Vaccine reminders for some people are looming on the horizon. But the unvaccinated remain the biggest obstacle in the fight against the pandemic, officials say – .

Vaccine reminders for some people are looming on the horizon. But the unvaccinated remain the biggest obstacle in the fight against the pandemic, officials say – .

U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisers on Friday recommended authorization for emergency use of a booster dose of Pfizer’s vaccine six months after full vaccination for people 65 years of age and older and those at high risk of serious illness due to the virus. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention is meeting next week with its vaccine advisers, and the agency determines final approval of the injections.

Dr Paul Offit, a member of the FDA’s Vaccine Advisory Committee, said vaccinating all eligible Americans remains the most important strategy.

“What will be the change in the arc of this pandemic by giving a third dose to people already vaccinated compared to giving two doses to people who have not been vaccinated?” Offit told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday.

The trajectory of hospitalizations and deaths has been bleak in recent months. On Thursday, the seven-day average of Covid-19 deaths reached 1,464, according to the CDC, the highest since March 1, before the widespread availability of vaccines.

In West Virginia, where 74 people have died from the virus since Wednesday, the governor is advocating for residents to be vaccinated. The state has only fully vaccinated 40.1% of its population, according to CDC data.

“We’re either going to run into the fire and get vaccinated right away, or we’re going to stack the body bags until we reach a point where we have enough people immunized and enough people vaccinated,” said Friday. Governor Jim Justice at a press conference. “The only thing I have in my arsenal that will make it better is that you get the shot. It is all I have. ”

In Alabama, the increased availability of hospital beds is only due to the double-digit number of deaths from Covid-19, state health official Dr Scott Harris said on Friday during a press briefing.

“I would just say very respectfully and with compassion… there are two ways people get out of the hospital, and one of them is not very good,” Harris said.

The state, where 41% of its residents are fully vaccinated, has seen “typically 40 or 50 or sometimes 60 deaths per day,” Harris said.

And at least seven pregnant people have died from Covid-19 in Alabama since the start of the pandemic, Harris said. The state also has an average of 23 pregnant people hospitalized with Covid-19 over the past week.

FDA Advisors Give Some High-Risk People A Boost

Friday’s highly anticipated meeting to discuss boosters resulted in a recommendation from a group of advisers – vaccine experts, immunologists, pediatricians, infectious disease specialists and public health experts – that people 65 and older as well as those at high risk of severe Covid-19 to receive a Pfizer booster injection six months after receiving their first two injections.

The committee stopped before recommending a booster shot for those 16 and over six months after they had been fully vaccinated because of concerns about the safety of a booster dose in young adults and adolescents. Members also complained about the lack of data on the safety and long-term effectiveness of a booster dose.

5 Reasons FDA Advisors Did Not Recommend Covid-19 Booster Injections For Everyone

The vote was messy, with some councilors expressing concern that the move left healthcare workers at high risk of infection and even serious illness out of the way. The FDA asked advisers to informally broaden their recommendation to include people at work-related high risk of infection – and won a yes.

“I think this should demonstrate to the public that the members of this committee are independent from the FDA and that in fact we make our voices heard when asked to sit on this committee,” said Dr. Archana Chatterjee, dean of Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University said after the last vote.

The question of independence surfaced because the Biden administration had announced it would be ready to hand out booster doses as early as Monday – ahead of any action or even consideration by the FDA.

A nurse at a Clearwater, Florida hospital is preparing to help place a Covid-19 positive patient on a ventilator.

Florida sees drop in Covid-19 cases

There has been a glimmer of good news from Florida, which has been a hotspot for the virus, even as the state passed 50,000 deaths from Covid-19.

“A quarter of these deaths have been since the outbreak of Delta variant infections, which puts an exclamation mark on how deadly the Delta variant has been for all of us,” the county mayor said on Friday. of Orange, Jerry Demings. .

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Orange County, home to Orlando, saw 372 residents die from Covid-19 in August, Demings said, adding that there had been 85 more deaths since the last briefing on Monday.

However, the county “also sees some very promising news,” Demings said, as the number of daily infections declines. For the 13th consecutive day, the number of daily cases was less than 1,000 in the county.

“This is still good news,” added Demings. “To date, 72% of eligible residents aged 12 and over have received one or more doses of the vaccine. “

Overall, the state saw fewer than 100,000 new cases of Covid-19 last week for the first time since July 16, according to data released Friday by the Florida Department of Health.

New cases per week in Florida have been declining steadily since August 20, when the state hit its peak of 151,880 new cases in one week.

CNN’s Maggie Fox, Virginia Langmaid, Amy Simonson, Melissa Alonso and Deanna Hackney contributed to this report.


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