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COVID-19 updates: FDA could authorize Moderna, J&J booster shots Wednesday

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

More than 728,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 while over 4.9 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 66.8% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the CDC.

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

Oct 20, 8:23 am
FDA could authorize Moderna, J&J booster shots Wednesday

The FDA could authorize Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots for some populations as soon as Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the CDC independent advisory committee is meeting Wednesday to discuss vaccines in general. The committee is expected to debate Moderna and Johnson & Johnson on Thursday, discussing who boosters should be recommended for and if mixing and matching vaccines should be permitted.

A non-binding vote is expected at the end of Thursday.

The CDC director is expected to make the final recommendations shortly after the vote, which could come as soon as Thursday night or Friday morning.

Oct 20, 8:08 am
NYC to mandate vaccine for municipal workers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday announced a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all municipal workers.

The mandate is expected to include all employees from sanitation workers to office workers and will require some 161,000 workers to have their first dose by Oct. 29.

Municipal employees who do not get vaccinated will be placed on unpaid leave, and their future employment will be resolved in negotiations with individual labor unions.

Correction officers will face a later deadline of Dec. 1.

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