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Front Page Talking Points

FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 17, 2021

Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

Younger teens can join the millions of Americans vaccinated against Covid

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1.gifRead about youth vaccinations in your city or state and share a quote.

2.gifTell your reaction to coverage of students getting shots.

3.gifWhat does a local educator or healthcare provider say about this topic?

A crucial step is under way in our recovery from the pandemic as U.S. students between 12 and 15 roll up their sleeves for Pfizer vaccines against Covid. That advance, approved by two federal agencies last week, is a big break for families eager for a return to normal. It eases the way for school reopenings by reducing the threat of classroom and cafeteria transmission, and also makes it safer to attend parties, sleepovers, summer camp and athletic games. "It protects all of us from the virus continuing to spread and mutating further," says Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency room physician and professor at Brown University in Providence, R.I.

Clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) applies to nearly 17 million youths. Free shots are available at pharmacies and public health clinics, and some states have immunization campaigns targeted to youngsters. The two-stage Pfizer shots already were available to anyone 16 and older, and the company plans to apply in September for approval of a new Covid vaccine suitable for children 2 to 11.

Pfizer won a go-ahead after testing its adult vaccine in a study of 2,260 adolescents, which showed 100% effectiveness against symptomatic disease. Of the 16 participants infected with Covid-19, none had received the vaccine; all got a placebo (mock dose). "Getting adolescents vaccinated means their faster return to social activities and can provide parents and caregivers peace of mind knowing their family is protected," says Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC director.

President says: "My hope is that parents will take advantage of the vaccine and get their kids vaccinated. … And if teens are on the move this summer, they can get their first shot in one place and the second shot elsewhere." – Joe Biden, May 13 at White House

State official says: "Having a vaccine authorized for a younger population is a critical step in the fight against Covid, . . . bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic. I urge all families to learn more and make an appointment for their tween as soon as." –Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive

Federal doctor says: "This is a big step for our country. Vaccinating a younger population can bring us closer to a sense of normalcy and to ending this pandemic." -- Dr. Peter Marks of FDA, at congressional hearing last week

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2021

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