COVID-19 live updates: J&J submits booster request to FDA

COVID-19 live updates: J&J submits booster request to FDA

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(NEW YORK) — The United States has been facing a COVID-19 surge as the more contagious delta variant continues to spread.

More than 703,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 while over 4.8 million people have died from the disease worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Just 65.5% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the CDC.

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

Oct 05, 8:50 am
J&J submits booster request to FDA

Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday submitted its request to the FDA for a booster shot for J&J recipients.

The submission includes data showing that a booster increased protection to 94% against moderate to severe/critical disease in the U.S. (Peak efficacy from one shot is 72% in the U.S.)

The FDA’s independent advisory committee is holding a public hearing on J&J boosters on Oct. 15. The FDA may authorize J&J boosters after Oct. 15 and the CDC’s recommendation could follow.

Oct 05, 8:15 am
Francis Collins to step down as director of the National Institutes of Health

NIH Director Francis Collins announced that he’s stepping down, saying in a statement that no person should serve for too long and it’s time to give space for the next generation of scientists to lead.

He was in the role for 12 years.

Oct 04, 7:56 pm
Pentagon mandates vaccines for civilian employees

The Pentagon announced Monday that all of its civilian employees must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22.

“Vaccinating (department) civilian employees against COVID-19 will save lives and allow for the defense of our nation,” Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks wrote in a memo sent out to Pentagon leadership Monday. “Thank you for your focus on this critical mission.”

There is already a vaccine mandate for military members, but each branch of service has its own deadline.

Oct 04, 6:02 pm
Newly approved rapid test will double US capacity, FDA says

The Food and Drug Administration approved a new rapid test Monday that it said will double the at-home testing capacity in the U.S. over the next few weeks.

The the ACON Laboratories Flowflex COVID-19 Home Test will ideally assuage the shortage of over-the-counter, at-home rapid testing that has gone on since schools and other businesses have returned to in-person work.

“By year’s end, the manufacturer plans to produce more than 100 million tests per month, and this number will rise to 200 million per month by February 2022,” the FDA said in a press release Monday.

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