Omicron boosters for kids cleared
FDA authorization comes amid worry that Americans are not getting boosters fast enough; USA again tops weekly global Covid deaths. And, severe Covid cuts brain performance -- and your IQ.
The FDA Wednesday authorized the updated Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, both of which protect against omicron and the original strains of Covid, for children. They were authorized for adults in early September. Now, the only booster shots authorized for use in the United States protect against omicron variants, which account for nearly all new Covid cases in the USA and around the world.
The Moderna booster is authorized for adults and children age 6 and older.
The Pfizer booster is authorized for adults and children age 5 and older.
Specific details are available from the FDA. To find where you can get a booster near you, visit Vaccines.gov.
USA still leads the world on cases, deaths
The latest epidemiological update from the World Health Organization confirms that the United States continues to outpace other countries when it comes to Covid-19 cases and deaths. The tragic reality is that most of the deaths in 2022 would have been prevented had people gotten vaccinated against the pandemic disease.
As of Oct. 9, 2022, the WHO reports over 618 million confirmed cases and over 6.5 million deaths from Covid-19 around the world.
“The highest numbers of new weekly deaths were reported from the United States of America (2817 new deaths; +3%), followed by Brazil (767 new deaths; +168%), the Russian Federation (731 new deaths; +3%), Japan (567 new deaths; +1%) and China (412 new deaths; +12%,)” according to the WHO report.
The highest numbers of new weekly cases were:
Germany (508 749 new cases; +12%),
China (333 830 new cases; +10%),
France (323 787 new cases; +4%),
the United States of America (283 220 new cases; -9%) and
Italy (280 947 new cases; +30%.)
Vaccines prevented more than 300,000 deaths and avoided over 650,000 hospitalizations among older Americans in 2021, primarily because the shots protected against the delta variant, according to an analysis of Medicare data by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
New variants of omicron are emerging, and some experts worry that the virus will continue to find ways around immunity from vaccines or prior infection. The symptoms also change. In the United Kingdom, physicians report an increasing number of people have a sore throat as their primary symptom, not the “Covid cough” or loss of smell or taste that has been widely recognized.
Another reason to avoid getting infected: The brain impact of severe Covid is equivalent to losing 10 points of your IQ, according to researchers at Cambridge University.
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