COVID vaccine live updates: Here’s what to know in South Carolina on Oct. 21

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We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and vaccines in South Carolina. Check back for updates.

Over 550 new COVID-19 cases reported in SC

At least 713,761 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and 11,603 have died in South Carolina since March 2020, according to state health officials.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on Thursday reported 560 new COVID-19 cases and 33 coronavirus-related deaths. There were also 319 probable cases and 11 probable deaths, data shows.

At least 908 people in the state were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Thursday, including 278 patients who were being treated in intensive care units and 182 who were on ventilators. About 10% of hospitalizations across the state are COVID-19-related, data shows.

As of Thursday, 5.3% of COVID-19 tests were reported positive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said 5% or lower means there is a low level of community spread.

Roughly 54% of South Carolinians eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine are fully vaccinated, and nearly 62% have received at least one dose, according to health officials.

FDA authorizes mix and match COVID-19 boosters. What to know

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday authorized boosters of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines for certain populations, McClatchy News reported.

Those eligible for a Moderna booster — which is half the dosage of the first two shots — include persons 65 and older and those between 18 and 64 who are at increased risk of severe illness from the virus. In contrast, the J&J booster is available to anyone older than 18.

The Moderna booster is recommended at least six months after their first two doses, while the J&J booster can be administered two months after the single dose.

The FDA also approved “mixing and matching” booster shots, meaning patients can get the vaccine from a different developer from the one they received for their initial doses.

Read the full story here.

COVID-19 vaccines for young kids could be approved soon. How will shots be distributed?

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention weighs whether to authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, the White House is planning how the shots will be disbursed.

The White House on Wednesday released vaccine distribution plans for the new age range, saying it has secured enough doses to inoculate the nation’s 28 million children, The State reported, citing a news release. The vaccine will be about one-third of the dose given to people 12 and older, who are already eligible to be vaccinated.

The shots will be packaged in smaller configurations, officials said, and be made available to thousands of primary care doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and community-based health centers across the U.S.

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