Pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and BioNTech announced there is still some work to be done before they can confidently release the two-dose vaccine for young children. Reassuring that “no safety concerns were identified”, they need to modify their clinical trial for their coronavirus vaccine in young children, “after a two-dose regimen did not produce a sufficient immune response in children ages 2, 3, and 4” reports National Review.
Participants in the trial ages 2-4 will be given yet a third dose of the vaccine two months after they received their second dose. Reportedly participants ages six months to 24 months did see a sufficient immune response from the vaccine.
The coronavirus developed jointly by Pfizer with BioNTech is currently the only COVID-19 vaccine authorized in the U.S. for children ages 5 and up. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are only authorized for Americans ages 18 years and older.
Pfizer spokeswoman Jerica Pitts said the companies will not increase the dosage for children but will see if the third dose results in insufficient immunity. The young participants were given one-tenth of the dose potency as the dose given to adults over age 18.
Kathrin Jansen, head of vaccine development at Pfizer, told investors in a call reported by the Washington Post “it is important to note that this adjustment is not anticipated to meaningfully change our expectations that we would file for emergency use authorization and conditional approvals in the second quarter of 2022.”
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IRS employees stole from COVID relief programs, went on vacations and shopping sprees
President Joe Biden recently increased the manpower of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in order to better go after Americans and squeeze every taxable penny out of them. It’s long been known that the IRS has suspect activity such as going after known conservatives and conservative groups. They are also in a position to know how to best steal from the government, which some employees did.
Just The News reports:
IRS employees — one former and four current — allegedly submitted fraudulent loan applications through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) programs in schemes seeking to obtain a combined $1.1 million in loans, the government spending watchdog OpenTheBooks.com reported.
The five alleged fraudsters were approved by the SBA for a combined $418,125 in loans, individually receiving between $27,550 and $171,400.
The individuals charged were: Brian Saulsberry, 46, of Memphis; Courtney Quinshe Westmoreland, 38 of Cordova, Tenn.; Fatina Hewitt, 35, of Olive Branch, Miss.; Roderick DeMarco White II, 27, of Memphis; and Tina Humes, 56, of Memphis.
According to the DOJ:
- Saulsberry obtained $171,400 in loan funds and purchased a Mercedes-Benz.
- Hewitt scored $28,900 in loans and purchased Gucci clothing and a trip to Las Vegas.
- With more than $66,000 in illicit loan proceeds, White purchased personal items, including a Gucci bag.
- With $123,612 in ill-gotten funds, Humes splurged on jewelry and trips to Last Vegas.
- Westmoreland treated herself to manicures, massages and luxury clothing with more than $11,000 in fraudulent pandemic loans finagled through multiple PPP and EIDL program applications for a purported apparel business. She also allegedly submitted fraudulent unemployment insurance benefit applications to the Tennessee Department of Labor while she was a full-time IRS employee, snagging another $16,050 in UI benefits.
The inspector generals for both the IRS and SBA investigated the fraudulent loans and released statements:
“We will continue to aggressively pursue IRS employees who breach the public trust, safeguarding the integrity of the IRS,” said Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George, whose office’s mission includes investigating allegations of crime committed by IRS employees.
“It is especially egregious when individuals that hold positions of public trust engage in criminal activity,” said Small Business Administration Inspector General Hannibal “Mike” Ware. “OIG is a ready partner in safeguarding the integrity of SBA’s programs and in bringing wrongdoers to justice.”
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