The U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to hold advisory committee meetings next month regarding COVID-19 vaccines, including emergency use for younger children. Currently, adults and children five and older are eligible for vaccines. There’s yet to be approval for children under five.
FDA Commissioner Robert Califf on Friday told a group of journalists the FDA has a written request for emergency use authorization from Moderna, but the FDA does not have complete data. Califf says they’ll act as quickly as possible, but stresses the need to analyze all information and data before making a decision.
“There will be no delays, but we can’t set dates until we see what’s in them.”
Vaccines for younger children could become available as early as June. That’s when advisory committee meetings are tentatively scheduled. Califf says they’re waiting for Pfizer’s application.
He took part in a question-and-answer panel in-person at the Association of Health Care Journalists 2022 conference in Austin.
Advocates with the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition would like to see the Catholic Church apologize to American Indian and Alaska Native people for the church’s role in U.S. Indian boarding schools. The coalition also would like the church to make available boarding school and mission records to tribal nations, tribal citizens, boarding school survivors or descendants, and Native organizations to review. This follows Pope Francis’ apology in April to Canada’s Indigenous people for the Catholic Church’s role in the Indian residential school system.
Healing coalition board member Joannie Romero says the pope’s apology is a step.
“There’s so much momentum happening right now and much like our Métis, our Inuit, and First Nations relatives in Canada, we want an acknowledgement as well in the United States. And, it’s important to also understand each community and their respective experience are going to be very different as what they define as reparations, what that could look like…I think the next opportunity would be for the pope to come to the United States and begin having those conversations with our communities.”
Healing coalition deputy chief executive officer Samuel Torres says the coalition has helped with legislation in Congress to establish a truth and healing commission similar to the one in Canada.
“Canada is in some ways, shape or form a bit ahead of the United States as it relates to work of the coalition. We helped to write both HR 5444 and Senate Bill 2907 the Truth and Healing Commission Bill on Indian Boarding School Policy Act. We are generating a lot of interest doing a lot of education work and advocacy around the bill, but this is work that needs to be codified into law and needs to be included within the political discourse of the United States.”
The healing coalition is seeking a response from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops about efforts in the U.S. to address the harms committed against Indigenous people across the country.
The pope’s apology to Canada’s Indigenous people followed meetings at the Vatican with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit delegates in late-March to the beginning of April.
He’ll serve on the Tribal Nations Leadership Council representing the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Eastern Oklahoma District, which includes nearly 20 tribes.
The council is set to meet with the U.S. Attorney General this month to discuss funding, the implementation of VAWA’s reauthorization, missing and murdered Indigenous people and public safety in Indian Country.
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