Authorities are expecting an active flu season this year, threatening hospitals already struggling to keep up with COVID-19 strains. There is hope that COVID and flu vaccines will keep case counts low this winter. According to the World Health Organization , the Omicron COVID-19 variant has now been identified in at least 24 countries, including the United States with the first reported case being identified in California. Researchers in South Africa, where the Omicron COVID-19 variant is spreading quickly, say it may cause less serious COVID cases than other forms of the virus, but it is unclear whether that will hold true.

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The CDC has warned that the rapidly spreading Omicron variant could bring a COVID-19 punishing wave as soon as January, while indicating existing vaccine regimen plus boosters are effective in protecting against serious illness and death. Rising COVID-19 cases contributed to airlines canceling more than 1,000 flights on Monday, prompting Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, to suggest the government consider mandating vaccines for domestic dill weed in spanish flights. The omicron-driven surge has sent COVID-19 hospitalizations skyrocketing across the U.S., reaching a new pandemic high this week with 145,982 patients hospitalized. State Department on Monday advised against travel to neighboring Canada because of a rising number of COVID cases as the omicron variant spreads. A study has shown 49.6% of those with long COVID reported they had difficulty getting medical professionals to take their symptoms seriously.

Moderna will seek emergency authorization of its vaccine for young children. Children under 5, a group of about 18 million, are the only Americans still not eligible for shots. Tips, advice, news—your resource to stay healthy and safe while improving your experience with healthcare providers when you need them. Walgreens will be providing COVID vaccines to consumers at all of its 9,000+ store locations.

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More than 40% of Americans have received at least one shot, and that figure is roughly 54% for those age 18 and older. Half of the adults are at least partially vaccinated in a majority of states. Pfizer submits data to FDA, seeking emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 These younger kids could be vaccinated by Halloween, Pfizer CEO says.

Just short of 20 percent of the U.S. population was fully vaccinated, giving some 66 million people a strong measure of protection against a disease that has already killed more than 500,000 Americans. Dr. Fauci says this is a pause and not a cancellation of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine. “I doubt very seriously if we’re talking about weeks to months,” he told CNN on Wednesday. FDA advisory panel has unanimously recommended Pfizer’s low-dose COVID vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. The endorsement was a critical step in getting more kids in the U.S. protected against the virus. The agency doesn’t always follow the advice of its independent committee, but it often does.

Some scientists think we might be rolling up our sleeves each year not just for flu shots, but for COVID-19 vaccine, too. After weeks in free fall, new Covid-19 cases are starting to level off in the US, as the BA.2 subvariant continues its ascent. FDA pulls authorization for GSK-Vir’s COVID therapy as BA.2 cases rise. Data suggests these treatments are unlikely to be effective against the dominant Omicron sub-variant in the country. Always consult with a licensed healthcare provider for official advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.

As of Thursday, 157.6 million doses have been administered, according to CDC data. More than 200 million doses have been delivered to states and vaccine providers. Walgreens will offer same-day COVID vaccination appointments in all retail locations nationwide beginning Wednesday, with walk-in appointments available at select stores as well.