US reports highest weekly COVID-19 vaccinations since July 4

There were over 7 million shots in the past week, an official said Saturday.

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

More than 712,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 while over 4.8 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% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the CDC.


J&J submits booster request to FDA

Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday submitted its request to the FDA for a booster shot for J&J recipients.

The submission includes data showing that a booster increased protection to 94% against moderate to severe/critical disease in the U.S. (Peak efficacy from one shot is 72% in the U.S.)

The FDA's independent advisory committee is holding a public hearing on J&J boosters on Oct. 15. The FDA may authorize J&J boosters after Oct. 15 and the CDC's recommendation could follow.

-ABC News' Eric M. Strauss

Pentagon mandates vaccines for civilian employees

The Pentagon announced Monday that all of its civilian employees must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22.

"Vaccinating (department) civilian employees against COVID-19 will save lives and allow for the defense of our nation," Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks wrote in a memo sent out to Pentagon leadership Monday. "Thank you for your focus on this critical mission."

There is already a vaccine mandate for military members, but each branch of service has its own deadline.

-ABC News' Luis Martinez

Newly approved rapid test will double US capacity, FDA says

The Food and Drug Administration approved a new rapid test Monday that it said will double the at-home testing capacity in the U.S. over the next few weeks.

The the ACON Laboratories Flowflex COVID-19 Home Test will ideally assuage the shortage of over-the-counter, at-home rapid testing that has gone on since schools and other businesses have returned to in-person work.

"By year's end, the manufacturer plans to produce more than 100 million tests per month, and this number will rise to 200 million per month by February 2022," the FDA said in a press release Monday.

-ABC News' Cheyenne Haslett

Judge agrees to hear another request to halt NYC school staff vaccine mandate

A Manhattan federal judge has agreed to hear another request to halt New York City’s vaccine mandate for public school employees.

A group of 10 teachers, educators and administrators filed an emergency motion Monday for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to prevent the city from further enforcing the mandate.

“This policy is reckless, senseless, and not only violates the fundamental rights of thousands of New Yorkers but will also put over 1 million New York City public school children at risk of imminent harm,” the petition said.

The judge scheduled a hearing for Tuesday morning to consider the request and preliminary injunction.

Earlier Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said 95% of all full-time Department of Education employees are vaccinated, including 96% of all teachers and 99% of all principals.

-ABC News' Aaron Katersky