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U.S. FDA advisers overwhelmingly back Moderna COVID vaccine for ages 6-17 – Canada.com

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Advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday unanimously recommended that the agency authorize Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine for children and teens aged 6 to 17 years of age.

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Around 77 million people in the United States have received at least a two-dose course of Moderna’s vaccine, which has long been available for people aged 18 and older.

The committee of outside experts is scheduled on Wednesday to consider the Moderna shot for children under 6, and Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID vaccine for children under 5 – and in both cases as young as 6 months.

There is unlikely to be significant immediate demand the Moderna shots for 6- to 17-year olds. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was authorized for children aged 5 to 11 in October, and approval for teenagers preceded that by months.

Yet only around 30% of those ages 5 to 11 and 60% of 12- to 17-year olds are fully vaccinated in the United States, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“I’d like to give parents as many choices as possible, and let them make the decisions about this for their children,” committee member and UC Berkeley professor Dr. Arthur Reingold said at the meeting.

The FDA – which generally follows the recommendations of its advisers but is not obligated to do so – is likely to authorize the Moderna vaccine for ages 6-17 soon. The CDC also needs to recommend the vaccine’s use. A committee of its advisers is scheduled to meet Friday and Saturday.

There have long been concerns that the Moderna vaccine, which is given at a higher dose than the Pfizer/BioNTech shot, may cause types of heart inflammation known as myocarditis and pericarditis at higher rates, primarily in younger males.

Some countries in Europe have limited use of Moderna’s vaccine for younger age groups after surveillance suggested it was tied to a higher risk of heart inflammation, and the FDA delayed its review of the shot to assess the myocarditis risk.

U.S. regulators presented data at the meeting on Tuesday suggesting that Moderna’s vaccine may have a higher risk of heart inflammation in young men, but said the findings were not consistent across various safety databases and were not statistically significant, meaning they might be due to chance.

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Peel Region reports its first confirmed case of monkeypox – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Peel Region has its first confirmed case of monkeypox.

According to Peel Public Health, the person infected is an adult male in his 30s who lives in Mississauga.

The heath unit said the risk to the public remains low.

Monkeypox, which comes from the same virus family as smallpox, spreads though close contact with an infected individual. Most transmission happens through close contact with the skin lesions of monkeypox, but the virus can also be spread by large droplets or by sharing contaminated items.

To reduce risk of infection, people are advised to be cautious when engaging in intimate activities with others. Vaccination is available for high-risk contacts of cases and for those deemed at high risk of exposure to monkeypox.

Symptoms can include fever, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash/lesions, which could appear on the face or genitals and then spread to other areas.

Anyone who develops these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider and avoid close contact with others until they have improved and rash/lesions have healed.

While most people recover on their own without treatment, those who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for monkeypox should self-monitor for symptoms, and contact PPH to see if they are eligible for vaccination.

The Mississauga case is at least the 34th confirmed case of the disease in Ontario, with dozens more under investigation.

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Monkeypox case count rises to more than 3400 globally, WHO says – The Globe and Mail

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More than 3,400 confirmed monkeypox cases and one death were reported to the World Health Organization as of last Wednesday, with a majority of them from Europe, the agency said in an update on Monday.

WHO said that since June 17, 1,310 new cases were reported to the agency, with eight new countries reporting monkeypox cases.

Monkeypox is not yet a global health emergency, WHO ruled last week, although WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was deeply concerned about the outbreak.

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Sudbury news: Northern agencies highlight national HIV testing day | CTV News – CTV News Northern Ontario

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Monday was national HIV testing day. Officials say this year’s theme surrounds how getting tested is an act of self-care.

From clinics to self-testing kits, groups in the north say there are many options to get tested and everyone should use whichever way works best for them.

Just more than a year ago, Reseau Access Network in Sudbury teamed with Ready to Know and Get a Kit, groups that provide HIV self-testing kits at a pickup location.

Officials said it has been a huge success.

“We get a consistent number throughout each month and I can’t really divulge those figures, unfortunately, but as part of the overall study I can tell you the pickup of self-tests is a fraction of the amount of tests being ordered,” said Angel Riess, of Reseau Access Network.

“There’s actually a lot of tests being shipped to homes directly but I can confirm that they have been active and there’s a significant number of people who have chosen to engage in both programs.”

Elsewhere, the Aids Committee of North Bay and Area held a point-of-care testing clinic to mark the day.

“It’s an opportunity for us to remind everyone that getting tested is essential. If you don’t know you have HIV, you can’t take the steps to try to mitigate the possibility of spread,” said executive director Stacey Mayhall.

In addition to stopping the spread, knowing whether you are positive sooner rather than later can allow for a better quality of life.

“HIV is not a death sentence that it used to be,” said Riess.

“There have been advances in testing and medication and people can live long, healthy lives living with HIV.”

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