Young children are also vulnerable to long COVID, according to study

With the coronavirus causing COVID, scientists are observing the evolution of a virus in real time for the first time in history. But there’s one big question they still have to answer: is it getting stronger or weaker? The CDC met Thursday to discuss whether to recommend Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 to 17. And a growing number of healthcare startups are offering “coaching” services to help patients manage chronic conditions.

COVID vaccines saved 20 million lives in the first year of the pandemic, the report said

Nearly 20 million lives were saved by COVID-19 vaccines in the first year, but even more deaths could have been prevented if international immunization targets had been met, reports the Associated Press. Researchers from Imperial College London, using data from 185 countries, estimated that vaccines prevented 4.2 million COVID-19 deaths in India, 1.9 million in the United States, 1 million in Brazil, 631,000 in France and 507,000 in the United Kingdom . “Catastrophic would be the first word that comes to mind,” said Oliver Watson, who led the model study, of the outcome if no vaccines to fight the coronavirus had been available. The results “quantify how much worse the pandemic could have been if we hadn’t had these vaccines.” Another 600,000 deaths would have been prevented if the World Health Organization’s target of 40% vaccination coverage by the end of 2021 had been met, according to the study published Thursday in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Young children are also vulnerable to long COVID, according to study

Toddlers infected with the coronavirus are just as vulnerable to the symptoms of a long COVID as adults, according to a study published Wednesday in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health magazine. In a study of 44,000 Danish children under the age of 14, which included 11,000 participants who tested positive for the virus from January 2020 to July 2021, researchers found that about 40% of those diagnosed with COVID-19 two months after the infection persistent symptoms reported. The most commonly reported symptoms were abdominal pain, coughing, poor concentration, tiredness and mood swings. “The data in the cases reflect family burden, socioeconomic burden, and access to education,” the authors write.

Group pressures government officials over child COVID policy

An advocacy group called the Urgency of Normal, made up of a number of physicians, public health officials and representatives from parenting organizations, on Thursday sent a letter to White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha, and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called on the government to “revise the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines related to testing, isolation, and immunization recommendations for children to ensure the public health policy does no more harm than good”. The organization has previously advocated relaxing mask and testing rules for schoolchildren, but now wants the federal government to reduce its vaccination recommendation for children – including the newly approved vaccines for infants and young children – to a mere statement that “COVID-19 Vaccines are available for children from 6 months to 17 years of age… and administering them should be a decision to be discussed between the individual and their GP.”

Pandemic backlash contributed to the rise in school violence, the report said

Experts who track school behavior nationwide said fighting and other aggressive behavior, including shootings, appear to have increased, according to a report released Thursday by the Associated Press. Educators and psychologists say the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to volatility in schools by causing a rise in student mental health issues, trauma at home, a lack of socialization opportunities, and a shortage of teachers and counselors to provide oversight and reduced adult guidance. At Everett Middle School in San Francisco, teacher and union rep Cris Garza said the existing problems “were absolutely greater in terms of severity, intensity and frequency” after classrooms reopened last year. The Omicron winter tide exposed educators and exacerbated a staffing crisis at the school, which was already short of security staff and replacements. “What all children need, especially children experiencing trauma, is consistency and stability,” said school social worker Bridget Early. “We couldn’t offer them that all year round.”

CDC weighs Moderna recordings for older kids

Advisors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are meeting Thursday to decide whether to recommend Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 to 17. The decision has been delayed several times due to safety concerns about vaccinations. If the agency determines the vaccine meets its standards, the doses can be rolled out once CDC Director Rochelle Walensky signs them off.

California Supreme Court will rule on whether employers are liable for spreading COVID at home

The California Supreme Court has agreed to include a case deciding whether employers can be held liable if their employees catch COVID-19 at work and spread it at home. The state Supreme Court on Wednesday granted a request by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to hear a case brought by Corby Kuciemba, who says she became critically ill with COVID-19 after her husband was exposed to the virus at work Victory Woodworks Inc. in San Francisco, reports Reuters. Kuciemba accused Victory of negligence and creating a “public nuisance” by failing to enact safety guidelines to stop the spread of COVID in a 2020 lawsuit.

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