Covid Corner

MatsuShimizu

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The COVID-19 pandemic and mental health - WHO Youtube Channel

Signs of depression and how to cope
From CNBC [1]:
According to the American Psychological Association, depression is typically characterized by a combination of:
- a lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities
- sleep issues
- low energy
- an inability to concentrate
- feelings of worthlessness
- recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Everyone feels a little off during the pandemic, Ziffra says. That’s expected and normal. Someone with depression, on the other hand, might feel unusual levels of fatigue, notice significant changes in their sleeping or eating or have a lot of difficulty with basic daily tasks, like showering, grooming, cleaning or paying bills.

Mental health test websites:
General test: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/tests/health/mental-health-assessment
Depression test: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/tests/health/depression-test

mental-health-assesment.png


Expert advice on how to cope
From CNBC [1]:
Plan your activities. When you’re feeling particularly down, you might feel completely unmotivated to exercise, talk to a friend or get outdoors — but those activities can provide a sense of enjoyment and stimulation that will help with depression. e proactive and plan these activities in advance, Ziffra advises, so you feel less pressure to be spontaneous and do something to boost your mood.

Ziffra also recommends two other simple habits to help with depression: get quality sleep, which will help you function better during the daytime, and eat well and minimize your use of substances like alcohol or cannabis.

If you’re experiencing depression, or you think you might be, consider seeking help from a professional.

Is There a Link Between COVID-19 and Depression?
From WebMD [2]:
While experts still need to study the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the brain, over half of a U.S. COVID-19 survivor sample reported symptoms of depression months after recovery, those with more severe COVID symptoms being more likely to have depression.

In addition, researchers found that many survivors of COVID-19 reported cases of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, insomnia, and obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms. Other studies showed that the prescription of antidepressants, intimate partner violence, and suicidal thoughts have gone up since the start of the pandemic.

Those who’ve had COVID-19 appear to have a higher risk of a mental health disorder after recovery from the virus.

What Causes Depression in COVID-19 Survivors?
Experts believe that a COVID-19 infection can affect your mental health in two major ways:
- Your body’s immune response to the virus itself
- The psychological stress of a COVID-19 infection

When you get infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, your immune system produces cytokines, chemokines, and other things that promote inflammation. Experts found a specific kind of cytokine, called T-helper-2 cell-secreted cytokines, in people with COVID-19. Higher levels of these cytokines seemed to link to a more severe case of the virus. Experts found that if your body doesn’t properly control these cytokines, certain bad things can happen:
- Nerve inflammation
- Blood-brain-barrier disruption
- Peripheral immune cell invasion into the central nervous system
- Impaired nerve transmission
- Hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction
- Microglia activation and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) induction

All of these represent the roots of psychiatric disorders, like depression. This suggests that the actual effects of the COVID-19 virus can lead to depression, even after a person recovers from the virus.

In a study, experts linked higher systemic immune-inflammation index levels (SII), which refer to your immune response and inflammation, to major depressive disorder. Inflammatory factors like SII were higher among males and people who stayed in a hospital during their COVID-19 illness.

Mental Health Effects of the Pandemic
Whether you’ve had a case of COVID-19 or not, the pandemic has affected all of us in some way. Many things related to the pandemic can affect your mental health:
- Trauma from a widespread disease
- Fear of getting sick
- Grief from losing a loved one, or from the loss of life in general
- Physical distancing and the lack of socializing
- Financial concerns (unemployment, housing security)
- Loss of community
- Less access to caregivers

After most traumatic events, depression tends to peak right after and then fall over time. But studies show that the rate of depression after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic actually went up. Those who were hit hardest with long-term mental health impacts include:
- Families or people with a low household income
- Unmarried people
- Those who faced multiple pandemic-related stressors

In the U.S., 32.8% of adults had elevated depressive symptoms in 2021, compared to 27.8% of adults in the early months of 2020 and 8.5% before the pandemic.

Prevention and management of mental health conditions
From Wikipedia [3]
The WHO and the CDC have issued guidelines for preventing mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. The summarized guidelines are as follows:
- Be empathetic to all the affected individuals, regardless of their nationality or ethnicity.
- Use people-first language while describing individuals affected with COVID-19.
- Minimize watching the news if that makes one anxious. Seek information only from trusted sources, preferably once or twice a day.
- Protect yourself and be supportive to others, such as your neighbors.
- Find opportunities to amplify positive stories of local people who have experienced COVID-19.
- Honor healthcare workers who are supporting those affected with COVID-19.
- Implement positive thinking.
- Engage in personal hobbies.
- Avoid negative coping strategies, such as avoidance of crowds and pandemic news coverage.

What you need to know about COVID-19 this week
From DW News [4]:
- Italy announced that it had reached its goal of having 80% of the population over 12 vaccinated, according to official data published Sunday.
- Russia registered 28,647 new cases of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, and 988 deaths, an all-time high for the country. The Kremlin has blamed people's unwillingness to get vaccinated for the continued spike in cases and deaths.
- Malaysia has lifted travel restrictions for vaccinated residents as it reached its target of 90% vaccination amongst eligible adults.
- In Australia, Sydney was set to reopen after a months-long lockdown. Businesses are set to reopen to fully vaccinated residents on Monday. "It's been a hundred days of blood, sweat, no beers, but we've got it back in action tomorrow," New South Wales state leader Dominic Perrottet said.

From Reuters [5]:
- England's COVID-19 prevalence rises again. The prevalence of COVID-19 infections in England increased to around 1 in 70 people in the week ending Oct 2, Britain's Office for National Statistics said on Friday, reaching its highest level since the end of August.
- Two Indian drugmakers seek to end trials of Merck's drug for moderate COVID-19. Aurobindo Pharma and MSN Laboratories plan to continue late-stage trials of the drug for those with mild COVID-19, the Indian drug regulator's expert committee said on Friday.
- Biden calls on more U.S. businesses to require vaccinations. President Joe Biden on Thursday said more U.S. businesses should obligate workers to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, calling the move vital to ending the pandemic and sustaining the economy.
- Doctors worry Sydney re-opening is moving too fast. Australian doctors warned a too-rapid easing of COVID-19 curbs in Sydney could put pressure on health systems and risk lives, as the city prepares for key restrictions to be relaxed next week after more than 100 days in lockdown.


Global daily statistics - Reuters COVID-19 Global Tracker
statistics-15oct2021.png


List of sources:
[1] https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/10/dep...g-covid-pandemic-how-to-feel-better-cope.html
[2] https://www.webmd.com/lung/covid-19-depression#1
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menta...on_and_Centers_for_Disease_Control_guidelines
[4] https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-digest-italy-reaches-vaccination-target/a-59460483
[5] https://www.reuters.com/business/he...-know-about-coronavirus-right-now-2021-10-08/

PS: I will post again here in one week. Thanks for reading, everyone.
 


