Coronavirus weekly need-to-know: Pfizer for kids, mask guidance, free Ubers & more

·4 min read

Each week, we offer you a round-up of our noteworthy coronavirus coverage.

More than 32.8 million people in the United States have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Friday morning, May 14, according to Johns Hopkins University. That includes more than 584,000 people who have died nationwide.

Globally, there have been more than 161 million confirmed cases of the highly infectious virus, with more than 3.3 million reported deaths.

More than 118.9 million Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of May 13 — about 36% of the total population, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracker shows.

Here’s what happened between May 7 to May 13.

Kids aged 12-15 can now receive Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

A CDC federal advisory committee recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children ages 12-15 after reviewing clinical trial data that shows the shot is safe and effective in adolescents.

The move follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization of the shot earlier this week.

What to know.

CDC panel recommends Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids aged 12-15. Here’s what that means

Fully vaccinated people no longer need masks in most places, CDC says

New recommendations from the CDC advise that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 “can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing.”

The announcement comes as daily coronavirus cases have been on a steady decline since COVID-19 vaccines rolled out in the U.S., with deaths at their lowest point since last year.

Masks are still required while traveling in planes, buses and trains, regardless of vaccination status, and for those in health care settings, correctional facilities and homeless shelters.

Fully vaccinated people no longer need masks in most places, CDC says. What to know

Will kids get the same Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine dose as adults?

Now that children between 12 and 15 years old can safely receive the two-dose Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, some parents and curious kids alike may be wondering how the shot for teens differs from those given to adults.

The short answer is not at all.

For starters, the dose size is the same. Like adults, kids will be given the same amount of vaccine in two doses, three weeks apart.

Continue reading to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and teens.

Will kids get the same Pfizer COVID vaccine dose as adults? Here’s what to know

What can happen if kids want a COVID-19 vaccine — but parents refuse?

Now, it’s children’s turn to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but depending on where they live, kids between 12 and 15 years old may need parental consent to receive their shots.

So, what happens when a determined child is faced with an unwilling parent?

Experts explain state consent laws and offer advice for teens in such a position.

What can happen if kids want a COVID vaccine — but parents refuse? Experts weigh in

Mask-wearing could become seasonal after the pandemic, Fauci says

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, said mask-wearing could be a seasonal habit to combat common illnesses, even after the coronavirus pandemic.

Fauci said during a Sunday interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” it was “quite possible” that people will decide to wear masks seasonally to prevent catching colds or the flu.

Read on to learn why.

Mask-wearing could become seasonal after COVID pandemic, Fauci says. Here’s why

You can get free Uber or Lyft rides to get your COVID-19 vaccine

President Joe Biden announced a new program offering free Uber and Lyft rides to COVID-19 vaccination sites.

The program is part of Biden’s additional efforts to get more Americans vaccinated against the coronavirus and to reach his goal of having administered at least one dose of the vaccine to 70% of the adult population by July 4.

Here’s everything you need to know about the program.

You can get free Uber or Lyft ride for COVID vaccine, Biden says. Here’s what to know

Men with obesity may be more likely to die from COVID-19 than women

Studies have shown that obesity increases risks associated with severe COVID-19, but whether the risks vary between men and women has not been clear.

Now, new research on more than 3,500 coronavirus patients in New York shows that obesity may be a stronger risk factor for death, severe pneumonia and mechanical ventilation in men with COVID-19 than women.

Continue reading to learn why.

Men with obesity may be more likely to die from COVID than women, study finds. Why?

Where can vaccinated Americans travel? Here’s a list of countries

As more Americans are getting vaccinated against COVID-19, some travelers are gearing up for new adventures abroad.

If you want to visit an international destination, the CDC recommends taking your trip when you’re fully vaccinated. That means you should leave at least two weeks after getting the single-shot Johnson & Johnson dose or the second shot of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

But the coronavirus remains a risk, so health officials still recommend wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and washing your hands frequently during your trip.

Where can vaccinated Americans travel? Here’s a list of countries as the world reopens

Poll: most unvaccinated Americans say they’ll refuse to get a vaccine

A majority of Americans who haven’t gotten vaccinated said in a new poll that they won’t get a COVID-19 shot.

In The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released Tuesday, 64% of respondents said they have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine and 35% said they haven’t.

Of the respondents who haven’t gotten a shot, 61% said they wouldn’t get a COVID-19 vaccine, with 34% saying they would “definitely” not get a shot and 27% said they “probably” wouldn’t.