FDA reportedly set to approve third Pfizer injection for children ages 12-15
The Food and Drug Administration is said to be set to authorize a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 as early as Monday, according to the New York Times. Regulators also plan to allow adolescents and adults to receive the third injections five months after receiving the second dose of Pfizer’s vaccine instead of the current six months, The Times reported, citing sources it described as familiar with the agency’s deliberations. A third injection, often called a booster, should also be allowed for children as young as 5 years old with immune deficiencies. The recall could help alleviate the health threat facing millions of students returning to class on Monday after a vacation break that saw daily coronavirus infections reach record levels.
Rapid tests key to reopening schools amid COVID-19 outbreak
In anticipation of the significant challenges of reopening schools amid a wave of infections caused by omicron, school districts plan to ramp up COVID-19 testing when classes resume this week. California, Connecticut and New York are among the states that sent millions of rapid antigen tests to schools and families before the reopening. Washington, DC and Baltimore are extending the winter vacation by two days to test staff and students before reopening the buildings on Jan.5. Chicago recommends that parents administer rapid tests to their children before returning to school. And New York City is developing a rapid testing strategy to stem the tide of cases while keeping as many children in class as possible, city officials said. But the country’s leaders are still scrambling to work out the details – leaving big questions on security and logistics.
Winter storm hits the Midwest; hot in the east for a shock
A winter storm roaring through a swathe of the Midwest over the weekend is about to blow up parts of the East with the first major snowfall of the season. A winter storm watch was issued Monday for much of the Washington, DC and Baltimore area. Up to 6 inches of snow could fall in some areas, the National Weather Service said. “The ingredients are in place for part of the mid-Atlantic to have snow at a high rate of 1 to 3 inches per hour for a period of time on Monday,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Ryan Adamson. Questions remain as to the distance north of the northern extent of heavy snowfall.
Steelers and Browns face off in Ben Roethlisberger’s likely last game in Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1) host the Cleveland Browns (7-8) on Monday in what could prove to be quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s last game at Heinz Field. Although Roethlisberger, 39, declined to say whether he was thinking of possible retirement last week, he admitted “that all signs point to it being the case. In the regular season, that is to say . ” The game will have added significance for the Steelers, who will need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Cleveland was eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday night.
Quadrantid meteor shower expected to peak this week
One of the biggest meteor showers of the year is expected to peak over the next few days, producing more than 100 meteorites per hour, according to Space.com. Known as the Quadrantid Meteor Shower, the show only takes place once a year, always around early January, according to Space.com. Under perfect conditions, 60 to 200 meteors can be seen per hour, according to NASA. The activity range is from December 26 to January 16, but the peak is only six hours. Different sources disagree on the precise date of the peak; some expected it to peak from Sunday evening through Monday morning and others say it will occur Monday evening through Tuesday morning.