Condobloke

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From Australia, yet the opinion stated here applies to any and all countries in our World.

 

KGIII

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PS: I will post again here in one week. Thanks for reading, everyone.

Thanks. I look forward to this weekly post.

On a personal note, I've had the Pfizer rounds and have done my booster shot.
 

Condobloke

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MatsuShimizu

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How to detect fake news on the coronavirus - DW News

Tip 1: Exit panic mode. Use search engines.
Tip 2: Check the source.
Tip 3: Beware of memes.
Tip 4: Use credible fact-checking sites.
Tip 5: Check out online tools.
Tip 6: If unsure, don't spread.
Tip 7: Counter with correct information.

Why the 5G coronavirus conspiracy theory is false - The Guardian Youtube Channel

Best Fact-checking Websites on The Internet
From Beebom [1] (I found this Beebom website on DDG):
1. Snopes
Over the years, Snopes has been the go-to place for fact-checking myths and rumors and now, it has become an authoritative reference for debunking half-truths and outrageous claims. As fake information is getting more sophisticated in its language and tone, users are easily falling for it. So to counter the misinformation, Snopes offers detailed explanations from genuine sources (like WHO, CDC) and sets the facts straight.

Snopes /ˈsnoʊps/, formerly known as the Urban Legends Reference Pages, is a fact-checking website. It has been described as a "well-regarded reference for sorting out myths and rumors" on the Internet. The site has also been seen as a source for both validating and debunking urban legends and similar stories in American popular culture. - Wikipedia

2. FactCheck.Org
FactCheck.org is one of the most popular fact-checking websites on the internet and it has garnered several Webby awards for its investigative body of work over the years. It’s an attempt to bring more factual accuracy to the public discourse which extends to TV ads, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Currently, the website is running a live Coronavirus debunking section where it separates the wheat from the chaff and informs netizens with correct information from the CDC and WHO. Simply put, FactCheck.org is among the best fact-checking websites on the internet and you should keep a tab on the website for authentic information.

FactCheck.org is a nonprofit website that describes itself as a "consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics". It is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and is funded primarily by the Annenberg Foundation. - Wikipedia

3. ProPublica
ProPublica is an independent online newsroom that thrives on investigative journalism. It’s not a mere fact-checking website, but a portal where you can dive deep and find the hidden truth. ProPublica is bringing light to healthcare information amid the Coronavirus outbreak in the US.

ProPublica, legally Pro Publica, Inc., is a nonprofit organization based in New York City. It is a newsroom that aims to produce investigative journalism in the public interest. - Wikipedia

4. Washington Post Fact Checker
Washington Post is one of the few mainstream media houses that run a fact-checking column under its diplomatic correspondent, Glenn Kessler. It tries to underline facts and context against a seemingly factful narrative. As I said above, currently, fake news is not just about wrong information, but also about setting the narrative on false contexts. The columns provide well-sourced articles to make a point and explain the issue in great detail. It cites reports from well-established newspapers and journals to make the citizens aware of the missing context.

5. Full Fact
Full Fact is an indispensable fact-checking website if you hail from the UK and Europe. It’s a one-stop online portal where you can find information on a wide variety of topics. Recently, a hoax about 5G made it to the viral club which claimed that exposure to 5G signals can increase the impact of Coronavirus. Full Fact was quick to debunk the claim with well-resourced articles and by citing research papers by academics and professionals. Full Fact runs a “Viral Posts on Facebook” page where it lists out all the outrageous claims and debunks them with detailed explanation and authentic sources.

Full Fact is a British charity, based in London, which checks and corrects facts reported in the news as well as claims which circulate on social media. - Wikipedia

6. Alt News
Alt News is also one of the few fact-checking websites in India which is certified by IFCN (International Fact-Checking Network). It’s run by Pravda Media Foundation and offers its fact-checking service in both English and Hindi. The website is also in partnership with WhatsApp for busting fake news on its chat platform. Apart from that, Alt News regularly debunks claims made on social media platforms covering science, education, and society at large.

Alt News is an Indian non-profit fact checking website founded and run by former software engineer Pratik Sinha and Muhammed Zubair. It was launched on 9 February 2017 to combat the phenomenon of fake news. - Wikipedia

7. Fact-Checker Bot by IFCN (Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checkers Network, IFCN) on WhatsApp
The chatbot not only lets you check facts but also lets you get connected with fact-checkers in your region so you can fact check the local news. I also love the latest fact-check messages that allow me to discard the latest fake news before I read them anywhere else.

The IFCN reviews fact-checkers for compliance with its code, and issues a certification to publishers who pass the audit. The certification lasts for one year, and fact-checkers must be re-examined annually to retain their certifications. Google, Facebook, and other technology companies use the IFCN's certification to vet publishers for fact-checking contracts. - Wikipedia

How to use WhatsApp's fact-checking feature to research
From Business Insider [2]:
- You can now use WhatsApp to fact-check messages within the app — a new feature launched in August 2020 with the aim of combating misinformation.
- Fact-checking can be used to determine whether the content of a viral message sent or received via WhatsApp is actually true by using a Google search on particular messages.
- Messages that have been forwarded to five or more people will be marked with a fact-checking option.

WhatsApp's fact-checking feature couldn't be easier to use. While it's only available on messages that have been forwarded within the app at least five times, if you do happen to receive one such message, you can verify the information it contains by simply double-tapping the magnifying glass icon that appears to the right of the message itself.

From there, WhatsApp will prompt you by asking whether you would like to launch a Google search by uploading the message to the search engine. Simply tap "Search Web" and your device's browser will give you a list of results that relate to the message. From there, you can do your research and decide for yourself whether what you're reading is accurate.

whatsapp-factcheck.png


Related news
Anti-vax Facebook groups are using secret codes like 'dinner party' and 'pizza king' to dodge crackdowns on misinformation
From Insider.com [3]:
- Anti-vaxxers have reportedly been using secret code names like "dinner party" and "dance party" to disguise Facebook groups in order to evade crackdowns on misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine by the social media giant, according to NBC News.
- The private groups have thousands of members and use coded language to push disproven vaccine theories, NBC News reported.
- The groups are trying to evade crackdowns on misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine by Facebook.

