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COVID-19 live updates: CDC panel votes ‘yes’ on Pfizer vaccine for young kids

(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 747,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Just 67.9% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Nov 02, 8:44 pm
Biden calls CDC greenlight for child vaccinations ‘a major step forward’

President Joe Biden called Tuesday’s move by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to allow Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations for children 5 to 11 years old “a turning point.”

“It will allow parents to end months of anxious worrying about their kids, and reduce the extent to which children spread the virus to others,” he said in a statement. “It is a major step forward for our nation in our fight to defeat the virus.”

The president said his administration has secured enough pediatric vaccines for every child in America and has begun shipping out doses.

“The program will ramp up over the coming days, and fully up and running during the week of November 8,” he said.

-ABC News’ Anne Flaherty

Nov 02, 8:21 pm
CDC director signs off on child vaccinations

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky approved the agency’s recommendations for administering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children between 5 and 11 years old.

Vaccinations for this age group, which includes over 28 million children, can begin as early as Wednesday morning.

The two-dose vaccine has been approved for an emergency use for children 12 to 15 years old and for full authorized use for patients above 16 years old.

Hartford HealthCare was one of the first locations in the country to administer the vaccine to kids Tuesday evening. The young patients cheered and gave doctors high fives after they received their shots.

ABC News’ Eric Strauss

Nov 02, 5:08 pm
CDC panel votes ‘yes’ on Pfizer vaccine for young kids

An independent CDC advisory panel voted “yes” Tuesday to recommend the Pfizer vaccine for the roughly 28 million children ages 5 to 11 in the U.S.

The vote was unanimous.

“The data supports that we have one more vaccine that that saves lives of children and that we should be very confident to employ it to the maximum,” panel member Dr. Sarah Long said.

“I think we I feel that I have a responsibility to make the vaccine available. If I had a grandchild, I would certainly get that grandchild vaccinated as soon as possible,” said panel member Dr. Beth Bell.

Next, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky must sign off; no pediatric vaccinations will start until Walensky gives the green light. If that happens Tuesday evening, shots could start going into younger children’s arms beginning Wednesday.

Nov 02, 3:58 pm
COVID more risky to heart than vaccine: Expert

The CDC’s expert on myocarditis, a rare heart inflammation condition that’s been linked to the vaccine, said Tuesday that he believes the benefits of the vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds outweighs the potential risks of myocarditis.

“The bottom line is: getting COVID, I think, is much riskier to the heart than getting this vaccine, no matter what age or sex,” Dr. Matt Oster said.

None of the more than 3,000 children in the age 5 to 11 clinical trials developed myocarditis from the vaccine, which has been seen in a rare number of cases, mostly among young men.

Oster said, “I believe it’s less likely that the 5- to 11-year-olds will have myocarditis. Although we will watch and see for sure, and they may have some, but I don’t think it’s going to be nearly to the extent of the older adolescents and young adults.”

-ABC News’ Cheyenne Haslett

Nov 02, 1:51 pm
New study reaffirms need for additional vaccine shots for immune-compromised people

A new study finds mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are 77% effective against hospitalizations among people with immune compromised conditions, compared to 90% effective among hospitalizations among people without such conditions.

This study — a multistate analysis of nearly 90,000 hospitalizations from January to September 2021 — adds more evidence that vaccines don’t work as well among people with compromised immune systems. Also, people with certain immune compromised conditions are more at-risk than others.

-ABC News’ Sony Salzman

Nov 02, 1:27 pm
Daily case average rising, hospitalizations declining

The daily case average in the U.S. has jumped by 13.3% in the last week, according to federal data.

Alaska currently has the country’s highest infection rate, followed by Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming. Puerto Rico, Florida and Hawaii have the lowest infection rate.

Hospitalizations are declining. About 48,000 patients are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.S., down by nearly 104,000 patients from eight weeks ago.

Hospital admissions are also down by 11.7% in the last week, according to federal data.

-ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos

Nov 01, 8:28 pm
Major pharmacy chains to offer Pfizer vaccine to children 5-11

Several major pharmacy chains told ABC News they are gearing up to offer the Pfizer vaccine to 5- to 11-year-olds within days of its approval by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency is expected to give the green light as early as Tuesday night. If approved, roughly 28 million children would be eligible for the mRNA vaccine.

“We expect to be able to provide vaccinations for this age group shortly after November 3,” Rite Aid said in a statement.

Walgreens said in a statement that, “appointments will open as we receive supply to stores, beginning this week.”

A spokesperson for CVS said the chain will share more specifics about its vaccine rollout once the authorization is made, and will provide customers with information on its website.

“We have played a prominent role in administering third doses to the immunocompromised and authorized booster shots, and are prepared to expand vaccine eligibility to ages 5-11 as soon as authorized to do so by public health agencies,” CVS said in a statement.

Nov 01, 4:33 pm
Details on vaccine mandates for businesses expected in coming days

A federal rule on vaccine mandates for businesses will be released this week, according to the Labor Department.

The rule will require employers with 100 employers or more to mandate the vaccine or weekly testing. It also will require large businesses to provide paid time off to workers to get the shot and recover from side effects from the vaccine.

The department said in a statement, “On November 1, the Office of Management and Budget completed its regulatory review of the emergency temporary standard. The Federal Register will publish the emergency temporary standard in the coming days.”

It’s not clear when the rule will take effect.

President Joe Biden first announced the rule in September and it’s since been making its way through the regulatory process.

Nov 01, 3:52 pm
Pediatric cases continue to decline

The U.S. reported about 101,000 child COVID-19 cases last week, marking the eighth consecutive week of declines in pediatric infections since the pandemic peak of nearly 252,000 cases in early September, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

The rate of pediatric hospital admissions is also declining.

Approximately 45.3% of adolescents ages 12 to 17 have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to federal data.

Severe illness due to COVID-19 remains “uncommon” among children, AAP and CHA said. However, AAP and CHA continue to warn that there is an urgent need to collect more data on the long-term consequences of the pandemic on children, “including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects.”

Nov 01, 3:15 pm
What to expect at Tuesday’s CDC panel meeting on vaccinating young kids

An independent CDC advisory panel will convene at 11 a.m. Tuesday to debate and hold a nonbinding vote on whether to recommend the Pfizer vaccine for the roughly 28 million kids ages 5 to 11 in the U.S.

The CDC panel is expected to vote around 4:15 p.m.

If the panel decides to move ahead, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky must sign off on those specific recommendations, which would likely happen Tuesday evening.

No pediatric vaccinations will start until Walensky gives the green light. If that happens Tuesday evening, shots could start going into younger children’s arms beginning Wednesday.

The White House has purchased 65 million Pfizer pediatric vaccine doses — more than enough to fully vaccine all American children in this age group.

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