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Photo: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The CDC raised the travel advisories for France and Israel to the highest level Monday, a result of surging COVID-19 cases in those countries.

Why it matters: The recent rapid spread of COVID across the world is largely a result of the Delta variant, which is more contagious than the original strain of the virus.

  • By classifying those countries as Level 4, the CDC recommends avoiding travel to them, warning that "even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants."
  • The travel advisory for Israel extends to the West Bank and Gaza.
  • Other countries with Level 4 travel advisories currently include Ireland, Iran, Iceland, Thailand and Greece.

Go deeper: Coronavirus Variant Tracker

Go deeper

Oct 27, 2021 - Health

Louisiana lifts mask mandate except for some schools

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. Photor: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Louisiana's statewide mask mandate is lifting for all settings except for some schools starting on Wednesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) announced.

The big picture: The requirement has been in place since early August as the Delta variant surged across the state. Edwards tweeted Tuesday there had been a "sustained improvement across the state in new cases, test positivity & hospitalizations."

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Oct 26, 2021 - Health

FDA panel endorses Pfizer vaccines for 5-to-11-year-olds

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel Tuesday endorsed a two-dose series of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5–11. The final vote was 17 members in favor, with one member abstaining.

Why it matters: While not binding, the decision is a long-awaited step toward getting COVID vaccines in the arms of some of the youngest Americans potentially in time to get many fully vaccinated in advance of the holiday season.

Oct 26, 2021 - Health

CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot

Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidelines Tuesday that some immunocompromised people who have received either Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get a fourth shot.

Details: People over 18 who are "moderately to severely immunocompromised" and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may get a fourth shot (of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines) at least six months after getting their third Pfizer or Moderna dose, per the CDC.