Today’s TIP News in Review: Still no COVID jabs for kids under 5; more evidence pregnant moms with COVID vaccine protect babies for up to six months; and no masks need for visiting the Mouse.
Hello, and welcome to TIP News in Review for the week of February 14, 2022. TIP News in Review is a production of The Immunization Partnership. My name is John David Powell.
In today’s TIP News in Review: Still no COVID jabs for kids under 5; more evidence pregnant moms with COVID vaccine protect babies for up to six months; and no masks need for visiting the Mouse.
Well, let’s start with
The start of Valentine’s Day week did not come with hearts and flowers. Parents wanting to get a COVID jab for kids under the age of 5 will have to wait until April at the earliest. The Food and Drug Administration panel of outside experts was supposed to meet Tuesday to decide whether to authorize two doses of the Pfizer pediatric vaccine for the youngest age group. But federal regulators say they want more data on the effectiveness of three doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. In a news release, Pfizer-BioNTech said that its three-dose trial was moving briskly, and that the new timetable would allow the FDA to get more data and thoroughly review it.
More than 150 Afghans have died during their country’s measles outbreak affecting tens of thousands. The World Health Organization believes the number of deaths will continue to climb because of widespread malnutrition that makes children more vulnerable to measles. Meantime, hundreds of residents of Hong Kong, folks of all ages and entire families line up to get into China. Not because of politics, but because of COVID. The number of infections continues to rise and those lining up to get out of Dodge are willing to spend two weeks in mandatory COVID time out in government facilities. Those stories from Asia Today.
Here’s some information from
Staying with Hong Kong. The Associated Press reports Hong Kong will provide COVID jabs to kids as young as 3. Hong Kong reported 2,071 new cases Monday, and health officials expected that to reach more than 4,000 by Tuesday. Also, Hong Kong schools continue remote learning through March 6. Hong Kong has more than 7,000 residents under treatment for COVID or waiting to get into hospitals, this out of a population of 7.5 million. The city adopted mainland China’s “zero tolerance” approach to dealing with the pandemic. That being quarantines; mask mandates; and lockdowns of buildings, neighborhoods, and entire cities at the first sign of the virus.
Next up . . .
Last week, we told you about a study published in JAMA that found 98 percent of babies born to mothers who got the COVID vaccine during pregnancy had detectable levels of the protective antibodies two months after birth, and 57 percent still had detectable levels after six months. Well, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published new research suggesting COVID vaccines during pregnancy may also help protect babies after birth. Babies whose mothers received two shots of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines during pregnancy had a 61 percent lower risk of COVID-related hospitalization in their first six months of life. They also found that of 379 infants hospitalized for various reasons, including COVID, 84 percent were born to moms who were not vaccinated. More science-based evidence that vaccines work, especially now when we do not have an authorized vaccine for babies younger than 6 months.
Sounds like we have another message on the old teletype. It’s a reminder that The Immunization Partnership is the only statewide non-profit organization in Texas dedicated solely to providing immunization education and advocacy. If your Community-Based Organization provides vital wellness services, we would like to help you increase immunization awareness and vaccination rates among our families, neighbors, and friends. We have a variety of tools specifically designed for community-based organizations. We never charge to help you help those you serve. Please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.
And that brings us to . . .
With the Texas primary elections under way, it was curious to see Republican incumbents Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne of Irving suing the Biden administration to end mask mandates on planes. They claim the mandate imposes what they called a “restriction on travelers’ liberty interests”. They also say the CDC has no power to introduce such an overarching preventive measure, such as the one it issued in January 2021 that requires folks to wear masks when using public facilities or public transportation, such as airports and subway stations. Failure to do so could result in fines. It is interesting to note that the federal mask mandate expires on March 18. Also, the Texas Tribune reports that back in June 2021, Van Duyne incurred a $500 charge for a second violation of the US Capitol’s mask policy.
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If you’ve been dreaming about a barefaced visit Disneyland or Walt Disney World, well, your heart’s wish has come true. The Mouse lifted the majority of its indoor mask requirements for vaccinated guests at both theme parks. Face coverings, also known as masks, are optional for fully vaxxed visitors in outdoor and indoor park spaces because of recent moves by California and Florida to ease up on health and safety protocols.
And we end the week with . . .
COVID vaccinations are now right up there in the list of recommended adult vaccinations, along with shingles, flu, pneumonia, and chicken pox. The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, says the updated list is particularly important this year because the COVID pandemic put many adults behind on routine vaccinations. ACIP also has an updated schedule for children and adolescents. Changes include clarification of the vaccine recommendations for Haemophilus influenzae type b; hepatitis A and B; human papillomavirus or HPV; measle, mumps, and rubella or MMR; meningococcal serogroups A, C, W, Y; tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis or Tdap; and varicella or chicken pox. Oh, and ACIP added dengue, the virus that comes from skeeter bites in tropical and subtropical areas with endemic dengue. And for those of you playing along at home, you can get the full list from the CDC at cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/
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We hope you'll join us for our 13th Annual Community Immunity Luncheon on April 6, 2022.
Dr. Jason V. Terk with Cook Children’s Physician Network in Keller, Texas, will receive the Ralph D. Feigin, MD Award for Excellence, and H-E-B will receive the John R. Boettiger, Jr. Award for Community Partnership. We also will honor Venus Ginés with our first Community Immunization Champion Award. She is the CEO and Founder of Dia de la Mujer Latina.
Dr. Brendan Borrell is our keynote speaker. He’s a Los Angeles-based journalist and author who grew up in Texas. He’s the author of The First Shots: The Epic Rivalries and Heroic Science Behind the Race to the Coronavirus Vaccines, a behind-the-scenes look into how we got today’s COVID vaccines.
You can make your reservation and get more information at immunizeusa.org/getinvolved. That’s one word: getinvolved.
That’s our TIP News in Review for today, Feb. 18 2022, for the week of Feb. 14.
TIP News in Review is a production of The Immunization Partnership. We invite you to subscribe to our podcasts, Vaxx Voice, which deals with vaccines in general, and Vaxx to the Future, where we feature information specifically related to COVID-19 and its vaccines. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also find more information on our webpage, immunizeusa.org. For all of us at The Immunization Partnership, I’m John David Powell. Thanks for listening.