COVID News: FDA could authorize Pfizer, Moderna boosters for all by Friday

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Wednesday, November 17, 2021
FDA could authorize Pfizer, Moderna boosters for all by Friday
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ABC News has learned that the FDA could authorize Pfizer and Moderna's booster shots for anyone age 18 and older as soon as Friday.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- ABC News has learned that the FDA could authorize Pfizer and Moderna's booster shots for anyone age 18 and older as soon as Friday.

New York and New Jersey are already urging everyone to get boosters.

The move comes amid an uptick of cases in New York, which is now reporting a positivity rate of more than 3% and nearly 2,000 hospitalizations.

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

NYC doubling COVID testing for the holidays

New York City is doubling the size of its mobile testing fleet to 70 vans, as Mayor Bill de Blasio stressed testing -- for both vaccinated and unvaccinated -- before traveling or visiting family this holiday season. The mayor urged people to get tested before large family gatherings and to get tested before any travel.

"We want to give people some really good guidance for this holiday season," he said. "Obviously, this is a time when people gather, often gather in large numbers, people travel. So here is new guidance for this holiday season about testing."

Fauci says COVID booster shot may be 'standard' for full vaccination

With winter closing in and coronavirus case rates creeping up once again, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning that the vaccines' waning immunity combined with the highly transmissible delta variant will make for a "double whammy" that will impact "even the vaccinated people."

"The somewhat unnerving aspect of it is that if you keep the level of dynamics of the virus in the community at a high level -- obviously the people who are most most vulnerable are the unvaccinated -- but when you have a virus as transmissible as delta, in the context of waning immunity, that dynamic is going to negatively impact even the vaccinated people. So it's a double whammy," Fauci said.

Over 100,000 died of drug overdose in US during pandemic

An estimated 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in one year, a never-before-seen milestone that health officials say is tied to the COVID-19 pandemic and a more dangerous drug supply. Overdose deaths have been rising for more than two decades, accelerated in the past two years and, according to new data posted Wednesday, jumped nearly 30% in the latest year. Experts believe the top drivers are the growing prevalence of deadly fentanyl in the illicit drug supply and the COVID-19 pandemic, which left many drug users socially isolated and unable to get treatment or other support.

NYC's vax incentive draws big numbers

400,000 New Yorkers have taken advantage of the city's $100 vaccination incentive, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday, including 87,000 children under 18. Based on those totals, the program has cost the city $40 million to date. In other vaccination news, approximately 74,000 5- to 11-year-olds have gotten their first shot, and 414,000 12- to 17-year-olds have gotten vaccinated so far. The city is pushing ahead with more in-school vaccinations this week and will revisit all city schools starting November 30 so students have an opportunity to receive their second shots (or their first shot for those who haven't yet).

Kids vaccine bundling

It's perfectly acceptable for 5- to-11-year-olds preparing to receive a vaccine against COVID-19 also to receive other protective shots they may have missing during the pandemic lockdown. For some children, that could mean five or six shots in a single visit, but it's safe to do so, doctors told ABC News.

Vaccinated families can 'feel good' about gathering for holidays, Fauci says

If you and your family are vaccinated against COVID-19, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday gave the thumbs up on gathering for the holidays. Fauci warned that cases are still high, so people should wear masks when they're out and about in the community and around groups of people in indoor settings.

"If you get vaccinated and your family's vaccinated, you can feel good about enjoying a typical Thanksgiving, Christmas with your family and close friends," Fauci, who is also director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview on Monday hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center. "But when you're with your family at home, goodness, enjoy it with your parents, your children, your grandparents. There's no reason not to do that."

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