(NEW YORK) — The United States is facing a COVID-19 surge this summer as the more contagious delta variant spreads.
More than 628,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 while over 4.4 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 60.2% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Here’s how the news is developing Monday. All times Eastern:
Aug 23, 10:50 am
NYC school staff must get vaccine
All of New York City’s nearly 150,000 public school employees must receive at least one vaccine dose by Sept. 27, Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce Monday. The new vaccination policy will not allow weekly testing as an option.
At least 63% of New York City’s Department of Education employees are already vaccinated, Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter said.
The previous requirement allowed for weekly testing of the unvaccinated, with unpaid suspensions for workers who didn’t comply.
New York City’s school year starts on Sept. 13.
Aug 23, 9:46 am
FDA grants full approval for Pfizer vaccine
The Food and Drug Administration on Monday granted full approval of the Pfizer vaccine, becoming the first COVID-19 vaccine to transition from an emergency authorization status to full FDA approval.
The full approval indicates that Pfizer has shown enough effectiveness and safety data to meet the stringent Biologics License Application requirements, which includes at least six months of safety data from a majority of the volunteers in a large, final stage clinical trial.
Pfizer’s full approval will pave the way for further vaccine mandates in both the public and private sector. Some businesses and state leaders have held off thus far, signaling they’d wait for full approval before imposing tighter requirements.
Federal, state and local health officials have also expressed optimism that full approval will help dissolve some of the lingering hesitancy around taking a shot that until now has been only authorized for emergency use.
Aug 23, 7:48 am
Rev. Jesse Jackson ‘responding’ to COVID treatment
Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson, who is in the hospital with COVID-19, is responding positively to treatment, his son told ABC Chicago station WLS.
The 79-year-old, who has Parkinson’s disease, was vaccinated for COVID-19 in January, WLS reported.
His wife, Jacqueline, 77, is also in the hospital with COVID-19 and is resting comfortably, their son, Jonathan Jackson, said.
“She is having some oxygen but is able to function and breathe on her own without a respirator,” he told WLS.
Aug 23, 4:43 am
Over 880,000 Moderna vaccine doses donated by US arrive in Kenya
More than 880,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine donated by the United States arrived in Kenya on Monday morning.
The 880,460 doses were given to the East African nation by the U.S. government via the global vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX, according to a press release from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), which is leading vaccine procurement and delivery efforts on behalf of COVAX. It is the first of two shipments, totaling 1.76 million donate doses.
The donation marks the first time that Kenya has received the Moderna vaccine, widening the portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines available for the country’s ongoing rollout of its national immunization campaign. All Kenyans over the age of 18 are now eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Kenya aims to vaccinate 10 million of its 53 million people by the end of the year.
So far, Kenya has reported more than 229,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including at least 4,497 deaths, according to the latest data from the Kenyan Ministry of Health.
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