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The seven-day average of reported coronavirus infections has increased by 18 percent, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said at a Monday news conference.

The rise in cases and a 6 percent increase in the seven-day average of hospital admissions come just days after the Food and Drug Administration recommended booster shots for all adults 18 and older who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least six months after their second dose, making more than 135 million people eligible for boosters. Anyone who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine also is eligible for a booster.

“Heading into the winter months, when respiratory viruses are more likely to spread, and with plans for increased holiday season travel and gatherings, boosting people’s overall protection against covid-19 disease and death was important to do now,” Walensky said.

Walensky and Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious-disease expert, implored unvaccinated Americans to seek shots for protection as recent CDC data showed the increased risks of being unvaccinated and catching the virus.

“Most tragic are the vaccine-preventable deaths we are still seeing from this disease,” Walensky said. “Even in our updated data, unvaccinated people are at 14 times greater risk of dying from covid-19 than people who are vaccinated.”

Here’s what to know

  • The White House announced that 95 percent of federal employees have complied with the vaccination mandate before a Monday evening deadline set by the Biden administration in September.
  • Vice President Harris announced $1.5 billion in funding to help eliminate the shortage of doctors and nurses in underserved communities by providing scholarships and repaying the student loans of providers who work in medically needy areas.
  • Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Sunday on NBC News’s “Meet The Press” that he has not implemented a vaccine requirement for domestic air travel because other strategies, such as mandatory masking, are proving effective.
  • In Europe, which the World Health Organization recently called the latest “epicenter” of the pandemic, large-scale, violent protests broke out over the weekend against renewed coronavirus restrictions, including a nationwide lockdown taking effect Monday in Austria.