Activists and healthcare professionals are trying to stomp out anti-vaxx info online — but social media algorithms are working against them
From Business Insider [4]:
- Social media algorithms aren't adequately moderating platforms for misinformation, an expert says.
- Members of Team Halo, a UN-backed campaign that helps amplify the voices of credible health professionals on social media platforms, have struggled with tackling misinformation online.
- Wallace, who publishes content correcting coronavirus misinformation videos on TikTok and Instagram, said health experts rely on secondhand reports from other users that point out misinformation because algorithms stop them from seeing it. Without those reports, misinformation is left unchecked to metastasize, even by the social media companies themselves.
- Less than 1 in 20 false posts were removed across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube, even after users had reported the content, according to a 2020 report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH).
- "Much debate about misinformation on social media is about automated algorithms and detection," the report says. "Even when companies are handed misinformation on a silver platter, they fail to act."
- TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are just some platforms that have tried to crack down on COVID falsities — but the companies may be locked in a futile battle with their own algorithms.
- Cracking down on bad content has become close to an "impossible task" for health advocates and social media moderators.

Debunking some of the myths
Why it’s not possible for the Covid vaccines to contain a magnetic tracking chip that connects to 5G - CNBC


From CNBC [5]:
"That's just not possible as far as the size that would be required for that microchip," said Dr. Matt Laurens, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine who also serves as a co-investigator on the phase three trials of the Moderna and Novavax Covid vaccines.

"Second, that microchip would have to have an associated power source, and then in addition, that power source would have to transmit a signal through at least an inch of muscle and fat and skin to a remote device, which again, just doesn't make sense."

"There's lots of stuff that the government can use to track us through our phones, through our credit cards, through other kinds of things.," said Mark Fenster, author of "Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture." "The vaccine is the least of your worries."

The Covid vaccines are administered with 25- to 22-gauge needles, which have internal diameters between about 0.26 and 0.41 millimeters. Meanwhile, a chip with 5G functionality is a little smaller than a penny. The smallest radio-frequency identification, or RFID chip, is indeed small enough at 0.125 millimeters. But they only function when attached to a coil antenna that makes the single-chip system about the size of a grain of rice, which would require a syringe about 13 times larger than the one used to inject the vaccines.

"The individual subcomponents in very, very small chips are small enough, but they need to be attached to everything else that makes them work, that makes them into a device and not just a random floating RFID tag," said James Heathers, chief scientific officer at Cipher Skin, which makes wearable biometric tracking devices.

No, the coronavirus wasn’t made in a lab. A genetic analysis shows it’s from nature
From Science News [6]:
- The virus’s genetic makeup reveals that SARS-CoV-2 isn’t a mishmash of known viruses, as might be expected if it were human-made. And it has unusual features that have only recently been identified in scaly anteaters called pangolins, evidence that the virus came from nature, Kristian Andersen and his colleagues report March 17 in Nature Medicine.
- Analysis from other researchers has since suggested that the virus probably jumped only once from an animal into a person and has been spread human to human since about mid-November.
- The SARS-CoV-2 virus has components that differ from those of previously known viruses, so they had to come from an unknown virus or viruses in nature. “Genetic data irrefutably show that SARS-CoV-2 is not derived from any previously used virus backbone,” Andersen and colleagues write in the study.
- “This is not a virus somebody would have conceived of and cobbled together. It has too many distinct features, some of which are counterintuitive,” Garry says. “You wouldn’t do this if you were trying to make a more deadly virus.”
- Other scientists agree. “We see absolutely no evidence that the virus has been engineered or purposely released,” says Emma Hodcroft, a molecular epidemiologist at the University of Basel in Switzerland. She was not part of Andersen’s group, but is a member of a team of scientists with Nextstrain.org that is tracking small genetic changes in the coronavirus to learn more about how it is spreading around the world.
- The researchers compared SARS-CoV-2 with other coronaviruses recently found in nature, including in bats and pangolins. “It looks like SARS-CoV-2 could be a mix of bat and pangolin viruses,” Garry says.
- Viruses, especially RNA viruses such as coronaviruses, often swap genes in nature. Finding genes related to the pangolin viruses was especially reassuring because those viruses’ genetic makeup wasn’t known until after SARS-CoV-2’s discovery, making it unlikely anyone was working with them in a lab, he says.
- In particular, pangolins also have the amino acids that cause the tight binding of the spike protein to ACE2, the team found. “So clearly, this is something that can happen in nature,” Andersen says. “I thought that was very important little clue. It shows there’s no mystery about its tighter binding to the human [protein] because pangolins do it, too.”
- Similarity of SARS-CoV-2 to bat and pangolin viruses is some of the best evidence that the virus is natural, Hodcroft says. “This was just another animal spillover into humans,” she says. “It’s really the most simple explanation for what we see.” Researchers still aren’t sure exactly which animal was the source.
pangolin-covid.png


What you need to know about COVID-19 this week
From World Economic Forum [7]:
- COVID-19 travel restrictions between Sydney and Melbourne have been eased, as Victoria opened its borders to fully vaccinated residents of New South Wales.
- COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen for the third consecutive day in France - a trend not seen for almost two months, health authorities said.
- New confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Netherlands rose 44% in the week through Tuesday, with some hospitals cutting back on regular care to deal with the increase in infections.
- Bulgaria will make a COVID-19 'Green Certificate' mandatory for indoor access to restaurants, cinemas, gyms and shopping malls. The pass shows someone has been vaccinated, tested negative or recently recovered from the virus.
- Britain has reported 223 deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test - the highest figure since March.
- Singapore has reported 3,994 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily rise since the beginning of the pandemic.
- Romania has also reported a record number of daily COVID-19 deaths and infections.
- In Russia, Moscow's mayor has announced four months of stay-at-home restrictions for unvaccinated over-60s and the national government has proposed a week-long workplace shutdown. The moves come as the national death toll from COVID-19 hit another record daily high.
- The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was 93% effective in preventing hospitalizations among those aged 12 to 18, according to analysis released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Also reassuring was that the data from 19 paediatric hospitals showed that among the 179 patients who were hospitalized for COVID-19, 97% were unvaccinated, demonstrating the vaccine's efficacy. Of the roughly 16% of patients hospitalized with severe enough COVID-19 to require life support, none were vaccinated.

Global daily statistics - Reuters COVID-19 Global Tracker
covidstatistics-23oct2021.png


List of sources
[1] https://beebom.com/best-fact-checking-websites/
[2] https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-use-whatsapp-fact-check
[3] https://www.insider.com/anti-vaccine-facebook-groups-secret-codes-misinformation-2021-7
[4] https://www.businessinsider.com/social-media-algorithms-unwinnable-misinformation-battle-2021-9
[5] https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/01/why-the-covid-vaccines-dont-contain-a-magnetic-5g-tracking-chip.html
[6] https://www.sciencenews.org/article/coronavirus-covid-19-not-human-made-lab-genetic-analysis-nature
[7] https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/10/covid-19-coronavirus-pandemic-20-october-2021/

Insider Inc., originally called Business Insider Inc., is an American online media company known for publishing the financial news website Business Insider and other news and media websites. It is a subsidiary of Axel Springer SE. - Wikipedia.

