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What We’re Reading: COVID-19 Pediatric Boosters Approved; Pandemic Speech Delays; Regulatory Burdens Jump

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The FDA authorizes the COVID booster shots for children as young as 5; babies born during the pandemic may experience delayed communication skills compared with babies born prior; regulatory burden has increased for 89% of medical practices.

FDA Clears COVID-19 Boosters for Younger Children

The Moderna bivalent vaccine for children aged 6 and older and Pfizer’s updated shot for children aged 5 and older were both approved by the FDA on Wednesday. The CDC also agreed, clearing the way to begin administration; both vaccines are aimed at the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. According to Reuters, Pfizer will start shipments immediately.

Pandemic Babies May Have Delayed Speech Skills

According to NBC News, a study found that babies who were born during the pandemic have had a longer uptake on developmental milestones when compared with babies who born before the pandemic. The study that was conducted by researchers at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland, found that infants from Ireland who were born from March to May of 2020 had a harder time communicating when they were aged 1 year compared with children born between 2008 and 2011. About 89% of infants born between 2008 and 2011 could articulate full words like “bowl” and “cup” at 12 months compared with 77% of infants born during the pandemic.

Increase in Regulatory Burden Felt in Most Medical Practices

Most medical practices in the United States have faced an increase in regulatory burden over the previous 12 months, according to Becker’s Hospital Review. A report published by the Medical Group Management Association found that 89% of the 500 medical group practices that responded saw an increase in overall regulatory burden in the past year. A total of 97% of respondents also said that reducing regulatory burden on their practice would allow for reallocation of resources to better serve patient care. This finding mostly concerned smaller practices, as 64% of respondents reported working in practices with less than 20 physicians.

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