fairn.png
Monday June 14th, 2021 1:28AM

The Latest: Pfizer expands vaccine tests in kids under 12

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK — Pfizer says it is expanding testing of its COVID-19 vaccine in children younger than 12.

After a first-step study in a small number of young children to test different doses, Pfizer is ready to enroll about 4,500 young volunteers at more than 90 sites in the U.S., Finland, Poland and Spain.

The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech already is authorized for emergency use in anyone 12 and older in the U.S. and European Union.

Enrollment of 5- to 11-year-olds began this week. Those youngsters will receive two vaccine doses of 10 micrograms each -- a third of the teen and adult dose -- or dummy shots. Enrollment of children as young as 6 months will start in a few weeks using an even lower dose, 3 micrograms per shot.

___

MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:

— Preparations around Olympic venues, virus cases down for Tokyo Games

— Master Card Foundation to spend $1.3B to vaccinate 50 million Africans among population of 1.3 billion

— India’s daily coronavirus infections dip below 100,000 for the first time in more than two months

— WHO official: High vaccination coverage needed to reduce risk of more transmissible variants

— Follow more of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is trying to persuade citizens to get vaccinated as the state rushes to administer around 200,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine set to expire in two weeks.

The Republican governor, like his counterparts across the country, is facing slowing vaccination rates as health officials say the majority of individuals who wanted the vaccine have already received it and the rest are either vaccine-hesitant or unwilling to receive it.

The state is also working against the clock to push the one-shot Johnson & Johnson to vaccine providers and asking them to distribute as many doses as possible. The doses are set to expire on June 23.

DeWine said Ohio and other states don’t have legal options for sending the vaccine elsewhere, either to other states or other countries.

___

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Tuesday announced a cash infusion for the state’s technical colleges, aimed at training the jobless in new skills as they re-enter the workforce.

The Republican says he’s allocating $8 million in federal coronavirus relief aid to a partnership between the state’s 16 tech schools and the Department of Employment and Workforce.

Starting this week, the agency will contact the 87,000 South Carolinians already eligible for jobless benefits to advise them of tuition-free, short-term training classes designed to quickly prepare them for jobs like welding and truck driving, according to Tim Hardee, president of the state’s technical college system.

The funds come from a total of more than $48 million provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, to be used at the governor’s discretion.

___

TOKYO — Roads are being closed off around Tokyo Olympic venues for the event scheduled to begin July 23.

With six weeks to go, the roadblocks are appearing around the new $1.4 billion National Stadium, which will host the opening ceremony.

This is a sign that Tokyo Olympic planners and the International Olympic Committee are moving forward despite public opposition and warnings about the risks of the games becoming a coronavirus spreader event. New infections rates are going down in Tokyo. But the city and other parts of Japan remain under a state of emergency until June 20.

New infections in Tokyo are down to around 500 cases a day from 1,000 a month ago. The number of hospitalizations and the seriously ill have decreased, but the levels are still higher than last fall when COVID-19 variants were not prevalent in Japan.

Last week, experts on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s pandemic panel said movement of people in central Tokyo had been rising for three weeks. They warned new infections could rebound if people continue to increase their mobility.

According to local organizers, some 11,090 Olympians are expected to enter Tokyo. Another 59,000 people will enter for the Olympics for a total of 70,090. They include: Olympic Broadcasting Service and other broadcasters (16,700); national Olympic committees (14,800); media (5,500); international sports federations (4,500); Olympic family (3,000) and others (14,500).

Japan has registered 13,500 confirmed deaths to the coronavirus.

___

BERLIN — Germany officials say it will exempt people accredited for soccer’s European Championship from quarantine when they arrive in the country.

The Interior Ministry says the Cabinet will approve the exemption this week. It says it will apply to everyone accredited by the organizing committee involved in the tournament, which opens on June 11. Munich is one of the venues for the tournament, which is taking place at venues in multiple countries this year.

The exemption is particularly relevant for people coming from Britain, the only country in Europe currently on a German list of “virus variant areas.” All arrivals from such areas are currently required to spend 14 days in quarantine, and airlines and others are restricted to transporting German citizens and residents.

