Mental Health: Experts Declare ‘National State of Emergency in Child and Adolescent Mental Health’
The issue is so dire that the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association — together representing more than 77,000 physician members and more than 200 children’s hospitals — recently declared a national state of emergency in child and adolescent mental health and are calling on policymakers to join them.
“Children’s mental health is suffering. Young people have endured so much throughout this pandemic and while much of the attention is often placed on its physical health consequences, we cannot overlook the escalating mental health crisis facing our patients,” said American Academy of Pediatrics President Dr. Lee Savio Beers.
WHO Says No Evidence Healthy Children, Adolescents Need COVID Boosters
Speaking at a news briefing, she said that while there seems to be some waning of vaccine immunity over time against the rapidly spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus, more research needs to be done to ascertain who needs booster doses.
“There is no evidence right now that healthy children or healthy adolescents need boosters. No evidence at all,” she said.
New Data Show Those Who Recovered From COVID Were Less Likely Than Vaccinated to Get Infected During Delta Wave
New data released Wednesday showed that both vaccination and prior infection offered strong protection against infection and hospitalization from COVID-19 during the Delta wave — and that case and hospitalization rates were actually lower among people who had recovered from COVID-19 than among those who had been vaccinated.
The data, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and health agencies in California and New York, are sure to inflame arguments from those who insist they don’t need to be vaccinated if they can show they’ve recovered from COVID-19.
More Than 1,200 Oakland Students Pledge to Stay Home Unless Schools Improve COVID Safety
More than 1,200 students in Oakland, California, have signed a petition saying they would stay home this week unless school administrators provide additional COVID protections, including more N95 masks, weekly testing and better social distancing — or a shift to virtual learning.
On Tuesday, three district campuses were closed because students and teachers, in solidarity, stayed home.
In recent weeks, students in New York City, New Jersey, Chicago, Washington DC and elsewhere have launched protests and petitions as well, demanding improved safety measures. Districts, meanwhile, have faced immense pressures from parents and politicians to keep school campuses open as the U.S. enters its third year of the pandemic.
Holes in the Social Safety Net Leave Millions Without Access to Needed Benefits
The pandemic has shone a bright light on our country’s social safety net.
Now, most of those benefits have ended or will soon: Over the summer, Americans lost federal protection from evictions and foreclosures. In September, pandemic unemployment insurance supplements expired nationwide, the expanded child tax credit followed suit at the end of the year and federal student loan payments, paused since March 2020, will resume in May.
Even with those benefits expiring, though, it seems that COVID-19 taught us a valuable lesson about how seriously we need to take our social safety net.
Biden Administration to Give out 400 Million Free N95 Masks
The Biden administration is planning to give out 400 million free N95 masks to Americans in the coming weeks, supplied from the country’s strategic stockpile as the nation is facing a record surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the Omicron variant.
The free masks will be made available to the public at thousands of local pharmacies and community health centers nationwide starting late next week, according to a White House official, and will mark “the largest deployment of personal protective equipment in U.S. history.”BUY TODAY: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s New Book — ‘The Real Anthony Fauci’
COVID Lab-Leak Whitewash Has Been ‘the Death of Science’ Says Professor Who Found ‘Unique Fingerprints’
University of London professor Angus Dalgleish, who co-authored a paper in summer 2020 after spotting “unique fingerprints” in COVID-19 samples that point to genetic manipulation, says that he’s been the victim of a “disgusting whitewash,” and that anyone suggesting a non-natural origin for COVID-19 has been silenced by peers.
“This goes back to the days of Copernicus and Galileo — it is the death of science,” said the oncologist — who in 1984 discovered how HIV enters and kills cells.
Billionaire Soon-Shiong Launches 1 Billion-Dose Vaccine Plant in Cape Town
U.S. biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong launched a plant that will produce a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses a year in Cape Town by 2025, which would make it the biggest such factory in Africa and could help the least-vaccinated continent tackle the pandemic.
Soon-Shiong’s ImmunityBio Inc. is developing a messenger ribonucleic acid, or mRNA, COVID-19 vaccine that it hopes will be used as a universal booster for earlier shots and may help end the pandemic by targeting the nucleocapsid protein at the core of the coronavirus, which is less prone to mutation than the spike proteins targeted by other shots.
WHO Urges Manufacturers to Provide COVID Vaccine Data
A World Health Organization committee urged COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers on Tuesday to provide it with the data it requires in order to list their shots for emergency use, saying the delays were affecting equitable vaccine access.
“The Committee recognized the challenges posed by some manufacturers’ delayed submission of vaccine data to WHO,” its Emergency Committee said in a statement, urging vaccine producers to supply the data as soon as possible.
The statement, the outcome of a closed-door meeting held last week, did not clarify which manufacturers had not yet submitted data.
USPS Free COVID Test Order Problems Reported as ‘Small Percentage’ Affected
COVIDTests.gov provides a link for people to access an order form run by the Postal Service, allowing them to order four tests for every residential address. The tests “are completely free” and orders will usually ship in 7 to 12 days, the federal website says.
Breastfeeding Study Finds That Mothers With COVID Didn’t Pass Infection to Babies Through Breast Milk
A small study from researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, found the breast milk of mothers with COVID-19 didn’t contain infectious virus particles and there was no “clinical evidence” of babies contracting the virus due to breastfeeding.
Other early research has found breastfeeding mothers that have had COVID-19 can pass antibodies to newborns, but it’s not yet clear if they give the baby any protection.
Djokovic Bets on a COVID Cure as He Quests for Tennis History
The pandemic has blocked Novak Djokovic’s march to tennis history, so the 34-year-old may be pinning his hopes on a cure for COVID to get his hands on another glorious grand slam before time runs out.
The Serbian superstar, who became a focus of the global vaccine debate over his failed attempt to enter Australia without being inoculated, holds a majority stake in a Danish biotech firm aiming to develop a treatment to counter COVID-19, the company’s CEO told Reuters.
China Uses Anal Tests to Detect Omicron as COVID Variant Spreads Before Winter Olympics
Chinese health authorities are ordering the use of controversial but more precise anal swabs to detect COVID-19 for a third year running as an Omicron cluster in Beijing grew to three people as of Wednesday.
China has deployed anal swabs in major cities including Beijing and Shanghai since 2020. In the capital, the method was used in combination with antibody tests as well as throat and nasal swabs to screen millions last winter.
While the approach isn’t considered practical for tracking larger clusters — an established method known as “pooling” is preferred — anal swabs are thought to be more accurate, especially in COVID hotspots.