COVID digest: US says jabs for kids under 5 to come soon
Washington, Jun 03: Children under the age of 5 could get their COVID-19 shots by the end of this month, a top US government official announced.
Dr. Ashish Jha, Biden's COVID-19 response coordinator, said children could receive their shots by June 21, but it depended on the federal regulator's authorization.
Experts from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are set to meet between June 14-15 to discuss BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccine doses for children from 6 months onwards. Children between 6 months and 4 years are the only ones yet to be approved for COVID vaccines.
The doses would be shipped to doctors' offices nationwide only after the FDA approves them.
"Our expectation is that within weeks, every parent who wants their child to get vaccinated will be able to get an appointment," Jha said.
The timelines provide an opportunity for parents to get their children fully vaccinated by the beginning of the next school year in the US.
"At the end of the day we all want to move fast, but we've got to get it right," Jha said.
Here are the latest major developments on coronavirus from around the world:
South Korea will lift a quarantine requirement for foreign travelers regardless of their vaccination status from June 8, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo told a COVID response meeting on Friday. The government said it would maintain a requirement for travelers to produce a negative PCR test prior to entry and another PCR test within 72 hours after arrival.
The US supports international offers to help North Korea battle its COVID-19 outbreak and will not link humanitarian aid to denuclearization issues, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Thursday, during a video address to a conference in South Korea's Seoul. The North is not known to have vaccinated its 25 million people, despite offers of help from the World Health Organization.
Germany recorded a rise in infections, according to the latest data released Friday. Health officials logged 42,693 new cases of COVID-19 and 91 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases. The total number of cases logged since the start of the pandemic now stands at 26,409,455 and deaths at 139,313.
Speaking after a meeting with the heads of the country's 16 states on Thursday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said relief measures passed in the last few months won't be enough to cushion the blow from the economic impact of challenges "awaiting us next year." Scholz said there was a "necessity to talk about what we need to do" going forward.