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1. Japan widens virus restrictions as omicron surges in cities -

TOKYO (AP) — Restaurants and bars will close early in Tokyo and a dozen other areas across Japan beginning Friday as the country widens COVID-19 restrictions due to the omicron variant, which has caused cases to surge to new highs in metropolitan areas.

2. Unilever won't top $68B bid for GSK consumer healthcare unit -

LONDON (AP) — Unilever, the maker of Vaseline skin care products and Dove soap, says it won't increase a 50 billion-pound ($68.2 billion) offer for GlaxoSmithKline's consumer healthcare unit that was rejected last week.

3. Omicron leaves Germany on brink of recession as growth dips -

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The risk of recession is looming for Germany after Europe's biggest economy shrank at the end of 2021 and as it faces a bumpy start to this year, with the rapid spread of COVID-19's omicron variant deterring people from shopping and travel and supply bottlenecks holding back manufacturers.

4. COVID-19 pill rollout stymied by shortages as omicron rages -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two brand-new COVID-19 pills that were supposed to be an important weapon against the pandemic in the U.S. are in short supply and have played little role in the fight against the omicron wave of infections.

5. Pope on COVID vaccines says health care a 'moral obligation' -

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis suggested Monday that getting vaccinated against the coronavirus was a "moral obligation" and denounced how people had been swayed by "baseless information" to refuse one of the most effective measures to save lives.

6. FDA shortens timing of Moderna booster to 5 months -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators on Friday shortened the time that people who received Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine have to wait for a booster — to five months rather than six.

The two-dose Moderna vaccine is open to Americans 18 and older. The Food and Drug Administration's decision Friday means Moderna recipients are eligible for a booster after at least five months have passed since their last shot.

7. Vaccinations, tests give Walgreens a boost in first quarter -

COVID-19 vaccines and testing boosted Walgreens store sales growth to levels not seen in more than two decades, pushing the drugstore chain well above Wall Street expectations for the first quarter.

8. Omicron surge vexes parents of children too young for shots -

Afternoons with Grammy. Birthday parties. Meeting other toddlers at the park. Parents of children too young to be vaccinated are facing difficult choices as an omicron variant-fueled surge in COVID-19 cases makes every encounter seem risky.

9. CDC urges 'up to date' shots; no 'fully vaccinated' change -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials said Wednesday they are not changing the qualifications for being "fully vaccinated" against COVID-19, but they are urging Americans to stay "up to date" on their protection against the virus by getting booster shots when eligible.

10. Biden urges concern, not alarm as omicron rises -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden urged concern but not alarm Tuesday as the U.S. set new records for daily reported COVID-19 cases  and his administration struggled to ease concerns about testing shortages, school closures and other disruptions caused by the surging omicron variant.

11. Omicron upends return to US schools and workplaces -

Some school systems around the U.S. extended their holiday break Monday or switched back to online instruction because of the explosion in COVID-19 cases, while others pressed ahead with in-person classes amid a seemingly growing sense that Americans will have to learn to co-exist with the virus.

12. Why are so many vaccinated people getting COVID-19 lately? -

Why are so many vaccinated people getting COVID-19 lately?

A couple of factors are at play, starting with the emergence of the highly contagious omicron variant. Omicron is more likely to infect people, even if it doesn't make them very sick, and its surge coincided with the holiday travel season in many places.

13. Starbucks says employees must get vaccine or test weekly -

Starbucks says its U.S. workers must be fully vaccinated by Feb. 9 or face a weekly COVID testing requirement.

The Seattle-based coffee giant said Monday it was acting in response to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which issued a vaccine-or-test requirement for companies with more than 100 employees in November.

14. Elizabeth Holmes jury split on three of 11 fraud charges -

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The jury weighing fraud charges against former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes on Monday said it is deadlocked on three of the 11 felony counts against her. Holmes is accused of duping investors and patients about a blood-testing technology that she hailed as a medical breakthrough.

15. How will pandemic end? Omicron clouds forecasts for endgame -

Pandemics do eventually end, even if omicron is complicating the question of when this one will. But it won't be like flipping a light switch: The world will have to learn to coexist with a virus that's not going away.

16. Tennessee gets first shipment of oral antiviral COVID drugs -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee has received its first shipments of oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19, the Tennessee Department of Health said on Thursday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency use authorization for two oral COVID-19 treatments: Paxlovid by Pfizer and molnupiravir by Merck.

17. US adds Merck pill as 2nd easy-to-use drug against COVID-19 -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health regulators on Thursday authorized the second pill against COVID-19, providing another easy-to-use medication to battle the rising tide of omicron infections.

