The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended Pfizer recall for young children as Covid-19 hospitalizations among children skyrocket across the country, and several US universities have adjusted their plans to return to campus in the middle an increase related to Omicron.
Boosters were already recommended for all Americans 16 and older, but on Wednesday, a group of experts who advise the CDC on vaccines overwhelmingly voted to support an additional Pfizer (ticker:
) given to children aged 12 to 15 years at least five months after their second dose. The panel also said the CDC should strengthen its recommendation for recalls for 16 and 17 year olds.
“It is essential that we protect our children and adolescents from infection with Covid-19 and complications of serious illness,” CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said in a statement Wednesday evening.
The approval came as hospitalizations of children infected with Covid skyrocketed in the United States, driven by the highly transmissible variant Omicron over the Christmas holidays. An average of 672 children up to the age of 17 were admitted to hospital during the week ended Jan. 2, according to CDC data. About 1,045 children under the age of 18 have died of the disease, the agency said.
The United States recorded more than 325,000 new cases in children during the week ended December 30, according to data released this week by the American Academy of Pediatrics. This marks a 64% increase from the previous week and the highest number of cases on record since the start of the pandemic, the AAP said.
Schools across the United States have adjusted their plans to return from winter vacation this week. More than 450,000 children have returned to temporary distance learning in the past week, according to the New York Times.
The upsurge in Covid cases has also affected older students. Yale Ivy League University has asked its students not to dine at local restaurants, even outside, and have imposed quarantine restrictions. Students can return to campus any time between Jan. 4 and Feb. 4, but must self-quarantine in their dorms until they receive Covid test results, according to a Yale Daily Facebook post. News.
“Dinner is to go until public health conditions improve. Yale is currently set to resume in-person classes on February 7 – after two weeks of distance learning, ”the University of New Haven, Connecticut announced.
On Tuesday, Rutgers became the second college in New Jersey to require booster shots from its students. He followed Princeton, which announced the requirement last week. Princeton has also limited attendance to performing arts and sporting events until at least February 15.
Calls for mandatory Covid vaccine requirements are growing as governments, businesses and educational institutions increase pressure on those who refuse vaccines.
The Italian government said on Wednesday it would impose mandatory Covid vaccines on all people over 50 from February 15 as the country tries to ease pressure on its health services. Effective immediately, the measure will run until June 15.
“We want to slow down the contagion curve and encourage Italians who have not yet been vaccinated to do so,” Prime Minister Mario Draghi said during a cabinet meeting in which the measure was adopted, according to a communicated.
Meanwhile, authorities in Rio de Janeiro have canceled street parades and parties during its world-famous carnival for a second year in an attempt to tackle an increase in Covid-19 cases. However, unlike last year, the parade of samba schools in Rio will continue.
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