US coronavirus: Experts hope to expand vaccine protection for children and immunocompromised people to win the race against variants

“Make no mistake, the FDA will act quickly because they recognize what’s at stake. It’s our children’s health, and there’s really nothing more important than that,” Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Evaluating vaccines for children under 12 is now a top priority for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Murthy said, adding that doses may become available to them by the end of 2021.

For people with compromised immune systems, including some cancer patients, those taking drugs that suppress the immune system, and organ transplant recipients, the two doses of mRNA vaccine or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson may not be enough to develop adequate antibodies, Murthy said.

The urgency to protect more of the population through vaccines is only growing, said CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen, noting the worrying spread of the more transmissible Delta variant, with adults being less cautious about protection and more children being admitted. in the hospital .

According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 60% of adults in the US are fully vaccinated. But an ensemble forecast released Wednesday by the CDC predicts that new hospitalizations and deaths are likely to increase over the next four weeks.

The new school year is already upside down

For many students, the new school year has just begun — and the new wave of business is already causing disruptions.

In Mississippi, more than 4,400 students are in quarantine after exposure to Covid-19 during the week of Aug. 2, according to data from the Department of Health.

In Lamar County, Mississippi, several schools were forced to switch to virtual learning to combat increasing cases. Superintendent Steven Hampton proposed the hybrid scheme at a board meeting on Monday, saying that while he believes face-to-face learning is best, a hybrid model would help prevent all schools from being virtual.

“Face-to-face learning is the best way for our kids to learn, but I just don’t feel like it’s safe,” Hampton said.

In Georgia, all 14 cities within the jurisdiction of Fulton County Schools exceed “High Community Spread” qualifications, and the requirement to wear a mask indoors has been extended to all schools in the district as of Thursday, according to a district update. Wednesday.

In Clayton County, Kemp Primary School confirmed that students will “work in a virtual learning environment for the rest of the week,” due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and Glascock County Consolidated School in Gibson, Georgia, will continue virtually until at least August 20, it said.

Hospitals understaffed with rising patient numbers

Increased protection in the community may also be important to reduce the burden on hospitals.

West Virginia governor Jim Justice said there are more than 100 Covid-19 patients in the ICUs of hospitals across the state for the first time since Feb. 8.

In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown said ICU beds are about 90% full, with some hospitals starting their days with fewer than five ICU beds available.

“Oregon hospitals are facing a crisis that threatens to overshadow the most severe bed shortages they have faced at any point in the pandemic,” said Pat Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority.

In Mississippi, the University of Mississippi Medical Center reported the highest number of Covid-19 patients ever in the pandemic, while difficulty finding nurses was called the “biggest pain point.”

There are some medical, surgical and ICU beds that cannot be opened due to the low number of nursing staff, said Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor of the UMMC and commander of COVID-19 incidents.

In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that more than 2,500 medical personnel will be deployed to hospitals across the state.

“The State of Texas is taking action to ensure our hospitals are properly staffed and supported in the fight against COVID-19,” Abbott said in a statement. “Texans can help bolster the state’s efforts to fight the virus by getting vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, and it’s our best defense against the virus.”

CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas, Kaitlan Collins and John Bonifield, Naomi Thomas, Rebekah Riess and Amanda Watts, Maria Cartaya, Mallory Simon, Melissa Alonso, Chris Boyette, Hannah Sarisohn and Keith Allen

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