COVID-19 live updates: Pfizer to seek approval for adult boosters, source says

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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 756,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Just 68.4% 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:
-US surgeon general releases guide to combating COVID-19 vaccine misinformation
-Pfizer to request OK for boosters to all adults: Source
-US reopens borders to vaccinated travelers

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

Nov 09, 2:42 pm
Aaron Rodgers: ‘To anybody who felt misled … I take full responsibility’

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he takes full responsibility for anyone who felt mislead by his comments about his vaccination status.

“I do realize I am a role model,” Rodgers said on “The Pat McAfee Show” Tuesday. “I made some comments that people might have felt were misleading. And to anybody who felt misled by those comments, I take full responsibility for those comments.”

Rodgers, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week and is not vaccinated, said Friday that he wasn’t hiding his vaccination status, even though he told reporters in August, “I’ve been immunized.”

Rodgers also said Friday that he’s allergic to an ingredient in mRNA vaccines.

He added, “I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and the ability to make choices for your body.”

Dr. David Dowdy, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told ABC News in September that severe allergies to the vaccines are extremely uncommon and are experienced by less than one in 1 million people, according to health data.

The CDC said: “If you have had a severe allergic reaction or an immediate allergic reaction — even if it was not severe — to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get either of the currently available mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. … If you aren’t able to get one type of COVID-19 vaccine because you are allergic to an ingredient in that vaccine, ask your doctor if you should get a different type of COVID-19 vaccine.”

Dr. Jeff Linder, chief of general internal medicine and geriatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told ABC News in September that research so far shows that severe allergic reactions are likely triggered by polyethylene glycol, or PEG, a component of the vaccines.

“An allergy to that is pretty rare,” Linder added. “It would have to be documented, as a moderate or severe allergy, before I would consider giving a medical exemption.”

Nov 09, 9:08 am
Unvaccinated Texans about 20 times more likely to die: Study

Unvaccinated Texans were about 20 times more likely to die from COVID-19 and 13 times more likely to test positive in September than those fully vaccinated, according to a study released by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The risk of death was 55 times higher for unvaccinated people in their 40s and 23 times higher for Texans in their 30s compared with vaccinated people in the same age groups, according to the Department of State Health Services.

Nov 09, 7:26 am
Singapore to begin charging COVID-19 patients who are ‘unvaccinated by choice’

Singapore announced Monday that, beginning next month, it will no longer pay for COVID-19 treatment for people who are “unvaccinated by choice,” as the island nation faces a surge in cases.

“The Government is currently footing the full COVID-19 medical bills of all Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass Holders … other than for those who tested positive soon after returning from overseas travel,” Singapore’s Ministry of Health said in a statement. “For the majority who are vaccinated, this special approach for COVID-19 bills will continue until the COVID-19 situation is more stable.”

“Currently, unvaccinated persons make up a sizeable majority of those who require intensive inpatient care, and disproportionately contribute to the strain on our healthcare resources,” the ministry noted.

The new policy will apply to all unvaccinated COVID-19 patients who are admitted to Singaporean hospitals or COVID-19 treatment facilities on or after Dec. 8, according to the ministry.

Singapore has one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the world, with 85% of its 5.5 million people fully inoculated. But the country’s health care system is under strain as it grapples with its worst wave of COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic.

Nov 09, 7:02 am
US surgeon general releases guide to combating COVID-19 vaccine misinformation

The U.S. government’s top doctor released a step-by-step toolkit on Tuesday morning to help people combat misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines in their own close circles.

“We need people in communities all across our country to have these conversations,” Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told ABC News. “This is not just the government that needs to be engaged in these conversations. If anything, it’s individuals who have people they trust in their lives who have great power when it comes to helping them move our vaccination rates in the right direction.”

The guide provides a road map for vaccinated people to talk to unvaccinated people who have bought into conspiracy theories or lies that spread on the internet about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Over the summer, the surgeon general issued an advisory that called misinformation an urgent public health threat.

The toolkit, which Murthy hopes will be used by health professionals, faith leaders, teachers or parents with children newly eligible for the shot, is the next step in addressing the ongoing problem. November polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that nearly eight in 10 adults have come across false statements about COVID-19 and have either believed them or been unsure if they were true.

“During the COVID 19 pandemic, misinformation has in fact cost people their lives. So we don’t have an option to give up,” Murthy said.

The information released Tuesday encourages people to talk in person instead of online. One section is even entitled “If you’re not sure, don’t share!”

It includes discussion questions and illustrations explaining why people share misinformation or what a hypothetical conversation around misinformation could look like. The recommended approach relies heavily on listening, providing empathy and avoiding shame.

“When talking with a friend or family members, emphasize the fact that you understand that there are often reasons why people find it difficult to trust certain sources of information,” the guide states.

ABC News’ Cheyenne Haslett

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