The latest news on COVID-19 and what to expect moving forward with vaccines, reopenings and vaccination rates across the country. 

Vaccines are beginning to be dispersed depending on different age groups and the approval process in the United States. As California is reopening many amenities after hitting a certain number of vaccinations, Europe is falling behind and enacted new COVID-19 restrictions. 

Vaccine rates 

As of March 16, the drug company Moderna began their studies on if it is safe for children under 12 to be vaccinated, according to the New York Times. This testing includes babies as young as six months and is expected to have 6,750 healthy children in both the United States and Canada. Moderna is testing its vaccine in 3,000 children ages 12 to 17 with hopes of having results by summer. 

Many parents are wanting protection for their children and the vaccination should help stop the spread of the virus. There have been side effects such as fever, sore arms, fatigue and achy joints and muscles that seem to be more intense in children than adults. Doctors say that parents need to be aware that these side effects could affect their children once they have taken the vaccine. 

Moderna’s study plans to have children receive two shots that are 28 days apart. The first part of Moderna’s test will have children aged 2 to less than 12 years  receive two doses of 50 or 100 micrograms each. Kids under 2 years may receive two shots of 25, 50 or 100 micrograms. After a year goes by, children involved in the study will be looked over for side effects and they will measure antibody levels which will help determine whether the vaccine appears provides protection. 

Back to normal 

On Friday, California met its goal of 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to residents in its hardest-hit areas, according to KTLA. This allowed Los Angeles County to reopen indoor restaurants, gyms and other businesses on Monday, March 15. They have also allowed schools to choose to bring students back to class in grades 7 through 12 for on-site learning. 

Each county may choose which sectors can reopen from a list of what is permitted by the state in each tier. There are purple, red, orange and yellow tiers that are based on the spread of the virus. These tiers mean that COVID-19 is widespread (purple), substantial (red), moderate (orange) and minimal (yellow). They have relayed information on color codes based on the county’s tier regarding what businesses may or may not reopen. These color codes will give information on whether businesses can open indoors or outdoors and at what capacity it can operate.

New surge 

Those who have vaccinated a largeshare of their residents have seen new cases declining in their countries, according to The New York Times.  These countries are Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Britain. The main issue is that Europe is behind other countries. Rolling out the vaccine has been slow, and new cases are increasing. Europe was the first country to have a widespread death from the pandemic and is now the last place to see a decline in cases. 

Europe has been slow in administering the vaccine because they wanted to negotiate a low price for the doses. Eventually, they received a discounted price on the vaccine. Around Easter, the government will impose a nationwide lockdown across Europe. In 11 regions, Italians will only be allowed to leave their homes to go to the grocery store, pharmacy, doctor or their work. 

With a new vaccine trial that will be tested on children, we will be waiting to see results for the next year. California is reopening not all but most of its amenities. News has spread that amusement parks, such as Disneyland, will be reopening in late April. Rates and new guidelines will be overseen throughout the next steps of the vaccine process.