COVID-19 live updates: Pfizer to seek approval for adult boosters: Source

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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 755,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Just 68.3% 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 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.

Nov 08, 7:07 pm
Pfizer to request OK for boosters to all adults: Source

Pfizer is likely to seek authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for a coronavirus vaccine booster shot for people 18 and older as soon as this week, a government official with knowledge of the situation told ABC News.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the Pfizer booster shot for certain groups of patients six months after their second dose.

Those eligible patients include seniors, adults with certain medical conditions and adults who work in environments that put them at greater risk for exposure to COVID-19.

Nov 08, 5:50 pm
Potential TSA firings won’t affect Thanksgiving flights: Source

Despite a looming threat that thousands of Transportation Security Administration workers could be terminated over the federal government’s vaccine mandate, Thanksgiving flights won’t be affected, a person with knowledge of the agency’s plans told ABC News.

Federal workers have until Nov. 22 to get vaccinated or face termination. After the deadline, TSA employees who are not fully vaccinated will get called to have a discussion with supervisors and be counseled and educated on getting vaccinated, the source said.

If workers do not get vaccinated following the first meeting, they will receive a warning, according to the source. Following the warning, workers will be subject to termination, the source said.

Three weeks ago, the TSA said 40% of its workforce was unvaccinated. The agency hasn’t provided updated numbers.

Nov 08, 4:43 pm
Jill Biden visits children’s vaccination clinic

First lady Jill Biden and Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy visited a children’s vaccination clinic Monday at Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia, to promote pediatric vaccinations.

“The vaccine is the best way to protect your children against COVID-19,” Biden said. “It’s been thoroughly reviewed and rigorously tested, it’s safe, it’s free, and it’s available for every child in this country, 5 and up.”

Franklin Sherman Elementary was the first school to administer the polio vaccine in 1954.

Sixth-grader Everett Munson, who introduced Biden, said, “I’m excited to be vaccinated because now I’ll be able to visit my cousins and grandfather. … I’m looking forward to going places without worrying that I could get COVID and give it to my family, friends or teachers.”

Munson also pitched an idea inspired by the school’s history.

“Maybe we should even take an idea from the polio vaccine at Franklin Sherman: Everyone should get ice cream after their shots,” Munson said.

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