Some states are preparing to receive hundreds of thousands of doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 next week, ahead of full authorization by regulatory bodies.
The vaccines for children, which will be at lower doses than the adult vaccines, were backed by an FDA advisory committee earlier this week, and could receive full approval by as early as next week. The FDA will decide whether to authorize the child vaccines, and then the CDC will make a decision on whether to recommend the shots.
Acting Assistant Secretary of the Washington Department of Health Michele Roberts said Wednesday the state has ordered 230,000 doses to be delivered to providers next week, and an additional 86,000 doses are expected to arrive at pharmacies through a federal program.
Indiana also expects to receive more than 200,000 pediatric doses of the Pfizer vaccine next Monday and Tuesday, Indiana chief medical officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver said Wednesday.
Texas has already ordered 1.3 million pediatric doses, local station NBC5 reported.
While states will not begin administering the doses until there is full approval, they are preparing for the approximately 28 million children in the 5-to-11 age range who will become eligible for their shots. Vaccines for children will be available at more than 1,300 sites in Indiana once the regulatory bodies give the green light.
Also in the news:
►A judge cleared the way for a recall campaign against three Michigan county officials who used COVID-19 funds to give themselves bonuses. Shiawassee County Judge Matthew Stewart rejected appeals that he said didn’t follow court procedures, the Argus-Press reported.
►San Diego restaurants will be able to permanently serve customers on sidewalks, which rose in prominence during the COVID pandemic and helped restaurants survive restrictions on indoor gatherings, following new regulations approved by the City Council that will go into effect in July when the current rules expire.
►Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry won’t attend the team’s Thursday night game at Arizona because of COVID-19 protocols after testing positive.
►New Orleans will suspend the city-wide mask mandate in most public places, the city announced Wednesday after Louisiana’s governor eased the state’s mask mandates. Masks will still be required in New Orleans in health care facilities, public transportation and schools.
📈Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded 45.7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 741,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 244.9 million cases and 4.9 million deaths. More than 190.9 million Americans – 57.5% of the population – are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
📘What we’re reading: Travel forums and social media sites have been filled with travelers with unvaccinated kids wondering whether or not they’ll need to quarantine upon arrival to the U.S. New travel rules prohibit entry for most, but not all, unvaccinated. Who is exempt?
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At least 59,000 meatpacking workers became ill with COVID-19 and 269 died when the virus tore through the industry last year, a number of infections that is significantly higher than previously thought, according to a new U.S. House report released Wednesday.
With workers standing shoulder to shoulder along production lines, the meatpacking industry was one of the early epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic, including at several locations in Iowa. The U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which used internal documents from five of the biggest meatpacking companies for its report, said the companies could have done more to protect their workers.
The new estimate of infections in the industry is nearly three times the 22,400 that the United Food and Commercial Workers Union previously reported. And the true number of infections could be even higher because the company documents generally don’t account for coronavirus cases confirmed by outside testing or self-reported by employees.
-The Des Moines Register
The popular California-based fast-food chain In-N-Out has shut down a location in Contra Costa County after workers failed to check customers’ vaccination status, violating the county’s vaccine mandate.
This comes only weeks after a separate location was closed in San Francisco on Oct.14, for the same reason, which caused a stir of political debate online. Two other In-N-Out restaurants in the area have also been given fines and warnings for not checking a person’s vaccination status before they eat.
Contra Costa Environmental Health suspended the permit in Pleasant Hill on Tuesday after it failed to verify customers vaccination status for those who wanted to use the indoor dining spaces, according to a statement by CCEH.
Officials said the Pleasant Hill location received four citations in recent weeks and fines totaling $1,750, all for the same health order violation.
-Keira Wingate, USA TODAY
Own an iPhone? You can now keep a digital version of your COVID-19 vaccine card right in your phone’s Apple Wallet.
On Monday, Apple released iOS 15.1, an update to its operating system for iPhones which will introduce features including SharePlay to share experiences like watching movies directly in FaceTime.
The update also includes the option for iPhone owners to add their COVID vaccine cards directly in Apple Wallet. Here’s how to do it.
-Brett Molina, USA TODAY
Contributing: The Associated Press