COVID-19 updates: US cases at lowest point since Christmas
Daily cases have dropped by 71% over the last three weeks.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.8 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 919,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
About 64.4% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Hundreds of vaccine doses 'improperly' stored in New Haven
About 650 people in New Haven, Connecticut, received Pfizer vaccine doses that had been "improperly" stored, which may have made them less effective, the city said.
“After consulting with Pfizer and the Connecticut Department of Public Health it was recommended that those who received the improperly stored Pfizer vaccine or booster get re-vaccinated as soon as they can,” Maritza Bond, the city's health director, said in a statement on Friday.
The shots were given between Dec. 23, 2021, and Feb. 7, 2022, at a city clinic on Meadow Street, officials said.
The doses were stored at colder temperatures for longer than usual, perhaps making them less effective, officials said. They said no health issues had been reported by those who received the doses.
“This issue was identified this week when the Health Department was conducting an inventory of our vaccines,” Mayor Justin Elicker said in a statement. “Following this notification, action was taken to investigate the issue and the Director of Health immediately reached out to the State Department of Public Health as well the vaccine manufacturer, Pfizer.”
Elicker said the city planned on Saturday to begin notifying those who received the doses.
Supreme Court rejects request to block NYC teacher vaccine mandate
The U.S. Supreme Court denied a request for emergency intervention by a small group of teachers who challenged New York City’s vaccination mandate for public school employees.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied the application for an emergency injunction without any comment.
Without the injunction, the public school employees said they’re facing termination Monday unless they waive their right to continue this litigation or violate their sincere religious beliefs.
-ABC News' Aaron Katersky and Devin Dwyer
Pfizer delays request for vaccine for kids under 5
Pfizer said it has postponed its application to the FDA to expand the use of its COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 5.
Pfizer instead will continue with its study on the three-dose vaccine and seek authorization when that data is available.
"We believe additional information regarding the ongoing evaluation of a third dose should be considered as part of our decision-making for potential authorization," Pfizer said.
Dr. Peter Marks, the FDA’s vaccine chief, told reporters Friday, “We realized now, in data that came in very rapidly because of the large number of cases of omicron, that at this time, it makes sense for us to wait until we have the data from the evaluation of a third dose before taking action."
Marks acknowledged that the change was “late breaking” -- the FDA’s committee of independent advisers was scheduled to review and vote on authorizing the vaccine next week -- but said the job of the FDA was to “adjust” to new data amid an unpredictable virus.
“The data that we saw made us realize that we needed to see data from a third dose as in the ongoing trial in order to make the term determination that we could proceed with doing an authorization,” Marks said.
Pfizer has predicted it will be able to submit data on the third dose in early April.
-ABC News' Eric M. Strauss, Cheyenne Haslett
FDA authorizes new monoclonal treatment that works against omicron
The FDA has authorized a new monoclonal antibody treatment from Eli Lilly called bebtelovimab, an injection which has shown to hold up against omicron and the BA.2 subvariant.
As with other monoclonal therapies, this is for COVID-19 patients early on in their infection who are at high risk for getting severely ill, to help keep them from getting sicker and help keep them out of the hospital.
The Biden administration said it has purchased 600,000 doses for roughly $720 million in anticipation of bebtelovimab getting an emergency use authorization from the FDA.
The plan is to get about 300,000 doses this month and another 300,000 in March. The contract also includes a future option for 500,000 more doses if necessary.
-ABC News' Sasha Pezenik