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Top FDA official says boosters might be warranted for everyone 18 and older

A vaccination is administered last month in Hines, Ill. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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A top Food and Drug Administration official said Tuesday that updated data might make a strong case in support of everyone 18 and older being eligible for coronavirus vaccine boosters, but the agency will have to see whether its outside advisers agree.

The remarks from Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, came during a webinar as the FDA prepares to meet Oct. 14 and 15 with its outside advisers to discuss boosters for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

J&J on Tuesday asked the FDA to grant emergency use authorization for a booster dose of its one-shot coronavirus vaccine, making it the third company to ask the Biden administration to approve additional doses.

Here’s what to know

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Here's what to know:

President Biden’s planned vaccine requirement faces a number of tests in the coming weeks, as at least two dozen Republican-controlled states prepare legal challenges, setting up a clash between the federal government and local officials that could ultimately determine the fate of the rule.
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen told lawmakers that she believes Facebook is ill-equipped to quash the spread of medical misinformation on its platforms, an issue that has drawn scrutiny from Democrats on Capitol Hill.
The ferocity of the delta variant surge has delivered a serious financial blow to hospital systems in parts of the country with low vaccination rates that are struggling to care for coronavirus patients.
In August, for the first time in the pandemic, the rate of coronavirus infections among children topped those for adults ages 18 to 64 and seniors, driven by the highly contagious delta variant, according to a Washington Post analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
The European Union’s top drug regulator recommended additional vaccine doses for people over 18 and the immunocompromised.
National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, one of the most recognizable leaders in the coronavirus pandemic, will leave his post by the end of this year, NIH announced Tuesday.

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Editor’s note: A previously published story about a vaccination side-effects tool was inadvertently published as part of this file. It has been removed.

Coronavirus: What you need to know

Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot designed to target both the original virus and the omicron variant. Here’s some guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.

Variants: Instead of a single new Greek letter variant, a group of immune-evading omicron spinoffs are popping up all over the world. Any dominant variant will likely knock out monoclonal antibodies, targeted drugs that can be used as a treatment or to protect immunocompromised people.

Tripledemic: Hospitals are overwhelmed by a combination of respiratory illnesses, staffing shortages and nursing home closures. And experts believe the problem will deteriorate further in coming months. Here’s how to tell the difference between RSV, the flu and covid-19.

Guidance: CDC guidelines have been confusing — if you get covid, here’s how to tell when you’re no longer contagious. We’ve also created a guide to help you decide when to keep wearing face coverings.

Where do things stand? See the latest coronavirus numbers in the U.S. and across the world. In the U.S., pandemic trends have shifted and now White people are more likely to die from covid than Black people. Nearly nine out of 10 covid deaths are people over the age 65.

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