Science News (SN) (ScienceNews.org) is an American bi-weekly magazine devoted to short articles about new scientific and technical developments, typically gleaned from recent scientific and technical journals. - Wikipedia

PS: I made tons of research regarding fake news, social media, and why people share those. The above are just a fraction of my research results. I will post here again next week, but with a different topic. Thanks for reading, everyone.
 

MatsuShimizu

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Schools reopening in the age of coronavirus - DW News

Vaccinations for children and teeanagers - who's at risk? - DW News

FDA Says Benefits Outweigh Risks for Kids COVID-19 Vaccine
From WebMD [1]:
- The FDA has reviewed the clinical trial data on Pfizer’s vaccine for children and concluded that the benefits of the 2-shot series outweigh its risks for kids.
- In a briefing document posted to the FDA website late Friday, agency scientists said that they had used the data to model benefits and risks to kids ages 5-11 over a range of scenarios.
- No cases of heart inflammation called myocarditis or pericarditis were detected among the children enrolled in the initial clinical trials of the vaccine, which is one-third the dose given to adults and teens.
- But this side effect is one researchers are especially keeping an eye on for kids because younger people seem to be experiencing it more often than middle-aged adults and seniors.
- So to be cautious, government statisticians assumed in their modeling that if the shots were given to millions of kids, there might be the same number of those rare cases in younger children as there have been in youth ages 12 to 15.

From CNet [2]:
A panel of independent advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration voted Tuesday to recommend Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to kids ages 5 to 11.

children-vaccine-dwnews.png

Image from DW News

FAQs about COVID vaccine for children
From CNet [2]:
When will kids be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

- Kids ages 12 and up are able to get Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. The other mRNA vaccine, Moderna, and the only single-dose vaccine on the US market, Johnson & Johnson, aren't available for kids yet.
- The FDA's advisory committee met Tuesday and voted on recommending Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. Pfizer said in September that its vaccine is safe and effective for children in that age group, and members of the FDA's committee ultimately voted that the benefits of vaccinating younger kids outweighed the risks.
- If an authorization is formally accepted by the FDA, an independent advisory committee to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet Nov. 2-3 to decide how the shots will be administered to children, and the CDC will need to formally accept its recommendation.
- Both agencies typically follow the advice of their advisory committees, so we can expect a final decision for kids ages 5 to 11 next week.

Do I need to give consent in order for my young child to get vaccinated?
- Yes, parents generally need to consent to their children receiving medical care, which will include Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. This is especially true for younger children.
- However, if you have a teenager or child old enough to express a desire to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but their desire is different than yours, they may have legal precedent to seek one out, depending on which state you live in.

If my child is immunocompromised or has a health condition, can they get a booster?
- If your child is at least 12 years old, "moderately or severely" immunocompromised and vaccinated with Pfizer, according to the CDC, they should get a third dose of Pfizer.
- Moderna is only authorized for people aged 18 and older.
- Examples of people who are immunocompromised include people receiving treatment for cancers in the blood or tumors, organ transplant recipients, stem cell transplant recipients, people with untreated or advanced HIV infection and people taking drugs that could suppress the immune response, per the CDC.

Does Pfizer's full FDA approval extend to kids?
- The FDA's approval of the vaccine by Pfizer and its partner, BioNTech, only applies to people as young as 16 years old.
- While Pfizer remains the only vaccine authorized for use in kids as young as 12 years old, vaccinating that age group is still under emergency use authorization rather than total approval.
- This is because, along with other factors, full FDA approval requires data on how the vaccine fares six months out, per NPR.
- This means that a vaccine mandate that hinges on full approval of a coronavirus vaccine, such as the one announced for schoolkids in California, won't apply to kids younger than 16 for a while.

My child has allergies. Can they get the vaccine?
- "If the child has a history of anaphylaxis or other severe allergies, then the observation time after the injection may be 30 minutes instead of 15," Dr. Anne Liu, an infectious disease specialist with Stanford Hospital and Clinics and the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, said in August.
- So you might be asked to stick around the waiting room with your child for an extra 15 minutes so health care providers can monitor vaccine recipients for the (extremely rare) allergic reaction that can occur after any vaccination.
- Additionally, Liu said, children who are prescribed an EpiPen for any reason should bring it to their vaccine appointment.
- If your child has a severe allergy to any of the ingredients in the vaccine available to them, they shouldn't take it, according to the World Health Organization. Adults allergic to any ingredient a COVID-19 also shouldn't take that vaccine. Find the ingredients for Pfizer on the FDA fact sheet, as well as Moderna's components.

Can my child get the COVID-19 shot at the same time as other vaccines?
Yes, according to the CDC, your child may get other vaccines when they go in for their coronavirus shot without waiting 14 days between appointments.

Should I worry about myocarditis?
- Myocarditis and pericarditis, or inflammation in the heart, is a rare side effect linked to Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, mostly in adolescent males and young adults.
- After looking at data and weighing the risks and benefits, the CDC still recommends everyone, including children as young as 12, get vaccinated.
- According to a Washington Post report, the CDC and FDA are looking into Canadian data that suggests Moderna might carry a higher risk of myocarditis than Pfizer, mainly in young people.
- When cases of myocarditis have occurred, Liu said, the cases have typically responded to treatment and resolved themselves, even when patients were hospitalized for a day or two.
- "COVID-19 infection can have much more serious consequences for the heart than the vaccine," Liu said.

If I'm pregnant or breastfeeding, can I get vaccinated?
- Yes, according to the CDC, because pregnant people are at much higher risk of severe COVID-19 and complications, including death, than people who aren't pregnant.
- Preliminary data shared by the CDC showed there was no increased risk of miscarriage among those who got an mRNA vaccine before the 20th week of pregnancy compared with those who didn't.

My child can't be vaccinated yet. What should we do?
- When spending time with other families with children, it's best if everyone continues to wear a mask, according to Harvard Health, and they should isolate themselves if there's a COVID-19 exposure.
- Additionally, choosing more outdoor activities and avoiding crowds, even when outdoors, can help protect your kids.
- Parents and older siblings who are vaccinated should also mask up to prevent breakthrough infections that can spread to vulnerable people who aren't as protected, including kids.
- The CDC has prioritized in-person learning for students this fall, and it has guidance on prevention strategies schools should use to keep students and staff safe.

