The U.S. Food and Drug Administration‘s committee of outside experts will weigh in on authorisation of Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children aged 5-11.
The panel’s vote to the FDA on Tuesday is an important regulatory step toward inoculating millions of children in the United States, where schools are largely open for in-person learning.
The FDA is not mandated follow the advice of its outside experts, but usually does.
But with many parts of the world still awaiting doses for more vulnerable people, the World Health Organisation has urged countries and companies that control the global supply of the vaccines to prioritize supply to COVAX.
The following is a list of some countries that have approved or are considering vaccinating children:
* On Oct. 18, the EU’s medicines regulator said it had started evaluating the use of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in 5 to 11-year-old children.
* In June, Denmark said it would offer COVID-19 shots to children aged 12-15 to boost its overall immunity against the virus.
* France has started vaccinating those from 12 years upwards, provided they have parental consent.
* Germany in August agreed to make vaccination available to all children aged 12-17.
* Austria has started vaccinating children aged 12-15.
* Estonia could start vaccinating teenagers by the autumn, public broadcaster ERR reported, citing the head of the government’s COVID-19 council.
* Hungary started vaccinating 16 to 18-year-olds in mid-May, according to Xinhua news agency.
* Italy on May 31 approved extending the use of Pfizer’s vaccine to 12-15 year olds.
* Lithuania’s prime minister said the country could start vaccinating children from age 12 in June, news site Delfi reported.
* Spain begun vaccinating children between 12 and 17 years old around two weeks before the academic year in September, the health minister said.
* Swedish PM says children aged 12-15 will be offered COVID vaccine later this autumn.
* Greece in July said children aged 12-15 could be vaccinated against COVID-19 with Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna shots.
* Finland’s capital Helsinki in June said it will begin giving COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 12 to 15 who are at risk of contracting a severe coronavirus infection.
* On July 27, Ireland lowered the age for COVID-19 vaccination to 12 years.
* Poland started offering COVID-19 vaccines to children of ages 12-15.
* Britain’s top medical advisers in September recommended that 12 to 15-year-olds receive a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
* Switzerland approved on June 4 vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds with Pfizer’s shot, while Moderna’s shot was approved in August for the age group.
* In September, Norway started to offer one dose of Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 12 to 15
* San Marino has opened vaccinations for children aged 12-15, reported San Marino RTV, citing its Institute for Social Security.
* In August, Israel on Sunday began offering a COVID-19 booster to children as young as 12.
* The United Arab Emirates said in August rolled out China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 3-17.
* Bahrain approved Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 3-11 from Oct. 27.
* Indonesia on June 28 recommended China’s Sinovac vaccine for children aged 12-17.
* An advisory committee to the Indian regulator recommended emergency use of Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 shot in the 2 to 18 age-group. The regulator’s nod is awaited.
* New Zealand’s medicines regulator has provisionally approved use of Pfizer’s vaccine for 12-15 year olds, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on June 21.
* Australia said on Sept. 12 it will expand its COVID-19 vaccination drive to include around one million children aged 12-15.
* China on June 5 approved emergency use of Sinovac’s vaccine for those between three and 17.
* Hong Kong said on June 3 it would open its vaccine scheme to children over the age of 12.
* Singapore opened up its vaccination programme to adolescents aged 12-18 from June 1.
* Japan on May 28 approved the use of Pfizer’s vaccine for those aged 12 and above.
* The Philippines on May 26 decided to allow the Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for emergency use in children aged 12-15.
* Jordan in July begun vaccinating children aged 12 years and older against COVID-19.
* The COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech will be the only one used in Mexico for at-risk children aged 12-17.
* Brazil on June 11 approved use of Pfizer’s vaccine for children over 12.
* On Sept. 6, Chile approved the COVID-19 vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd for use in children over 6 years of age.
* Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking clearance for a 10 microgram dose version of the vaccine in children aged 5-11, versus 30 mg for everyone over the age of 12. The shot has been authorized for ages 12-15 since May and cleared for everyone over 16 since December.
* Canada in early May approved use of Pfizer’s vaccine for use in children aged 12-15. On Oct. 18, Health Canada received a submission from Pfizer/Biontech to authorize the use of shot in children between 5 and 11 years of age.
* Cuba’s vaccination campaign includes children as young as two.
* On Sept. 13, El Salvador cleared the use of COVID-19 vaccine in 6 to 11-year-old children. (https://bit.ly/30RiKe7)
* South Africa will start vaccinating children between the ages of 12 and 17 next week using the Pfizer vaccine
(Compiled by Sarah Morland, Olivier Cherfan, Juliette Portala, Caleb Davis and Laura Marchioro in Gdansk; Dania Nadeem and Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Editing by Ankur Banerjee, Anil D’Silva and Shinjini Ganguli)
Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to start your day – Sudbury.com
Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to start your day on this Saturday morning.
