New Booster Approvals, Data on Kids' Shots, and More Coronavirus News

More boosters are approved and kids shots prove to be effective. This has led to more countries opening up. Here's what you need to know:
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Moderna and J&J boosters have been approved by the FDA and CDC

Yesterday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved boosters for eligible persons who have received their initial doses. This means that tens to millions more Americans will be able to get an additional shot today. Following a similar FDA authorization the day before, the agency's approval was also granted. The FDA and the CDC also stated that boosters are available from a different drugmaker than those who have received their first shot. Some evidence suggests that an extra dose of mRNA vaccine can increase immunity. In particular, people who received a Johnson & Johnson shot had a better immune response if they were given a second dose. According to the FDA, anyone who received a Johnson & Johnson shot can get a booster up to two months after they have had their first vaccination.

Already, boosters are being used more than the first doses in the US. Some medical ethicists and international organisations continue to express their dismay at the US's preference for eradicating infection within its borders over helping other nations secure initial doses. This has led to severe illness and even death in the United States.

Pfizer and BioNTech provide data to the FDA that demonstrate their vaccines' efficacy in children.

Today, Pfizer and BioNTech provided data to FDA proving that the vaccine Covid-19 was 90.7 percent effective in preventing symptoms in children aged 5-11 years during clinical trials. Participants were given one-third the adult dose and experienced only mild side effects. No cases of myocarditis or severe illness were reported in the participants, unlike some young men who have experienced these heart conditions. The White House presented its plans for distribution of shots to children once the vaccines are approved earlier this week. This could be within weeks. The administration will work with community clinics and pediatricians, as well as other health care providers. It will also educate parents about the shots.

Pfizer and BioNTech filed for approval by Health Canada this week of their vaccine for younger children. Canada is a leader in vaccinating adolescents. Canada was the first country in the world to approve shots for children aged 12-15 years last spring. More than 80 percent of Canadians aged 12 and older have been fully inoculated.

All countries around the globe ease restrictions on tourists and residents who have been vaccinated.

After being closed for 262 days during the pandemic, Melbourne, Australia's second-largest, reopened on Friday. This was the longest total lockdown in a city worldwide. This follows Sydney's lead, which saw restrictions ease two weeks ago. International travelers who have been fully vaccinated will no longer be required to quarantine before entering these cities. Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, stated that the country's lockdown would end once 90 percent of eligible citizens have been vaccinated. So far, 86 per cent of the population has received at most one dose. Kuwait announced that it would lift restrictions on people who have been vaccinated. Thailand also announced that it would open its doors to anyone who has received their shots.