In this episode of Countdown, we take a deeper look at the reaction to Thursday’s prisoner swap that finally brought home WNBA star Brittney Griner.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA star was released in an exchange for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who critics say is too dangerous to be freed.

Griner was in Russian prisons on charges of smuggling cannabis. She was arrested at an airport near Moscow in February, a few days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Here are other headlines from Thursday’s show:

Michael Valva’s verdict

A former New York police officer has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for killing his son. Last month, a jury found Michael Valva guilty of five counts, including second-degree murder. Prosecutors say he forced his 8-year-old autistic son, Thomas Valva, to sleep in the garage freezer of their Suffolk County home.

FDA’s COVID vaccine for children

On Thursday, the FDA approved doses of the updated COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months to 5 years. The decision aims to better protect children amid rising cases of COVID-19 across the country. This comes at a time when children’s hospitals are already overwhelmed with children suffering from other respiratory illnesses, including the flu.

Omicron boosters, made by Moderna and rival Pfizer, were already available to anyone aged 5 and over.

Dr. Jay Varma joins Countdown to talk more about the health issues associated with the so-called “triple dementia.”

You can watch “Countdown” live Monday through Friday at 6:30 p.m. on ABC7NY.com or on our ABC7NY app on Roku, FireTV, Apple TV and Android TV.

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