(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 4.9 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 737,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Just 67.2% 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:
-Biden administration to ship vaccines for children as soon as FDA approves them
-FDA panel hours away from vote on Pfizer vaccine for kids
-US sees 7th straight week of drop in daily pediatric cases

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

Oct 26, 2:37 pm
Biden administration to ship vaccines for children as soon as FDA approves them

The Biden administration will begin shipping vaccine doses for kids ages 5 to 11 as soon as the Food and Drug Administration gives the green light in coming days, White House officials told governors on a private phone call Tuesday.

Doing so will allow children to begin receiving shots as soon as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signs off, which is expected around Nov. 4.

Jeff Zients, the White House coordinator on the federal response to COVID-19, said one big concern is the shorter shelf life for pediatric doses. In trying to make the vaccine easier for pediatricians to handle, the doses for kids 5 to 11 can be kept for only 10 weeks, compared with six to nine months for adult doses.

“We don’t want to have wastage, so we encourage you to build flexibility into your distribution systems you can move around within your state or territory,” he told the governors. Audio of the call was obtained by ABC News. “Just order what you need. We have plenty of supply. We can always get you doses on short notice.”

ABC News’ Anne Flaherty

Oct 26, 12:00 pm
Kids 5 to 11 account for 8,300 hospitalizations

Officials with the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opened Tuesday’s FDA panel meeting by explaining how children 5 to 11 years old are impacted by the pandemic. They have accounted for over 1.9 million infections and over 8,300 hospitalizations, about a third of which have required ICU stays, officials said.

Nearly 100 children in that age group have died from COVID-19, making the virus one of the top 10 causes of death in this age range at this time, officials said.

The independent FDA advisory panel on Tuesday is debating whether to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. The panel’s nonbinding vote is expected Tuesday evening.

After the panel votes on whether or not to recommend Pfizer, the FDA will make a decision. Then, the matter heads to the CDC’s independent advisory panel to deliberate and vote, which is scheduled for Nov. 2 and Nov. 3. Once the CDC panel votes, the CDC director is expected to make the final signoff.

ABC News’ Sasha Pezenik

Oct 26, 10:18 am
Unvaccinated Americans continue to drive infection, death rates: Federal data

The five states with the highest death rates over the last week — Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, West Virginia and Idaho — are also among the states with the lowest full vaccination rates, according to federal data.

People who have not been fully vaccinated are 6.1 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 and 11.3 times more likely to die from the virus, according to federal data.

Approximately 63.2 million eligible Americans have yet to get the shot, according to federal data.

But hospitalization rates are continuing to steadily trend down, with just over 51,000 Americans now hospitalized with the virus, compared to 104,000 people hospitalized in late August, according to federal data.

ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos

Oct 26, 9:11 am
FDA panel hours away from vote on Pfizer vaccine for kids

An independent FDA advisory panel on Tuesday will debate and vote on whether to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. The nonbinding vote is expected between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. ET.

Pfizer data submitted to the FDA has shown that this vaccine, which would be administered to children at one-third of the adult dosage, is nearly 91% effective against symptomatic COVID-19. There were no reported adverse side effects in the clinical trial group.

After the panel votes on whether or not to recommend this vaccine for children 5 to 11, the FDA will make a decision.

Then, the matter heads to the CDC’s independent advisory panel to deliberate and vote, which is scheduled for Nov. 2 and Nov. 3. Once the CDC panel votes, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is expected to make the final sign-off.

The earliest shots could be in arms is the first week of November.

ABC News’ Sasha Pezenik

 

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