Covid-19 live updates: Biden hails pandemic ‘turning point’ as 5-to-11-year-olds start getting vaccinated


imageThis live coverage has ended.For the latest coronavirus news, click here .President Biden said Tuesday the United States has “reached a turning point in our battle against Covid-19,” following a green light from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 5-to-11-year-olds, clearing the way for millions of children to get immunized against the virus.Biden said the vaccine would put an end to “months of anxious worrying” for parents about their children and reduce the spread of the virus.Almost immediately after the CDC’s sign-off, a Connecticut health-care system vaccinated six children with a pediatric coronavirus vaccine dose, about one-third the amount given to adults.The two-dose regimen for children requires another shot three weeks later.After getting his shot, the first of the six children to get vaccinated assured the others that it didn’t hurt and high-fived the health-care provider who gave him the dose.The same evening, Connecticut Gov.Ned Lamont (D) tweeted that his state was ready to vaccinate the estimated 278,000 children now eligible in the state.

“The data is clear: This vaccine is safe for kids,” he said.The United States is not the first country to start vaccinating young children.

Cuba, Chile, China and the United Arab Emirates are among those to have rolled out coronavirus vaccines to young children.U.S.coronavirus cases tracker and map Here’s what to know As the delta variant swept the United States this summer, hitting hardest in places with the highest percentages of unvaccinated people, deaths soared.They began to fall again as autumn arrived.

The number of new covid cases dropped by more than half between mid-September and mid-October.But in funeral homes, at graveside services and in conversations within the families of those who died, these latest deaths created a distinctive grief.It is a mourning that asks not just “Why us?” or “How do we go on?” but also “Are these the last to be struck down?” and “Could we have prevented this?”They are questions that split families, sometimes sparking angry accusations of blame.

Unlike so many imponderable questions that surround death, these may indeed have answers.This season’s dead — in what some dare to hope might be the last big surge of the pandemic — are overwhelmingly those who did not get the vaccine.

Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement America’s children start getting first coronavirus vaccines as appointment rush starts Return to menu By Fenit Nirappil and Lindsey Bever 8:30 p.m.

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Patrick, a nine-year-old in Houston, petted a hospital therapy dog named Bailey while a nurse administered a shot that made him one of the first American elementary-schoolers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.In Connecticut, seven-year-old Kareem shouted over applause that his shot didn’t hurt after he was injected on camera.In Columbus, Ohio, a children’s hospital handed out capes and encouraged kids to pick a superhero name for a superhero themed vaccine clinic.Almost a year after their parents and grandparents became eligible, young U.S.children are now lining up for vaccines to protect them from the virus that upended their childhoods, in many cases keeping them away from schools, playdates and vacations.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off late Tuesday night on smaller doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.Soon after, doctors and nurses began administering the first shots and parents starting scrambling to book appointments, many hoping their children can be partially vaccinated before Thanksgiving.White House officials have cautioned pediatric vaccinations won’t start until earnest until next week after initial 15 million dose shipments arrive, medical professionals undergo training on administering shots and doctors and hospitals plan clinics.

Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement Fed to start easing support for the markets this month, in first major pull back of pandemic era Return to menu By Rachel Siegel 7:00 p.m.Link copied Link

The Federal Reserve will start easing its vast support for financial markets this month, marking a highly anticipated policy change as central bank leaders grapple with major price increases in some parts of the economy but plenty of room to grow in the labor market.The Fed’s announcement, made after its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, comes as the economy continues to shift more than 18 months after the coronavirus pandemic first hammered U.S.labor and financial markets.The S & P 500 and other stock indexes closed at record highs on Wednesday amid fresh optimism about the economy’s direction, but other concerns persist, including inflation, supply chain issues, and a disconnect between many unfilled jobs and unemployed workers.The virus’s delta variant appears to be finally easing, leading to a pickup in hiring .

But inflation concerns that the Fed have long labeled as “transitory,” or temporary, haven’t yet receded.Fed leaders on Wednesday pointed to the persistence of “sizable price increases in some sectors,” and Chair Jerome H.Powell said at a news conference that inflation and the related supply chain issues “will persist well into next year.”

Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement In Colorado’s Larimer County, hospitals are nearing ‘breaking point,’ health officials say Return to menu By María Paúl 5:36 p.m.Link copied Link

As Colorado faces rising coronavirus cases and stagnating vaccination rates, hospital systems across the state are getting overwhelmed.In Larimer County — home of Rocky Mountain National Park, which attracts millions of tourists each year — conditions have grown so dire that hospitals are using 110 percent of their ICU beds, according to the local health department .Hospitals in the county recorded a 17.3 percent increase in covid-19 patient admissions compared with the previous week, county data shows.

