CDC panel backs Moderna vaccine for children ages 6-17, study finds vaccines saved about 20 million lives in their first year

A panel of advisers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted unanimously Thursday to recommend Moderna’s COVID vaccine for children and teens ages 6 to 17.

This decision should lead Dr. Rochelle Walensky, head of the CDC, to approve the vaccine for this age group, offering a second option with the vaccine developed by Pfizer.

and German partner BioNTech

The agency authorized the Moderna

adult vaccine in December 2020, but has been considering it longer for a younger age group due to reports that it caused heart problems in young boys.

The news comes as a new modeling study found nearly 20 million lives were saved by COVID vaccines in their first year, and even more would have been saved if international vaccine targets had been the Associated Press reported.

Oliver Watson of Imperial College London, who led the new modeling study, said vaccines were preventing deaths on an unimaginable scale.

“Catastrophic would be the first word that comes to mind,” Watson said of the outcome if vaccines hadn’t been available to fight the coronavirus. The results “quantify how much worse the pandemic could have been had we not had these vaccines”.

Read also : Dr. Fauci’s COVID case was ‘mild’ thanks to vaccination and double booster, he says

Researchers used data from 185 countries to estimate that vaccines averted 4.2 million COVID deaths in India, 1.9 million in the United States, 1 million in Brazil, 631,000 in France and 507,000 in the Kingdom. -United.

According to the report, 600,000 additional deaths would have been averted if the World Health Organization’s target of 40% vaccination coverage by the end of 2021 had been met. study published Thursday in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.

he main finding – 19.8 million COVID-19 deaths were averted – is based on estimates of how many more deaths than usual occurred during the period. Using only reported COVID-19 deaths, the same model yielded 14.4 million vaccine-prevented deaths.

Scientists in London ruled out China due to uncertainty surrounding the pandemic’s effect on deaths there and its huge population.

The study has other limitations. The researchers did not include how the virus might have mutated differently in the absence of vaccines. And they didn’t consider how lockdowns or mask-wearing might have changed if vaccines weren’t available.

Another modeling group used a different approach to estimate that 16.3 million COVID-19 deaths were averted by vaccines. This work, carried out by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, has not been published.

See now: Dr. Fauci’s COVID case was ‘mild’ thanks to vaccination and double booster, he says

Cases in the United States are currently averaging 99,594 per day, down 9% from two weeks ago, according to a New York Times tracker. The number of daily cases remained stable throughout June, although there are fears that with most people testing at home where data is not collected, the true number could be higher.

The number of cases also differs by geography, with northern and Midwestern states that were recent hotspots now seeing them decline, while they are rising faster in the South and West. In Mississippi, for example, cases have more than doubled since early June.

The country is recording an average of 30,726 hospitalizations per day, up 5% from two weeks ago. The daily death toll stands at 327 on average, down 5% from two weeks ago.

Coronavirus update: MarketWatch’s Daily Roundup organizes and reports all the latest developments each day of the week since the start of the coronavirus pandemic

Other COVID-19 news you should know:

• A lack of clear, concise, and consistent messaging about the seriousness of the novel coronavirus in the early months of its spread created a false sense of security among Americans that the pandemic would not be serious and led to early inaction across the board. of the federal government. That was the assessment of Dr. Deborah Birx, who served as the COVID response coordinator under former President Donald Trump and testified for the first time Thursday before a House panel about her time in the Trump administration. the AP reported. “It wasn’t just the president, a lot of our leaders were using words like ‘we could contain’, and you can’t contain a virus that can’t be seen,” Birx said. “And it wasn’t seen because we weren’t testing.”

• Germany will start charging for rapid COVID-19 tests which were previously free, although vulnerable groups will be exempt from this fee, the AP reported. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach announced the news on Friday and said it would be launched on July 1, with citizens to pay 3 euros ($3.16) each, with the rest to be covered by a government grant.

President Biden called the availability of Covid-19 vaccines for young children a “monumental milestone,” speaking days after the CDC recommended that children as young as 6 months old receive the newly authorized vaccines. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

• Yelp Inc.

P announced on Thursday that it would close its offices in three major US cities, saying “The future of work at Yelp is distant,” after workers started working from home en masse during the pandemic. In a blog post, chief executive Jeremy Stoppelman said the online rating firm would close its “most consistently underutilized offices” in New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. starting July 29. “Combined, the three offices we are closing have seen an average weekly usage of less than 2% of available workspaces,” he said. A survey found that 86% of respondents prefer to work from home.

• A city in central China has fired one of its top security officials and punished several others for using a COVID tracking system to thwart protests against alleged bank fraudthe Wall Street Journal reported. Two pandemic control officials in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou have changed the health codes of more than a thousand bank customers to red, which indicates high risk for COVID infections— “without permission,” the city’s anti-corruption agency said in a statement.

Read also: COVID patients with weakened immune systems should receive priority care to prevent the emergence of new variants, experts say

Here’s what the numbers say

The global tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases topped 542.2 million on Friday, while the death toll topped 6.32 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.

The United States leads the world with 86.8 million cases and 1,015,343 deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tracker shows that 222.1 million people living in the United States are fully immunized, or 66.9% of the total population. But only 105 million had a first booster, or 47.3% of the vaccinated population.

Only 16.6 million people aged 50 and over eligible for a second booster had one, or 26.1% of those who had a first booster.

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