Coronavirus Updates: FDA fast-tracking full approval for Pfizer vaccine

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- The U.S. Food and Drug administration says it is fast-tracking the process of issuing final and full approval for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine.

An FDA spokeswoman says the agency is taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to complete its review of the application.

The three vaccines currently being used in the U.S. are currently authorized for emergency use only.

Health experts say full approval may encourage more people to get vaccinated.

Here are more of today's headlines:



NY reports over 3K COVID cases overnight, highest since May
New York reported over 3,000 COVID cases overnight, making it the highest number reported since early May. "New Yorkers fought long and hard and sacrificed a lot to get to where we are today - where we are not just surviving but living life," Governor Cuomo said. "But our fight is not over, and we know this because the Delta variant continues to infect more and more people, particularly those who are still unvaccinated.

OB-GYN associations recommend all pregnant people get vaccinated against COVID-19
Two leading organizations that represent obstetricians and gynecologists recommended Friday that anyone who is pregnant should be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) said their recommendation is based on evidence from thousands of people who were pregnant that the vaccines are safe to be used during pregnancy. The associations also cite the country's low vaccination rate and the recent increase in cases.

Disney joins growing list of companies requiring COVID-19 vaccine for employees
The Walt Disney Company is now joining the growing number of other American companies who are requiring a COVID-19 vaccination for non-union employees working on-site.

Disney sent a message to employees who are non-union based in the United States that they must soon be fully vaccinated to come into the workplace.

Musical instrument therapy to treat long-term effects of COVID
Healthcare experts on Long Island are using musical instrument therapy to help treat long-term lung and cardiovascular problems from COVID like coughing and shortness of breath.

The idea is that using music as a form of physical therapy will increase patient participation and ultimately speed up recovery.

Hoboken vaccine/testing requirement for municipal workers

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla today signed an Executive Order requiring that all municipal employees in the city be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by August 9, or submit to regular testing. Employees who are not fully vaccinated will be required to take and submit to the city weekly COVID-19 tests and wear a face-covering in both indoor settings and when interacting with the public.

Broadway mandating vaccines, masks for audiences
The Broadway League announced Friday that the owners and operators of all 41 Broadway theaters in New York City will require vaccinations for audience members, as well as performers, backstage crew, and theater staff, for all performances through October 2021. Masks will also be required for audiences inside the theater, except while eating or drinking in designated locations.

What we know about the delta variant of COVID-19 following new CDC report
An internal document circulated within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns the delta variant is more contagious, more likely to break through protections afforded by the vaccines and may be more severe than other variants of COVID-19. Here is what we know.

Iconic Fireplace restaurant in New Jersey closing after 65 years
An iconic restaurant in New Jersey is closing its doors Friday after 65 years in business. The Fireplace, located on NJ-17 in Paramus, has been serving up American fare in Bergen County since 1956, but it is now another casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are saddened to inform you that we have made the difficult decision to close our doors at 4 pm," owners said in a message posted on the business' Facebook page. "Over the past months, we have had an increasingly difficult time covering the costs of running our restaurant. We would like to say thank you to all of our loyal patrons who have supported us during our 65 years. It has been an honor serving you."

CDC shares 'pivotal discovery' on COVID-19 breakthrough infections that led to new mask guidance
A new study shows the delta COVID-19 variant produced similar amounts of virus in vaccinated and unvaccinated people if they get infected -- illustrating a key motivation behind the federal guidance that now recommends most fully vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors. Experts say that vaccination makes it less likely that you'll catch COVID-19 in the first place -- but for those who do, this data suggests they could have a similar tendency to spread it as unvaccinated folks.

"High viral loads suggest an increased risk of transmission and raised concern that, unlike with other variants, vaccinated people infected with delta can transmit the virus," Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement Friday.

Hundreds cash in on COVID vaccine as NYC launches $100 incentive
New York City added a $100 prepaid debit card to its list of incentives for people to get the COVID-19 vaccination Friday. The city is now giving the cards to anyone who gets a shot at a city-run site, and as of 10:30 a.m., more than 450 New Yorkers had collected.

Biden to allow federal eviction moratorium to expire
The Biden administration announced Thursday it will allow a nationwide ban on evictions to expire Saturday, arguing that its hands are tied after the Supreme Court signaled the moratorium would only be extended until the end of the month. The White House said President Joe Biden would have liked to extend the federal eviction moratorium due to spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus. Instead, Biden called on "Congress to extend the eviction moratorium to protect such vulnerable renters and their families without delay."
"Given the recent spread of the delta variant, including among those Americans both most likely to face evictions and lacking vaccinations, President Biden would have strongly supported a decision by the CDC to further extend this eviction moratorium to protect renters at this moment of heightened vulnerability," the White House said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has made clear that this option is no longer available."

NYC vaccination rates by zip code
There are about a dozen communities in the New York City area where three out of four people have not been vaccinated yet. 7 On Your Side Investigates created a map where the darkest colored zip codes have the most vaccinated New Yorkers and the lightest, the least.

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