COVID News: FDA announces 3 key vaccine dates for October

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Food and Drug Administration has announced three important October dates regarding booster shots and COVID-19 vaccines for kids.

On October 14, an advisory panel will discuss Moderna's request for booster shots for people ages 18 and older.

The next day, on October 15, the panel will discuss whether those who got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine need a booster.

The panel will also consider whether Americans should mix and match vaccines.

And on October 26, the panel will discuss Pfizer's data on its vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

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



Supreme Court justice denies injunction on NYC school vaccine mandate
The deadline has passed for unvaccinated New York City public school employees to get their first dose of the COVID-19 shot or face suspension and possible termination, after Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor declined to provide a last minute reprieve Friday. Sotomayor denied the request by a group of teachers for an emergency injunction. She did not issue any explanation or statement, and she did not refer the matter to the full court for a vote.

'Aladdin' cancels more Broadway performances due to COVID
Disney's "Aladdin" has once again canceled performances of the Broadway musical due to breakthrough COVID-19 cases, with the show announcing additional cases just one night after it reopened. The curtain finally rose at the hit show Tuesday after 18 months in the dark due to the pandemic, but Wednesday's performance was canceled after members of the company tested positive. The show resumed Thursday before the new cases Friday. As a result, all performances will be canceled for roughly the next two weeks.

US hits 700,000 COVID deaths just as cases begin to fall
The United States reached its latest heartbreaking pandemic milestone Friday, eclipsing 700,000 deaths from COVID-19 just as the surge from the delta variant is starting to slow down and give overwhelmed hospitals some relief. It took three and a half months for the U.S. to go from 600,000 to 700,000 deaths, driven by the variant's rampant spread through unvaccinated Americans. The death toll is larger than the population of Boston.

Broadway extends vaccine, mask mandates
The Broadway League announced Friday that the owners and operators of all 41 Broadway theatres in New York City will continue to require vaccinations for audience members, as well as performers, backstage crew, and theatre staff, for all performances through the end of the year. Masks will also be required for audiences inside the theatre, except while actively eating or drinking in designated locations. Under the policy, guests over the age of 12 will need to be fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine AND present a government-issued photo ID such as a driver's license or passport. (Guests 12-18 may use a government-issued ID or school ID - no photo required.).

MTA launches vaccine or testing plan, new hires must be fully vaccinated against COVID
The MTA announced Friday that all unvaccinated employees will be required to take weekly COVID-19 tests beginning Monday, October 4, and that all new hires must be fully vaccinated beginning on or after November 14. Vaccinations are available to employees at MTA facilities and other locations, and the MTA currently has 138 on-site locations for employees to get tested.
"The MTA is an industry leader in protecting the health and safety of transit workers," acting MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said. "The science is clear. Vaccines are the best way to protect yourself, colleagues, relatives and neighbors from COVID-19."

Woman in coma from COVID-19 gives birth to 'miracle baby'
A pregnant school cafeteria worker in Charlotte caught COVID-19 and gave birth to her baby while in a medically-induced coma. Vicki Goodson remains in the hospital and her family hopes her story will encourage other mothers to get vaccinated. Goodson's family said she was cautious throughout the pandemic, but she was waiting until after her pregnancy to get vaccinated. Then on Sept. 3, she started struggling to breathe and had to be admitted to the hospital.

"The baby is a miracle baby," Goodson's sister Tarisha Leach said to ABC affiliate WSOC. "A miracle baby. She's beautiful."

1st ever pill to treat COVID-19 shows promise, NJ-based drug company Merck says
Merck & Co. said Friday that its experimental COVID-19 pill reduced hospitalizations and deaths by half in people recently infected with the coronavirus and that it would soon ask health officials in the U.S. and around the world to authorize its use. If cleared, Merck's drug would be the first pill shown to treat COVID-19, a potentially major advance in efforts to fight the pandemic. All COVID-19 therapies now authorized in the U.S. require an IV or injection.

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh tests positive for COVID
The Supreme Court says Justice Brett Kavanaugh has tested positive for COVID-19. The high court said in a press release Friday that Kavanaugh has no symptoms and has been fully vaccinated since January. Kavanaugh and all the other justices had a routine coronavirus test ahead of Friday's ceremonial investiture for Justice Amy Coney Barrett. The court says Kavanaugh's wife and daughters are also fully vaccinated, and they tested negative on Thursday. The court says Kavanaugh and his wife will not attend the ceremony. The court's new term begins on Monday and the justices are returning to the courtroom to hear arguments after an 18-month absence because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Proposed bill would require COVID vaccine, negative test for domestic air travel ahead of holidays
Travelers could be looking at new COVID restrictions as we embark on the holiday season. It's one of several COVID-related updates for the airline industry. With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner and one of the busiest times to fly, California Senator Diane Feinstein tweeted "We can't allow upcoming holiday air travel to contribute to another surge in COVID cases. Today, I introduced legislation requiring passengers on domestic flights to be vaccinated, test negative or be fully recovered from a previous COVID illness."

Masking in classrooms decreases COVID outbreaks, additional research shows

The debate over requiring children to wear masks at schools rages on, but not among doctors or scientists -- or teachers. Multiple recent studies have shown that masks effectively slow virus transmission and prevent school closures. Three such studies were just published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly report on infectious diseases.

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