Families have been torn apart and lives put on hold. Nearly 1.6 billion children worldwide have had their education disrupted because of the pandemic, according to UNICEF. For more than 168 million of them, schools have now been completely shut for almost an entire year.
But it has also been a period of scientific achievement. Within a year of the pandemic being declared, the world now has several vaccines proven to be very effective against the virus, some using a technology that has never been used before.
“If there’s one thing the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us in the past year, it’s that we are one humanity, and that the only way to confront shared threats is by working together to find shared solutions,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said today. “The most effective and strategic way to suppress transmission and save lives globally from Covid-19 is by vaccinating the most vulnerable people in all countries, rather than all people in some countries,” he added.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.
Q: When can kids get vaccinated?
A: Three vaccines are currently authorized for use in adults in the US and clinical trials for those vaccines are underway for children.
Johnson & Johnson said its vaccine could be available to children by September.
Pfizer/BioNTech’s shot is now authorized for people ages 16 and older. Children ages 12 to 15 have been taking part in a trial for months, and Pfizer’s CEO said he hopes data for that age group will be available in the next couple of months. After that, vaccine data for children as young as 5 could be available by the end of this year.
Moderna’s vaccine is currently authorized for people ages 18 and older. Moderna has enrolled trial participants ages 12 to 17 and plans to enroll children ages 6 months to 11 years. It’s unclear when the Moderna vaccine might be available to children.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
Variant first identified in the UK appears to be more deadly, study suggests
It is important to stress the risk is higher, but still very low, increasing from 2.5 to 4.1 deaths per 1,000 cases. The study showed that the new variant was associated with 227 deaths in a sample of 54,906 patients — compared with 141 deaths among the same number of patients infected with previous strains.
This Covid long-hauler is afraid to take a shower a year after her infection
Brazil plunges into crisis with hospitals overwhelmed
While a new variant of the coronavirus spreads throughout the country, many Brazilians continue to defy mask mandates and mobility restrictions following the example of President Jair Bolsonaro, who recently said people need to “stop being sissies” and “whining” about the virus.
ON OUR RADAR
- US President Joe Biden has announced plans to purchase 100 million more Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine doses.
- Denmark has suspended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for 14 days as it investigates reports of some patients developing blood clots after being inoculated, days after several other EU countries suspended use of a specific batch.
- Former Presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush and Obama are urging Americans to get vaccinated.
- One of tech’s biggest events is planning to be in-person this year, but big companies are already bailing.
- Face coverings are no longer required in 16 US states — despite experts warning that ditching them is premature.
- MLB’s Texas Rangers could be the first team with a full house since the pandemic stopped sports.
- The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has received the vial from the first authorized Covid-19 vaccine dose administered in the US.
“Science has delivered several safe and effective vaccines. We have a responsibility, all of us, to make sure that those who need it most get it.” — Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s Covid-19 technical lead