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The Food and Drug Administration is aiming to grant emergency use authorization to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 on Friday, according to federal officials familiar with the plans.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the final say in the vaccine’s authorization for that age group, states already are gearing up to acquire the necessary doses.

The Biden administration has said it has acquired enough doses to immunize every child in the 5-to-11 age group. Providers could start administering the shots by the middle of next week if the CDC recommends its use for that cohort.

Here’s what to know

  • New coronavirus infections in the United States have dropped nearly 60 percent since the September spike brought on by the more contagious delta variant, according to data compiled by The Washington Post.
  • U.S. pharmaceutical giant Merck has agreed to share its license with a nonprofit so that its experimental covid-19 drug, molnupiravir, can be manufactured widely around the world.
  • Merriam-Webster is adding “ghost kitchen” and “curbside delivery” to its dictionary in a nod toward how the pandemic has changed dining as we know it.