Related news: CDC: Over 140,000 U.S. Children Lost a Parent or Caregiver to COVID-19
From ABC4 [3] and CDC [4]:

- A peer-reviewed study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that over 140,000 children in the U.S. lost a parent or caregiver due to COVID-19.
- The results of the study, which were reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)(See link [4]) on October 7th, were described as “a hidden and ongoing secondary tragedy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
- The study further quantifies the scale of the situation, saying that roughly 1 out of 500 children in the United States “has experienced COVID-19-associated orphanhood.”
- Researchers found racial and ethnic disparities in the deaths of caregivers from COVID-19. White deaths represented 61% of the total U.S. population while other ethnic groups represented 39% of COVID-19 deaths.
- The figures are broken down even further: 1 of every 168 American Indian/Alaska Native children, 1 of every 310 Black children, 1 of every 412 Hispanic children, 1 of every 612 Asian children, and 1 of every 753 White children experienced orphanhood or death of a parent or caregiver.
- California, Texas, and New York — states with large populations — had the highest number of children being orphaned by COVID-19.

Coronavirus digest: What you need to know about COVID this week
From DW News [5]:
- A panel of experts advising the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted to endorse the use of the BioNTech-Pfizer kid-size vaccine dose for children aged 5 to 11 years old.
- New Zealand has said it will extend its vaccine mandate to cover 40% of workers, including those who have close contact with customers, such as people working in restaurants, gyms and hair salons.
- Australia announced on Wednesday that its citizens will soon once again be able to travel abroad, if vaccinated. The government imposed a ban on foreign travel 18 months ago that restricted travel in and out of the country. Prime Minister Scott Morrisson also said on Wednesday that unvaccinated tennis players hoping to take part in the Australian Open tournament will have to undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine upon arrival.
- Bulgaria has recorded its highest daily increase in virus cases with 6,813 new infections recorded in the past 24 hours. The European Union's least-vaccinated country also recorded 124 deaths, taking the total death toll to 23,440.
- Germany has reported 23,212 new cases of the virus, taking the country’s total tally to 4,506,415, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases. With 114 deaths reported in the past 24 hours, Germany’s death toll has risen to 95,359.
- The UK will remove restrictions such as hotel quarantine and remove the final seven countries from the travel "red list" due to a declining threat from abroad, The Telegraph has reported.
- Spain will offer people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine a second dose from a different manufacturer, accordering to health authorities.
- Slovenia, which has a very low vaccination rate compared to its EU neighbors, is facing the prospect of renewed restrictions, the health minister warned.
- Sweden will offer a third vaccine shot to people aged 65 and over, as well as to health care workers and nursing home staff.
- Russia is warning its citizens not to travel domestically during a new non-working week to avoid spreading the virus. President Vladimir Putin last week ordered the week-long paid holiday between October 30 and November 7 to try and reverse the spread.
- The government of Cambodia has announced plans to reopen the country, in phases, to fully vaccinated foreign tourists from the end of next month.
- Vietnam has kicked off a campaign to vaccinate children in an effort to reopen schools more than six months after they were closed due to the virus.
- Pharmaceutical company Merck has agreed to allow other drug makers to produce its COVID-19 pill, according to a United Nations body.

In China:
- Organizers at the Beijing Winter Olympics have highlighted coronavirus as the "biggest challenge" to the games, as China rushes to stem an outbreak of COVID-19 100 days before kickoff.
- "The pandemic is the biggest challenge to the organization of the Winter Olympics," Zhang Jiandong, executive vice president of the Beijing Organising Committee, said at a press conference, adding that China’s strict measures "can reduce the risks and impact of Covid-19."
- Organizers confirmed that participants will be strictly isolated from the general population and could face expulsion for violating restrictions.
- As the Chinese capital races to become the first host of a Summer and Winter Games, the country is battling an outbreak that has prompted strict measures to be enforced across at least 11 provinces.

Global daily statistics - Reuters COVID-19 Global Tracker
reuterscovid-30oct2021.png


List of sources
[1] https://www.webmd.com/vaccines/covid-19-vaccine/news/20211023/fda-weighs-vaccines-for-kids
[2] https://www.cnet.com/health/parenti...n-the-edge-of-authorization-heres-the-latest/
[3] https://www.abc4.com/coronavirus/cd...ldren-lost-a-parent-or-caregiver-to-covid-19/
[4] https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/p1007-covid-19-orphaned-children.html
[5] https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-d...ontech-pfizer-vaccine-for-children/a-59634928

PS: I will post here again next week, but with a different topic. Thanks for reading, everyone.
 

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The coverage you have made of not only C19, but also the topics associated with it, have been more than illuminating, @MatsuShimizu.

I, for one , have come to regard your weekly column as mandatory reading.

Thank you for your efforts.
 

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"Mortality is pretty steady, year after year after year," Professor Lopez says. "If you look over the last three or four years and you average out the mortality of each week … and then you look at what's happened in 2020 and 2021, the excess deaths in the absence of anything else are highly likely to be attributable to the various effects of COVID-19."

The United States is one of those nations. The US is currently recording as many as 20,000 deaths a week over and above historical norms.

Professor Mokdad estimates that only around 50 per cent of COVID-19 cases are being detected in the United States.
 

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The Northern Territory (Australia) has not had a case of 'community transmission', until now.

All it took was ONE ....unvaccinated 20 year old, doing 'his thing'

Under the lockout, fully vaccinated people will be required to wear a mask when outdoors but can otherwise continue life as normal.

However, unvaccinated people will be subject to full lockdown restrictions, including only being able to leave their home for the five reasons.

 

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FDA authorizes first COVID-19 shot for young children - Reuters Youtube Channel

What parents need to know about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11
From Science News [1]:
How has COVID-19 affected 5- to 11-year-olds?
- As of October 28, 171 children in this age group in the United States have died of COVID-19, according to CDC’s COVID data tracker [4]. Looking at the top 10 causes of death for children in 2019, COVID-19 would be eighth on that list, said Fiona Havers, a medical officer with the CDC’s COVID-19 Public Health Response during a presentation at the FDA meeting. More than 8,300 kids ages 5 to 11 have been hospitalized so far, and about a third of those needed intensive care, she said.
- The overall rate of hospitalization for COVID-19 for 5- to 11-year-olds roughly matches what was seen for influenza seasons before the pandemic. But that’s with masking, school closures and other public health measures. Without those precautions, the COVID-19 hospitalization rate may be higher than that seen in past flu seasons, Havers said.
- More than 5,000 children who were infected with the coronavirus have developed multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, which causes severe inflammation throughout the body. Of those reported cases, 39 percent were among children ages 6 to 11, Havers said.
- Children can also experience long COVID, in which symptoms such as fatigue, cough, headaches, insomnia, difficulty concentrating and pain in the muscles and joints persist after being sick. These continued symptoms can limit activity and impact mental health and school attendance. Long COVID can occur after mild or severe disease or following MIS-C. It’s still unclear how many children have been affected by long COVID. One estimate, from a survey by the United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics, reported that 7 to 8 percent of U.K. children who had gotten COVID-19 still had symptoms more than 12 weeks after being diagnosed.
- COVID-19 has severely disrupted children’s lives beyond its capacity to cause illness. Children have been kept out of school, which has stalled the education of many kids, and for many has meant missing out on regular meals. School closures that happened during just a few months, from August to October of 2021, as the delta variant was surging, affected more than 1 million students in the United States. We don’t yet know the extent of the educational and emotional toll school closures have taken on children.

