COVID-19 live updates: Israel approves vaccination for younger children

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(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 763,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Just 68.8% 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 15, 12:00 pm
Fauci says fully vaccinated families should ‘feel good’ about gathering for holidays

Dr. Anthony Fauci said vaccinated family members “can feel good about enjoying a typical Thanksgiving, Christmas,” in an interview Monday hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

But Fauci warned that cases are still high, so people should wear masks when they’re in groups of people in indoor settings.

“We are not going to be going through this indefinitely,” Fauci said. “How quickly we get to the end depends on us: how well we vaccinate, how well we get boosted and how well we do the kinds of things to protect ourselves.”

Nov 15, 11:19 am
US daily case average jumps 23%

The daily case average in the U.S. now stands at 78,500 – a 23% jump over the last 2.5 weeks, according to federal data

Twenty-one states have seen an uptick in daily cases of 10% or more over the last two weeks: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin.

Last week marked the first national increase in hospitalizations in nearly 10 weeks. There are now more than 47,000 patients with COVID-19 in hospitals — up by about 2,000 patients since last Monday, according to federal data.

Nov 15, 10:41 am
NYC residents over 18 can get boosters, health commissioner says

New York City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said he’s issuing an advisory allowing all adults to receive a booster, as long as it’s been six months since their last Moderna or Pfizer dose or two months since the Johnson & Johnson shot.

Chokshi asked New York City health care providers to “proactively reach out to their eligible patients — particularly those 65 and older, those with medical conditions, and those who have received a Johnson & Johnson dose.”

New York City is seeing an uptick in cases in recent days, Chokshi tweeted, adding that “booster doses can provide one more layer of reassurance, allowing us to breathe a bit easier, either for ourselves or our loved ones, particularly as we gather and travel around the holidays.”

Nov 15, 9:08 am
Austria’s capital starts vaccinating younger children in pilot project

Young children can now get vaccinated against COVID-19 in Austria’s capital as part of a new pilot project.

Starting Monday, about 200 children ages 5 to 11 can receive the low-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine per day in Vienna. Registration for the pilot project, which is limited to the capital, opened over the weekend and more than 9,000 appointments have since been booked, according to Austrian newspaper Kurier.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can only be used “off-label” in this instance, because the European Medicines Agency has not yet authorized the shot for use in this younger age group.

Meanwhile, a nationwide lockdown for all unvaccinated individuals over the age of 12 began Monday at midnight. Residents who are not inoculated against COVID-19 are barred from leaving their homes except for basic activities such as work, grocery shopping, going for a walk or getting vaccinated.

Nov 15, 7:17 am
Israel approves COVID-19 vaccination for younger children

Israel’s Ministry of Health announced Sunday that children ages 5 to 11 would be eligible for vaccination against COVID-19.

The decision follows an advisory panel’s approval last week of the low-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds.

“The majority of experts on the committee were of the opinion that the benefit of vaccinating this age group outweighed any risk,” the health ministry said in a statement Sunday.

A starting date for the inoculation campaign will be announced soon, the health ministry said. COVID-19 vaccination for this age group will not be made mandatory and parents will be given the choice to decide.

More than 62% of Israel’s 9.2 million people have already received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, while nearly 44% have also gotten a booster shot, according to data from the health ministry.

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