COVID boosters in the fall? Plus, cases continue to drop globally, and more COVID news

Here’s a selection of COVID-19 news from today, April 6.

The future of COVID boosters

While many Americans are trying to move on with their lives after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. health officials are debating the best way to use vaccines to stay ahead of the coronavirus.

A panel of U.S. vaccine experts was meeting Wednesday to discuss key questions for future COVID-19 booster campaigns. The Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisers won’t make any binding decisions, but they could help shape the government’s approach for years to come. Read more here:

Shanghai to allow parents to stay with COVID-infected kids

Following a public uproar, Shanghai is allowing at least some parents to stay with children infected with COVID-19, making an exception to a policy of isolating anyone who tests positive.

The announcement came as China’s largest city remained in lockdown and conducted more mass testing Wednesday following another jump in new cases.

A top city health official said at a news conference that parents can apply to stay with children with “special needs” and accompany them if they fully comprehend the health risks and sign an agreement. Read more here:

Fourth Covid-19 vaccine protection dose may fade quickly

A fourth dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine seems to offer short-lived protection against infection overall, but protection against severe illness did not wane for at least several weeks, according to a new study.

The study, published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at the health records of more than 1.25 million vaccinated people in Israel who were 60 or older from January through March 2022, a time when the Omicron coronavirus variant was the dominant strain. Read more here:

COVID cases and deaths continue to fall

The number of coronavirus cases reported globally has dropped for a second consecutive week and confirmed COVID-19 deaths also fell last week, according to a World Health Organization report issued Wednesday.

In its latest pandemic report, WHO said 9 million cases were reported, a 16% weekly decline, and more than 26,000 new deaths from COVID-19. The U.N. health agency said confirmed coronavirus infections were down in all regions of the world. Read more here:

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