Today’s Headlines: Will Pfizer’s full FDA approval change perceptions?


Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


Pfizer gets full approval, prompting new vaccination push

The battle against COVID-19 passed a regulatory milestone Monday when the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to Pfizer’s vaccine, a decision that could boost President Biden’s effort to control the pandemic.

Public health experts hope that full approval convinces more Americans to get their shots. Calling the FDA’s announcement “an important moment in our fight against the pandemic,” Biden directed his message from the White House to the vaccine-hesitant. “The moment you’ve been waiting for is here,” he said.


The Pentagon says it will require service members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine now that the Pfizer vaccine has received full approval. And The Times Editorial Board says with the approval, public employers and private businesses now have a green light to start imposing tough vaccination requirements on employees and even customers.

More top coronavirus headlines

— As the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread, breakthrough infections of fully vaccinated people are ticking up in Los Angeles County, but inoculated people remain generally well-protected against hospitalizations and death.

— A local group has calculated that 1,893 students and employees tested positive for a coronavirus infection during the first week of school, based on a new dashboard created using district data.

For more, sign up for Coronavirus Today, a special edition of The Times’ Health and Science newsletter.

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On Aug. 16, 1977, Tropical Storm Doreen rolled through Southern California, unleashing severe flooding in the Imperial Valley. The storm compounded damage and economic losses from an earlier one, Hurricane Kathleen. And to make matters worse, the floodwaters lingered, cutting off access to key equipment and buildings for the area’s farmers.


On Aug. 24, 1977, a Times photographer captured a cotton gin surrounded by water in Brawley.

black and white photo of a building surrounded by water
Aug. 24, 1977: Cotton gin on Dogwood Road in Brawley inundated by floodwaters following heavy rains. This photo appeared in the Aug. 25, 1977, Los Angeles Times.
(Los Angeles Times)


— With the primary about nine months away, the race to replace Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti remains remarkably thin. And the few candidates that are running have failed to inspire some voters.

— The Caldor fire burned more than 400 homes at Lake Tahoe. Burning through rugged terrain east of Sacramento, the Caldor fire grew to more than 100,000 acres over the weekend as it crept toward South Lake Tahoe. The fire was at 5% containment Monday morning after spreading unchecked for more than a week, and the smoke has created conditions so hazardous that the air quality around the blaze is the worst in the country.

— As sweltering drought conditions continue to worsen throughout California, Ventura and other Southern California counties have shifted from “extreme” to “exceptional” drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor Report.

— For decades, Oregon’s lean health system was envied across the nation. The latest COVID surge is pushing it to the brink.


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— Florida’s power struggle over masks in schools landed Monday before a judge considering a lawsuit that challenges Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order reserving the decision for parents.

— A firefight flared up at the periphery of Kabul’s airport on Monday between Afghan security forces and unknown gunmen, leaving at least one soldier dead and at least three others wounded.

Texas Republicans brought back their voting bill Monday with no changes as some Democrats returned to the Capitol for the first time since ending their holdout, making it clear that the bill is on track to become law.

— The United States on Monday imposed new sanctions over Ethiopia’s deadly Tigray conflict as hundreds of thousands of people face famine conditions under a government blockade.


— How much longer can L.A.’s small theater companies stay afloat financially? With pandemic funding drying up, 99-seat theaters are scrambling to stay on track with reopenings that were planned during better days.


— Why playing televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker was one of the scariest roles of Jessica Chastain’s career.

— Some white executives may find his work “too Black.” But Lee Daniels’ empire is expanding.

— From the long-awaited second season of “The Morning Show” to another “Real Housewives” scandal to a new entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, to a little thing called the Clinton impeachment, here is The Times’ guide to the 15 TV shows we’re most excited about this fall.


— In hopes of plugging the state’s affordable housing shortage, some California government agencies are purchasing buildings, usually luxury ones, and doing the opposite of most real estate buyers. They’re lowering the rent.


— Dodgers are surging. Padres are slumping. But ‘a battle’ is still expected this week in the three-game series in Petco Park.

— Her Hawaiian vacation turned into a nightmare as the senior volleyball star was stranded on the tropical island. Now, Elia Rubin is back and she wants that state title.


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— It makes sense that the recall candidates seeking to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom have questioned his record on homelessness. But they’re offering hot air, not real solutions, writes the editorial board.

— As western wildfires burn through millions of forested acres, they are igniting debates about our response that are almost as heated as the flames themselves — let it burn or extinguish the fires as soon as possible?


By day, Anthony Jimenez works in marketing for a West Coast tech giant. But after hours, the 27-year-old has been running a lucrative side gig — Tony’s Collectibles — on Instagram, selling off his old Pokémon card collection. He’s not the only one: The pandemic inspired a surge in the buying and selling of all manner of collectibles. The Pokémon market is especially hot, with California auction houses and memorabilia firms getting in on the craze.

Today’s newsletter was curated by Seth Liss and Laura Blasey. Comments or ideas? Email us at