The state health department on Monday reported 7,856 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 56 COVID-19-related deaths in Michigan since Friday's report.

That is an average of about 2,619 new cases each of the past three days, down from the average of 3,752 new daily confirmed cases for Oct. 21-22.

The state's pandemic total number of confirmed cases is now 1,112,490, with 21,918 deaths.

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This graph shows the daily number of new coronavirus cases in Ottawa County for the past 30 days, ending Oct. 25.

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health on Monday reported 269 new cases of the virus and five COVID-10-related deaths since Friday. The county is averaging 112.7 new cases each day for the past seven days, up a tick from the seven-day average of 112 reported Friday.

Ottawa County's pandemic total number of cases is now 41,146, with 37,246 recovered and 498 deaths.

The level of community transmission in Ottawa County remains "high."

Muskegon County's pandemic total number of confirmed cases, as of Monday, is 21,160, with 411 deaths related to COVID-19. The state health department reassigned five COVID-19-related deaths in Muskegon County since Friday's report of 416.

Moderna says its low-dose COVID shot works for kids 6-11

By LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical Writer

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A health care worker receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, on Dec. 21, 2020.

Moderna said Monday that a low dose of its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and appears to work in 6- to 11-year-olds, as the manufacturer joins its rival Pfizer in moving toward expanding shots to children.

Pfizer's kid-size vaccine doses are closer to widespread use. They are undergoing evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration for youngsters in nearly the same age group, 5 to 11, and could be available by early November. The company's vaccine already is authorized for anyone 12 or older.

Moderna hasn't yet gotten the go-ahead to offer its vaccine to teens but is studying lower doses in younger children while it waits.

Researchers tested two shots for the 6- to 11-year-olds, given a month apart, that each contained half the dose given to adults. Preliminary results showed vaccinated children developed virus-fighting antibodies similar to levels that young adults produce after full-strength shots, Moderna said in a news release.

The study involved 4,753 children ages 6 to 11 who got either the vaccine or dummy shots. Moderna said that like adults, the vaccinated youngsters had temporary side effects including fatigue, headache, fever and injection site pain.

The study was too small to spot any extremely rare side effects, such as heart inflammation that sometimes occurs after either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, mostly among young men.

Moderna released no further details and hasn't submitted its data to a scientific journal but said it plans to share the interim results with the FDA and global regulators soon. The study is still going on, and the company cannot calculate the vaccine's effectiveness in actually preventing infections in children unless there are sufficient COVID-19 cases to compare rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated participants.

The FDA hasn't yet ruled on the company's application to expand its vaccinations to 12- to 17-year-olds, although some countries have cleared Moderna's shots for adolescents.

But the U.S. is expected to begin vaccinating children under 12 sometime next month, if the FDA clears low doses of the Pfizer vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds. Pfizer reported last week that its kid-size doses proved nearly 91 percent effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in that age group, even as the extra-contagious delta variant was spreading widely.

FDA's advisers will weigh Pfizer's evidence in a public meeting Tuesday. If the agency authorizes Pfizer's kid shots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the following week is set to recommend who should receive them.

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