How was the vaccine evaluated?
- In a clinical trial, Pfizer assessed the immune response and the safety of their mRNA vaccine in kids 5 to 11. The trial included about 2,250 children, with two-thirds getting the shot and the other third receiving a placebo.
- An earlier study had determined that this age group had a good immune response to a smaller dose, two shots of 10 micrograms, compared with the 30-microgram-per-shot dose given to adolescents and adults. Children’s immune systems tend to respond well to vaccines, so to avoid unnecessarily strong symptoms after a shot, such as high fevers or excessive achiness, the goal with the smaller dose is to hit the right sweet spot between a protective immune response and side effects.

How well does the vaccine work?
- The data suggest the vaccine works very well for this age group.
- There was no difference in the immune responses between the different groups, even though the younger children received a smaller dose, the FDA reported in their review of Pfizer’s trial data. Since the immune response was similar between the two groups, the protection against COVID-19 offered by the vaccine for each group should also be similar.
- Pfizer also looked at how many symptomatic COVID-19 cases occurred at least a week after the second shot in children who were vaccinated compared with those who received the placebo. Three of 1,450 vaccinated children developed the disease, while 16 of 736 unvaccinated did, which Pfizer reports as an efficacy of 90 percent. None of the children in the trial had severe COVID-19 or MIS-C.

What are the side effects?
In the clinical trial, common side effects were redness, swelling and pain at the site of the injection in the arm, as well as headache and fatigue. There were no cases of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that was reported, though rarely, when the Pfizer vaccine was first given to adults outside clinical trials.

What about heart inflammation called myocarditis?
- No cases of myocarditis occurred in kids ages 5 to 11 in the follow-up period, three months after vaccination. But with the possibility that this rare complication could occur once the vaccine is used in larger numbers, weighing the risk of myocarditis against the benefits of being protected against COVID-19 disease, hospitalization and death took up much of the discussion at the FDA’s advisory panel meeting.
- Tens of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been given to 12- to 29-year-olds. Of 877 confirmed myocarditis cases in this group and 829 hospitalized, there have been no deaths. As of October 6, 607 of 789 adolescents and young adults discharged from the hospital are known to have recovered from their symptoms.

How can parents be sure children are getting the correct, smaller dose?
- The vials of Pfizer vaccine intended for those 12 and older have a purple cap and purple lettering on the label.
- To help make sure that 5- to 11-year-olds get the right vial, the company has changed the color scheme to orange.

Should 11-year-olds wait until their 12th birthday to get the same dose that adults do?
- “I would not wait,” said Walter, the Duke pediatrician, who was involved in the clinical trial for Pfizer’s vaccine.
- That’s because even with the lower dose of the vaccine, 11-year-olds developed lots of antibodies. Data presented during the October 26 FDA advisory meeting show that 5- to 11-year-olds had similar antibody levels as older age groups a month after the second dose. “I’m confident they’ll have the same protection” as 12-year-olds, Walter said.

How can parents prepare kids to get the vaccine?
- The shots can have typical side effects like fever or fatigue. So it may be worth telling children that they might feel achy, have a headache or just not feel good overall for the next day or so, Walter said. “That’s to be expected.”
- Those symptoms are usually pretty mild. But some kids may end up with stronger side effects, such as feeling more fatigued, than others. If your child does end up feeling crummy, Walter said, it’s OK to use pain medication.

CDC Backs Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids
From WebMD [2]:
- Nov. 2, 2021 -- Younger children could soon receive their first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine after the CDC officially endorsed the shot for this age group on Tuesday evening.
- “I'm voting for this because I think it could have a huge positive impact on [kids'] health and their social and emotional well-being,” said Grace Lee, MD, a pediatrician at Stanford University who chairs the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Although masks are available to reduce the risk of the virus for kids, they aren't perfect and transmission still occurs, Lee noted. “Vaccines are really the only consistent and reliable way to provide that protection,” Lee said.
- The Pfizer vaccine for children is 2 doses that are given 3 weeks apart. Each dose is 10 micrograms, which is one-third of the dose used in adults and teens.
- To avoid confusion, the smaller dose for kids will come in bottles with orange labels and orange tops. The vaccine for adults is packaged in purple.

Demographic Trends of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the US reported to CDC
Chart from CDC website [4]:
cdc5nov2021.png

cdc5nov2021-2.png


News: What you need to know about COVID-19 this week
India celebrates 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses - Reuters

From DW News [3]:
- Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday evening that some COVID measures would be reintroduced as the Netherlands' infection and hospitalization rates rise. People will have to wear masks in public places such as shops, hairdressers, libraries, government buildings, train stations and hospitals.
- Germany has reported 10,813 new cases and 81 deaths over the past 24 hours, according to the latest date from the Robert Koch Institute, the country's public health body. The seven-day incidence in the country stood at 153.7 cases per 100,000 people per week.
- China's hopes of playing their upcoming home World Cup qualifiers against Oman and Australia in front of their own fans have been dashed after the matches were moved to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates due to travel restrictions.
- On November 1, Australia began allowing fully vaccinated citizens to fly internationally without taking any special permission for the first time since March 2020. Those arriving in New South Wales, home to Sydney, and Victoria, home to Melbourne, do not need to quarantine. Other states have quarantine restrictions.
- Fiji announced that it will open to fully vaccinated tourists from several countries, including Australia.
- Brazil registered 98 new COVID deaths on Monday, the lowest daily number since April 2020. It also reported 3,838 cases of COVID, according to the country's health ministry. Brazil has reported 607,922 deaths due coronavirus, the world's second-highest tally in gross terms behind the United States.

From Reuters [6]:
- Europe registered a 55% rise in COVID-19 cases in the last four weeks, despite the availability of vaccines, which should serve as a "warning shot" to other regions, World Health Organization (WHO) officials said on Thursday.
- WHO emergency director Mike Ryan said that some European countries have "sub-optimal vaccination coverage" despite availability. "It's a warning shot for the world to see what is happening in Europe despite availability of vaccination," Ryan told a news conference.

