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CDC director urges parents to vaccinate children

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky on Tuesday urged parents to vaccinate their children now that federal officials have authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech shots for people as young as 12.

In testimony before a Senate committee, Walensky encouraged children to ask for the vaccine if their parents are hesitant. Experts have said vaccinating children may be necessary for the United States to reach herd immunity, a point at which the coronavirus would be much easier to contain.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Covid-19 patients in India have been readmitted to hospitals with a deadly black fungal infection called mucormycosis that physicians say is increasingly preying on people with weakened immune systems.
  • Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft will offer free rides to vaccination sites through a partnership with the Biden administration announced Tuesday.
  • Los Angeles County, the most populous in the United States, could reach herd immunity from the coronavirus by mid- to late-July, health officials said Monday.
  • Widespread shortages and production snags are driving prices higher for many everyday items, as an uneven post-pandemic economic reopening leaves Americans facing the unfamiliar risk of inflation.

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3:28 a.m.
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Virginia officials urge school vaccine clinics for young teens as Pfizer approval nears

Top state officials in Virginia are urging local school systems and private schools to hold vaccination clinics once the Pfizer-BioTech vaccine is approved for 12- to 15-year-olds, which could happen as soon as Wednesday.

Public health officials said having local health departments vaccinate youths at school would reduce equity and access issues and allow parents to give written consent ahead of time, without having to make a special trip to have their children vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated youths will not have to quarantine after an exposure to the coronavirus, eliminating missed school days, sports and other after-school activities, said Dena Potter, the spokeswoman for vaccine distribution in Virginia.

During a virtual meeting with public school superintendents, some private schools and local health departments, Potter said, Superintendent of Public Instruction James F. Lane and vaccine coordinator Danny Avula encouraged schools to launch clinics quickly so students can get both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 21 days apart, before the end of the academic year.

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Zaraki Kenpachi