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US CDC expects Omicron boosters for kids by mid-Oct

This photo, provided by Office of the Governor of New York, shows Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Boriken Neighborhood Health Center, in New York on Sept 7, 2022. (DON POLLARD / OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK VIA AP)

COPENHAGEN / NEW YORK – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects COVID-19 vaccine boosters targeting circulating variants of the virus to be available for children aged 5-11 years by mid-October.

The CDC said in a document released on Tuesday that it expects to make a recommendation in early- to mid-October on the use of the new bivalent vaccines in the group, if they are authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The vaccines, which target both the original version and the currently circulating variants of the virus, were rolled out for people 12 years or older earlier this month.

The CDC said it expects Pfizer-BioNTech's bivalent vaccine to be available for children aged 5-11 years, and Moderna's vaccine for those aged 6-17 years, pending FDA authorization.

The Pfizer vaccine is already authorized as a booster dose for children over 12 years of age, while Moderna's bivalent vaccine is authorized for adults.

The CDC expects pre-orders for the Pfizer shot to begin for the age group next week. The Moderna vaccine will have the same formulation for children and adults and will not require a separate pre-order period, the CDC said.

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Denmark's Queen Margrethe pays her respect to the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, following her death, during her lying-in-state at Westminster Hall, in London on Sept 18, 2022. (JOHN SIBLEY / POOL VIA AP / FILE)

Denmark

Queen Margrethe of Denmark has tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time this year, the royal court said on Wednesday.

The 82-year-old head of state, who has been on the throne for half a century, has cancelled her appointments for the week.

She attended the Queen Elizabeth's funeral in London on Monday.

Queen Margrethe, who has been vaccinated against the coronavirus, was also diagnosed with COVID-19 in February this year, showing mild symptoms at the time.

A palace spokesperson declined to give further comment on Wednesday.

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People wait for COVID-19 testing in the Queens borough of New York, the United States, Dec 29, 2021. (PHOTO/XINHUA)

United States

To fight the COVID-19 pandemic, New York State acquired 8,555 ventilators at a cost of US$166 million and 1,179 X-ray machines for US$86.4 million, but now they're stacked in warehouse with no plans to distribute them or put them to any immediate use, reported Politico on Tuesday.

"COVID-19 treatments have largely moved away from ventilators, and hospitals say they have plenty available to deal with their immediate needs," said the report.

"The ventilator stockpile, which the state is paying National Guard officers to manage, is the latest example of the equipment left behind after states and national governments went on pandemic-fueled spending sprees as COVID-19 left a deadly wake across the globe," it noted.

In 2020, the US government rushed to order nearly 200,000 ventilators at a cost of US$3 billion, yet only half of them even had "the capacity to support the most severely affected patients," the American College of Chest Physicians was cited as saying.