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What We’re Reading: COVID-19 Shots for Children; Abortion Pill Demand; Imported Baby Formula


Pfizer announced positive data of its COVID-19 shot regimen for children under 5 years; providers gear up for increased challenges in distributing abortion medication; hypoallergenic baby formula shipments arrive in the United States.

Pfizer Announces Positive Data on COVID-19 Shots for Children Under 5

Pfizer has announced 3 doses of its vaccine, developed with BioNTech, offer strong protection for children younger than 5, The Associated Press reports. The company will provide the data to US regulators later this week as babies, toddlers, and preschoolers remain the only cohort without authorized vaccines against COVID-19. There are approximately 18 million children under the age of 5 years in the United States, while the FDA has already begun reviewing data from Moderna and its 2-dose regimen. The Pfizer doses are one-tenth of the amount adults receive and, according to a company press release, the 3-dose regimen enhanced children’s antibodies enough to meet emergency authorization criteria.

Providers Prepare for Hurdles in Administering Abortion Medications

In the wake of the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion indicating justices were poised to overturn Roe v Wade—the decision that guaranteed a woman legal rights to an abortion—physicians, midwives and nurse practitioners are gearing up to deal with a potential surge in demand for abortion medications, NPR reports. The groups are also preparing to face obstacles as states with newly enacted abortion restrictions work to limit online access to the pills. The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in an era where receiving a telehealth abortion is more convenient to patients. Data from the Guttmacher Institute show that as of February 2022, medication-induced abortions account for over half of all the procedures performed in the country.

Hypoallergenic Baby Formula Shipments Arrive

As the country continues to struggle with mass baby formula shortages, the first shipment from overseas has arrived in the United States from Europe, ABC News reports. The plane carried enough specialty formula for more than half a million baby bottles while more shipments are expected to arrive soon. In February, the nation’s largest baby formula manufacturing plant temporarily closed due to contamination concerns and safety issues. The formulas are hypoallergenic, specifically made for children with cow’s milk protein allergy. The first shipment was delivered to Indianapolis, Indiana and contained about 15% of the specialty formula needed in the United States.

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