US Covid vaccine booster shots are here for kids ages 12 and up — here's what parents need to know right now
New York City vaccine mandate for private business employees goes into effect
The vaccine mandate for all private-sector employees in New York City went into effect Monday, requiring proof of inoculation for all workers.All private-sector businesses must require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for all employees and have documentation prepared for city officials to inspect, according to NBC New York. Businesses that do not comply with the mandate will face a fine starting at $1,000, according to ABC 7. WhileAll private-sector businesses must require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for all employees and have documentation prepared for city officials to inspect, according to NBC New York.
Covid booster shots are here for children ages 12 and up — just in time for kids to go back to school after the holidays, as omicron surges across the country.
On Wednesday evening, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionof Pfizer's Covid vaccine for kids ages 12 to 15, following a similar authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . Both agencies also authorized a ages 5 to 11 this week.
WHO chief warns wealthy nations against prioritizing booster shots amid 'tsunami of cases'
The World Health Organization's chief on Wednesday urged wealthier nations not to prioritize coronavirus booster shots amid a "tsunami of cases" driven by the new omicron variant. © getty: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus WHO chief warns wealthy nations against prioritizing booster shots amid 'tsunami of cases' WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a news conference pressed wealthy nations to spread their share of vaccines with other countries, arguing the coronavirus will continue to evolve and the pandemic will worsen "if we don't impro
Kids are now eligible for those booster shots five months after their second Pfizer dose. Data reviewed by the agencies included safety statistics on more than 6,300 kids in Israel ages 12 to 15, who received a booster dose of Pfizer's vaccine at least five months following a two-dose vaccination series.
The authorizations may be well-timed: Plenty of school systems across the country are holding in-person classes after the holidays, despite the nationwide rise of Covid's highly infectious omicron variant. On Monday, the U.S. reported— more than 1 million — according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
"The added protection against omicron comes at a critical moment" for children,, chief of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Division at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, tells
GOP House judiciary committee members, led by Jim Jordan, claim that booster shots 'don't work'
The House judiciary committee's ranking Republican, Jim Jordan, has long pushed misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines."If the booster shots work, why don't they work?" tweeted the official account of the 19 Republican members of the committee, whose ranking member is Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.
Why Covid booster shots matter for kids
Boostersagainst omicron, in terms of both how likely you are to get sick and how severe your illness could be. from the United Kingdom last month found that Covid boosters in adults can provide up to 86% protection against severe disease from omicron, and roughly 97% protection against Covid's delta variant.
And each day's tally of new Covid cases includes tens of thousands of pediatric diagnoses, says, medical director for Northwell Health's vaccine program and a pediatric emergency doctor at Cohen Children's Medical Center in Queens, New York.
While most of those kids won't require hospitalization, Messina says, the ones who do "can get really sick." During the week of Dec. 21-27, an average of 334 children 17 and under per day were admitted to U.S. hospitals with Covid, according to a CDC report — a record high and 58% increase from the week before.
Gottlieb says decisions on kids' boosters should be left up to parents
Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on Sunday that parents and their physicians should be the ones to make a decision over whether to have children receive the COVID-19 booster, adding that's also something that should not be mandated by schools."I certainly don't think schools should be mandating boosters. I think this should be left up to the discretion of parents and their physicians. You know, it's going to"I certainly don't think schools should be mandating boosters. I think this should be left up to the discretion of parents and their physicians. You know, it's going to depend on the individual circumstance," Gottlieb told CBS' Margaret Brennan on "Face the Nation.
Almost every teenager Messina has seen in the hospital with Covid has been unvaccinated, she says. "It may be rare, but when you see it all the time, it seems not so rare," she says. "I think we just need to keep our eyes on the prize. We have the tools to keep kids and adults safe."
Harris' message for parents is that there are few — if any — downsides to getting your child vaccinated and boosted against Covid. He says his own seven-year-old twins are already vaccinated, and his three-month-old son will follow suit once eligible.
"We will not escape out of this pandemic until we get those who are unvaccinated or under-vaccinated appropriately vaccinated," he says. "We know that the booster doses protect you from omicron, and we know they reduce hospitalization."
Perhaps equally importantly, Harris says, vaccinations and booster shots can help prevent children from inadvertently spreading the disease to siblings or friends with immunocompromising conditions, like leukemia.
"90 to 95% of our ICU kids with Covid are immunocompromised," he says. "And they're getting it from home, from their sibling and from their schoolmates."
With U.S. COVID Cases up 230 Percent, Around a Third of Americans Have Had Booster
The U.S. has far surpassed last winter's seven-day average peak of 250,000, and the number of current cases is still rising.The new seven-day moving average marks an approximately 230 percent rise over 14 days. In addition, the country hit over 1 million new daily cases on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Why kids need better masks in schools, too
In addition to vaccines and boosters,, a pediatrics and epidemiology professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine and College of Public Health, says parents need to get their children better masks.
"[T]hey need N95s, K95s or a surgical mask," Rasmussen says. "Something a step up from those cloth masks that we've been using."
For months, health experts have urged people to, to better filter out tiny virus particles. That's particularly crucial against omicron, which is roughly twice as contagious as Covid's delta variant.
The CDC currently"universal indoor masking" for all students, teachers, staff and visitors in K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are required in some public schools across states like California and New Jersey, while states like Texas and Florida have banned schools from mandating mask-wearing.
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Portugal adds virus booster jab incentives, cuts isolation
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal’s government announced Thursday new incentives for people to get COVID-19 booster shots and said new rules will require people to isolate only if they live with someone who tests positive. People who had a booster jab two weeks previously will from next Monday no longer need to show a negative coronavirus test result to attend events and enter places where it otherwise would be required, Prime Minister António Costa said. © Provided by Associated Press - Sports A man enters a subway station in Lisbon, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022.
70% of eligible NBA players have received COVID-19 vaccine boosters? .
Additionally, ESPN reports 100% of the league's current COVID-19 cases can be linked to the Omicron variant. Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, non-boosted players must undergo daily COVID-19 testing through at least the All-Star break next month. Those individuals also face stricter guidelines related to attending indoor social events at public or private establishments. The NBA and NBPA recently agreed to altered protocols that could allow certain fully vaccinated and asymptomatic players to return off the COVID-19 list faster than before depending on their cycle threshold levels.