COVID live updates: 1 region seeing highest hospitalizations in nearly 10 months

The United States has been facing a COVID-19 surge as the more contagious delta variant continues to spread.

More than 720,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 while over 4.8 million people have died from the disease worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Just 66.2% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the CDC.
Latest headlines:

FDA panel votes in support of authorizing Moderna booster
Region sees hospitalizations at highest point in nearly 10 months
Moderna says half dose booster will be just as effective
COVID No. 1 cause of death for 35- to 54-year-olds in September

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern.
Oct 14, 3:17 pm
FDA panel votes in support of authorizing Moderna booster

The independent FDA advisory panel on Thursday voted unanimously to authorize Moderna vaccine boosters for Americans 65 and older, anyone 18 and older with underlying conditions and those frequently exposed to the virus through work or home life.

The recommendation is in line with what the FDA and CDC authorized for Pfizer booster shots last month.

The FDA panel will meet on Friday on J&J boosters. Following next week’s meetings from the CDC’s independent advisory group, Moderna and J&J boosters could be authorized and recommended for specific populations as soon as Oct. 22.

-ABC News’ Sasha Pezenik, Cheyenne Haslett
Oct 14, 3:02 pm
White House to donate 17 million J&J doses to African Union

When President Joe Biden meets with his Kenyan counterpart in the Oval Office Thursday, he’ll announce a one-time donation of over 17 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the African Union. This is in addition to the 50 million doses the U.S. has already donated to the African Union.

“We are hopeful this donation will help AU countries build vaccination programs and get shots into arms,” the White House said.

The doses will ship immediately.

-ABC News’ Sarah Kolinovsky
Oct 14, 2:03 pm
Region sees hospitalizations at highest point in nearly 10 months

Alaska currently has the country’s highest infection rate, followed by Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, West Virginia and Idaho, according to federal data.

In the Department of Health and Human Services’ Mountain Region – which includes Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming — hospital admissions are at their highest point in nearly 10 months, according to federal data.

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