The Food and Drug Administration authorization of Merck's molnupiravir comes one day after the agency cleared a competing drug from Pfizer.

18. Pfizer pill becomes 1st US-authorized home COVID treatment -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health regulators on Wednesday authorized the first pill against COVID-19, a Pfizer drug that Americans will be able to take at home to head off the worst effects of the virus.

19. Biden pivots to home tests to confront omicron surge -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fighting the omicron variant surging through the country, President Joe Biden announced the government will provide 500 million free rapid home-testing kits, increase support for hospitals under strain and redouble vaccination and boosting efforts.

20. Biden pledges 500M free virus tests to counter omicron -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fighting the omicron variant surging through the country, President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that the government would provide 500 million free rapid tests, increase support for hospitals under strain and redouble vaccination and boosting efforts.

21. Israel to ban travel to US, Canada over omicron variant -

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli ministers on Monday agreed to ban travel to the United States, Canada and eight other countries amid the rapid, global spread of the omicron variant.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's office announced the decision following a Cabinet vote.

22. Moderna: Initial booster data shows good results on omicron -

Moderna said Monday that a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine should offer protection against the rapidly spreading omicron variant.

Moderna said lab tests showed the half-dose booster shot increased by 37 times the level of so-called neutralizing antibodies able to fight omicron.

23. Pfizer study tests extra COVID vaccine dose for kids under 5 -

Pfizer said Friday it was changing plans and testing three doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in babies and preschoolers instead of the usual two.

The addition of an extra dose came after a preliminary analysis found 2- to 4-year-olds didn't have as strong an immune response as expected to special low-dose shots.

24. CDC panel recommends Pfizer, Moderna vaccines over J&J shot -

Most Americans should be given the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines instead of the Johnson & Johnson shot that can cause rare but serious blood clots, U.S. health advisers recommended Thursday.

The strange clotting problem has caused nine confirmed deaths after J&J vaccinations — while the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines don't come with that risk and also appear to be more effective, advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

25. US faces a double coronavirus surge as omicron advances -

The new omicron coronavirus mutant speeding around the world may bring another wave of chaos, threatening to further stretch hospital workers already struggling with a surge of delta cases and upend holiday plans for the second year in a row.

26. How a Kennedy built an anti-vaccine juggernaut amid COVID-19 -

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Robert F. Kennedy Jr. strode onto the stage at a Southern California church, radiating Kennedy confidence and surveying the standing ovation crowd with his piercing blue Bobby Kennedy eyes. Then, he launched into an anti-vaccine rant. Democrats "drank the Kool-Aid," he told people assembled for a far right conference, branded as standing for "health and freedom."

27. Colleges go back to drawing board – again – to fight virus -

Facing rising infections and a new COVID-19 variant, colleges across the U.S. have once again been thwarted in seeking a move to normalcy and are starting to require booster shots, extend mask mandates, limit social gatherings and, in some cases, revert to online classes.

28. Pfizer jabs protect 70% against hospitalization from omicron -

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination provides just 33% protection against infection by the omicron variant of the coronavirus, but 70% protection against hospitalization, according to a large-scale analysis in South Africa released Tuesday.

29. Pfizer confirms COVID pill's results, potency versus omicron -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pfizer said Tuesday that its experimental pill to treat COVID-19 appears effective against the omicron variant.

The company also said full results of its 2,250-person study confirmed the pill's promising early results against the virus: The drug reduced combined hospitalizations and deaths by about 89% among high-risk adults when taken shortly after initial COVID-19 symptoms.

30. Stocks pull back from records, weighed down by tech, energy -

Stocks pulled back below their recent record levels on Wall Street Monday as the market's momentum slows down following its best week since February.

The S&P 500 fell 0.9%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average also fell 0.9% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gave up 1.4% Technology, energy and travel-related companies had some of the biggest losses.

31. FDA expands Pfizer COVID booster, opens extra dose to age 16 -

The U.S. is expanding COVID-19 boosters, ruling that 16- and 17-year-olds can get a third dose of Pfizer's vaccine.

The U.S. and many other nations already were urging adults to get booster shots to pump up immunity that can wane months after vaccination, calls that intensified with the discovery of the worrisome new omicron variant.

32. What Elizabeth Holmes had to say at her trial: 5 takeaways -

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Once-lionized entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes wrapped up seven days of testimony in her criminal fraud trial Wednesday, having largely used the time to defend her actions as CEO of the startup Theranos. The company she founded had soared on the promise of innovative blood-testing technology only to crash in a sordid display of failure and alleged deceit.

33. COVID cases spike even as US hits 200M vaccine milestone -

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The number of Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 reached 200 million Wednesday amid a dispiriting holiday-season spike in cases and hospitalizations that has hit even New England, one of the most highly inoculated corners of the country.

