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School is in session, unvaccinated children pay the price of Delta

  • The UK has now recommended the vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 on the advice of its chief medical officers, putting it on the same lines as the US and many other European countries, which are inoculating this group of ‘age for months. England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said on Monday that it is hoped the measure will reduce the spread of Covid in schools, although he said vaccinations would not eliminate it and that policies to minimize transmission should be maintained.
  • The UK’s new guidelines have reignited the debate on consent, especially when a parent and child disagree. While parents in the UK are generally required to allow vaccination of children under the age of 16, children can bypass parents reluctant to get vaccinated if a clinician considers them “competent” to do so.
  • In the United States, most children cannot take this power into their own hands, with 41 states requiring parental consent for children under 18 to be vaccinated. Nebraska requires parental consent up to the age of 19. Five states have a “mature minor doctrine,” meaning there is no specific age requirement, with providers being able to decide whether a minor is mature enough to consent themselves. Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Sunday that if more people are not persuaded to get vaccinated by messages from health officials and “trusted political messengers” , additional mandates from schools and businesses may be necessary. Last week, US President Joe Biden announced vaccine requirements that include a mandate for companies with more than 100 employees to require vaccination or regular testing.
  • American children between the ages of 5 and 11 could get the green light for vaccines from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this fall, according to Fauci. The CEO of Pfizer said on Tuesday that the company plans to submit data on its vaccine from studies involving this age group by the end of this month.
  • Meanwhile, the debate over booster shots continues. Three separate articles published last week in the CDC’s Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report suggest we don’t need it, and a group of international vaccine scientists say current evidence does not appear to support the need for it. booster vaccines in the general public. But a study in Israel, where the third blow has already been deployed, indicated that the power of vaccines to prevent people from getting very sick with Covid-19 was diminishing over time. Last month, Biden announced his administration’s intention to launch a booster program by September 20, despite the WHO’s call for countries to wait for vaccines to become more widely available around the world.


Q: Why does approval of Covid vaccines for young children need longer?

A: Millions of adults have been safely and effectively vaccinated against Covid-19, but these results do not replace needed research in children.

Dr. James Versalovic, acting chief pediatrician at Texas Children’s Hospital, explains why. “As we like to say in pediatrics: Children are not little adults. Children are children,” he said. “Their bodies develop and will respond differently, and we need to treat them differently.”

For people as young as 12 years old, vaccine makers have constructed adult trials with an approach known as “immunobridging,” a process that seeks an immune response in children that is similar to that of infants. adults.

The data showed that for this age group, the immune response was equivalent to that of adults.

Companies are taking a similar approach with younger people, but in early August, out of caution, the FDA requested six months of follow-up safety data, instead of the two months it requested with adults. He also asked Pfizer and Moderna to double the number of children aged 5 to 11 in clinical trials. Read more here.
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Will Biden’s vaccine mandates work? France’s experience could provide clues

In July, as the vaccination rate in France stagnated and coronavirus cases increased, French President Emmanuel Macron imposed sweeping vaccination requirements for much of daily life, report Saskya Vandoorne, Melissa Bell, Eliza Mackintosh and Joseph Ataman.

As of August 1, anyone without a “health pass” showing proof of their vaccination status, or a recent negative test, would not be able to enter bars and cafes, or travel long distances by train. Healthcare workers – a group of around 2.7 million people in France – who are not vaccinated risk being made redundant or suspended without pay.

Despite some opposition at the start, Macron’s bet seems to be paying off. Immediately after his speech on July 12, there was an increase in vaccination appointments in France. Thanks in part to its rising vaccination rate – as well as a massive increase in tests related to the Covid pass and the reintroduction of mask warrants in regions hard hit by the Delta variant – metropolitan France has managed to largely bypass the fourth wave that swept across Europe and the United States. A month after the start of France’s new health card scheme, data from the country’s health agency shows an overall decline in hospital and intensive care admissions since the summer highs.

China’s strict 21-day quarantine questioned after new outbreak

A man who underwent 21 days of mandatory quarantine on his return to China from overseas has been identified as the likely source of a new outbreak, raising questions about the sustainability of the country’s zero Covid strategy, among the strictest to the world, Nectar Gan and Steve George writes.

The man had tested negative for the virus nine times during the 21 days of quarantine, before testing positive on Friday – 37 days after entering China, according to state media. Chinese authorities have not disclosed when, where or how the man caught the virus, but an incubation period of more than 21 days is highly unusual.

The new outbreak in Fujian Province, on China’s southeast coast, has infected more than 60 people, including 15 elementary school students. It emerged just two weeks after China contained its worst coronavirus outbreak in more than a year, underscoring the growing challenge posed by the highly contagious Delta variant – even in the face of the most stringent measures.


Don’t be afraid to ask questions at your child’s school

One of the riskiest environments during school hours is lunchtime, when kids aren’t wearing masks and can be crowded. As a parent, you can take steps to reduce risk by asking what arrangements your child’s school can offer during lunch and snack time, says Dr. Leana Wen, CNN medical analyst.

Ask questions such as: Could the children eat out? Would this be a choice offered to certain children?

You can also learn about quarantine protocols. How will you know if another child is positive? Is everyone in the class forced to quarantine, or is he testing an option that can reduce the need for a long quarantine – – and with it, missed in-person school time. This is another case where rapid and frequent testing is helpful; What types of testing options are available for students and their families?