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NYC government workers subject to vaccine mandate as FDA authorizes Moderna, J&J boosters

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) in New York's Times Square after he toured the grand opening of a Broadway coronavirus vaccination site intended to jump-start the city's entertainment industry. (Richard Drew/AP)
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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced Wednesday that all city workers would be subject to a coronavirus vaccine mandate.

The city is taking a carrot and stick approach to its deadline for municipal employees, requiring them to show proof of at least one vaccine dose by Oct. 29, and will give them an extra $500 for getting their first shot by the deadline. Unvaccinated employees will be placed on unpaid leave until they show a supervisor proof of vaccination, de Blasio’s office said in a statement.

The move comes on the same day the Food and Drug Administration authorized the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots. The action, arriving as the U.S. death toll from the pandemic exceeds 728,000 and tens of millions of Americans have yet to get their first shot against the virus, largely fulfills the Biden administration’s controversial pledge this summer that booster shots would be widely available.

U.S. coronavirus cases tracker and map

Here’s what to know

  • White House officials said they have secured enough doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the country’s 28 million children in the 5-to-11 age group.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has greenlighted a proposal to require workers to take a week off, keeping them out of their jobs, after the country set grim records for coronavirus cases and deaths for three weeks in a row.
  • Israel said it has identified its first confirmed case of a mutated delta variant. Known as AY.4.2, the variant has also been sequenced in Britain and the United States.

Coronavirus: What you need to know

The latest: The CDC has loosened many of its recommendations for battling the coronavirus, a strategic shift that puts more of the onus on individuals, rather than on schools, businesses and other institutions, to limit viral spread.

Variants: BA.5 is the most recent omicron subvariant, and it’s quickly become the dominant strain in the U.S. Here’s what to know about it, and why vaccines may only offer limited protection.

Vaccines: For people under 50, second booster doses are on hold while the Biden administration works to roll out shots specifically targeting the omicron subvariants this fall. Immunizations for children under 5 became available this summer. Here’s what to know about how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections and booster history.

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. The omicron variant is behind much of the recent spread.

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