Those restrictions will be dropped for Euro 2021 participants. But the Interior Ministry says they’ll still have to abide by rules such as daily testing. The exemption will last until July 28.

___

TORONTO — The Mastercard Foundation says it will spend $1.3 billion over the next three years to acquire and deliver COVID-19 vaccines for more than 50 million people in Africa.

The first-of-its-kind initiative from the Mastercard Foundation is aiming to bolster Africa’s lagging vaccination campaign amid widespread fears of a third wave of infections on the continent.

The foundation will purchase single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines at the discounted rate negotiated by the African Union during its 220 million dose deal with the vaccine manufacturer. A spokeswoman says the doses will become available in August.

The announcement Tuesday from the Toronto-based Mastercard Foundation, which has more than $39 billion in assets, comes days after the World Health Organization said Africa was encountering an alarming mix of a spike in virus cases and “a near halt” of vaccine shipments. The delays have been tied to India’s halt on vaccine exports, among other things.

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is partnering with the foundation and will consult African government agencies and other institutions on how to best deploy the shots among the 55 African Union nations.

___

NEW ORLEANS — Republican Louisiana lawmakers have taken aim at coronavirus vaccines, sending Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards two bills that would keep state and local government agencies from requiring individuals to be immunized in order to be eligible for certain services.

Anti-vaccine proposals from Republican Reps. Danny McCormick and Kathy Edmonston received final passage on Monday. Edwards — who has championed vaccines against COVID-19 and regularly urges Louisiana residents to get shots — hasn’t taken a position on the legislation.

No state agency in his administration has publicly proposed mandating vaccination for services. Meanwhile, tests of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine started Monday in Louisiana for children ages 5 through 11.

Children had their temperatures and blood pressure were checked, their noses swabbed and their blood drawn at Ochsner Medical Center as they went through the vaccination research process. Finally, they got a shot of either the vaccine or a placebo.

Ochsner, just outside New Orleans, is among 98 facilities across the U.S., Finland, Poland and Spain where tests of the vaccine in younger children are taking place or planned.

___

KATHMANDU, Nepal — Nepal resumed its stalled coronavirus vaccination campaign on Tuesday with 1 million doses given by China after the Himalayan nation made international pleas for help.

Thousands of 64-year-old people lined up at vaccination centers even before they opened. People ages 60-63 are scheduled to be eligible for shots in coming days.

Nepal’s vaccination campaign began in January but stalled when neighboring India suffered a coronavirus surge and banned exports of the AstraZeneca vaccine it produces. Nepal had received 1 million AstraZeneca doses donated by India and paid for 2 million more but never received half the shipment.

That left 1.4 million people over age 65 who had received an initial dose of AstraZeneca vaccine uncertain if they would receive their second shot.

Desperate Nepal made several pleas to foreign governments and international donor agencies. President Bidhya Devi Bhandari made calls to the Chinese leader and wrote to the presidents of India, the United States and Britain.

Another 1 million doses donated by China arrived this month.

___

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan on Tuesday reported a single-day coronavirus positivity rate of less than 3%, indicating the third wave of the pandemic in the impoverished Islamic nation had had peaked.

Pakistan reported 53 COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours. In April, when the positivity rate was over 11%, it reported a daily record of 201.

The country's steady decline in cases and fatalities from coronavirus started after the government imposed a two-week lockdown that ended last month. Pakistan has been in the grip of the third pandemic wave since March.

Pakistan has registered a total of 935,013 confirmed cases and 21,376 deaths in the pandemic.

___

GENEVA — Envoys from World Trade Organization member nations are taking up a proposal to ease patents and other intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines to help developing countries fight the pandemic.

On the table for a two-day meeting of a WTO panel opening Tuesday is a revised proposal presented by India and South Africa for a temporary IP waiver on coronavirus vaccines. The idea has drawn support from more than 60 countries, which now include the United States and China.

Some European Union member states oppose the idea, and the EU on Friday offered an alternative proposal that relies on existing World Trade Organization rules. The 27-nation bloc said those rules currently allow governments to grant production licenses — such as for COVID-19 vaccines or therapies — to manufacturers in their countries without the consent of the patent holders in times of emergency.