Rising case counts see Public Health Sudbury reinstate work-from-home rule as of Monday
Saying local COVID-19 case rates remain “unacceptably high,” Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reinstating work-from-home requirements as of Monday. Continued high COVID-19 case rates mean that the Public Health Sudbury & Districts area is among the top three most affected jurisdictions in Ontario, said a press release issued Friday. Local protective measures, including a reinstatement of capacity limits first issued on Nov. 8, have suppressed rapid growth in cases; however, case rates remain unacceptably high, threatening health and the health system, in-person learning, and local transition to a “reopened” community, said the health unit. PHSD said it is announcing “a measured and responsible approach to the current situation.” The medical officer of health is reinstating work-from-home requirements, revoked by the province on July 15, issuing strong recommendations for COVID-19 protections to area schools, businesses, and organizations, and enacting stricter measures for the follow up of contacts of cases of COVID-19. “We have carefully reviewed recent data and consulted with the province’s chief medical officer of health,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “Although school-based cases and household spread are currently driving our continued high case counts, cases continue to be reported among young adults, social settings, and workplaces. It is hard to find a setting that is not impacted. “With the widespread circulation of the virus in our community, our response also needs to be widespread, reducing mobility and face-to-face interactions overall. This is the purpose of the work-from-home Instructions. Further, every sector needs to do their part, voluntarily at this time, to pave the path to lower case rates and re-opening.” You can read the full Letter of Instruction here.
Variant prompts ban on travellers from southern Africa
Canada has banned visitors from southern Africa after the discovery of a new variant of concern in the region. The new variant, deemed Omicron, first emerged in South Africa and coincided with a steep rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in that region in recent weeks, according to the World Health Organization. The ban will apply to foreign nationals who transited through a list of seven countries in the last 14 days, including South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Namibia and eSwatini. Global Affairs is also issuing an advisory to discourage non-essential travel to South Africa and neighbouring countries. “We know very little about this variant right now,” Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said at a briefing Friday. The mutations that have been detected show the potential for greater transmissibility, she said, and she won’t be surprised to see cases crop up in Canada. “This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning,” the WHO wrote in a statement Friday. “Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other (variants of concern.)”
Sudbury leads Ontario in opioid death rates, but Ford’s more interested in a GTA road, Bigger says
When it comes to Greater Sudbury’s homelessness and opioid crises, neither Premier Doug Ford nor Health Minister Christine Elliott are picking up the phone. This, Mayor Brian Bigger said, has him feeling “ghosted.” “He refuses to talk and his ministers refuse to respond or provide funding that we need in our community,” he said. “This is really a sad state when there is no response.” Earlier this week, Bigger penned an open letter to the premier in which he requests the province’s support and affirms that he’s available to discuss matters at any time. “This is about the City of Greater Sudbury having the highest per-capita (opioid) death rate in the province … and not even getting the courtesy of a callback from the minister of health,” he told Sudbury.com. It’s not as though there isn’t any money available, Bigger said, noting that the province managed to find $6 billion to spend on Highway 413 in the Greater Toronto Area. “That’s just not acceptable,” he said, adding that the city has been pushing for the province’s help for the past two years.
Sudbury names new economic development lead
Sudbury has a new economic development lead. Meredith Armstrong, who has had a long tenure with the city, moved into the role of director of economic development, effective Nov. 19. She replaces Brett Williamson, who has left the position for a new opportunity outside the organization. “With her unique achievements and her well-established relationship with the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation (GSDC) board, Ms. Armstrong embodies all the qualities needed to continue to support the work of the GSDC board in her new role as director,” said Lisa Demmer, GSDC board chair, in a Nov. 25 news release. “I want to thank Mr. Williamson for his efforts and dedication as we worked together to position Greater Sudbury for ongoing economic recovery and success amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I wish him all the best in the future.”
Salvation Army Christmas Kettles now in place around Sudbury
Salvation Army volunteers are back beside their kettles, and this year offering a chance to “tap” your donation to keep everyone safe. The kettles are in place across Sudbury and will be until December 10, and this year feature $5, $10, and $20 “taps” so that you can use your debit card, credit card or Google/Apple pay features to donate to the Salvation Army. The kettles will also be in place for cash donations at locations across Sudbury. Donations go to the Salvation Army food bank, and to fill out their annual Christmas Hampers. This year, they have 600 families signed up to receive a hamper filled with the makings of a Christmas dinner, including a turkey, as well as toys for any children. Their fundraising goal this year is $220,000 to cover the community’s needs. All of the money will stay in and be used to help people in Sudbury. They are still in desperate need of volunteers, however. Lyn Mullen of the Salvation Army told Sudbury.com that each year, there are 1,000 volunteer shifts to fill. “That’s a two hour shift, five times a day, at six locations until December,” said Mullen. “All the money stays in Sudbury and is used for all our family services, which includes our food bank and our Christmas hampers.” If you would like to volunteer and are double vaccinated, you can contact the Salvation Army at their email address, email@example.com, or at 705-673-5893 ext. 203.
