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One beloved aardvark may have left us earlier this year when “Arthur” ended its 25-year run on PBS, but the San Diego Zoo delighted us with a new species. new baby aardvarkthe first baby born at the zoo in almost 40 years.

Today, in healthcare, the wait is (almost) finally over for parents of children under five. And political strife is flaring up over the vaccination of young children in Florida.

Welcome to Night Health Carewhere we follow the latest policy changes and news related to your health. For The Hill we are Peter Sullivan, Nathaniel Weichsel and Joseph Choi. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Subscribe here.

FDA approves COVID vaccine for children under 5

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday green-lit COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 years and younger, a key step in making vaccines affordable for the youngest children.

  • The agency has approved a vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech for children aged 6 months to 4 years, as well as a vaccine from Moderna for children under 5 years of age.
  • More than a year and a half since COVID-19 vaccines began being introduced for adults, children under the age of 5 are the last group eligible for vaccination. There are about 18 million of them.

“Many parents, caregivers and clinicians have been waiting for a vaccine for young children and this action will help protect children under 6 months of age. As we have seen with older age groups, we expect vaccines for young children to provide protection against the most severe consequences of COVID-19, such as hospitalization and death,” FDA Commissioner Robert Kaliffe said in a statement.

Once approved, vaccines can begin shipping to states and other jurisdictions that have pre-ordered the initial batch.

What’s next: The actual first shots will most likely be fired early next week after the CDC advisory committee meets tomorrow.

Read more here.

Clyburn criticizes DeSantis for decision on children’s vaccine

The whip of the majority in the house James Clyburn (DS.C.) demanded that the Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis (R) reverse or explain his decision after he refused to order COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5 years of age.

AT mail sent on fridayClyburn, chairman of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, added that he is concerned about DeSantis’ public comments that he is against allocating any public resources to vaccinate young children against COVID-19.

“As a result of your refusal to participate, Florida parents who wish to vaccinate their children may be forced to wait even longer, and their children may be left without the protection that these vaccines provide,” Clyburn wrote.

He stressed that all states except Florida have ordered vaccines after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) green-lit COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 and under on Friday.

“There will be no government programs that will try to give COVID vaccines to babies, toddlers and newborns,” DeSantis said Thursday. “It’s not something we think is appropriate and therefore we’re not going to use our resources.”

As the Associated Press noted on Friday, select health care providers in Florida can now order shots, but the state has not made pre-orders.

Read more here.

OMICRON IS LESS LIKELY TO CAUSE LONG-TERM COVID

The omicron variant of the coronavirus is significantly less likely than the earlier delta variant to cause symptoms of long-term COVID-19, according to a new study.

  • learn from United Kingdom researchers published in The Lancet found that 4.5 percent of omicron cases resulted in long-term COVID, compared to 10.8 percent of delta cases.
  • While on the one hand it is good news that the currently circulating omicron variant is less likely to cause long-term COVID than the earlier delta variant, the study also shows that there is still a significant chance of getting long-term COVID, even with omicron.

“The Omicron variant appears to be significantly less likely to cause Long-COVID than previous variants, but still, 1 in 23 people who contract COVID-19 have symptoms for more than four weeks,” Claire Steves, study lead author and researcher at King’s College London, said in a statement.

In addition, the study found that because the omicron variant spreads more easily and infects more people, the total number of long-term COVID cases was actually higher during the omicron period.

Read more here.

IOWA SUPREME COURT AGAINST ABORTION PROTECTION

On Friday, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that abortion is not protected by the state constitution, overturning a four-year-old decision as federal rights to abortion are under threat.

The ruling overturns a lower court ruling that blocked a law establishing a 24-hour waiting period before a person can have an abortion.

key time before Rowe’s decision: This decision comes as the U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to overturn its decision in Roe v. Wade, which established the right to abortion at the national level, after a leaked draft opinion showed a majority of judges were in favor of repealing significant decision.

Previously, Iowa was one of several states whose highest courts have ruled that their state constitutions protect the right to abortion. State supreme courts have made such rulings in Kansas in 2019, Montana in 1999, Alaska in 1997, and Florida in 1989.

If the Supreme Court overturns Roe’s ruling, 26 states are likely to ban abortion. Guttmacher Instituteabortion rights advocacy group.

Read more here.

More than 400,000 medicine bottles recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission on Thursday announced a recall of more than 400,000 bottles of over-the-counter drugs due to problems with child-resistant packaging that did not meet the requirements of the Poison Prevention Packaging Act.

Which companies are recalling:

Consumers can contact Aurohealth for information on how to return bottles Walgreens Branded Medicines to your nearest Walgreens store for a full refund. They are can be contacted Kroger for information Learn how to get a full refund and properly dispose of recalled Kroger brand drugs.

“Product packaging is not child resistant, creating a risk of poisoning if contents are swallowed by small children,” each review states.

Read more here.

WHAT WE READ

  • U.S. Covid test makers expect layoffs after government reallocates fundsStat)
  • The seagull flaps its wings and the deadly virus explodes (New York Times)
  • COVID cases upend cycling as Tour de France kicks off in 2 weeksNPR)

STATE BY STATE

  • Two Tennessee abortion clinics awaiting Supreme Court ruling grapple with uncertaintyKaiser Health News)
  • Minnesota Republican threatens medical board retaliationAssociated Press)
  • Why are some counties still trying to vaccinate residents against COVID-19 (ABC news)

That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Visit The Hill’s Health Care page for the latest news and coverage. See you next week.

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