FDA delays key meeting on COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5
The Food and Drug Administration has delayed a meetingTrusted Source to discuss authorizing vaccines for children under 5 years old. The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee had been scheduled to meet on Feb. 15 to discuss allowing vaccines for young children.
Originally, the committee was going to look at data from two doses but now said it would look at data from three doses. That data will likely not be available until this spring.
Thousands of New York City workers face job loss over vaccine mandates
A group of New York City municipal workers opposed to the city’s vaccination mandate has asked a federal judge to suspend thousands of firings expected Feb. 11, reported the Daily News.
The workers argued in Brooklyn Federal Court that the mandate violates “fundamental religious and constitutional rights” and that they’re being subjected to “heresy inquisitions” and “religious harassment,” reported the newspaper.
According to CBS, termination notices have already been sent to city workers who were placed on unpaid leave for disobeying New York’s vaccine requirement.
“We’re not firing them. People are quitting,” New York Mayor Eric Adams said on Feb. 10 during a news conference.
Balancing the benefits of mask wearing
Healthline spoke with Dr. Adrianna Bravo, FAAP, pediatrician, school health consultant, and senior medical adviser for Inspire Diagnostics, about the recent trend to lift mask mandates.
She emphasized that the same careful planning that schools, businesses, and entertainment venues used in developing risk mitigation strategies to open and stay open over the past 2 years needs to be applied to much of the “undoing” of risk mitigation measures, including that of mask-wearing.
“Balancing the benefits and risks of mask-wearing is the challenge right now,” said Bravo.
She noted the need to recognize that the COVID-protective benefits of mask-wearing may be partly offset by the “social-emotional-developmental” restrictions that mask-wearing might sometimes present.
“Yet, with COVID-19 rates falling in many places, how much do we need to continue to disrupt lives in order to mitigate that declining risk?” Bravo asked. “There is no one size fits all answer or solution that fits every scenario.”
She described her method to determine when and if to mask. She called it the “four A’s”:
- Audit the COVID risk presented by the particular environment.
- Assess your own personal COVID risk and your tolerance for that risk.
- Acknowledge and adjust for the social emotional challenges that mask-wearing may present.
- Act when you can to reduce risk and ease concerns of others.
Gov. Newsom allocates nearly $2 billion to California’s COVID-19 response
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Feb. 11 that he signed a $1.9 billion “early action measure” to meet the state’s immediate COVID-19 response needs, according to a press release from his office.
The measure will include funding to raise the state’s testing capacity and vaccination efforts, as well as support frontline workers, strengthen the healthcare system, and fight misinformation while focusing those efforts on the “hardest-hit communities.”
“California has led the nation’s fight against COVID-19 with a comprehensive response that has saved countless lives. As we emerge from the Omicron surge, we’re not letting our guard down,” Newsom said in a statement.