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COVID-19 booster shots; student loans; drug take-back day; local sports

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KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH
/
ASSOCIATED PRESS

This morning, Colin Powell’s family announced on Facebook that he had died from COVID-19 complications. Powell served as the first Black U.S. secretary of state in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He was 84 years old and fully vaccinated against the virus.

A federal advisory committee supports booster shots for Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. Thus far, the FDA authorized boosters only for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for high-risk populations. The two other vaccines are working their way through the regulatory process, and booster shots for senior citizens and the immunocompromised could be available soon.

Guest: Dr. Michelle Aquino, Baptist Health hospitalist and Action News Jax medical correspondent.

Student loans

The Biden administration has given some breathing room to college students paying back student loans.

The latest extension for student loan repayment gives those who borrowed money for college a reprieve through January of 2022. The Department of Education also canceled $5.8 billion in student loan debts for borrowers with total and permanent disability and for those students who were victims of fraud by colleges and universities.

By midyear 2021, nearly 500,000 applicants had debts wiped away, but that’s still only 2% of overall total student debt loans, and this debt will continue to be part of the national conversation about college affordability.

Guest: Tina Bodnar, senior vice president, private banking relationship manager, IBERIABANK First Horizon.

Drug take-back day

Memorial Hospital plans a drug take-back day to help crush the opioid epidemic. On Saturday, Oct. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., community members can turn in unused and expired medication for safe disposal.

The event is part of a nationwide initiative by HCA Healthcare. Last year, the group collected more than 400lbs of medications.

Guest: Dr. Ron McGrier, pharmacy operations manager for Memorial Hospital.

Local sports

After 20 straight regular-season losses, the Jaguars won a game in London yesterday. WJCT sports analyst Josh Torres joined us with a recap.

First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross Associate Producer Katherine Hobbs can be reached at khobbs@wjct.org or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.

Florida Roundup Associate Producer Katherine Hobbs can be reached at khobbs@wjct.org or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.