From Business Insider [5]:
- Major study finds that people who believe in COVID-19 conspiracies are more likely to catch the virus, lose their jobs, and be socially isolated
- The Dutch study, published by Cambridge University Press, found that those who believe in COVID-19 conspiracies are less likely to be tested for COVID-19, but when tested, are more likely to be infected.
- It also notes that there is a higher probability of this group violating coronavirus regulations and experiencing social rejection, job losses, reduced income, and decreased overall well-being.
- The study concluded: "Conspiracy beliefs predict how well people cope with the challenges of a global pandemic and therefore has substantial implications for private and public health, as well as perceivers' economic and social well-being."
- Conspiracy theories are often used within a time of heightened anxiety to explain events beyond our control, Geoffrey Dancy, an expert in conspiracy theories, told Insider in March.
- "The great power of conspiracy theories is that you can offer them quickly, and you can point to somebody to blame for problems," he said.

Global daily statistics - Reuters COVID-19 Global Tracker
reutersstatistics-5nov2021.png


[1] https://www.sciencenews.org/article/covid-coronavirus-vaccine-kids-5-11-pfizer-parents-questions
[2] https://www.webmd.com/vaccines/covid-19-vaccine/news/20211102/cdc-panel-backs-pfizer-vaccine-kids
[3] https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-digest-netherlands-reintroduces-covid-curbs/a-59691213
[4] https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#demographics
[5] https://www.businessinsider.com/stu...eorists-more-likely-to-catch-covid-19-2021-10
[6] https://www.reuters.com/business/he...ad-is-warning-shot-rest-world-who-2021-11-04/

Science News (SN) is an American bi-weekly magazine devoted to short articles about new scientific and technical developments, typically gleaned from recent scientific and technical journals. - Wikipedia

PS: I will post here again next week, same time as usual. Thanks for reading, everyone.

The coverage you have made of not only C19, but also the topics associated with it, have been more than illuminating, @MatsuShimizu.

I, for one , have come to regard your weekly column as mandatory reading.

Thank you for your efforts.
I'm glad to hear that. You're welcome.
 

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New Guinea
Population 9.1 Million
Double vaccinated percentage of population = 1.7%

Only 1.7 per cent of Papua New Guineans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This has been a cause of concern for the international community, who are watching the virus spread through an exposed population with high rates of co-morbidities and minimal access to healthcare.


 

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Global Covid-19 cases hit 250 million, eastern Europe infections at record levels - FRANCE 24 Youtube Channel

France 24 (France vingt-quatre in French and Arabic channels, France veinticuatro in Spanish channel) is a French state-owned international news television network based in Paris. Its channels broadcast in French, English, Arabic, and Spanish and are aimed at the overseas market. - Wikipedia

Macron: Europe in fifth COVID-19 wave - CityNews Canada

CityNews (corporately styled CityNews) is the title of news and current affairs programming on Rogers Sports & Media's Citytv network in Canada. It is a standalone local newscast on the network's Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver stations, while on the remaining Citytv stations it airs as the news headlines segment during each station's Breakfast Television morning show. - Wikipedia

'This Pandemic Still Has Legs': COVID-19 Expert Q&A on WebMD
From WebMD [6]:
With so much COVID-19 news breaking this week, including the authorization of vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11 and a Jan. 4 federal mandate for workers at any company that employs at least 100 people to be vaccinated or get tested weekly, we wanted to sit down with Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, to discuss the pressing COVID-19 issues we’re facing right now.

WebMD: Now that kids ages 5 to 11 are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, what still concerns you?
Osterholm: Right now, you have a situation where about a third of parents are indicating they will get their kids vaccinated as soon as possible. Then there are a third of parents saying, “Maybe, I will wait and see,” and the final third who are saying, “No way.” Now we need to see how many of that middle group of parents will get their kids vaccinated. That could determine what the holiday season will look like.

WebMD: How do you feel about the Biden administration’s mandate for workers to get vaccinated or get tested weekly by Jan. 4?
Osterholm: A lot of people don’t realize that ongoing transmission will keep occurring in this country. If you look at what we’re seeing in the Southwest, you can see what’s happening -- case numbers are increasing quickly. The bottom line is that we have 65 to 70 million people left to get infected. That’s the challenge we have. Look at the Four Corners. In those four states [Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado], case numbers are going way up, and Colorado’s governor just announced they’re deferring elective procedures. All of this sets the stage for why this mandate is so important.

Will we ever move from pandemic to endemic?

One thing I try to put forward is that the euphoria we had almost a year ago when the vaccines became available was real. At the time, data were showing 99% protection against illness, hospitalization, and death. That was before we understood what would that look like 6 to 8 months later. Just add up the issue of variants as well as the number of people not protected. Then look at the people with evidence of protection, and we don’t know how long and how well it will last. This pandemic still has legs, and it’s why we have to have a huge dose of humility about this virus.

When it comes to the booster, some people are getting antibody testing to help decide if they need one. Good idea?
Under no condition should you use antibody testing as a gauge of whether or not you need a booster. We don’t know what antibody studies mean. Just because you make an antibody at a higher level, we don’t know yet how this connects to protection. Until we have some sense of correlative factors, such as how much do T cells play a role and what does protection mean and studies where we can correlate immune response and different kinds of antibodies, you can’t use antibody testing as a reason to get the booster -- or not.

How are you feeling right now about where we are in this pandemic?
I think a lot about: How much do we know? How much did we think we knew? For example, the vaccines are remarkable but they’re not perfect. That’s a key message.

Also, if this was typical vaccine, we would have spent 5 to 6 years studying and looking at long-term immunity. We would have gone into the approval process with an exhaustive dossier.

We couldn’t do this because we were in a pandemic, so once we established the safety of the vaccines, we were in a situation where our goal was to study how to best use them, including what the doses should be and how many doses a person should receive.

We’re all learning that and trying to understand this. And this is important: This isn’t indecision or incomplete information. We’re learning. It’s an evolving science. The thing I’m learning is to have an even bigger dose of humility about this virus.

What to know about the newly authorized COVID-19 vaccine for kids - Business Insider
From Business Insider [5]:
Instead of the mass vaccination sites adults flocked to, pediatricians will be heavily involved in administering vaccines to kids, according to the White House. Doctors and nurses will also use smaller needles on kids than on adults.

Additionally, although the kids' vaccine still involves two shots spaced three weeks apart, 5- to 11-year-olds will get smaller doses. Adults and teenagers got 30-microgram doses, whereas younger kids will receive just 10 micrograms.

Pfizer tested the vaccine on kids at 30 micrograms and at 10 micrograms and found that the two versions produced a similar amount of antibodies in that age group. But kids experienced more side effects — such as pain, tenderness, redness, fever, chills, and fatigue — with the 30-microgram dose.

A chart from Business Insider [5]
pfizer-kids-vs-adults.png

The charts show the most common side effects for kids after each dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine
From Business Insider [4]:
The Food and Drug Administration authorized a lower dose of Pfizer's vaccine for emergency use in children ages 5 to 11 in October. Then last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially greenlit the shot for this younger age group — nearly a year after the first Americans started receiving COVID-19 vaccines.

