CDC approves boosters for Moderna and J&J vaccines

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The latest on COVID-19

Reinforcement

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved booster doses of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccines on Thursday night, October 21, giving people the freedom to combine any of the three vaccines approved for use in the United States, the federal agency said in a statement. The third vaccine is from Pfizer.

“Evidence has shown that all three vaccines, of which more than 400 million doses have already been administered, are safe,” the CDC said.

The agency recommends the Moderna booster for seniors, and people at risk for a pre-existing condition, six months after completing the two-dose schedule. In the case of J&J, which is a single dose, it recommended the booster in people 18 years and older, after having received the vaccine at least two months before.

Combining brands is also supported, leaving it up to the doctors which one to use.

Borders

Beginning November 1, the United States will reopen the borders of Mexico and Canada for fully vaccinated individuals.

Fully vaccinated foreign travelers, who come to visit friends or family, will be able to enter through customs points.

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Commercial trucks, students, and others who must regularly cross the border must also be fully immunized.

Customs officers will ask travelers about their vaccination status, and may eventually send them for a second check to show proof of immunization.

The sister cities on the border, through which thousands of residents cross every day, have been particularly affected: many buy food, seek medical attention or even visit relatives in the neighboring country.

Infant dosage

Pharmaceutical Pfizer said its vaccine works in children ages 5 to 11, and it will submit data from studies to gain approval.

Pfizer said the vaccine is safe and effective, with the potential for the same side effects.

MU variant expanded

A new variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, called Mu, continues to spread and begins to worry epidemiologists more.

This variant arose in Colombia, where it represents about 35% of cases. In Ecuador it represents more than 10% of the cases. Cases have already been reported in the United States and their spread in the United Kingdom is under investigation.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that it is present in at least 40 countries.

Controversy, masks and schools

While millions of students have returned to the classroom in the United States, school districts in some areas of the country face bitter controversy.

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In some states, such as Maryland, the wearing of masks is mandatory in school buildings. But in others, like Texas, the state has banned these mandates, as some systems have challenged.

The result is schools where some children go to school with their masks and others do not.

Multiple COVID outbreaks have already been recorded within days of starting the school year in most of the country.

Johns Hopkins University created a near-real-time case map that you can also view and follow here:

What are coronaviruses

Coronaviruses (CoVs) are a broad family of viruses that can cause a variety of conditions, from the common cold to more serious illnesses, such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and the respiratory syndrome coronavirus. severe acute (SARS-CoV). A new coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been found before in humans.

How do you get the coronavirus?

Coronaviruses can be transmitted from animals to people (called zoonotic transmission). Studies confirmed that SARS-CoV was transmitted from the civet to humans and that transmission of MERS-CoV from dromedary to humans has occurred. In addition, it is known that there are other coronaviruses circulating among animals, which have not yet infected humans.

Characteristic symptoms

These infections usually cause fever and respiratory symptoms (cough and dyspnea or shortness of breath). In the most severe cases, they can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.

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Also headache and loss of taste and smell.

How to prevent contagion

The usual recommendations to avoid spreading the infection are to wash your hands frequently and cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing (with your arm, not your hand). Masks should be used, especially indoors.

Close contact with anyone showing signs of a respiratory condition, such as coughing or sneezing, should also be avoided. Comply with the 6-foot (two-meter) social distancing and stay home if symptoms appear.

Sources: WHO, CDC, Johns Hopkins.

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