COVID News: Pfizer prepares to submit data on kids ages 5-11 to FDA

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Pfizer/BioNTech plans to ask for authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine for some children under 12 soon, bringing the US one step closer to offering protection to a population that has grown particularly vulnerable as the fall season gets underway.

"It is a question of days, not weeks," Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla told ABC News about when the company will submit data on children ages 5 to 11 to the FDA for consideration.

Currently, COVID-19 vaccines are only approved for children 12 and older, which has stirred concern among health experts as cases in children increase, school years begin and the more transmissible Delta variant spreads.

Nearly 26% of all COVID-19 cases nationwide are reported in children, according to recent data published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and an average of 266 children were hospitalized with COVID-19 every day last week, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Nationwide, nearly 1,600 people are dying of the coronavirus each day.

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



2 more pop-up vaccines sites coming to NYC subway
Governor Kathy Hochul announced two new pop-up vaccination sites in collaboration with the MTA, located at the Broadway Junction and East 180th Street subway stations, strategically located in areas where vaccination rates remain low. The successful program that has brought pop-up sites at MTA station stops launched on May 12, initially at eight stations across New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad, offering the public the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. As of Sunday, 34,345 people have been vaccinated at these locations since the program's launch.

"More people are returning to the workplace in-person, and with the increase in ridership across the MTA system we have a great opportunity to reach even more people with pop-up sites at station stops," Governor Hochul said. "If you still need to get your shot and are passing by one of these stations, you can just walk in to get the single-dose vaccine and then be on your way. It's that seamless, and it's the best thing you can do to better protect yourself and others from COVID-19."

Kyrie Irving misses Nets media day over vaccine status
Unable to attend the Brooklyn Nets' media day, Kyrie Irving asked for privacy when pressed about his vaccination status and availability for home games. The All-Star guard spoke via Zoom through a monitor set up in the interview room at Barclays Center. New York has a mandate requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for athletes who play in or practice in the city. Irving wouldn't say if he has received a shot or if he intended to get one. If a player is not vaccinated, he would be forced to sit out the Nets' home games. He says his status will be cleared up at a later date.

NJ 'Return and Earn' Program
Governor Phil Murphy announced a new program called "Return and Earn" aimed at helping unemployed New Jerseyans get back to work. Employers may receive up to $10,000 in wage subsidies to hire and train new employees for up to six months. The wage subsidy will cover 50% of wages for up to six months for new employees. The subsidy is capped at $10,000 per new employee and at $40,000 per employer. Workers hired through Return & Earn will receive a $500 return to work bonus in their first paycheck. Eligible businesses must have 100 or fewer current employees, and the positions to be filled must pay at least $15 per hour.

NY health care COVID vaccine mandate takes effect
New York state's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers took effect Monday, leaving hospitals and nursing homes across New York braced for the prospect of severe staff shortages fueled by workers getting suspended or fired for refusing to be inoculated. Officials say 84% of state workers are fully vaccinated, but with thousands still thought to be holding out, administrators prepared contingency plans that included cutting back on noncritical services and limiting admissions at nursing homes.

'DWTS' pro Cheryl Burke says she has COVID-19
Professional dancer and "Dancing With the Stars" pro Cheryl Burke announced she has COVID-19. Her announcement came just hours before a scheduled performance with master Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby on the hit dancing competition show.

"OK, I so I have really bad news. I am positive, which means I have COVID," the dancer said, fighting back tears. "I feel so bad for Cody. I feel like I'm letting him down -- it's so overwhelming."

'The View' chaos sparked by false-positive COVID-19 results, hosts say
It now appears the COVID-inspired chaos on Friday at 'The View' was indeed due to false-positive test results. On Monday, host Joy Behar said she and co-hosts Ana Navarro, Sunny Hostin and Sara Haines have received numerous COVID-19 tests and the Friday results turned out to be "false positives."
Navarro and Hostin were asked to leave the anchor desk in the middle of the live show on Friday, and the remaining anchors subsequently explained that the two had tested positive.

