Covid-19: United States authorizes recall of Pfizer vaccine for 12-15 year olds

The pandemic has killed at least 5.4 million people worldwide since December 2019, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse (AFP) from official sources, Monday, January 3. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, taking into account the excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19, that the toll of the pandemic could be two to three times higher.

  • US clears Pfizer vaccine booster for 12-15 year olds

The US Medicines Agency (FDA) on Monday authorized a booster of Pfizer-BioNtech’s vaccine for 12-15 year olds. It also authorized a booster dose of this vaccine for immunocompromised children between the ages of 5 and 11. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) have yet to endorse this decision.

In addition, the FDA has reduced the time before the injection of this third dose from six to five months, for all age groups. This decision “May provide better protection sooner against the highly contagious Omicron variant”, estimates the agency.

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These announcements come amid the outbreak of the epidemic, linked to the Omicron variant, and when schoolchildren are preparing to return to class after the end of the year holidays.

The United States currently records an average of 400,000 new cases of Covid-19 each day, a record since the start of the pandemic. Hospitalizations are also on the rise, but not at the same rate, and for the moment remain below the peak recorded a year ago. Hospitalizations of children sick with Covid-19 are also on the rise, vaccination rates being notably lower among the youngest.

  • Israel to reopen borders to vaccinated tourists

The Israeli government announced on Monday the reopening, as of January 9, of its borders to vaccinated foreign tourists from “orange” countries. They will have to perform a PCR or antigen test before boarding the plane and a PCR test on their arrival on Israeli soil, where they will have to be in isolation for twenty-four hours, pending their result. detailed the government in a statement.

The majority of countries are currently on this “orange” list, presenting an average risk related to the coronavirus. The high-risk “red” list includes seventeen countries including France, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa and the United States.

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The Hebrew state had closed its borders to foreign nationals, with certain exceptions, on November 28, a few days after the discovery of a first case of the Omicron variant in a traveler returning from Malawi. Despite these restrictions, Israel is seeing a significant jump in contamination these days, rendering the border closures obsolete, local public health experts suggested last week, with the Omicron variant now circulating widely in the country.

Hoping to lessen the impact of the Omicron spread, the country on Monday began offering a fourth dose of the vaccine to people aged 60 and older, deemed to be at higher risk of developing severe symptoms.

  • British hospitals soon to come under “considerable” pressure, admits Boris Johnson

Hospitals will come under pressure ” considerable “ over the next few weeks in the UK due to the meteoric spread of the Omicron variant, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday. “There is no doubt that Omicron continues to sweep across the country”, he said, but he is “Obviously less virulent” than other variants.

The United Kingdom is facing an explosion of contaminations (more than 137,000 cases in England and Wales on Sunday) attributed to Omicron.

Boris Johnson has however ruled out, for the time being, imposing new restrictions in addition to teleworking and the wearing of the mask already in place, based on screening and a massive vaccine booster campaign. “The combination of things we’re doing right now is, I think, the right one”, he estimated. “The majority of people who are in intensive care have unfortunately not been vaccinated, and the vast majority, around 90%, have not had a booster dose.”, he added, once again calling on the population to be vaccinated.

Read also Omicron variant: UK government measures adopted, despite broad Conservative rebellion

The World with AFP

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Covid-19: United States authorizes recall of Pfizer vaccine for 12-15 year olds

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