COVID News: CDC expected to approve Pfizer's vaccine for kids 5-11 this week

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- The CDC is expected to approve Pfizer's COVID vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 years old this week, and 15 million doses have already started shipping out ahead of the ruling.

Shots won't be administered until they get the green light from the CDC, which is expected Tuesday or Wednesday. Still, a recent poll shows less than a third of parents say they'll get their young children vaccinated right away.

Meanwhile, the FDA is delaying its review of Moderna's vaccine for 12- to 17-year-olds, as federal regulators want more time to assess the rare risk of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle.

Experts say myocarditis is much more commonly caused by COVID-19.

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



Trash piles up as some sanitation workers protest vaccine mandate
Garbage is piling up in spots around New York City with 17% of sanitation workers still refusing to get vaccinated as mandates went into effect Monday.

A steady stream of trucks pulled into a sanitation garage on Staten Island. On a good week, the city crews pick up roughly 12,000 tons of trash each day in residential areas. But this was a bad week.

Mandate enforcement begins for NYPD, FDNY, NYC municipal workers
Enforcement began Monday for all New York City municipal workers -- including the NYPD and FDNY -- who are now required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Mayor Bill de Blasio said 91% of the city's workforce has received at least one shot, including 22,472 new vaccinations since the mandate was announced -- and 3,564 since Friday's 5 p.m. deadline. Still, roughly 6% of the total workforce, about 9,000 municipal workers, are now on unpaid leave, Press Secretary Daniele Filson said, having failed to be vaccinated by the deadline.

"City workers are doing the right thing," de Blasio said. "I want to thank everyone who got vaccinated. I know there were some questions and concerns. Thank you for getting vaccinated, for doing the right thing, for moving us forward."

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade returning to pre-pandemic form, adding Baby Yoda
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will return to its pre-pandemic form this year, with its route restored through Manhattan, high-flying helium balloons once again pulled by handlers and crowds welcomed back to cheer them on. And Baby Yoda is joining the party for the first time. This year's parade - the 95th annual - will snap back to form after bowing to pandemic restrictions last year. It will feature 15 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 36 novelty and heritage inflatables, more than 800 clowns, 10 marching bands and nine performance groups and, of course, Santa Claus.

New balloon giants joining the line-up on Nov. 25 include Ada Twist, Scientist; Grogu (so-called Baby Yoda from the "The Mandalorian"); and the Pokémon characters Pikachu and Eevee. Broadway will be represented by the casts of "Six," "Moulin Rouge! The Musical" and "Wicked." The Rockettes will be there, as will the cast of the upcoming NBC live production of "Annie."

Shots more protective than past infection, study shows
Health officials on Friday offered more evidence that vaccinations offer better protection against COVID-19 than immunity from a prior infection. Unvaccinated people who had been infected months earlier were 5 times more likely to get COVID-19 than fully vaccinated people who didn't have a prior infection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded in a new study.

"These data show, pretty strongly, that the vaccines are more protective against symptomatic COVID," said Dr. Mike Saag, an infectious disease expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who was not involved in the study.

The study looked at data from nearly 190 hospitals in nine states. The researchers counted about 7,000 adult patients who were hospitalized this year with respiratory illnesses or symptoms similar to those of COVID-19.

CDC 4th shot
The CDC is now signaling that some people may need a fourth vaccine shot. According to the CDC's website, people whose immune system is compromised and have already gotten a booster shot may need a fourth dose six months later. Medical conditions and treatments can make it harder for immunocompromised people to build immunity.

Excessive drinking during pandemic leading to spike in liver transplants
People have been drinking more during the pandemic, leading to a huge spike in the need for liver transplants. Researchers say those receiving transplants or on a waitlist due to alcoholic hepatitis went up 50% higher than what was predicted. Alcoholic hepatitis causes the liver to stop processing alcohol, which could lead to irreversible liver damage. It normally takes years of heavy drinking to prompt this condition, but it can also happen after a short period of excess.

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