US gives final nod to Pfizer’s Covid shot for children

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US gives final nod to Pfizer’s Covid shot for children

A top US health agency granted final approval on Tuesday to Pfizer-BioNTech’s paediatric vaccine against Covid-19 for 5 to 11 years old, clearing the way for inoculating 28 million children. President Joe Biden called Pfizer’s approval by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) a “turning point’ in the battle against Covid-19, saying, “It will allow parents to end months of anxious worrying about their kids, and reduce the extent to which children spread the virus to others. It is a major step forward for our nation in our fight to defeat the virus.”

The CDC said the vaccination of children could begin “as soon as possible”. Distribution of the paediatric vaccine has already begun and plans afoot to scale up to full capacity starting on November 8, CDC said, adding that vaccines will be available at multiple locations, including paediatric health care provider offices, pharmacies and Federally Qualified Health Centers (HRSA). Meanwhile, daily cases and deaths in Russia remained at their highest numbers of the pandemic on Wednesday as more regions announced extending existing restrictions in an effort to tame the surge.

Russia’s state coronavirus task force reported 40,443 new confirmed cases from a day earlier. It was the fifth time in seven days that the country reported more than 40,000 infections. The task force also reported a daily record of 1,189 Covid-19 deaths. More provinces in China are fighting Covid-19 than at any time since the deadly pathogen first emerged in Wuhan in 2019. Infections have been found in 19 of 31 provinces in the world’s second-largest economy.