With 81 ICU beds available during standard operations for a population of about 356,899, hospitals have been forced to double up patients in rooms.Some will soon have to turn away patients to prioritize emergencies, Tom Gonzales, the county’s public health director, told CBS Denver .“When we look at our ICUs, we are overburdened in Larimer and Weld counties,” he told the outlet.“Our hospitals here in Fort Collins are almost at the breaking point where they will have to turn people away.”Even with “the lifesaving vaccine” being universally available, Gonzalez said, September became the pandemic’s third-deadliest month for the county.According to CDC data , more than 65 percent of Larimer County’s population has received at least one vaccine dose.Yet the vaccine rollout has lagged behind other parts of the state, with the county administering less than 100 shots per day.

In Colorado, 78.36 percent of the eligible population has received at least one dose, according to the state’s health department dashboard .To curb virus spread, Larimer implemented a mask mandate in all public indoor spaces for anyone older than 3, regardless of vaccination status.The policy will be in effect until the county’s cases decline and less than 90 percent of intensive care units are in use.The county also announced a program Oct.15 that would allow businesses to require proof of vaccination instead of masking.

The program was put on hold just six days later amid backlash.Even as Larimer faces grim case numbers, the two measures drew a crowd of about 500 people Monday who protested what they deemed a step “toward vaccine passports,” the Coloradoan reported.

President Biden on Nov.3 said the United States had “reached a turning point” against the coronavirus pandemic.(The Washington Post) President Biden on Wednesday called the arrival of vaccines for children “a day of relief and celebration” for parents who have been hoping to vaccinate their children ages 5 to 11 since the beginning of the pandemic.“As soon as next week, we’ll have enough vaccine and enough places, and parents will be able to schedule appointments to get their kids their first shot,” the president said.“And we’ve already secured enough vaccine supply for every single child in America ages 5 through 11.”The Pfizer-BioNTech shots are now available for millions of kids who so far have not had access to protection from the coronavirus that has sickened nearly 2 million children.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky has now recommended that about 28 million children receive a coronavirus vaccine.“As a mom, I encourage parents with questions to talk to their pediatrician, school nurse or local pharmacist,” she previously said in a statement.Children are becoming infected and transmitting the virus as readily as adults, although half of them show no symptoms, according to recent data.A presentation from the CDC said that vaccinating children is expected to reduce transmission by an estimated 8 percent — or about 600,000 infections through next March — among all age groups.Biden said that many of the vaccine sites will offer times during evenings and weekends to allow parents to take their children to get vaccinated after work and after school.“Trusted messengers like your pediatricians, family doctors, will be able to answer your questions, talk to parents about the importance of getting their kids vaccinated and put your mind at ease,” he said.

While attending the U.N.

climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) tested positive for the coronavirus, his office announced on Twitter .“He is feeling good and isolating in his hotel room,” his office wrote.“He is fully vaccinated.”Garcetti, who received his first coronavirus vaccine dose in January, has spent the past 12 days alongside world leaders discussing ways to combat climate change.As the outgoing chair of C40 — a group of some 100 mayors from across the globe looking to take action to protect the environment — Garcetti presented London Mayor Sadiq Khan as his successor and announced that more than 1,000 cities had joined the Cities Race to Zero — a U.N.-backed campaign to halve emissions within the next decade and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.He was scheduled to moderate a panel Wednesday on international financing in support of city-level climate action and to attend a panel discussion on the challenges and solutions in addressing climate change.Garcetti’s return to the United States — arranged for Thursday morning — will probably be delayed.

While the mayor told ABC7 he was hopeful of it being “a false-positive at best,” if he is confirmed as being infected, he will isolate in Scotland for 10 days.“I was about to get ready to get on the plane tomorrow morning to come back to L.A., but we’re following all the protocols and procedures here in Scotland when you test positive in a PCR test, so this could be my room for a few days,” Garcetti said.

Key update Key coronavirus updates from around the world Return to menu By Adela Suliman 4:02 p.m.Link copied Link

Here’s what to know about the top coronavirus stories around the globe, from news service reports.

The Air Force has granted 1,634 medical exemptions for coronavirus vaccines but has yet to approve any on religious grounds, according to data released Wednesday by the service branch, a day after the deadline for airmen to be vaccinated .About 97 percent of active-duty Air Force and Space Force members have received at least one vaccine dose, officials said.That leaves nearly 8,500 airmen unvaccinated, with more than half awaiting religious-exemption decisions, according to the data; 800 have refused vaccine doses outright.The Air Force has said that after Nov.

2, airmen who decline to receive doses and don’t have pending exemptions are subject to counseling before they face punishment for disobeying a lawful order to receive a shot.Vaccination exemptions on religious grounds have been historically rare for the military, defense officials have said.The Navy and Marine Corps have said they have not granted such an exemption for any vaccine for seven and 10 years, respectively.The Air Force did not say how many religious exemptions it has historically granted for other vaccines.

