TECHNOLOGY

Vaccination of children, progress in treatment and more coronavirus news


A shot for As the kids move forward, the vaccine order is effective and new treatments are promised. Here’s what you need to know:

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Approving a shot for kids goes one step further because it is most needed

This week, Pfizer-Biotech submitted data from the clinical trial of a covid vaccine for children to the FDA, meaning the shots may soon be available to children ages 5 to 11 in the United States. The need for it has never been more urgent. We now know that children are capable of spreading the disease and becoming seriously ill. Last week, about 250,000 children in the United States fell ill with colic. And a new survey found that parents are increasingly moving to vaccinate children: As of September, 34 percent of parents aged 5 to 11 said their children should get shots, up from 26 percent in July.

But even once the shots are approved, delivering them will become a daunting challenge. Vaccines will likely be distributed to children in different locations and by different staff than adult equivalents. And they are coming at a time when the national dialogue around vaccines is much more politicized than ever before, which could complicate matters further. For example, school-based clinics may be the easiest way to get the shots out logistically, but politically speaking they may not be a broad option.

Despite the push, employee vaccine orders are enforced – and they work

Earlier this week, healthcare workers in New York needed to be vaccinated for their work. There were some concerns that the implementation of the vaccine mandate would result in fewer staff in hospitals, but so far the new rules seem to be working in most cases. On Sunday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the number of nursing home workers who had been vaccinated had risen from 70 percent to 92 percent before Monday’s deadline. A similar order enacted in California this week has increased the ticker rate among healthcare workers by more than 90 percent.

Still, these new rules have suffered some setbacks. A judge ruled this week that New York should temporarily exempt health care workers from religious reasons so they can stay unvaccinated. And a group of New York City teachers also called on the Supreme Court to close the city’s vaccine mandate for educators before it begins Monday. As of this week, 89 percent of workers in the district had been vaccinated.

The new study provides a promising treatment and immunization update

Drug manufacturer Mark said this week that its experimental oral antiviral drugs have halved hospital admissions and deaths among unhappy people who have recently been infected. It may also be effective against known forms, including delta, as it does not target the spike protein of the virus, which distinguishes the variety. The agency said it plans to ask for approval soon. If approved by the FDA, it would be the first pill to treat the Covid-1 treat, a notable achievement in research. Elsewhere, many early-stage studies are exploring treatment options with the help of two unexpected species: lamas and hamsters.

Where vaccines are concerned, AstraZeneca released the long-awaited results of its U.S. vaccine trial earlier this week, which found that the shot is 74 percent effective in preventing significant illness. And another clinical trial has shown that it is probably safer to handle Pfizer or AstraZeneca covid shots and flu shots at the same time.

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A question

How has the epidemic affected bird watching?

In the midst of the epidemic, bird watching felt an unprecedented intensity as many people were trying to spend time alone and outside. As a result, participation in civic science initiatives has increased, with many more people recording bird watching in their vicinity. E-Bird, for example, is a database where people record what species they saw where they received 40 percent more views in April 2020 than last year, more than double the normal growth of the app. This is great for scientists, but it also presents a problem, as it is difficult to say whether data changes are the result of animal behavior or an increase in human participation. In fact, there are some signs that future researchers will need to consider epidemic-era changes in the use of this data.


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