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.


Cases, hospitalizations see major drop

The daily case average in the U.S. has dropped to 95,000, a 38.9% drop in the last month, according to federal data.

The states that were first hit by the delta surge are experiencing the most notable case declines. In the last month, the seven-day average of new cases in Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana fell by more than 55%.

Other states, however, are just now bearing the brunt of the highly infectious delta variant. West Virginia, Alaska and Montana are all still experiencing significant surges, according to federal data.

National hospitalization levels have dropped to around 67,000 patients, federal data show. Since the beginning of September, the U.S. has seen a drop of more than 37,000 patients. A little more than one-third of those patients -- 13,000 -- come from Florida.

-ABC News' Arielle Mitropoulos

CDC committee to meet on Moderna, J&J boosters

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s independent advisory committee plans to meet on Oct. 20 and Oct. 21 to discuss the Moderna and Johnson &Johnson vaccine boosters. This will follow the Food and Drug Administration's independent advisers who are set to meet and vote on boosters on Oct. 14 and Oct. 15.

That means Moderna and J&J boosters could be authorized, recommended and available as soon as Oct. 22.

The CDC committee is also set to meet on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 to discuss pediatric vaccinations.

-ABC News' Eric M. Strauss

LSU ends COVID protocols for football games

Louisiana State University said Friday that fans at its football games will no longer need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test beginning with the Oct. 16 game.

LSU said the change is due to a "consistent and significant decline in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations across the state of Louisiana and in the Baton Rouge area."

Masks will still be required for all attendees.

Former CDC head 'cautiously optimistic' about vaccines for kids

Dr. Richard Besser, a pediatrician and former acting director of the CDC, told "Good Morning America" Friday that he's "cautiously optimistic" about vaccine approval for young children, adding that he'll be closely watching the reviews by the FDA and CDC.

"Thankfully children have been impacted by COVID less severely than adults and I want to make sure, as a pediatrician, before I recommend this to my patients, I'm convinced that it's safe and it's effective," Besser said. "The information I've seen so far gives me a lot of hope."