Pfizer booster for kids 5-11 years old approved, California’s $6 could be nationwide, and more COVID news

Here’s some COVID-19 news for today, May 17.

FDA clears COVID booster shot for healthy kids ages 5 to 11

U.S. regulators on Tuesday authorized a COVID-19 booster shot for healthy 5- to 11-year-olds, hoping an extra vaccine dose will enhance their protection as infections once again creep upward.

Everyone 12 and older already was supposed to get one booster dose for the best protection against the newest coronavirus variants — and some people, including those 50 and older, can choose a second booster.

The Food and Drug Administration’s authorization now opens a third shot of Pfizer’s vaccine to elementary-age kids, too — at least five months after their last dose. Get more info here:

California’s $6 gas could spread nationwide

The average price for gasoline in California hit $6 a gallon Tuesday for the first time — and analysts at JPMorgan are warning that price could be the national average before the end of the summer.

The startling forecast comes as US gas prices have surged to record highs in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, casting a shadow over the economy.

“There is a real risk the price could reach $6+ a gallon by August,” Natasha Kaneva, head of global oil and commodities research at JPMorgan, told CNN in an email on Tuesday. Read more here:

Covid-19 remains a public health emergency in US, administration says

The Biden administration is continuing the Covid-19 public health emergency declaration beyond July 15, two administration officials told CNN, as coronavirus cases are rising again across the US.

The administration has repeatedly said it would give states 60 days’ notice if it were ending the declaration, which would have been Monday. But the deadline passed without notification.

The declaration is now expected to be renewed for up to another 90 days. Read more on what that means here:

New US hospitals face fiscal crisis over COVID relief money

A whole town celebrated in 2020 when, early in the coronavirus pandemic, Thomasville Regional Medical Center opened, offering state-of-the-art medicine that was previously unavailable in a poor, isolated part of Alabama. The timing for the ribbon-cutting seemed perfect: New treatment options would be available in an underserved area just as a global health crisis was unfolding.

In the end, that same timing may be the reason for the hospital’s undoing. Get more of the story here:

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