Friday, November 5, 2021

Vaccinations approved for children 5-11 and news about COVID-19 antivirals as U.S. passes 750,000 dead and deer are infected, a pandemic update

I have good and bad news about the pandemic to share today. First, two items of good news from CNBC, beginning with CDC endorses Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine for kids age 5 to 11.

The CDC director has signed off on Pfizer's BioNTech-partnered Covid-19 vaccine for young children, making 28 million kids eligible for a shot. CNBC's Meg Tirrell reports.
That's good news that will immediately help to contain the pandemic. CNBC reported more possible good news this morning in Pfizer says oral Covid antiviral cut risk of hospitalization, death by 89%.

Pfizer plans to quickly file its oral Covid-19 antiviral with the FDA for emergency use authorization. CNBC's Meg Tirrell reports.
This might start helping patients later this year, but it still counts as good news.

That's the good news. Follow over the jump for the bad news.

KRIS News 6 in Corpus Christi, Texas, reported another grim milestone, US surpasses 750,000 COVID-19 deaths, Johns Hopkins says.

In another bleak reminder of the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on the U.S., Johns Hopkins reported Wednesday that the country had surpassed three-quarters of a million deaths from the virus since early 2020.
I posted U.S. passes 700,000 dying from COVID-19, a pandemic update just one month ago, but the death toll has continued to mount. It's entirely likely that the U.S. could pass 800,000 dead from the disease by the end of the year.

Remaining in Texas, KHOU 11 in Houston reported Widespread COVID-19 infection detected in white-tailed deer in Iowa, study shows.

Deer in Texas haven't been tested and there's no proof the animals can transmit the virus to humans.
This is just the latest report about COVID-19 in White-Tailed Deer. I shared one from August in my comment to All the World's Deer: White-tailed and Mule Deer at Synapsida.
Nature reported at the beginning of this month that coronavirus is rife in White-tailed Deer based on a preprint of a paper from Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory. The most likely mechanism is that they picked it up from surface water contaminated by sewage. I don't know of any direct human-to-deer or deer-to-human transmission. I hope it stays that way.
I certainly found this news worrisome, but as long as the deer don't get sick and die or pass it back to humans, I'm not going to panic. Again, may it stay that way.

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