The United States has a “very serious” problem with Covid-19 vaccine intake

Vaccines are by far the most powerful tool available against the coronavirus, protecting people from becoming seriously ill, being hospitalized and dying from the virus.

Unlike many less developed countries, the United States has enough doses to vaccinate everyone in addition to the necessary infrastructure to support rollout.

The problem: not everyone wants the shot.

“We have a very serious vaccine problem in the United States, and anything we can do to make people more comfortable accepting these potentially life-saving medical products is something we feel compelled to do,” said Dr. Peter. Marks, director of the Center for Biological Evaluation and Research.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48.7% of people over the age of 12 have been fully vaccinated and received at least one booster dose in the United States.

This is a lower proportion than in other countries with similar access to vaccines. For example, 69.6% of people over the age of 12 have received a boost in the UK and 55.5% in Canada. Across the 27 EU countries, 62.6% of adults have received a boost.

Marks spoke with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee when it discussed the approval of a new Covid-19 vaccine developed by the US biotechnology company Novavax on Tuesday.

The committee voted overwhelmingly to approve the vaccine, saying that its emergency approval from the FDA would be beneficial, writes CNN’s Jacqueline Howard.

Vaccine withdrawal was among the topics discussed at the meeting.

The Novavax Covid-19 vaccine uses technology other than the three vaccines currently in use in the United States, and may therefore be an alternative for people who are allergic to an ingredient used in mRNA vaccines.

When asked why another Covid-19 vaccine is needed in the US when three vaccines are already authorized for use – Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnsons Janssen, the latter a non-mRNA shot – Marks replied: “Janssen “The vaccine is not currently used as a front-line vaccine, in the same way as the mRNA vaccines, which leaves the problem of vaccines for those who may not want to take an mRNA vaccine due to concerns they may have with an mRNA vaccine.”

In May, the FDA restricted the emergency approval of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Covid-19 vaccine to adults who could not or would not have another type of vaccine, due to the risk of a rare and dangerous coagulation condition after receiving it.

Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine – administered as two doses three weeks apart – is made using small laboratory-built parts of the coronavirus to stimulate immunity.

This protein-based approach is a more traditional method of vaccine development than the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna.

YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.

Q: Has the pandemic caused mental illness in children or made it worse?

ONE: The pandemic has not increased mental illness in teens, but instead “revealed symptoms” that might otherwise have been managed, according to Dr. John Walkup, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

The Walkup said that on average, 20% of children have a mental health problem before graduating in the United States, with only half of those receiving an assessment or treatment. Of these, only about 40% of them received clinically meaningful benefits.

Walkup said that this means that only around 15% of children who have mental health problems receive help.

“Then you take away school, family, peer support and sports, and you force them to stay home. You know those kids are not going to do well over time,” he explained.

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WEEKLY READINGS

Covid is likely to get “worse, not better” in North Korea

The World Health Organization (WHO) is in doubt about North Korea’s claims of progress in the fight against Covid-19, and believes that the outbreak will be worse, not better.

North Korean state media KCNA has said that the Covid wave has slowed after the daily number of “fever” cases peaked at 390,000 about two weeks ago.

But Pyongyang has never directly confirmed how many have tested positive for the virus, and experts suspect underreporting in the figures released through government-controlled media. This makes it difficult to assess the extent of the situation.

“We assume the situation will get worse, not better,” WHO Chief of Staff Michael Ryan said in a video briefing last week. The WHO has offered assistance on several occasions, including vaccines and supplies, he said.

The Shanghai neighborhoods return to lockdown one day after the restrictions were lifted

Shanghai finally lifted its two-month coronavirus ban last Wednesday, allowing most of its 25 million residents to leave their communities.
But just a day later, Shanghai officials said seven new Covid cases had been discovered in the city’s Jing’an and Pudong districts. As a result, four neighborhoods were quickly cordoned off and identified as “medium risk areas” – meaning that nearly 2 million people will be locked up in their homes for 14 days.

The rapid return to lockdown is the latest reminder that despite easing restrictions, the Chinese government’s zero-Covid policy, which includes mass testing, including quarantine and snap-lockdowns, will continue to dominate everyday life.

The CDC adds four destinations to its ‘high’ risk list, including a Caribbean charmer

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added four places to the list of “high” risk destinations for Covid-19, including a small and charming Caribbean nation. St. Kitts and Nevis, part of the Leeward Islands east of Puerto Rico, were placed in the Level 3 category on Monday. The destination is known for its beautiful, lush nature and cultural experiences.

The CDC overhauled its rating system to assess Covid-19 risk for travelers in April. Level 3 “high” risk category is now the top when it comes to risk level. This applies to countries that have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 28 days. There were about 115 destinations at level 3 on June 6th. Level 3 sites now make up almost half of the approximately 235 sites monitored by the CDC. Level 2 is considered a “moderate” risk, and level 1 is a “low” risk.

TOP TIPS

Cases of coronavirus continue to increase in most parts of the United States, driven by the highly contagious BA.2.12.1 subvariant – but experts say that does not necessarily mean that summer fun has been canceled.

CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen said people who are generally healthy, vaccinated and empowered have a low risk of serious illness due to Covid-19.

“It is reasonable for many people to say that, given their low risk, they are fine with resuming pre-pandemic activities and are not going to limit travel or other activities,” she said.

Wen said people should always consider their individual risk factors such as being fully vaccinated with boosters, their own medical risk and the number of Covid cases at their intended destination.

“There will be many people who still choose to be careful. The good news is that there are also many more tools available for those who were not before in the early stages of the pandemic. There are, for example, antiviral pills that reduce the chance of serious illness. “And, of course, making sure they are vaccinated and up to date on boosters also reduces the risk of both serious illness and symptomatic infection,” she added.

LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST

Not following rules and letting go can have health benefits. Just ask musicians who see improvements in brain health when they improvise. This week on Chasing Life, CNN’s medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks to Dr. Charles Limb about what he discovered by scanning musicians’ brains while improvising. Listen.