"I'm thrilled to report that Sunny and Ana's Friday results turned out to be false positives," Behar said. "No one's got it. It was a mistake of sorts."

Showdown looms over vaccine mandate for teachers, school workers
Officials will battle it out in court over New York City's vaccine mandate for school employees. In New York City, all public school teachers and employees were supposed to be vaccinated with at least one shot by Monday. However, the court granted a temporary injunction, which means the city can't enforce the rule until a three-judge panel decides whether such a city mandate is constitutional. It will be contested on Wednesday. A federal appeals court has temporarily delayed the New York City from implementing its COVID vaccine requirement

Biden receives COVID-19 booster shot
President Joe Biden received his COVID-19 vaccine booster shot on Monday afternoon at the White House just days after booster doses were approved by federal health officials. The president received his first two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of his inauguration in January. The 78-year-old president qualified for a booster dose since he received his second Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine more than six months ago and is in an eligible age group. Early Friday morning, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky diverged from the agency's independent vaccine advisers to recommend boosters for a broader group of people -- those ages 18 to 64 who are at increased risk of COVID-19 because of their workplaces or institutional settings -- in addition to older adults, long-term care facility residents and some people with underlying health conditions. The CDC recommendation includes the recommendations made by its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Thursday when it voted to recommend boosters for people age 65 and older and residents of long-term care facilities who received the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine series at least six months ago, and people ages 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions.

Met season opens Monday with 'Fire Shut Up in My Bones,' first-ever opera by Black composer
The Metropolitan Opera's season opens on Monday, and for the first time in its 138-year history, it will perform an opera by a Black composer. The staging of "Fire Shut Up in My Bones" will be an awakening in other ways too for the Met, which hasn't staged an opera performance in its house in 18 months. "Fire Shut Up in My Bones" is by jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard. based on the memoir of New York Times columnist Charles Blow.

Connecticut schools brace for potential bus driver shortage amid COVID vaccine mandate
Thousands of Connecticut state employees, K-12 teachers, school bus drivers and day care workers were urged to get vaccinated for COVID-19 before Gov. Ned Lamont's executive orders requiring vaccinations for certain employees took effect on Monday. State employees were reminded to upload their vaccination status, applicable weekly testing results or medical and religious exemption requests by midnight on Sunday to a third-party app.

"Employees who do not complete the process will be subject to unpaid leave and possible separation from state service," Department of Administrative Services Commissioner Josh Geballe wrote in an email sent to affected state employees on Thursday.

Booster shots now available in NYC for qualified Pfizer vax recipients
Booster shots are now available to fully vaccinated New York City residents who received the Pfizer vaccinations and who qualify for a third dose according to CDC guidelines, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday. Pfizer boosters are available to people who are 65 and older, who have an underlying medical condition or who work in a higher risk setting. More information is available online at vax4nyc.nyc.gov

'Key to NYC' survives another legal challenge
New York City's "Key to NYC" vaccination documentation program has survived another legal challenge, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday. Under the program, which went into effect on August 17, people 12 and older are required to show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for most indoor activities, including eating inside a restaurant or working out at a gym.

Vaccine boosters now available in NY state
Governor Kathy Hochul announced a robust implementation of booster doses into the State's COVID-19 vaccination program, ensuring an efficient, equitable, and effective distribution of booster doses to eligible New Yorkers statewide.

"Our top priority remains staying ahead of this constantly changing virus and protecting New Yorkers with effective, long-lasting vaccines," she said. "As we've heard from our federal and state medical and health experts, as with many other vaccines, the protection from the COVID-19 vaccine can wane over time. A booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will help particularly at-risk New Yorkers stay protected from the virus for longer. While the focus of our vaccination effort remains ensuring all unvaccinated New Yorkers get vaccinated, those who are booster eligible should waste no time receiving maximum protection from COVID-19 as soon as possible."

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