Shots for tots
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11 on Nov. 2, opening the door for most school-aged children to get vaccinated against the virus.
The vaccine for younger children contains the same ingredients as the ones for adolescents and adults but is roughly one-third the dose. Just like for adults, the vaccination regime requires two shots. However, the shots for kids should be administered roughly three weeks apart and use smaller needles that are appropriate for younger people.
COVID-19 typically doesn’t hit young children as hard as it does adults, but the vaccine can still prevent severe illness and hospitalization in children. Children can also spread the disease to more vulnerable adults or immunocompromised people, meaning the vaccine is important for overall community health, as well.
The announcement was met with some controversy, particularly in right-wing circles. When Big Bird — the beloved Sesame Street character who is allegedly 6 years old despite being on television since 1969 — announced on Twitter that he was getting the jab, Republican lawmakers and news personalities decried it as “government propaganda” and “evil,” according to NPR.
The news network reports that Big Bird has a long history of promoting lifesaving vaccines — the 8-foot-tall bird trotted out to get his measles vaccine on camera in 1972.
Infrastructure wars end
After four years of “infrastructure week” jokes during the Trump administration and another year debating what “infrastructure” even means during the Biden administration, Congress has officially voted to fund infrastructure to the tune of $1.2 trillion.
The package is roughly half the size of the $2.25 trillion proposal that President Joe Biden debuted at the beginning of his term. However, according to the White House, it will put significant investments into roads and bridges in the United States, improve drinking water in American communities, expand high-speed internet access and invest in a more climate-friendly future.
According to CNN.com, lawmakers pared away key provisions of the original plan including the expansion of Medicaid’s long-term care program and tax hikes on corporations that would have increased the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent. A Republican-controlled Congress reduced corporate tax rates to 21 percent from 35 percent in a 2017 bill.
The deadline to apply for the first two stimulus checks is Nov. 15.
Many people — including people experiencing homelessness — did not automatically receive the stimulus checks issued by the federal government during the pandemic. To access that money, they will have to apply by Nov. 15 at https://www.getctc.org/en or https://www.getctc.org/es.
Read more of the Nov. 10-16, 2021 issue.