According to health care professionals, the dwindling capacity from COVID-19 has left many hospitals strained for resources and staff, often unable to provide standards of care.
The change is temporary or the beginning of the end is still unclear, health experts say, and now is not the time to be complacent.
“I’m concerned that we still have some tough days ahead,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. “Even though we’re doing reasonably well on vaccines, we’ve got to do a lot better because the delta version is very good at finding people who are unvaccinated and infecting them.”
And with children under 12 still not eligible to be vaccinated, many experts are concerned about how children will fare.
While pediatric infections are decreasing, they remain high. Children under the age of 18 make up 22% of the US population but 27% of all cases nationwide, according to data published Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Children’s death is an ’embarrassment’
The US Food and Drug Administration’s top vaccine official said on Tuesday that the death of children from preventable diseases like Kovid-19 is the motivation to authorize the vaccine in children.
“In this latest wave of Covid-19, especially in the South, thousands of children have been hospitalized. And, frankly, it is a shame in a developed country that even 100 children like ours would die of infectious disease. are preventable,” said Dr. D., director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Peter Marks said at a town hall organized by the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project.
“We didn’t have a vaccine to give them, but I hate depriving kids of their lives because we decide not to vaccinate them, even against something relatively low-risk,” Marx said.
According to the CDC, 645 children have died in the US from Kovid-19 so far.
“No parent should lose their child to a vaccine-preventable disease, if we have a vaccine that can be deployed that is safe and effective. And we will only allow a few to authorize that. We find it safe and effective,” Marks said.
Marks said he did not know whether authorization of the vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 would come after a meeting of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, scheduled for October 14 to 15, but added that the FDA would act quickly. . Via required data when available.
“Many of us who work in the FDA have young children or grandchildren. And that’s obviously one of the most important issues, so we’re not going to waste any time,” he said.
Johnson & Johnson seeks permission for booster doses
As officials prepare to review vaccines for young children, they are also considering authorizing booster doses to increase protection for people receiving the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
J&J said Tuesday that it has asked the FDA to authorize booster shots for its vaccine. According to the CDC, about 15 million people in the US have received the J&J shot.
The company said it has made the request, but is leaving the decision on who should get the booster and when to the FDA and CDC.
The FDA’s Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet on October 14 and 15 to consider requests from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson to add booster doses to COVID-19 vaccines.
Last month, the company released some data from three separate studies showing that increasing its vaccine by two months or over six months resulted in increased immune protection.
“We announced that the six months of data is a very, very strong boost, like a surprisingly strong boost,” said Dr. J&J’s head of global research and development at Jensen, the vaccine arm of J&J. Mathai Maimon said. “And that two months is a good boost, and a good two-month boost was associated with 94% vaccine efficacy, across the board, at all ages.”
Granthshala’s Virginia Langmead, Maggie Fox, Jane Christensen, Holly Yan, Susanna Cullinan, Ben Tinker, Jacqueline Howard, Mallory Simon and Theresa Waldrop contributed to this report.
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