COVID-19 News: CDC to Consider Booster Shots After FDA Rulings

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NEW YORK (WABC) -- The CDC Advisory Committee will meet this week to discuss booster shots, including who should get one and when.

The meeting comes after an FDA advisory panel met last week, okaying the Pfizer booster for those 65 and older and anyone with high risk of severe COVID.

The panel stopped short of recommending the booster for the general public.

Dr. Anthony Fauci defended the decision, saying that recommendations could change as more data becomes available.

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

Pfizer says the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective for kids ages 5 to 11

Pfizer says it has determined its vaccine is safe and effective for children between the ages of 5 and 11. Right now, vaccines are only available for those over the age of 12. Pfizer says the dose for younger children will be one-third of the dose of an adult vaccine. The company plans to request emergency use authorization in the coming weeks.

Super-spreader concern as UN General Assembly meets in NYC

New Yorkers who enjoyed the peace and quiet of the United Nations' virtual General Assembly meeting last year can expect to face some heavy traffic today as dozens of world leaders, including President Joe Biden, converge on the city. The greater concern, though, appears to be preventing the meeting from becoming a COVID super-spreader event. New York City officials have requested that leaders show proof they are fully vaccinated before entering the U.N. hall for the opening ceremonies.

NYPD officer dies of COVID

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea on Sunday announced the death of officer Leonardo Chavez, who lost his battle with COVID on Saturday. Chavez was a veteran of the department, having served for 21 years.

Chris Rock announces COVID diagnosis

On Sunday, actor, and comedian Chris Rock announced via Twitter that he has been diagnosed with COVID. In the tweet, Rock urged people to get vaccinated, saying "trust me you don't want this."

Moderna vaccine most effective against hospitalization

A new CDC study of all three COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. found the shot developed by Moderna is slightly more effective than those developed by Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. In a study of more than 3,600 adults, Moderna's vaccine provided 93% protection against hospitalization to Pfizer's 88% and Johnson & Johnson's 70%. The agency said that although the data shows some variation in the levels of protection, all three provide substantial protection against COVID-19 hospitalization.

East Harlem Public School closed due to COVID cases

P.S. 79 in East Harlem is the first New York City Department of Education school to go fully remote for10 days after a COVID-19 outbreak in school. NYC Public Schools opened doors to students on Monday. According to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, 19 confirmed cases at East Harlem school.

CDC predicts cases could decrease in a month

The CDC is forecasting that COVID cases will likely decrease about a month from now. But right now, the delta variant still dominating. 2,000 deaths were reported on Wednesday; the highest single-day total in seven months. Many ICUs are filled with the unvaccinated.

More than 600,000 flags on National Mall stand witness to America's COVID dead

On one small, white rectangle is the name of a 29-year-old engineer, on another the name of a World War II veteran, and on a third, that of a 15-year-old -- just three of more than 600,000 flags on the National Mall reflecting the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on American lives and the country. On the grassy expanse near the Washington Monument, the field of flags is being displayed as a part of a chilling exhibition called "In America: Remember." Each represents a life lost to the pandemic, and each sits amid a sea of symbolic grief.

Temple Emanu-El holds its first-ever Yom Kippur services in Central Park

Temple Emanu-El is holding its first-ever Yom Kippur services in Central Park. Services were being held at 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m. for teens, and 3 p.m. for families. Those who took part in the services had to preregister. The outdoor services were being held in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Day of Action: Mobile COVID-19 vaccine sites at 26 restaurants across NYC

It's a day of action for small business owners Thursday, as elected officials join restaurants across the city to encourage COVID-19 vaccination. The New York City Test & Trace Corp has deployed mobile vaccination units to 26 restaurants across the city to make sure New Yorkers are protected from the novel coronavirus. With Key-to-NYC vaccine mandates now in effect, residents must be vaccinated to access all the eateries that make the Big Apple a world-renowned food destination.

Mayor details NYC booster shot rollout plan

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed some details of NYC's COVID booster vaccination plan if and when federal approval for the additional shots comes. The plan will utilize all 1,900 vaccination sites across the city, and 25 city-run sites will stay open with extended hours. The city will hold weekend booster shot events to give 45,000 additional shots per week as needed. And the city will mount a proactive booster shot outreach campaign. A recommendation from the FDA and CDC on booster shots is expected as soon as next week.

Hochul announces end of NY state hiring freeze

Governor Kathy Hochul on Thursday announced the suspension of the state hiring freeze through the end of the fiscal year, supporting COVID-19 recovery efforts. It came as the governor released the updated State Financial Plan, projecting $2.1 billion in revenue above projections, with the economic recovery beating expectations. While agencies are now able to hire without first obtaining a waiver from the Division of the Budget, they must prioritize hiring for their core missions and continue to prudently manage their resources, the governor's office said.

Grand Central Oyster Bar to reopen Monday

The on again, off again reopening of the Grand Central Oyster Bar - now possibly the most reported reopening of the pandemic -- has been officially scheduled for Monday Sept. 20 at 100% capacity, Chief Sandy Ingber told the mayor. The oyster bar first said it would be opening Sept. 7 after a nearly 17-month closure by the pandemic, but then pushed the date back again, citing "unforeseen operational issues, and delays caused by Hurricane Ida." Ingber joined the mayor to announce the 440-seat restaurant's reopening Monday, at 100% capacity.

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