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U.S. health advisers are deliberating whether kid-size doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine are safe and effective in young children. Tuesday's meeting of the Food and Drug Administration panel is the first step toward expanding vaccinations to 28 million young children ages 5 to 11. If regulators agree, shots could begin early next month — using a third of the dose given to teens and adults. A study found kid-size vaccinations are nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic infection. One question is whether younger kids will face a rare heart side effect that occasionally occurs in teen boys and young men.

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The daily number of COVID-19 deaths in Russia has reached another high amid a surge in infections that forced the Kremlin to order most Russians to stay off work starting this week. Sluggish vaccination rates have allowed the coronavirus to spread quickly across Eastern Europe. Ukraine and Bulgaria also reported record daily death tolls on Tuesday. To slow the spread of the virus on public transportation and at workplaces, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered most businesses to close work from Oct. 30 to Nov. 7. But sales of airline tickets and hotel bookings at Black Sea resorts surged at the news of the extended holiday.  

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Coronavirus infections and hospitalizations are shooting upward in Belgium, pushing the government to consider reimposing some pandemic restrictions that it only relaxed a few weeks ago. Daily infections in the nation of 11 million increased 75% to reach 5,299 daily cases last week. Hospitalizations have increased 69%.  The government and regional officials are to decide later Tuesday whether to boost restrictions again, although stopping well short of going into a lockdown. Indications are that authorities are looking at making face masks mandatory in more places and having residents use virus passports. A complicating factor has emerged in the high virus transmission rate in Belgium's primary schools. 

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Federal health officials are extending until mid-January its rules that cruise ships must follow to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks. The rules were scheduled to expire Nov. 1. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that the extension makes only minor modifications to current rules. The agency says that after Jan. 15, it plans to move to a voluntary program for cruise companies to detect and control the spread of COVID-19 on their ships. An industry trade group pledged to continue working with CDC on health measures on board ships.

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Bayern Munich soccer star Joshua Kimmich has found himself at the center of a debate in Germany over the merits of vaccination against the coronavirus. The 26-year-old Kimmich confirmed over the weekend that he is yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19 because of his concerns about the effects of the vaccines. Kimmich said it is “very possible that I will get vaccinated.” His comments were welcomed by the far-right Alternative for Germany party. They led to dismay among those who are banking on vaccines as a route back toward normalcy at a time when infection rates are climbing again in Germany.