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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Beijing Olympics lowers COVID testing standards, otherwise, there would be no Olympics
How convenient when a bureaucratic body has the power to switch COVID standards at the drop of a hat in order to allow it to continue moving forward and not shut down as the rest of us have been forced to do. COVID Standards around testing and quarantine rules are going from asinine and impossible to achieve to almost gone in the blink of an eye. Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last week he was doing away with all COVID precautions from vaccine mandates to mask wearing, and instead, would rely on the judgement of its citizens to protect themselves.
Now, the Beijing Olympics organizers and Chinese authorities are lowering the threshold for athletes to participate in the upcoming games. Likely, they realize that just like all other aspects of the world, the mandates and expectations are shutting down businesses and industries left and right.
Specifically, China has lowered the threshold for producing a negative COVID-19 test for participants as they arrive for the Winter Games which will begin next week on February 4th. In a statement, organizers said:
“In order to adapt to the reality of the current environment and further support of Games participants, Beijing 2022 and the Chinese authorities, in consultation with medical experts and IOC, refined countermeasures with the following changes effective 23 January 2022.”
The concern was that athletes could test negative in their home countries after recovering from COVID-19 but still test positive upon their arrival in China, reported the Wall Street Journal. That’s because their testing standards were “tougher than those used by many sports leagues in the U.S. and Europe.”
The CBC reports the communication was sent out by Beijing 2022 on Sunday explaining it was dropping the cycle threshold (Ct) value from 40 to 35. Anyone with a PCR result of less than 35 will be considered positive. The higher the Ct value, the less infectious a person with COVID-19 is. The CBC also reports:
Further changes include that if a positive participant spends 10 days or more in isolation, then that person will be released to their Games time accommodation if they are not displaying any COVID-19 symptoms and if their PCR results have a Ct value greater than or equal to 35 for the past three consecutive days.
Another change is reducing the time in which a person is deemed a close contact, dropping from two weeks to seven days.
“During that period, testing will be carried out twice daily. The close contact will be able to choose whether their PCR test sample is collected as a nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab,” the communication explained.
All of these changes will be applied immediately and will also apply retrospectively.
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