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More than 500000 U.S. children tested positive for COVID-19 in 3 weeks – CTV News

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The dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations due to the more transmissible Delta variant is significantly impacting all age groups, particularly Americans ages 11 or younger who are not yet eligible to receive vaccinations.

More than 500,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in the U.S. from August 5 to August 26, according to state data collected by the American Academy of Pediatrics. At least 203,962 of those cases were reported in the week of August 19 to August 26; In late June, one weekly reported number was just shy of 8,500.

With concerns building over safely allowing children to return to in-person learning at schools, health experts agree that mask mandates are an effective tool in stemming infections.

“The virus is raging in all these children who are unvaccinated, which is why in schools mask mandates are so important,” CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner told Jake Tapper last week, pointing out that inoculation rates are also low among adolescents who are eligible. “They have no other protection. They’re literally sitting ducks.”

More states and school districts across the country are imposing mask and vaccine mandates, while others are working to limit COVID-19 exposure among the unvaccinated. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday plans to implement mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing for state school staff who are not vaccinated.

“We all need to remain vigilant to protect each other – and that means coming in to get your shot and booster shot, wearing masks in indoor spaces, and exercising basic safety measures that we are all familiar with by now,” Hochul said.

For teens ages 12 and up attending classes, it remains imperative for them to receive vaccinations to help curb the spread of COVID-19, officials say. And vaccine mandates, while unpopular to some, may be a necessary step.

“I believe that mandating vaccines for children to appear in school is a good idea,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN this week, noting that this would not be a radical idea to impose.

“This is not something new. We have mandates in many places in schools, particularly public schools, that if in fact you want a child to come in — we’ve done this for decades and decades requiring (vaccines for) polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis,” Fauci said. “So this would not be something new, requiring vaccinations for children to come to school.”

OFFICIALS EXPECT ADDITIONAL VACCINE DATA SOON

Cognizant of the anxiousness felt by some parents and guardians sending their children back to school unvaccinated, health officials say they are working expediently to review whether the age of vaccine eligibility can be lowered.

If authorized, the CDC would move quickly to recommend the use of COVID-19 vaccines in younger children, agency director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.

“Everybody is looking at this with urgency. Everyone recognizes how important it is for those children to have access to vaccines,” Walensky said during a National Parent Teacher Association town hall Wednesday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must approve or authorize the vaccines in younger children first, Walensky noted. And the vaccine makers must make the case to the FDA with clinical trial data.

“My understanding of the timeline is pretty consistent with what is being said — the middle of fall is my understanding, early fall is when we will anticipate seeing the data — and then it will lie with the hands of the FDA. And I’m hopeful for the end of the year,” she said.

Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine has been fully approved by the FDA for Americans 16 and older, and emergency use authorization has been granted for those 12 and up. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are under emergency use authorization only for adults 18 and older.

Moderna announced last week that it had completed its submission to the FDA for full approval, and has also filed with the FDA for an emergency use authorization for its vaccine in people age 12 and older.

Clinical trials of vaccines for children under the age of 12 are ongoing.

Fauci said Wednesday that the FDA should have the data to consider authorizing a COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12 by the end of September.

“We should have enough of the data to examine and make a decision as we get into late September, the beginning of October,” Fauci said. “Then the data will be presented to the FDA, and the FDA will make a determination whether they will grant that under an emergency use authorization or some other mechanism.”

When asked whether a COVID-19 vaccine will be authorized for young children before Thanksgiving, Fauci said he hopes so, but does not want to get ahead of the FDA.

GROUP SAYS NURSING SHORTAGE IS A ‘NATIONAL CRISIS’

With the rise in hospitalizations felt nationwide, a health care industry that is exhausted and consistently exposed to COVID-19 infection has sometimes resulted in fewer employees. States and networks have clamored for greater levels of staffing at a critical time of the pandemic.

The American Nurses Association has called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to declare the nation’s shortage of nurses a “national crisis,” according to a letter the group sent to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.

“The nation’s health care delivery systems are overwhelmed, and nurses are tired and frustrated as this persistent pandemic rages on with no end in sight. Nurses alone cannot solve this longstanding issue and it is not our burden to carry,” association president Ernest Grant said on Wednesday.

Hospital staff remain at risk for COVID-19, researchers reported on Wednesday. Due to a combination of waning vaccine protection and the Delta variant, coronavirus infections have steadily risen among vaccinated healthcare workers in San Diego, Dr. Jocelyn Keehner and Dr. Lucy Horton of the University of California San Diego Health wrote in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine.

They note that their findings support arguments for using masks more frequently as well as potentially offering booster doses of vaccine if similar evidence is gathered elsewhere.

The strain placed on health care systems is likely to continue into the near future, but there are signs that the situation could start to improve.

For the second week in a row, an ensemble forecast from the CDC has projected that new COVID-19 hospitalizations are likely to remain stable or have an uncertain trend over the next four weeks. Before last week, the forecasts had projected increasing hospitalizations since mid-July.

Yet despite the potential news that the surge could soon ease, the CDC urges caution with the data since actual numbers have fallen outside the range of previous predictions. CDC’s latest forecast predicts 550,000 to 1,600,000 new cases likely to be reported in the week ending September 25.

In the short term, Fauci told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that it will help for people to practice mitigation measures, like masking and avoiding congregate settings.

“In the intermediate and longer term, it’s going to be vaccines that are going to solve this problem,” Fauci said.

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Pfizer sends kids’ COVID-19 vaccine trial data to U.S. FDA – Global News

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Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE on Tuesday submitted initial trial data for their COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 5 to 11 and said they would make a formal request with U.S. regulators for emergency use in the coming weeks.

