COVID News: CDC panel to consider Moderna, J&J vaccine boosters

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
COVID latest: FDA on mixing boosters, NJ mandate takes effect
Lucy Yang has the latest COVID headlines including news that the FDA could give the green light to allow mixing of booster shots.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A CDC panel will meet this week to discuss recommendations for Moderna and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine boosters.

The meetings come after after an FDA advisory panel made its recommendations last week.

While the recommendations for Moderna are similar to the ones already authorized for Pfizer, the panel made a different choice regarding the Johnson and Johnson shot.

Experts say anyone over 18 who got the single shot vaccine should get a booster at least two months after the first dose.

Here are more of today's COVID-19 headlines:

FDA moving towards allowing mixed COVID vaccine boosters

A source familiar with the FDA's planning, tells ABC News the FDA is moving towards recommending people get boosters that match their original vaccinations, but would allow for provider discretion to allow for boosters with different brands.

NHL suspends San Jose Sharks' Evander Kane for submitting fake COVID-19 vaccination card

The NHL has suspended San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane for 21 games for submitting a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.

The league announced the suspension without pay on Monday and said Kane will not be eligible to play until Nov. 30 at New Jersey. Kane will forfeit about $1.68 million of his $7 million salary for this season with the money going to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

94% of NYC hospital workers vaccinated

Ninety-four percent of staff at the 11 city-run hospitals are vaccinated, New York City officials said Monday.

As for the status of the other 6%:

"We don't even call it putting anyone on unpaid leave," Health + Hospitals CEO Dr. Mitchell Katz said. "I'm hopeful that by the time we are at the end of this month, the numbers are going to be very small, and all our hospitals are functioning fully now."

Colin Powell, 1st Black US Secretary of State, dies at 84 of COVID-19 complications

Colin Powell, who served Democratic and Republican presidents in war and peace but whose sterling reputation was forever stained when he went before the U.N. and made faulty claims to justify the U.S. war in Iraq, has died of COVID-19 complications. He was 84. In an announcement on social media, Powell's family said he had been fully vaccinated.

New COVID vaccine mandate takes effect in NJ

A new vaccine mandate is now in effect in New Jersey. Starting Monday, all school and state workers have to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or show proof of negative tests. Next month, the same mandate goes into effect for workers at child care facilities in the Garden State.

The mandates have become a major issue in the governor's race. The requirement that went in effect means all state workers, as well as employees at all colleges, universities and schools - public or private - must show proof of vaccination or submit to weekly COVID testing.

FDA to meet next month on Merck's COVID treatment pill

The FDA will have its outside experts meet late next month to discuss the experimental antiviral pill designed to treat COVID from Merck. It's the first time the panel will meet on a treatment, rather than a vaccine, during this pandemic. The FDA says it believes a public discussion will help ensure a better understanding of the data. The Nov. 30 meeting means U.S. regulators almost certainly won't issue a decision on the drug until December.

CDC updates holiday guidance, urges vaccines and masking indoors

The CDC updated its holiday guidance on Friday, urging people to get vaccinated and to wear masks indoors when out in public. "We fully expect that families and friends will gather for the holidays this year and we have updated our guidance on how to best to stay safe over the holidays. The best way to minimize COVID risk and ensure that people can safely gather is to get vaccinated or get the booster if you're eligible," the CDC said in a statement.

Experts explain why lawsuits against COVID-19 vaccine mandates fail

From teachers to airlines workers, some employees who have faced termination for not complying with their company's COVID-19 vaccine mandates have gone to court to fight the decisions. Some of the plaintiffs, such as New York City Department of Education employees, a handful of Los Angeles county public employees and United Airlines workers, have argued that the mandates should be removed, questioning the rules' constitutionality and some contending their religious rights weren't observed. So far, these arguments have not swayed judges who have almost all ruled in favor of the employer, or not issued long injunctions while they hear the case. And legal experts tell ABC News they don't expect different outcomes in courtrooms anytime soon.

What to know about religious exemptions for COVID shots as vaccine mandates roll out

With COVID-19 vaccine mandates proliferating across the country in the public and private sectors as well as some school districts, the pushback from those unwilling or hesitant to get their shots is heating up. The vaccination effort has raised new questions about exemptions because mandates for adults are generally rare outside of settings like healthcare facilities and the military, and the inoculations are relatively new.

While there is no overall data yet on exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines, a number of companies and state governments have seen interest in religious exemptions -- a protection stemming from the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This leaves employers in the difficult and legally precarious position of determining whether the requests are valid. As such, some states have tried to do away with non-medical exemptions overall for their employees.

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