White House details plans to vaccinate 28M children age 5-11

Children ages 5 to 11 will soon be able to get a COVID-19 shot at their pediatrician's office, local pharmacy and potentially even their school, the White House said Wednesday as it detailed plans for the expected authorization of the Pfizer shot for elementary school youngsters in a matter of weeks. Federal regulators will meet over the next two weeks to weigh the safety and effectiveness of giving low-dose shots to the roughly 28 million children in that age group. Within hours of formal approval, which is expected after the Food and Drug Administration signs off and a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel meets on Nov. 2-3, millions of doses will begin going out to providers across the country, along with the smaller needles needed for injecting young children. Within days of that, the vaccine will be ready to go into arms on a wide scale.

New Zealand police answer 4-year-old's call, confirm toys are cool

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — An emergency call made by a 4-year-old New Zealand boy asking for police to come over and check out his toys prompted a real-life callout and confirmation from an officer that the toys were, indeed, pretty cool. Police shared audio of the call on social media this week along with a photo of the smiling boy sitting on the hood of a patrol cruiser, noting that while they don't encourage children to call the emergency number, the incident was "too cute not to share.” The call begins all business: “This is police, where is the emergency?”

Pig-to-human transplants come a step closer with new test

Scientists temporarily attached a pig’s kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants. Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but among the hurdles: A sugar in pig cells, foreign to the human body, causes immediate organ rejection. The kidney for this experiment came from a gene-edited animal, engineered to eliminate that sugar and avoid an immune system attack. Surgeons attached the pig kidney to a pair of large blood vessels outside the body of a deceased recipient so they could observe it for two days. The kidney did what it was supposed to do — filter waste and produce urine — and didn't trigger rejection. “It had absolutely normal function,” said Dr. Robert Montgomery, who led the surgical team last month at NYU Langone Health. “It didn’t have this immediate rejection that we have worried about.”

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