The chart below shows how side effects differ based on age group, vaccine manufacturer, and dose received. Data comes from clinical trials.

Blue chart for Pfizer, sky blue for Moderna, red for J&J. Chart sources are from FDA (Pfizer, Moderna, J&J) and The Lancet (AstraZeneca). Check out the Business Insider link [4] below for the links to the FDA website.
pfizer-kids1.png

What Happens When Kids Get Long COVID? - Yale Medicine
From Yale Medicine [1]:
How common is long COVID in kids?
As of the end of October, nearly 6.4 million children had been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)—but studies quantifying the number of cases of long COVID in kids have varied widely. Geography is one factor. “Different studies have shown different results, depending on what parts of the world or which parts of the country you’re looking at,” says Carlos Oliveira, MD, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist.

Only a fraction of children with long COVID seek medical attention, which makes tracking its incidence very challenging, he adds. Also, because infants and toddlers can’t always verbalize what they are feeling, it makes matters more complicated. Symptoms like fatigue, for instance, can manifest in young children as hyperactivity rather than sluggishness, making it difficult for parents to detect the problem. “As a result, we are likely only identifying the adolescents who can self-report their symptoms,” he says.

Are post-COVID symptoms different in kids than in adults?
Dr. Oliveira says that kids often display different symptoms than adults, with no single standout symptom that makes a case easy to identify. The AAP reports that children and adolescents have experienced chest pain, cough, exercise-induced dyspnea (or labored breathing), as well as changes to smell or taste (although this is more common in adolescents), among other things. Affected children and teens have reported fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, joint pain, headache, and sore throat, among other symptoms—all varying in intensity and duration, in some cases lasting for months.

Is inflammation a cause of post-COVID symptoms in children?
Experts are still trying to figure out what causes long COVID in kids. “The main hypothesis—I say hypothesis because we don't yet know—is that there's some continual trigger of inflammation,” Dr. Oliveira says.

“You can look at the lab tests... and they're not showing anything. But that doesn't mean that the immune system didn't ramp up... and cause those symptoms.” — Ian Ferguson, MD, a Yale Medicine rheumatologist

What is the treatment for kids with long COVID?
There is no typical case of long COVID in kids, and no one-size-fits-all treatment. Young patients who visit the Yale program come in with any combination of symptoms.

Typically, after a full evaluation, patients are referred to one or more subspecialists with expertise in a particular area. Long COVID can affect different organs and parts of the body, so in addition to pediatric infectious diseases specialists, the team can include cardiologists, neurologists, pulmonologists, rheumatologists, psychologists, and others.

Treatment tends to be most effective when it addresses each symptom individually. A child with chest pain and decreasing physical conditioning will be referred for a cardiac evaluation, for instance, while one with cognitive challenges will be seen by a neurologist.

What helps when children with long COVID have mental health symptoms?
It’s common for children with long COVID to face mental health challenges as well—although whether that’s a direct result of COVID-19 is still unclear. “There is a worldwide increase in children’s behavioral health needs, especially around anxiety and depression, and that’s not only in children who have had COVID,” says Linda Mayes, MD, chair of the Yale Child Study Center (CSC), which participates in treating patients in the post-COVID treatment program. “We just don’t really know yet how COVID impacts basic psychological development overall.”

How long do children with long COVID need treatment?
It’s impossible to predict a long-term recovery timeline for children with long COVID, since doctors have only had a year and a half of experience with it. But the good news is that, so far, the children treated in the program are doing well, Dr. Oliveira says. “By numbers, relative to the adults, kids usually recover faster, within a few months.”

That said, he notes that some patients may continue to need monitoring for cardiac issues, and cardiologists may restrict their activities until they are confident that a child’s heart function is back to normal.

What you need to know about COVID-19 this week
From DW News [7]:
- Stores and malls in Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city, reopened for the first time in three months on Wednesday. The city is the hotspot of the country's coronavirus outbreak. Although large stores are reopening, businesses in the hospitality sector will remain closed for now. The sector will reopen once the city has met a certain vaccination target, according to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
- French President Emmanuel Macron called for citizens to get a coronavirus vaccine booster shot during an address on Tuesday. Macron said people aged 65 and older will need to receive a booster shot by mid-December in order to have a valid health pass, known as the Pass Sanitaire.
- Germany has registered a record-high seven-day incidence rate for the third day running. The number of new infections per 100,000 people over the last week stands at 232.1. On Monday the rate passed 200 for the first time since the pandemic began. The Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases recorded a total of 39,676 new infections over the past 24 hours, also a new record.
- Czech authorities have recorded 14,539 new infections, the highest daily tally since March, the daily Denik N said.
- Denmark has greenlit a plan to reintroduce coronavirus-related restrictions amid rising cases. Starting Friday, people in Denmark will need to show a COVID-19 health pass to enter restaurants, clubs and large public events. The pass indicates whether a person is vaccinated, recovered or has tested negative for the virus.
- Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to introduce a travel corridor on a gradual basis, starting with key areas like capital cities and the holiday island of Bali, the two countries' leaders have said. Malaysia is also set to grant an amnesty to Indonesian migrants working in the country on expired permits.
- Vietnam has approved India's Covaxin vaccine for emergency use, the ninth to be endorsed in the country, the country's health ministry has said. The government announced in July it was seeking to procure 15 million doses.
- South Korea urged its citizens to take COVID-19 booster shots as more elderly people fell sick and reported vaccine breakthrough infections.
- Morocco will end a night curfew starting from Wednesday. The restriction was introduced in March 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19. The lifting of the curfew comes after a fall in cases from the peak during the summer.

Global daily statistics - Reuters COVID-19 Global Tracker
reuters-chart.png


Sources:
[1] https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/long-covid-in-kids
[2] https://medicine.yale.edu/news-arti...rg-accessibility-and-other-upcoming-projects/
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yale_School_of_Medicine
[4] https://www.businessinsider.com/pfizer-covid-vaccine-side-effects-kids-dose-2021-11
[5] https://www.businessinsider.com/what-to-know-covid-vaccine-kids-5-to-11-2021-10
[6] https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20211105/covid-expert-q-a
[7] https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-d...accine-restrictions-on-the-elderly/a-59773025

YaleMedicine.org [1] is the new face of all clinical care for Yale School of Medicine. It is vitally important that all online content for patients is provided in one location for several reasons - A quote from medicine.yale.edu [2].

The Yale School of Medicine (medicine.yale.edu) is the graduate medical school at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. It was founded in 1810 as the Medical Institution of Yale College and formally opened in 1813. - Wikipedia [3].

PS: I will post here again next week, same time as usual. Thanks for reading, everyone.
 

Condobloke

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