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EU regulator authorises Pfizer’s Covid vaccine for kids 5-11

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The European Union’s drug regulator on Thursday authorised Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for use on children from 5 to 11 years old, clearing the way for shots to be administered to millions of elementary school pupils amid a new wave of infections sweeping across the continent.

It is the first time the European Medicines Agency has cleared a COVID-19 vaccine for use in young children.

The agency said it “recommended granting an extension of indication for the COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty to include use in children aged 5 to 11.”

At least one country facing spiking infections didn’t wait for the EMA approval. Authorities in the Austrian capital, Vienna, already have begun vaccinating the 5 to 11 age group. Europe is currently at the epicenter of the pandemic and the World Health Organisation has warned the continent could see deaths top 2 million by the spring unless urgent measures are taken.

The EMA green light for the vaccine developed by Pfizer and German company BioNTech has to be rubber-stamped by the EU’s executive branch, the European Commission, before health authorities in member states can begin administering shots.

Earlier this week, Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn said shipping of vaccines for younger children in the EU would begin on Dec. 20.

The United States signed off on Pfizer’s kids-sized shots earlier this month, followed by other countries including Canada.

Pfizer tested a dose that is a third of the amount given to adults for elementary school-age children. Even with the smaller shot, children who are 5 to 11 years old developed coronavirus-fighting antibody levels just as strong as teenagers and young adults getting the regular-strength shots, Dr. Bill Gruber, a Pfizer senior vice president, told The Associated Press in September.

But the studies done on Pfizer’s vaccine in children haven’t been big enough to detect any rare side effects from the second dose, like the chest and heart inflammation that has been seen in mostly male older teens and young adults.

American officials noted that COVID-19 has caused more deaths in children in the 5 to 11 age group than some other diseases, such as chickenpox, did before children were routinely vaccinated.

Earlier this month, the EMA said it began evaluating the use of Moderna Inc.s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 to 11; it estimated that a decision would be made within two months.

Although children mostly only get mild symptoms of COVID-19, some public health experts believe immunising them should be a priority to reduce the virus’ continued spread, which could theoretically lead to the emergence of a dangerous new variant.

Researchers disagree on how much kids have influenced the course of the pandemic. Early research suggested they didn’t contribute much to viral spread. But some experts say children played a significant role this year spreading contagious variants such as alpha and delta.

In a statement this week, WHO said that because children and teens tend to have milder COVID-19 disease than adults, “it is less urgent to vaccinate them than older people, those with chronic health conditions and health workers.”

It has appealed to rich countries to stop immunising children and asked them to donate their doses immediately to poor countries who have yet to give a first vaccine dose to their health workers and vulnerable populations.

Still, WHO acknowledged that there are benefits to vaccinating children and adolescents that go beyond the immediate health benefits.

“Vaccination that decreases COVID transmission in this age group may reduce transmission from children and adolescents to older adults, and may help reduce the need for mitigation measures in schools,” WHO said.

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The Morning Show Season 3 Release Date, Cast, And Plot

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“The Morning Show” has not been renewed for Season 3. In November 2017, Deadline reported that Apple TV+ had given the show a two-season straight to series order, throwing its weight behind the prestige drama. Following the release of Season 1, “The Morning Show” garnered eight Primetime Emmy Awards nominations in 2020. Aniston, Crudup, Carell, and Duplass all took home top prizes for their performances. “The Morning Show” has a 64% approval rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes and an 82% average audience score.

If Apple greenlights Season 3, production likely won’t begin until at least 2022. Seasons 1 and 2 premiered in the fall, so a third season could follow in this pattern. For now, it sounds like everyone involved needs time to decompress. “I think right now, I just finished a season that has taken two years. I am just taking a break! I do have a development deal [at Apple] and I am working on some other projects that I’m excited about. And, that being said, I love the show and I dearly love the cast of the show and I hope it continues,” showrunner Kerry Ehrin told The Hollywood Reporter.

Fans will have to keep their fingers crossed that they won’t have to wait too long to witness the future exploits of UAB’s dysfunctional family.

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omicron: ‘Omicron variant alert’: Australia detects first Covid Omicron infections

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NEW DELHI: The world has been put on alert, as countries scramble to contain the spread of the new potentially more contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which was first detected in South Africa.
Many nations have imposed curbs on various southern African countries over the past couple of days – including Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Iran, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand and the United States.
Here’s a look at other important developments in the story so far.
Australia detects first Covid Omicron infections
The Covid Omicron strain has been detected in two passengers in Sydney who flew in from South Africa.
The health authority of New South Wales said it had conducted urgent genomic testing and confirmed the strain was present in both the passengers.

Bangladesh suspends entry of South Africa arrivals

Bangladesh has suspended entry of travellers from South Africa amid the spread of the Covid variant.
“We’ve decided to suspend travel from South Africa with immediate effect,” the country’s health minister, Zahid Maleque said.
The Bangladeshi government is also strengthening screening procedures at all ports.
Israel bans travellers from 50 African nations
The Israeli government decided on Sunday to ban the entry of foreign nationals into the country in an attempt to stop the spread of a new variant of Covid-19.
A list of 50 African nations have been labeled as “red,” forbidding Israelis from travelling to them.
The ban will last for 14 days. In addition, phone-tracking technology will be put to use again in order to trace people who are obligated to quarantine.
Indonesia bans arrivals from 8 African countries
Indonesia will not allow people who have been in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini or Nigeria in the past 14 days.
The restriction will come into effect on Monday.
(With inputs from agencies)

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Will The Knight Before Christmas 2 be released on Netflix?

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The Knight Before Christmas is one of Netflix’s festive films starring Vanessa Hudgens – the star of Netflix’s popular Christmas franchise, The Princess Switch. The romantic festive comedy made its debut on the streaming site back in 2019, and fans of the movie have wondered ever since if a sequel is in the works.

The movie followed the story of a medieval knight (Josh Whitehouse) who after being be transported to the present modern-day through a mysterious occurrence, falls for a high school science teacher (Vanessa Hudgens) who’s lost her belief in love. The wholesome storyline had many hooked and rooting for the pair, so it’s no surprise many expected to see Sir Cole and Brooke once more on their screens.

So, is The Knight Before Christmas 2 happening on Netflix?

Read on to find out!

The Knight Before Christmas, The Knight Before Christmas release date update

The Knight Before Christmas – Josh Whitehouse, Vanessa Hudgens – Photo Credit: Netflix / Brooke Palmer

The Knight Before Christmas 2: Will there be a sequel?

While many were hoping for another installment of The Knight Before Christmas, as of this moment it appears that Netflix hasn’t made any official plans to add a sequel to the festive flick. However, the director of the first movie, Monika Mitchell previously spoke out on the possibility of a sequel and confirmed that it wasn’t completely out of the question. Which, we suppose, gives us some hope for a second film.

When asked about the possibility of the sequel she told Glamour magazine in 2019, “Of course I can see a sequel,” however, in the same interview she also made it clear that if they were to revisit the story it wouldn’t be focused on Sir Cole and Brooke, but “could offer an update on where they are”.

It should also be noted, that Monika’s comments on the sequel were from 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and forced a lot of movies (and TV Shows) to be delayed or canceled completely, so the status of a sequel could very well be up in the air.

We’ll be sure to let you know the second we get an update on The Knight Before Christmas 2. In the meantime, make sure to check out The Knight Before Christmas and the other festive films streaming on Netflix.

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