At stake in the meeting is whether the various sides can move toward drawing up a unified text, a key procedural step that could unlock accelerated negotiations. Inside observers cautioned, however, that a major breakthrough was not expected.

Even optimistic supporters acknowledge an IP waiver could take months to finalize because of solid resistance from some countries and WTO rules that require consensus on such decisions.

___

NICOSIA, Cyprus -- Cyprus says it will issue a temporary COVID-19 vaccination certificates to individuals planning on traveling abroad this month.

The Cypriot government said in a statement on Tuesday that the certificate is a stop-gap measure until the European Union starts issuing its own digital vaccination certificates.

The Cypriot document, which will be in Greek and English, will only be valid until July 1, when the EU certificates are scheduled to be available.

The government said citizens traveling to Greece don’t need to present the certificate.

The Health Ministry said that as of last week, one-third of the Mediterranean island nation's population of approximately 900,000 had been fully vaccinated.

___

NEW DELHI — India’s daily coronavirus infections have dipped below 100,000 for the first time in more than two months as an overall downturn prompts some states to ease restrictions.

The 86,498 cases added in the past 24 hours pushed India’s total past 29 million on Tuesday, second only to the United States, which has more than 33 million. The Health Ministry also reported 2,123 new fatalities in the past 24 hours, raising the overall death toll to 351,309. Both figures are believed to be vast undercounts.

India peaked at adding more than 400,000 cases a day in May, but new infections and deaths have declined across the country since then.

The downturn has led some states to ease restrictions on commercial activities to spur consumption. Multiple states have, however, extended lockdowns and have been reluctant to reopen.

Meanwhile, the federal government is going to take over vaccine procurement from the states and ensure vaccines are provided free of cost to every adult Indian. India’s vaccination drive has been marred by delays and shortages. Less than 5% of the population is fully vaccinated.

___

MIAMI — Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has announced plans to set sail from two Florida ports while requiring guests be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus despite state legislation banning businesses from asking proof.

The company says it is in talks with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ staff and attorneys “to ensure that we can offer the safest cruise experience for our passengers.”

On Monday, Norwegian announced sailings from New York, Los Angeles, Port Canaveral and Miami.

Carnival Cruise Line, also based in Miami, announced sailings from the Port of Galveston, Texas, with vaccinated guests and is working with Florida officials for a ship to leave from PortMiami.

Royal Caribbean International said Friday that eight of its ships will resume U.S. voyages in July and August with trips leaving Florida, Texas and Washington state ports.

___

WASHINGTON — The White House briefing room on Monday might have been a fire marshal’s nightmare.

For the first time in 449 days, reporters could cram into every seat for the daily briefing. Coronavirus restrictions had kept one of the most recognized rooms in the U.S. government almost empty. But mass vaccinations allowed reporters to first doff their masks on May 13 and then nearly a month later to gather in a pack of raised hands, shouting, hard-eyed stares and the occasional grimace.

“Hope everyone’s cozy,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at she stepped to the lectern.

Forty-nine journalists sat elbow-to-elbow in blue seats, while others stood on the edges. The loudspeaker before the briefing told reporters not to block the aisle, but no one budged.

The briefing marked something of a surreal return to business as usual for Joe Biden’s presidency. The president had vowed to overcome the pandemic, and one of the consequences of any success on that front inevitably was going be more questions from more reporters. Monday was proof of that as the hourlong briefing ran to roughly 58 sets of questions.

___

NEW YORK — New York will lift more COVID-19 rules once 70% of adults have at least one vaccine dose, a target Gov. Andrew Cuomo hopes the state could reach in days.

Nearly 69% of New York adults have received at least one vaccination dose, according to the latest federal data. A smaller percentage of New York state’s 20 million residents have received at least one dose: 56%, or 11 million residents.

