorain County won a four-year college scholarship, the Ohio Lottery Commission announced on Wednesday night .

► Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine elicits several types of immune responses, a new study shows, making it extremely protective in the United States, as well as South Africa and Brazil, where a handful of different virus variants circulate.

►Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne, will emerge from its fourth pandemic lockdown on Friday. State officials say the lockdown will end in two weeks after only one new coronavirus case was discovered in the past 24 hours.

►Philadelphia ends its mask mandate for interiors on Friday and the last call at 11 p.m. for restaurants.

►California will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s mask guidelines for vaccinated people if it cancels its mask order on June 15, state health officials said Wednesday.

►Iowa will no longer allow residents to check their or their children’s vaccination histories on the state website, and says it wants to prevent employers from checking their workers’ vaccination status without permission.

📈 Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 33.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases and at least 598,300 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The global total: over 174.4 million cases and over 3.75 million deaths. Almost 140.8 million Americans have been fully vaccinated – 42.5% of the population, according to the CDC.

📘 What we read: While Americans are getting the coronavirus vaccine, a report released Wednesday found that teens and adults may have missed millions of routine vaccinations recommended by the CDC in 2020.

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Stop the fireworks: Biden July 4th vaccination target may be out of range

President Joe Biden’s vaccine goal for America – 70% of adults will get at least one COVID-19 shot by July 4th – is starting to look like a long shot. If the jabs continue at their current pace, Biden will miss this benchmark. Over the past week, an average of around 365,000 adults have received their first vaccine every day. To achieve Biden’s goal, that number needs to rise to around 630,000 adults who are re-vaccinated every day. The pace of vaccine administration has declined significantly from its peak in early April, when more than 2 million adults were reported newly vaccinated every day.

– Janie Haseman

Pfizer and BioNTech donate 500 million vaccine doses

Pfizer and BioNTech on Thursday announced plans to donate 500 million cans to the US government for distribution to 92 low-income countries and the African Union. The news confirms Wednesday’s report on President Joe Biden’s upcoming announcement of the G-7 summit. Vaccine inequality has become an increasingly pressing problem and the World Health Organization has warned of a “two-pronged pandemic” as wealthy nations vaccinate large swaths of their populations and developing countries face the havoc of the coronavirus.

In a June 3 report, Oxfam International said that of the 1.77 billion doses administered worldwide to date, 28% went to people in G-7 countries and only 0.3% went to low-income countries. Such inequality could prolong the pandemic and allow dangerous variants to emerge if the virus continues to spread.

Add DC hospitals to the growing number that require staff vaccinations

Most Washington, DC hospitals are demanding the COVID-19 vaccination from their staff and are joining a growing number of health systems and other companies across the country that are opting for the controversial mandate. The hospitals will each set their own deadline, the District of Columbia Hospital Association said in a statement on Tuesday. The hesitant vaccination has slowed progress in conquering the nation, and some health systems and other companies are trying to revive the vaccination momentum.

Jacqueline Bowens, President and CEO of the District of Columbia Hospital Association, said the consensus is an iteration of our hospitals’ commitment to safety by protecting our employees, patients and visitors from COVID-19.

Hundreds of thousands of Johnson & Johnson vaccines could be wasted

The falling demand and the ongoing impact of an 11-day hiatus on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine mean states have hundreds of thousands of doses that may expire before they can find ready weapons. That has changed in the last month. As of Wednesday, Arkansas alone had 93,271 doses of the unadministered J&J vaccine. Of these, 42,971 will expire on June 23 and 10,042 will expire on July 4, the Arkansas Department of Health said. In Ohio, the governor has warned that 200,000 J&J cans will have to be thrown on June 24 if they cannot find a taker.

“When we had more demand than supply could meet, the expiration date wasn’t a problem. The vaccine was used up as quickly as it came in, ”said Dr. Kelly Moore, associate director of the Immunization Action Coalition.

– Elizabeth way

California regulators are withdrawing controversial work mask rules

California’s workplace regulators have reversed for the second time in a week. They withdrew a controversial, pending mask ordinance late Wednesday. That gives them time to ponder a rule that better aligns with Governor Gavin Newsom’s promise that the state will reopen fully on the Tuesday following the pandemic.

The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board’s revised rule would only have allowed workers to forego masks if every employee in a room is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. This is in contrast to the state’s broader plan to abolish virtually all masking requirements for vaccinated individuals, in line with the latest CDC recommendations.

The goal, said Chief Executive Officer David Thomas, is to change the Workplace Ordinance “so that it complies with the CDC and the California Department of Health, so we are all on the same page. That’s what this is about, so we’re not out of step with everyone else. “

Seattle and San Francisco are major cities for vaccination

Two cities on the west coast are in a head-to-head race for the best vaccination status in the country, and each can be eligible for the lead. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said Wednesday that her city will be the first major U.S. city to have 70% of residents 12 and over completed their COVID-19 vaccinations, up one percentage point in San Francisco.

“Now that we have achieved community protection, we can guide the nation in reopening safely and making serious recovery,” Durkan said in a statement.

However, San Francisco is slightly ahead with the nation’s best rate of residents 12 and older who have received at least one vaccination, 79-78%, and could have a head start in the race for herd immunity.

“I think we are well on the way to being the first city to achieve herd immunity,” said Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco, on the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Our high immunity rate means we are not prone to new infections even when traveling here,” she said.

Contribution: The Associated Press

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