Ontario still in fourth virus wave, likely to continue through winter, top doc says
Ontario’s rising COVID-19 infection curve is a continuation of the fourth wave that started earlier in September, and not the start of a fifth wave, the province’s top doctor said Thursday as he warned that the upward trend would continue. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore said case counts never got back to a low level despite a slight dip before steadily increasing again in late October. “We never declared the fourth wave over, this is simply a continuance,” Moore told reporters. “Sadly, all modelling would predict this would slowly, steadily rise and increase over the coming months, including January and February.” He said higher case counts were anticipated as people moved indoors in the cold weather, and asked people to remain cautious until the weather warms up in the spring and more people become eligible for third vaccine doses to protect against the “formidable foe” of COVID-19. “It just continues to want to spread and it won’t slow down again until we get outdoors in the springtime,” he said. “We do have a time period over the next four months that we’ll have to continue to be very, very vigilant.”
Winter weather will stick around this weekend
Expect a sunny day for your Saturday with winds of 15 km/h and a high of -9. That wind will mean a wind chill of -20 this morning and -12 this afternoon. The UV index today is one, or low. Tonight, expect increasing cloudiness and a low of -11. For Sunday, expect cloudy skies and slightly warmer temperatures. The afternoon temperature is expected to hit -6, with a 60-per-cent chance of flurries. Sunday night, the clouds will stick around and there is a 30-per-cent chance of flurries and a low of -10.
COVID-19 vaccine for kids: CHEO clinic kicks off this weekend – CTV News Ottawa
The push to quickly get jabs into young arms continues as kids in the capital rolled up their sleeves for their first COVID-19 vaccine.
Ottawa Public Health says about 1,200 doses were administered to children aged five to 11 on Friday, the first day of the city’s paediatric vaccination campaign.
This weekend is the start of CHEO’s vaccination clinic through the Kids Come First health team. That’s where Tracy Schulz’s son, Aiden, is getting his shot.
“They phone me Thursday and the appointment’s Sunday,” said Schulz. “It’s happening pretty quickly and I’m pretty excited about that.”
Aiden is a little less excited.
“I just don’t like the feeling of something going into my body,” said the nine-year-old, who is afraid of needles.”
CHEO says its clinic is aimed at easing some of those anxieties.
“The way our clinic is different is we offer more time and space per vaccination appointment and we have resources and support that focus on providing the child with the best experience, a really positive experience,” said Stephanie Carter, the director of ambulatory care at CHEO.
Carter says paediatric experts and people from the autism team will be on hand—including CHEO’s therapeutic clown, Molly.
The CHEO website states the clinic is geared toward children who are immunocompromised, individuals with autism or anxiety, and those who have a condition that makes its challenged to be vaccinated in the community.
Running Saturday and Sunday, the clinic has capacity for 300 kids a day.
Appointments can be booked by preregistering on CHEO’s website.
“We’re hoping that the smaller environment’s a little bit more intimate,” said Schulz. “They’re used to dealing with kids and that will make a difference.”
No new Covid-19 cases reported in Northwest Territories – Cabin Radio
The NWT on Friday reported no new cases of Covid-19, only the third day of reporting to come back blank since the territory’s latest Delta-variant outbreak began in mid-August.
The active case count across the territory dropped from 42 to 35. Twenty-eight are in Tuktoyaktuk – which now has a rabies warning to contend with – while four are in Yellowknife and one each in Inuvik, Norman Wells, and Hay River.
There was no change to the number of hospitalizations, intensive care admissions, or deaths.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization on Friday dubbed the globe’s latest variant of concern Omicron.
Omicron, identified in South Africa, has a large number of mutations. Early evidence suggests it could be significantly more transmissible than Delta and present an increased reinfection risk.
However, the amount of evidence related to Omicron is low. The variant was only identified last week and the number of cases studied to date numbers in the low dozens.
Some countries, including Canada, moved swiftly on Friday to impose travel restrictions on South Africa and neighbouring nations.
Canada currently has no direct flights to or from the affected region, but nevertheless banned the entry of all foreign nationals who have travelled through South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, or Eswatini in the past 14 days.
Some observers criticized the rush to travel bans, arguing South Africa was in effect being punished for operating a particularly effective variant surveillance program.
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