Once New York hits the 70% target, unvaccinated people will still have to wear masks and stay 6 feet (about 1.8 meters) from others on subways and buses, large-scale event venues, schools, nursing homes and hospitals. The state will lift any remaining health screening, contact tracing and cleaning and disinfection rules elsewhere.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Health, AP Health - Children's Health, AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Pipeline CEO: Ransom payment 'hardest decision' of career
The chief executive of the massive fuel pipeline hit by ransomware last month says authorizing a multi-million-dollar payment to hackers was the right thing to do to bring an end to fuel shortages affecting much of the eastern United States
1:23PM ( 11 minutes ago )
The Latest: Pfizer expands vaccine tests in kids under 12
Pfizer says it is expanding testing of its COVID-19 vaccine in children younger than 12
1:21PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Virginia city council votes to remove Confederate statues
Officials in a Virginia city have voted unanimously to remove two statues of Confederate generals, including one that was the focus of a violent white nationalist rally in 2017
1:20PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Global glitch: Swaths of internet go down after cloud outage
Dozens of websites briefly went offline around the globe Tuesday, including CNN, The New York Times and Britain’s government home page, after an outage at the cloud service Fastly
12:53PM ( 41 minutes ago )
French leader Macron slapped in face on visit to small town
French President Emmanuel Macron has been slapped in the face by a man during a visit to a small town in southeast France
12:44PM ( 50 minutes ago )
Protesters maintain blockade at Minnesota oil pipeline site
Protesters fighting Canadian-based Enbridge Energy's push to replace an aging oil pipeline across northern Minnesota have maintained a blockade at a pump station as part of a summer drive to stop the project before it can go into service later this year
12:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Harris turns focus to Mexico on trip to address migration
Vice President Kamala Harris is closing out her first foreign trip Tuesday as she visits Mexico and meets with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador
11:21AM ( 2 hours ago )
Global sting: Secure FBI-run messaging network tricks crooks
Criminal gangs divulged plans for moving drug shipments and carrying out killings on a secure messaging system run by the FBI
11:16AM ( 2 hours ago )
Judges uphold conviction of Serb military chief Ratko Mladic
U.N. appeals judges have upheld the conviction of former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic for genocide and other offenses during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war and confirmed his life sentence
11:10AM ( 2 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Deep-red Idaho sees growing clash between GOP and far right
Mainstream and far-right Republicans are battling for control of the party and the state in deeply conservative Idaho
12:40PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Early states' GOP opposes Nevada as 1st presidential primary
Republicans in the four early presidential nominating states are jointly opposing a Democratic push in Nevada to make the Western state the first to hold a primary
12:38PM ( 56 minutes ago )
Study: Racial diversity stagnated on corporate boards
Many top U.S. companies have rushed to appoint Black members to their boards of directors in the wake of the racial justice protests that swept the country last year
11:35AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
NRA's message lingers even if the gun lobby's might declines
The National Rifle Association has been embroiled in a legal and financial battle that liberals have cheered as the potential downfall of the powerful gun rights lobby, opening up a wide path for reform
6:02AM ( 7 hours ago )
The Latest: Nepal resumes vaccinations with doses from China
Nepal has resumed its stalled coronavirus vaccination campaign with 1 million doses given by China after the Himalayan nation made international pleas for help
6:01AM ( 7 hours ago )
The Latest: Indian daily cases dip below 100K after 2 months
India’s daily coronavirus infections have dipped below 100,000 for the first time in more than two months as an overall downturn prompts some states to ease restrictions
2:17AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
EXPLAINER: How will insurers cover a new Alzheimer's drug?
Federal regulators have approved the first new drug for Alzheimer’s disease in nearly 20 years, leaving patients waiting to see how insurers will handle the pricey new treatment
1:17AM ( 12 hours ago )
FDA approves much-debated Alzheimer’s drug panned by experts
Government health officials have approved the first drug that they say may help slow Alzheimer’s disease
6:02PM ( 19 hours ago )
WHO: High vaccination rates can help reduce risk of variants
A top World Health Organization official estimates that COVID-19 vaccination coverage of over 80% is needed to significantly lower the chance that an imported coronavirus case could spawn a cluster or a wider outbreak
3:56PM ( 21 hours ago )
AP Health
Meghan and Harry welcome second child, Lilibet 'Lili' Diana
