Home » Initial high demand for kids' vaccines expected; LA County sheriff says he won't enforce vaccine mandate: COVID-19 updates

Initial high demand for kids' vaccines expected; LA County sheriff says he won't enforce vaccine mandate: COVID-19 updates

by Lester Blair
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The crush is upon pharmacists and pediatriciansthe first vaccine maker submitted an application  to authorize its COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. 

More than 28 million children could become eligible to receive the shot in just weeks, and there is pent-up demand as many parents are eager to get their kids vaccinated now that they are back at school.

“We’ve already had families inquire when they come in or calling and asking if we’re going to be giving the pediatric dose,” said Dr. Sharon Marshall, a professor of pediatrics at Wayne State University.

Pfizer-BioNTech submitted its application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Thursday, and a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel announced plans Friday to meet in early November to consider whether to recommend the vaccine for children.

The move to expand authorization of the vaccine comes amid increasing rates of COVID-19 infection and hospitalization among children. Around 5 million under-18-year-olds have been confirmed positive since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 45 million have been confirmed in the United States. 

Hospitalizations for children with COVID-19 rose in the U.S. between August and September. Weekly pediatric admissions reached a high of over three per 100,000 during the week ended Sept. 5. They have declined since then, along with adult COVID-19 admits. However, the pediatric admission rate has increased in over a dozen states (including Michigan, Oklahoma. Utah. Delaware.)

Pockets of low adult vaccination rates, relaxed social distancing and schools reopening have meant more kids with COVID-19 and more kids ending up in the hospital, said Dr. Donna Tyungu, a pediatric infectious disease physician at OU Health in Oklahoma City.

– Elizabeth Weise, Janie Haseman and Aleszu Bajak, USA TODAY

In the news also:

►The youngest person who spoke in favor of masks at a recent school board meeting in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, decided she wasn’t going to let anti-maskers steal her thunder. Kaylan Park, a ten-year-old girl confronted them.

►An Amur Tiger named Keesa at South Dakota’s Great Plains Zoo tested positive for COVID-19, a zoo veterinarian said. Other big cats, such as two Amur Tigers and two snow leopards at the Zoo, also showed symptoms.

►Hoping to encourage vaccinations, authorities in France have announced that unvaccinated people will be charged for COVID-19 tests. Tests will remain free for vaccinated people, the New York Times reported.

►Hiring slowed again in September as surging COVID-19 cases offset school reopenings and expiration of unemployment benefits that were expected to coax some Americans back to work. Friday’s Labor Department report said that 194,000 more jobs were added to the economy and that the unemployment rate decreased from 5.2% a 4.8%. 5 Million jobs remain below pre-crisis levels.

►San Francisco announced Thursday that it plans to ease indoor mask rules starting Oct. 15 if new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations decline or stay stable. Only people over 12 years of age and fully vaccinated will be allowed to relax the rules.

►Adults over the age of 40 found it harder to regain a loss of smell or taste after having COVID-19, and younger participants regained their sense of smell more quickly,according to a September study surveying 800 people that was published in the American Journal Otolaryngology.

►Los Angeles’ vaccine mandate for indoor areas of bars, lounges, nightclubs, breweries, wineries and distilleries went into effect Thursday night. This week, the city approved a stricter ordinance that required vaccination for all public areas, including shopping centers, theaters and restaurants as well as sports arenas, museums, sporting venues, stadiums, parks, etc. It will be in effect from next month. 

►Arkansas on Thursday became the 29th state to report at least 500,000 COVID-19 cases. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the state has received reports totaling 500,779. 

►A Colorado health system is requiring “almost all” organ transplant patients to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before they receive their transplant. 

📈These are the numbers of today The U.S. has recorded more than 44 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 710,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global numbers: Over 236 million COVID-19 cases, and more than 4.8 millions deaths. More than 186 million Americans — 56% of the population — are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

📘We are reading: From sewers to golf courses, cities are seeing green as they start spending the first tranche of COVID-19 relief money from the American Rescue Plan Act passed by Congress in March. Continue reading how some cities and counties are using the new federal relief dollars

For the most recent news, keep checking this page. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY’s Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates directly to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

Los Angeles County sheriff says he won’t enforce vaccine mandate in agency

The Los Angeles County sheriff says he will not enforce the county’s vaccine mandate in his agency.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who oversees the largest sheriff’s department in the county with roughly 18,000 employees, said Thursday in a Facebook Live event that he does not plan to carry out the county’s mandate, under which Los Angeles County employees had to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1.

This executive order issued the mandate in August. It allows for only religious and medical exemptions. Villanueva claimed that his employees prefer to have their jobs terminated than be vaccinated.

“I don’t want to be in a position to lose 5, 10% of my workforce overnight on a vaccine mandate,” the sheriff said.

– The Associated Press

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