What We're Reading: COVID-19 Vaccine Works in Children Under 5; Gun Deal Focuses on Mental Health; Other Viruses Flare Up

The FDA determined that the 3-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine worked in children aged 6 months through 4 years; the bipartisan Senate gun deal will focuses on mental health; the pandemic has other viruses acting mysteriously, with children diagnosed with respiratory viruses in May and June.

FDA Finds COVID-19 Vaccine Works in Young Children

The 3-dose COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech was found to have worked in young children aged 6 months to 4 years, according to The Wall Street Journal. The FDA also found that the data proved that there were no new safety concerns with using the vaccine in young children compared with the rest of the population. This announcement comes mere days from when an FDA staff review found that the Moderna vaccine was also safe for young children of the same age group. These findings could indicate that the vaccine will be made available to this age group soon, with the Biden administration saying that vaccinations for young children could be made available by June 21.

Gun Deal in Senate Provides Funding for Mental Health Clinics

A bipartisan gun deal from Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) would include funding for community mental health clinics nationwide that would provide mental health crisis response, substance abuse treatment, and other services around the clock, according to The Hill. The measure would expand the mental health clinic program, which currently only has 10 states fully participating. The framework released by the 20 senators who are working on the bill called for “major investments to increase access to mental health and suicide prevention programs” although no hard figure was provided.

SARS-CoV2 Has Other Viruses Acting Mysteriously

Viruses which are typically limited to the winter months, including respiratory syncytial virus and the flu, are becoming more common in the summer months, according to The Washington Post. Due to this increase in virus cases outside of their usual season, doctors are thinking of keeping more vaccinesn on hand in the spring and summer. Epidemiologists are also looking into what stay-at-home orders, masking, and social distancing may have done to affect virus cases thereafter. Researchers and doctors suggest that the removal of masks and gatherings held indoors when population immunity was low may have been the cause of the increase in out-of-season virus cases.