The second baby for Prince Harry and Meghan is officially here: a healthy girl
4:50PM ( 1 day ago )
Heart reaction probed as possible rare vaccine link in teens
Health authorities are trying to determine whether heart inflammation that can occur along with many types of infections could also be a rare side effect in teens after the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine
12:29PM ( 4 days ago )
The Latest: Taiwan receives 1.2M vaccine doses from Japan
A flight carrying 1.24 million doses of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine from Japan has touched down in Taiwan
10:56AM ( 4 days ago )
AP Health - Children's Health
Vinyl records surge during pandemic, keeping sales spinning
Music lovers sent vinyl record sales soaring during the pandemic, giving retailers something to cheer on Record Store Day
12:51PM ( 44 minutes ago )
Stocks wobble as investors seek direction amid recovery
Stocks swayed between small gains and losses in afternoon trading on Wall Street Tuesday while investors continue searching for direction as the economy recovers from its pandemic slump
12:45PM ( 49 minutes ago )
Official: Death toll rises to 65 in Pakistan train collision
Pakistani officials say the death toll from a collision of two trains in the country's south has risen to 65 after rescuers pulled 15 more bodies from crumpled cars a day after the crash
12:29PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
EU says it will act 'firmly' if UK doesn't honor Brexit deal
The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator says the bloc is ready to act “firmly and resolutely” if the U.K. fails to honor its commitments under the divorce deal that was supposed to keep trade flowing after the Britain left the EU
8:58AM ( 4 hours ago )
World shares mixed as investors await inflation updates
World shares are mixed, with European indexes mostly higher after a downbeat session in Asia
4:44AM ( 8 hours ago )
Asian shares edge lower after mixed finish on Wall Street
Stocks have edged lower in Asia after a mixed finish on Wall Street
2:33AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Foundation to spend $1.3B to vaccinate Africans for COVID
One of the largest foundations in the world announced Tuesday it will spend $1.3 billion over the next three years to acquire and deliver COVID-19 vaccines for more than 50 million people in Africa
9:35AM ( 3 hours ago )
BioNTech founders contributing to book on COVID-19 vaccine
The husband and wife team who helped develop the first COVID-19 vaccine are contributing to a book
9:00AM ( 4 hours ago )
Oil pipeline foes protest Enbridge's Line 3 in Minnesota
Hundreds of protesters vowing to do whatever it takes to stop a Canadian-based company’s push to replace an aging pipeline blocked a pump station Monday in northern Minnesota
9:34PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
The Latest: Sri Lanka receives 1M doses of Sinopharm vaccine
Sri Lanka has received one million doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccines amid the island nation’s recent surge in infections and COVID-19 vaccine shortage
11:33AM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Hawaii emails reveal strain over contact tracing
A review of Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s emails shows the state epidemiologist spent key weeks in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic resisting suggestions and requests that she boost contact tracing to control the spread of COVID-19
5:37PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Asia-Pacific area seeks post-pandemic progress
Trade ministers from the Pacific Rim were discussing ways to build back better from the pandemic in an online meeting hosted by New Zealand
8:44AM ( 3 days ago )
AP Business - Health Care
Pipeline CEO: Ransom payment 'hardest decision' of career
The chief executive of the massive fuel pipeline hit by ransomware last month says authorizing a multi-million-dollar payment to hackers was the right thing to do to bring an end to fuel shortages affecting much of the eastern United States
1:23PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Virginia city council votes to remove Confederate statues
Officials in a Virginia city have voted unanimously to remove two statues of Confederate generals, including one that was the focus of a violent white nationalist rally in 2017
1:20PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic loses genocide appeal
U.N. appeals judges have upheld the conviction of former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic for genocide and other offenses during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war and affirmed his life sentence
1:05PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Crews work to reopen Floyd square, activists close it again
Crews returned to a Minneapolis intersection where a memorial to George Floyd was assembled after his death last year and worked to reopen it to traffic by removing debris and makeshift barriers
1:00PM ( 34 minutes ago )
ProPublica: Many of the uber-rich pay next to no income tax
The richest 25 Americans pay less in tax — 15.8% of adjusted gross income — than many ordinary workers do, once you include taxes for Social Security and Medicare, the nonprofit investigative journalism organization ProPublica found
1:00PM ( 35 minutes ago )