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.


Daily deaths nearly 8 times higher than in July

The U.S. daily death average stands at about 1,500, which is nearly eight-times higher than in mid-July, according to federal data.

However hospitalizations are dropping, with admissions down by about 15% in the last week, according to federal data.

Alaska currently has the nation's highest case rate, followed by West Virginia, Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana and Idaho.

About 116.9 million Americans -- including 68.6 million over the age of 12 -- remain completely unvaccinated.

-ABC News' Arielle Mitropoulos

Myocarditis extremely rare among vaccinated people 

Out of the 2.3 million people who received at least one Pfizer or Moderna dose, only 15 people developed myocarditis, or heart tissue inflammation, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

All 15 cases were among young men around the age of 25. Eight people had the Pfizer vaccine and seven had Moderna.

None of the 15 cases required being admitted to the ICU and all of them recovered, the study said.

In comparison, out of the nearly 1.6 million patients who had not been vaccinated, 75 people developed myocarditis, according to the study.

-ABC News' Eric M. Strauss

European drug regulator approves Pfizer booster for 18-plus

The European Medicines Agency is recommending that, for people with severely weakened immune systems, the Pfizer and Moderna boosters can be administered at least 28 days after the second dose.

For people with normal immune systems, the Pfizer booster is approved for people 18 and older due to data showing a rise in antibody levels when a Pfizer booster dose is given about six months after the second dose. (Data for Moderna for those with normal immune systems is still being evaluated).

-ABC News' Christine Theodorou

NYC public school employees must now be vaccinated

All New York City public school employees must now be vaccinated or risk losing their jobs.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that 95% of full-time employees are now vaccinated, including 96% of teachers and 99% of principals.

"It clearly works," the mayor said of the mandate, which went into effect at 5 p.m. Friday.

Schools Chancellor Misha Porter said 18,000 new shots were given out since Friday. She said unvaccinated employees can still get their shots and return to work.

Protesting teachers will march across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall for a rally Monday afternoon.

-ABC News' Aaron Katersky