Ann Stefanek, a spokeswoman, for the branch, said their data collection does not break down that way.A high number of medical exemptions granted by the Air Force is a departure from other services, although the active-duty Air Force had the first deadline in the U.S.military and began processing those requests earlier.The Navy has granted only five permanent medical exemptions ahead of its deadline for active sailors Nov.28, officials said.The active-duty Army, which faces a Dec.15 deadline, has approved one medical exemption.The Air Force has also approved 232 administrative exemptions, which include airmen who were already scheduled to depart the military and were not subject to the mandate.

Since the pandemic began last year, optimism about its trajectory has ebbed and flowed.

Now that the case surge fueled by the highly infectious delta variant is receding throughout much of the country, a positive outlook is shared by a majority of Americans, a new poll shows — even when most believe coronavirus will stick around for a longer time.Among the 4,000 people surveyed by Gallup for the October installment of its covid-19 survey , which was published Wednesday, 51 percent said the coronavirus situation was improving — more than doubling the 20 percent who indicated the same in September.

At the same time, 36 percent said they were concerned about getting infected — a decline of four percentage points — while worries over hospital care availability dropped from 43 to 33 percent in the same time period.These findings come as cases decline throughout much of the world — with Europe remaining an exception as the delta variant propels another surge there — and shots become available to a larger share of the population.The combination of natural immunity and high vaccination rates, scientists believe, will allow countries to put the worst of the pandemic behind them, Reuters reported.“We think between now and the end of 2022, this is the point where we get control over this virus … where we can significantly reduce severe disease and death,” Maria Van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist leading the World Health Organization’s coronavirus response, told Reuters.Such an outlook is also shared by some Americans, with 20 percent believing the pandemic will upend lives for “a few more months,” according to the Gallup poll.However most do not appear as optimistic, as 51 percent said they expected the pandemic to endure through the end of 2022 — 28 percent think it will last even longer.These trends, Gallup found, coincide with the country’s infection rates.Even while optimism is higher and worries are lower than they were during the summer, they are not at the same level they were back in spring — when vaccines were first made accessible to all adults and hospitals were not overwhelmed.With a seven-day average of 71,676 daily cases, according to The Washington Post’s covid-19 tracker, infections in the United States are still not as low as they were before the delta surge.Some states, such as Colorado , are still grappling with climbing cases and strained hospitals.Still, while health officials are cautiously optimistic about the trajectory, trends continue moving in the right direction.“We are still in a pandemic phase,” said Anthony S.

Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser for the pandemic.“We are inching more and more toward normal.”

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the National Football League’s reigning most valuable player, has tested positive for the coronavirus and is expected to miss Sunday’s game on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs, according to a person familiar with the situation.Other Packers players were told Wednesday about Rodgers’s positive test result, according to that person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Packers had not made a formal announcement.Under the protocols developed by the league and the NFL Players Association, an unvaccinated player must remain in isolation for 10 days following a positive test result.A vaccinated player can return to the team setting by remaining symptom-free and having two negative test results 24 hours apart.Rodgers told reporters in August that he was “immunized” but would not “judge” unvaccinated players.

Vaccination rates increase among New York City’s workforce as mandate comes into effect Return to menu By María Paúl 11:24 a.m.Link copied Link

Since New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) required municipal employees to show proof of vaccination, rates have climbed markedly in many city agencies — even as the order has escalated tensions among pockets of opposition to vaccine mandates in critical industries.According to data from the mayor’s office, over 92 percent of the city’s workforce had received at least one dose as of Tuesday evening — up from 84 percent on Oct.20, when De Blasio announced the policy affecting 160,500 city employees, including those in the New York police, fire and sanitation departments.About 140,000 other city workers — mostly employees of the city’s hospitals and schools — faced earlier vaccination mandates.Under the mandate, city employees had to receive at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine by 5 p.m.

Oct.29 or apply for an exemption on medical or religious grounds by Oct.27.On Monday, those who had not complied faced being placed on unpaid leave until they showed proof of vaccination.Some also could face disciplinary action under the state’s Civil Service Law .As the deadline neared, some agencies experienced a sharp rise in their vaccination rates.The New York City Employees’ Retirement System saw a 26-percentage-point increase in its employees’ vaccination rate in 12 days, rising from 74 to 100 percent.

