COVID-19 live updates: Israel approves vaccination for younger children

Tomwang112/iStock

(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 763,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Just 68.8% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Nov 15, 9:08 am
Austria’s capital starts vaccinating younger children in pilot project

Young children can now get vaccinated against COVID-19 in Austria’s capital as part of a new pilot project.

Starting Monday, about 200 children ages 5 to 11 can receive the low-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine per day in Vienna. Registration for the pilot project, which is limited to the capital, opened over the weekend and more than 9,000 appointments have since been booked, according to Austrian newspaper Kurier.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can only be used “off-label” in this instance, because the European Medicines Agency has not yet authorized the shot for use in this younger age group.

Meanwhile, a nationwide lockdown for all unvaccinated individuals over the age of 12 began Monday at midnight. Residents who are not inoculated against COVID-19 are barred from leaving their homes except for basic activities such as work, grocery shopping, going for a walk or getting vaccinated.

Nov 15, 7:17 am
Israel approves COVID-19 vaccination for younger children

Israel’s Ministry of Health announced Sunday that children ages 5 to 11 would be eligible for vaccination against COVID-19.

The decision follows an advisory panel’s approval last week of the low-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds.

“The majority of experts on the committee were of the opinion that the benefit of vaccinating this age group outweighed any risk,” the health ministry said in a statement Sunday.

A starting date for the inoculation campaign will be announced soon, the health ministry said. COVID-19 vaccination for this age group will not be made mandatory and parents will be given the choice to decide.

More than 62% of Israel’s 9.2 million people have already received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, while nearly 44% have also gotten a booster shot, according to data from the health ministry.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.