The Biden administration has decided against offering COVID boosters to people under 50 for now, preferring to wait until retooled Pfizer PFE, -0.41% and Moderna MRNA, +3.81% shots become available in September that could perform better against the omicron BA.5 subvariant, the New York Times reported Thursday. The reasoning is that it’ll be worth it for those under 50 to wait slightly longer for the improved booster, rather than expand eligibility now with the older shot. While the older version is still highly effective at preventing serious symptoms and death, the new, omicron-specific boosters are expected to provide better defense against BA.5, though data on that is still preliminary. The news comes as the daily average for new U.S. cases remains close to 130,000 a day, but not all data are being captured as many people are testing at home. The average stoold at 127,022 on Thursday, according to a New York Times tracker, down 2% from two weeks ago. The daily average for hospitalizations rose to 43,696 up 10% in two weeks. The daily average for deaths is up 4% to 438. Globally, the confirmed case tally rose above 574.8 million on Thursday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins, while the death toll is above 6.39 million with the U.S. leading the world with 91.1 million cases and 1,029,270 deaths.
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