A team of advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet Thursday to review a third dose of the vaccine developed by Pfizer (NYS:PFE) and BioNTech (NAS:BNTX) for children aged 5 to 11, according to an advisory on the CDC website. The meeting comes after the Food and Drug Administration gave its backing to a booster for young children earlier this week, saying a third dose should be administered five months after primary shots. The CDC is expected to give its blessing to the shot after data showed it boosts immunity to the omicron variants, the New York Times reported. COVID cases continue to rise and trend at the highest levels seen since November, driven by the BA.2 variant of omicron, and two other subvariants that appear to be even more infectious. The U.S. is averaging 103,231 cases a day, up 57% from two weeks ago, according to a New York Times tracker. The country is averaging 23,223 hospitalizations a day, up 29% from two weeks ago. The daily death toll has fallen to 304 on average, down 17% from two weeks ago. Cases are higher in nearly every state, but the Northeast and Midwest are being particularly hard hit with case reports in both regions now higher than they were at the peak of last summer's delta surge. There are concerns that case numbers are even higher, as many people are now testing at home and the data is not being collected. On a global basis, total cases are now above 525.4 million. Total deaths are above 6.28 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University , with the U.S. still leading the way with 82.9 million cases and 1,001,269 deaths.
May 19, 2022, 6:24 a.m. EDT