Some 77 percent of the agency’s employees had received a shot as of Oct.29, the mandate’s deadline.Most agencies now have vaccination rates of 90 percent or above.But 20,200 city employees remain unvaccinated.Immunization is especially lagging in the Fire Department of New York City , where 81 percent of the workforce — including 92 percent of civilian employees, 89 percent of emergency medical services personnel and 78 percent of firefighters — had received at least one vaccine dose as of Tuesday night.Firefighters are the group with the most unvaccinated.The Correction Department has a 63 percent vaccination rate, but correction officers have until December to get vaccinated before their mandate goes into effect, and officials are expecting their number to rise as their deadline comes closer.Just over 73 percent of the city’s residents have received at least one vaccine dose , and 67 percent are fully immunized.Once the epicenter of the pandemic, New York recorded an average of 20 daily new cases of per 100,000 residents in the past week, according to The Washington Post’s coronavirus tracker .

The World Health Organization announced Wednesday that it had granted emergency use approval for Covaxin, a coronavirus vaccine produced by Indian firm Bharat Biotech.The vaccine will be the eighth granted emergency use listing by the global health body.Its designation could substantially increase the supply of vaccines to Covax, a WHO-backed vaccine-sharing initiative that requires emergency use approval for any vaccines it administers.It may also be a relief for more than 100 million Indians who have received the vaccine and a boost for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has promoted vaccines developed in India, even receiving two shots of Covaxin himself.Indian Health Ministry data currently shows that more than 121 million doses of Covaxin have already been given to its citizens.WHO emergency use approval will also open up more doors for international travel as some countries, including the United States , only consider vaccines with the approval valid for incoming visitors.“This emergency use listing expands the availability of vaccines, the most effective medical tools we have to end the pandemic,” said Mariângela Simão, WHO assistant-director general for access to medicines and health products.“But we must keep up the pressure to meet the needs of all populations, giving priority to the at-risk groups who are still waiting for their first dose, before we can start declaring victory.”Unlike vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna, Covaxin is not based upon new mRNA technology.Instead, it uses an inactivated antigen of the virus that causes covid-19, to stimulate an immune response.This is an older, well-established technology for vaccines and has been used by other WHO-approved vaccines like the Chinese-made Sinopharm and Sinovac.WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), recommended the use of the vaccine in two doses, with a four-week interval between doses, in all age groups 18 and older.

The panel said that the vaccine was found to have 78 percent efficacy against covid-19 “of any severity,” 14 or more days after the second dose.SAGE also noted that the vaccine was “extremely suitable” for low- and middle-income countries due to easy storage requirements — a contrast to drugs like those made by Pfizer and Moderna, which require ultracold storage.

Immunocompromised people who receive a coronavirus vaccine may not develop enough antibodies and therefore will be less protected from covid-19, a study published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found.Vaccines were around 77 percent effective against covid-19-associated hospitalization for immunocompromised adults, compared with 90 percent for immunocompetent adults, the study said.“This difference persisted irrespective of mRNA vaccine product,” it added, with the study looking at the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine and excluding the Johnson & Johnson shot.It analyzed data from 187 hospitals in nine states from January to September of this year and defined immunocompromised people as those with “suppressed humoral or cellular immunity resulting from health conditions or medications.” The CDC estimates that about 3 percent of the population may fall into this category and are generally more at risk of serious, prolonged illness as a result of covid-19.Nonetheless, the study found that immunocompromised people still benefit from a coronavirus vaccination and should receive three doses and a booster shot, consistent with CDC recommendations.In October, the CDC said that moderately or severely immunocompromised people who have already received a third dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine may get a fourth shot six months or more after their last dose was administered.Health experts draw a distinction between additional doses and boosters.Additional doses are given to people with weakened immune systems and are aimed at improving their response to the initial two-shot vaccine series.A booster is given after a person has completed their vaccine series and protection against the virus has begun to wane over time.Am I eligible for a coronavirus booster shot?

JACKSON, Miss.— For the third straight year, Nan Moak’s children are doing online school.Their school district in Rankin County no longer provides online learning, so Moak enrolled them in a private program.That’s because Moak said she can’t face sending them to a school where masks aren’t worn, where officials are against safety precautions, where neighbors may be unwittingly passing the coronavirus to her family because they refuse to vaccinate.

Her 12-year-old daughter is vaccinated, but her 10-year-old son isn’t yet eligible.“Sixty-six deaths a day, nobody cares about that, that’s what it feels like.Your government does not care about that,” Moak said, referencing the state’s August covid death rate.

“There are double digit deaths from covid daily … people are desensitized.”Although deaths in the state have dropped dramatically in recent weeks, the state recently passed a grim milestone, as 10,000 of its residents have died of covid since the pandemic.Moak’s family talks about when the children will go back, but there’s no concrete answer.

They just don’t know.The strain on parents during this pandemic has been well documented.But some continue to live with a unique, additional layer of stress: trying to keep up covid-19 safety in communities, like here, in Mississippi, where many leaders and neighbors decided the pandemic wasn’t real, wasn’t serious or is just a part of life now..

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