Coronavirus infections have soared in children, hitting their highest point in early September, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The vaccine, which is already authorized in teens aged 12 to 15 and fully approved for ages 16 and up, induced a strong immune response in the target age group in a 2,268-participant clinical trial, the companies said on Sept. 20.


Click to play video: 'U.S. to donate half a billion additional Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines'



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U.S. to donate half a billion additional Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines


U.S. to donate half a billion additional Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was authorized in kids aged 12-15 roughly a month after the companies filed for authorization. If the same timeline is followed for this application, younger children could start receiving their shots as soon as late October.

A rapid authorization could help mitigate a potential surge of cases this fall, with schools already open nationwide.

While kids are less susceptible to severe COVID-19, they can spread the virus to others, including vulnerable populations that are more at risk of severe illness.

The companies said they plan to submit the data to the European Medicines Agency and other regulatory authorities.

Read more:
Pfizer launches large study of oral COVID-19 prevention drug

Data from the companies’ trial showed the two-shot vaccine generated an immune response in children that matched what was previously observed in 16-to-25 year olds. The safety profile was also comparable to the older age group, Pfizer said.

The drugmakers are also testing the vaccine in children aged 2-to-5 and those aged 6 months-to-2 years, with data expected in the fourth quarter.

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is not yet authorized for use in adolescents in the United States, while it has gained authorization for that age group in Europe.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

© 2021 Reuters

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Trapped miners expected to emerge this morning as rescue operation continues: Vale – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Liam Casey, The Canadian Press


Published Tuesday, September 28, 2021 7:54AM EDT


Last Updated Tuesday, September 28, 2021 11:14AM EDT

Thirty-three of 39 miners who were trapped underground in northern Ontario since Sunday have returned safely to the surface, the workers’ union said Tuesday as a rescue operation continued.

United Steelworkers, which represents workers trapped in Totten Mine near Sudbury, Ont., said they are pleased with the rescue operation thus far.

“A team of doctors is on site, checking workers as they emerge,” said the union, which represents 30 of the 39 staff members trapped in the mine. “No one has been physically injured in the incident or in the evacuation.”

Vale, the company that owns the mine, said it expects everyone to emerge Tuesday.

The employees were trapped in the mine on Sunday when a scoop bucket being sent underground detached and blocked the mine shaft, Vale said.

As a result, it said the “conveyance system” for taking workers to and from the surface became unavailable.

Vale said the trapped miners have been staying in underground “refuge stations,” some 900 to 1,200 metres underground, as part of the company’s standard procedures.

The workers began making their way out Monday night through a “a secondary egress ladder system,” the company said.

“We thank the impacted employees for their patience and perseverance and the mine rescue teams for their tireless dedication and support,” said Gord Gilpin, head of mining for Vale’s Ontario operations. “This has been an incredible team effort.”

A rescue team met the miners Monday and prepared them for the long journey to the surface.

The union said the miners had to scale a system of ladders, with each ladder being about six metres long and with a staging area at every break.

“When an incident like this unfortunately happens, everyone comes together,” said Nick Larochelle, president of USW Local 6500

“The miners support each other, the highly trained mine rescue teams come together and the whole community waits patiently praying for the safe return of every one of the 39 miners to surface.”

The company said the trapped miners had access to food, water and medicine. The union added that miners had been able to make phone calls to both communicate with rescuers and to call loved ones.

Totten Mine opened in 2014, in Worthington, Ont., and produces copper, nickel and precious metals. It employs about 200 people.

The province’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, said an inspection team will investigate the incident once the rescue operation is finished.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2021.

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33 trapped miners safe after rescue, 6 more on long trek out of mine near Sudbury – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Liam Casey, The Canadian Press


Published Tuesday, September 28, 2021 7:54AM EDT


Last Updated Tuesday, September 28, 2021 11:14AM EDT

Thirty-three of 39 miners who were trapped underground in northern Ontario since Sunday have returned safely to the surface, the workers’ union said Tuesday as a rescue operation continued.

United Steelworkers, which represents workers trapped in Totten Mine near Sudbury, Ont., said they are pleased with the rescue operation thus far.

“A team of doctors is on site, checking workers as they emerge,” said the union, which represents 30 of the 39 staff members trapped in the mine. “No one has been physically injured in the incident or in the evacuation.”

Vale, the company that owns the mine, said it expects everyone to emerge Tuesday.

The employees were trapped in the mine on Sunday when a scoop bucket being sent underground detached and blocked the mine shaft, Vale said.

As a result, it said the “conveyance system” for taking workers to and from the surface became unavailable.

Vale said the trapped miners have been staying in underground “refuge stations,” some 900 to 1,200 metres underground, as part of the company’s standard procedures.

The workers began making their way out Monday night through a “a secondary egress ladder system,” the company said.

“We thank the impacted employees for their patience and perseverance and the mine rescue teams for their tireless dedication and support,” said Gord Gilpin, head of mining for Vale’s Ontario operations. “This has been an incredible team effort.”

A rescue team met the miners Monday and prepared them for the long journey to the surface.

The union said the miners had to scale a system of ladders, with each ladder being about six metres long and with a staging area at every break.

“When an incident like this unfortunately happens, everyone comes together,” said Nick Larochelle, president of USW Local 6500

“The miners support each other, the highly trained mine rescue teams come together and the whole community waits patiently praying for the safe return of every one of the 39 miners to surface.”

The company said the trapped miners had access to food, water and medicine. The union added that miners had been able to make phone calls to both communicate with rescuers and to call loved ones.

Totten Mine opened in 2014, in Worthington, Ont., and produces copper, nickel and precious metals. It employs about 200 people.

The province’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, said an inspection team will investigate the incident once the rescue operation is finished.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2021.

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