News Wrap: FDA delays approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5

In our news wrap Friday, the FDA said it wants more data on whether to authorize three Pfizer COVID-19 shots for children under 5, President Biden ordered the release of $7 billion in frozen Afghan assets for humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and 9/11 compensation, and Pentagon officials say more civilians may have died than first reported in a raid that killed the Islamic State leader in Syria.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news, there is a new delay in approving Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5.

    The FDA said today that it wants more data on whether to authorize three low-dose shots, instead of two, for young children. Pfizer said it could be April before the data is ready. And the CDC reported on findings that booster shots lose much of their potency after about four months. It could mean that some people, especially those with health complications, need a fourth inoculation.

    A court in Ontario, Canada ordered truckers today to end their blockade of a key bridge. The protest against COVID vaccine mandates has clogged the Ambassador Bridge between Ontario and Detroit, disrupting supplies to U.S. auto plants. The court order came after Ontario's premier declared an emergency and threatened fines and jail time for the protesters.

    Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario, Canada: This is critical to our economy. And I will tell you, it's not going to be tolerated. In saying that, I want everyone to work together. I want this to be peaceful, and we need to make sure that we get the goods to the facilities.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    We will focus on this in detail after the news summary.

    President Biden has ordered the release today of $7 billion in frozen assets that had belonged to Afghanistan. Half will go to humanitarian aid needed now in Afghanistan, but the rest will compensate 9/11 victims in the U.S., pending ongoing litigation. The Taliban said that this move amounts to stealing.

    Pentagon officials say more civilians may have died than first reported in a raid that killed the Islamic State leader in Syria. A bomb blast collapsed his hideout last week, and the officials say the rubble may have hidden some victims. Rescue workers say up to 13 people were killed. The U.S. officials say they still believe the ISIS leader triggered the bomb, but they cannot be certain.

    In Madagascar, the death toll from last weekend's tropical cyclone has reached 120. The storm brought extreme winds and downpours to the island nation's southeastern coast. It flattened entire neighborhoods in its path.

    Back in this country, a Milwaukee man pleaded not guilty today to driving into Christmas parade marchers in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing six and injuring scores more. Darrell Brooks is facing 77 charges, including homicide and reckless endangerment. He remains jailed on $5 million bail.

    At the Winter Olympics, a doping scandal erupted today on news that a Russian figure skater tested positive for a banned medication. Kamila Valieva failed the test last December, but she is competing in Beijing. If she is banned, the Russians might ultimately lose their gold medal in team figure skating. Olympic officials said today that they are watching for a decision by a sports arbitration court.

  • Mark Adams, Spokesperson, International Olympic Committee:

    We have a 100 percent policy against doping. And, clearly, we will pursue all doping cases to the end. But, clearly, in this specific case, it is an active case, and we are waiting for it to be fully seen to the end.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's competition, veteran American snowboarder Shaun White placed fourth in the men's halfpipe. It was the final Olympic competition for the three-time gold medalist before he retires.

    And on Wall Street, jitters over a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine sent oil prices up sharply and pushed stocks down. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 503 points, 1.4 percent, to close at 34738. The Nasdaq fell 394 points, nearly 3 percent. The s S&P 500 dropped 85, almost 2 percent.

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