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Hospitalizations from COVID-19 rose for an eighth straight week for the period ending Sept. 2, although the increase dipped into single digits for the first time in that stretch. New hospital admissions ticked up 9%, to 18,871 people, the CDC reported in its latest dispatch of virus metrics.

Newly recommended COVID booster shots are expected to be available within days after a flurry of required approvals and recommendations this week from the CDC and the FDA. On Wednesday morning, the Walgreens website advised COVID vaccine seekers to “check back soon for additional details” and stated that existing vaccine appointments would be rescheduled pending arrival of the updated shots.

The CVS website’s online scheduling tool offered COVID vaccine appointments beginning Saturday, Sept. 16.

An estimated 97% of people in the U.S. ages 16 and older had protective immunity against COVID by the end of 2022, either from infection or vaccination, according to an article summarizing the current state of the pandemic published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Meanwhile, the age-adjusted death rate from COVID dropped from 115.6 per 100,000 people, in 2021, to 61.3 per 100,000 people in 2022, which is a 47% decrease.

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