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COVID-19 live updates: FDA may issue guidance on boosters for adults as soon as this week


(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 765,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Just 68.9% 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.

Latest headlines:
-FDA may issue guidance on boosters for adults as soon as this week
-Pfizer asks FDA for COVID-19 pill authorization
-21 states see at least 10% jump in daily cases

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

Nov 16, 4:40 pm
DC to lift indoor mask mandate on Monday, masks still required in White House

Washington, D.C., will lift its indoor mask mandate on Monday.

“Instead of following a blanket mandate, residents, visitors, and workers will be advised to follow risk-based guidance from DC Health that accounts for current health metrics and a person’s vaccination status,” Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office said in a statement

Private businesses can still require masks.

Masks will still be required in places including public transportation, schools, child care facilities and nursing homes.

The White House will still require masks indoors, a White House spokesman said, because D.C. has a “substantial” level of community transmission, according to the CDC.

“The White House follows CDC guidance which recommends masking in areas of high or substantial transmission,” the spokesman, Kevin Munoz, told ABC News.

ABC News’ Beatrice Peterson, Ben Gittleson

Nov 16, 4:33 pm
American Academy of Pediatrics updates guidance for testing in kids

The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its testing guidance for children, aligning its recommendations with the CDC’s for fully vaccinated individuals.

AAP now recommends that fully vaccinated people, who were in close contact with someone with COVID-19, should be tested five to seven days after the exposure. It is recommended that individuals who are not fully vaccinated be tested immediately after they learn of exposure. If they test negative, they should be tested again five to seven days after their last exposure, or immediately after symptoms develop.

The CDC already recommended that vaccinated people get tested five to seven days after exposure.

ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos, Sony Salzman

Nov 16, 4:20 pm
FDA may issue guidance on boosters for adults as soon as this week

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet on Friday to discuss expanding booster eligibility for the Pfizer vaccine.

A government official confirmed to ABC News that the FDA may issue guidance on Pfizer and Moderna boosters for adults as soon as this week.

According to federal guidelines, boosters are currently available for: adults who received the Johnson & Johnson shot at least two months ago; Moderna/Pfizer recipients who are 65 and older and six months out from their second dose; and adult Moderna/Pfizer recipients who are six months out from the second dose and at higher risk because of a comorbidity, living or work environment.

But booster eligibility has already been expanded in some states this week, including New York and Arkansas.

ABC News’ Eric M. Strauss

Nov 16, 2:10 pm
Pfizer asks FDA for COVID-19 pill authorization

Pfizer has asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its COVID-19 pill, the company announced in a press release Tuesday.

Both Merck and Pfizer are working on pills that appear very effective at keeping patients out of the hospital, according to the companies.

The Merck medication could be FDA authorized, recommended and available by the end of the year. The FDA’s advisory committee is slated to discuss the Merck application on Nov. 30.

Authorization for Pfizer is not expected until early next year.

ABC News’ Sony Salzman


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