'We have plenty of vaccines': Booster shots, doses for kids not expected to challenge supply. Live COVID updates.

·3 min read

U.S. health authorities say they are confident there is enough vaccine available for older Americans seeking booster shots and young children for whom initial doses are expected to be approved soon.

A spike in demand is expected following last week’s federal recommendation on booster shots, but more than 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccines are now available, experts say.

More than 70 million Americans remain unvaccinated despite the enticement of lottery prizes, free food or gifts and pleas from exhausted health care workers as the average number of deaths per day climbed to about 2,000 in recent weeks.

Federal and state health authorities said current supply and steady production of more doses can easily accommodate those seeking boosters or initial vaccination.

“I hope that we have the level of interest in the booster … that we need more vaccines,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said last week. “That’s simply not where we are today. We have plenty of vaccines.”

Also in the news:

►More than 400,000 Mississippians currently getting supplemental food benefits will be eligible for additional funds next month because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Mississippi Department of Human Services says.

► New York City schools have been temporarily blocked from enforcing a vaccine mandate for its teachers and other workers by a federal appeals judge just days before it was to take effect.

►New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said Saturday that she is prepared to call in medically trained National Guard members, retirees and workers outside New York to address potential staffing shortages caused by an approaching vaccine mandate for health care workers.

►Alabama is considering whether to use $400 million in pandemic relief funds to build new prisons, a proposal Gov. Kay Ivey and Republican legislative leaders say would save state taxpayers’ money, but that critics argue is not what the funds are supposed to be used for.

►The Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital in rural Nevada is pleading with residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to take other precautions to help slow the spread of the coronavirus to “keep our health care system from being overrun."

📈Today's numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 42.9 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 687,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 231.6 million cases and 4.7 million deaths. More than 183.3 million Americans – 55.2% of the population – have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

📘 What we're reading: More than 20 million Americans are eligible for Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots. Should you get one?

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5 dead, 74 infected after Washington nursing home outbreak

A nursing center is trying to battle a COVID-19 outbreak that started in August, when the first new case was confirmed. The Pinewood Terrace Nursing Center in Colville, Washington, has seen 22 staff and 52 residents test positive for the coronavirus and five deaths. The first case was reported on Aug. 25, according to the Northeast Tri-County Health District. Out of the 74 total infected, 33 were fully vaccinated and of the five residents who died, one was fully vaccinated.

– Keira Wingate, USA TODAY

'I don't have COVID': Doctor says some patients deny virus from deathbeds

A Michigan doctor says some COVID-19 patients continue to deny their diagnosis or denounce vaccines from their deathbeds. Matthew Trunsky, a pulmonologist and director of the palliative care unit at a Beaumont Health hospital in southeastern Michigan, has gained national attention after recounting what some patents gravelly ill with coronavirus have told him.

"You’re wrong doctor. I don't have COVID" and "I'd rather die than take the vaccine" were among the eight examples he shared in a Facebook post earlier in September.

– Gabriela Miranda, USA TODAY

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Vaccine supply sufficient for boosters, kids' shots. COVID updates.

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