34. Vaccine makers racing to update COVID shots, just in case -

Vaccine makers are racing to update their COVID-19 shots against the newest coronavirus threat even before it's clear a change is needed, just in case.

Experts doubt today's shots will become useless but say it's critical to see how fast companies could produce a reformulated dose and prove it works -- because whatever happens with omicron, this newest mutant won't be the last.

35. With vaccine resistance high, Poland faces surge of deaths -

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — As 83-year-old Hanna Zientara endured subfreezing temperatures to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot in Warsaw, her 30-year-old grandson was starting a Canary Islands vacation while unvaccinated and stubbornly refusing his grandmother's repeated pleas to protect himself.

36. Pfizer says COVID booster offers protection against omicron -

Pfizer said Wednesday that a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine may protect against the new omicron variant even though the initial two doses appear significantly less effective.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said lab tests showed a booster dose increased by 25-fold the level of so-called neutralizing antibodies against omicron.

37. Spain approves COVID vaccine for children in 5-11 age group -

MADRID (AP) — Spain's health ministry gave the go-ahead Tuesday for children between ages 5 and 11 to be vaccinated against COVID-19 amid a rise in coronavirus infections in recent weeks.

The Spanish health ministry tweeted news of the approval, following the decision of an expert committee. The rollout is due to begin Dec. 15, two days after the first of 3.2 million child vaccines arrive in Spain.

38. European drug regulator backs mixing COVID-19 vaccines -

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The European Union drug regulator gave its backing Tuesday to mixing different types of vaccines in initial vaccination and booster campaigns to battle the coronavirus.

39. Biden launching winter COVID-19 booster, testing campaign -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is set to kick off a more urgent campaign for Americans to get COVID-19 booster shots Thursday as he unveils his winter plans for combating the coronavirus and its omicron variant with enhanced availability of shots and vaccines but without major new restrictions.

40. Panel weighs safety, effectiveness of Merck's COVID-19 pill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government health advisers on Tuesday weighed the benefits and risks of a closely watched drug from Merck that could soon become the first U.S.-authorized pill for patients to take at home to treat COVID-19.

41. Omicron brings COVID-19 vaccine inequity 'home to roost' -

LONDON (AP) — The emergence of the new omicron variant and the world's desperate and likely futile attempts to keep it at bay are reminders of what scientists have warned for months: The coronavirus will thrive as long as vast parts of the world lack vaccines.

42. New variant cause for concern, not panic, Biden tells US -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden called the new coronavirus variant omicron a cause for concern but "not a cause for panic" Monday and said he was not considering any widespread U.S. lockdown. He urged Americans anew to get fully vaccinated, including booster shots, and return to face masks indoors in public settings to slow any spread.

43. How COVID shots for kids help prevent dangerous new variants -

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Cadell Walker rushed to get her 9-year-old daughter Solome vaccinated against COVID-19 — not just to protect her but to help stop the coronavirus from spreading and spawning even more dangerous variants.

44. EU considers booster doses of J&J's COVID-19 vaccine -

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The European Medicines Agency says it is evaluating whether to authorize booster doses of Johnson & Johnson's single-shot COVID-19 vaccine.

In a statement Monday, the EU drug regulator said it was considering an application from J&J to recommend booster doses of the J&J vaccine for adults 18 and over, at least two months after they were first immunized. Amid an explosive surge of new coronavirus infections across Europe, the EMA said it expected to make a decision on this within weeks.

45. FDA official explains decision on 'simplified' booster shots -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government's booster campaign got a lot simpler Friday after Food and Drug Administration officials authorized extra shots of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for all adults.

46. Stocks end mostly lower, but tech gains push Nasdaq higher -

Wall Street closed out a week of choppy trading with stocks mostly lower Friday, though gains for several tech companies pushed the Nasdaq composite to another record high and its first close over 16,000 points.

47. US advisers support expanding COVID boosters to all adults -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government on Friday moved to open up COVID-19 booster shots to all adults, expanding efforts to get ahead of rising coronavirus cases that experts fear could snowball into a winter surge as millions of Americans travel for the holidays.

48. Japan Cabinet OKs record stimulus package to fix economy -

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's Cabinet approved on Friday a record 56 trillion yen ($490 billion) stimulus package, including cash handouts and aid to ailing businesses, to help the economy out of the doldrums worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.

49. Pfizer, US ink $5.29B deal for possible COVID-19 treatment -

The U.S. government will pay drugmaker Pfizer $5.29 billion for 10 million treatment courses of its potential COVID-19 treatment if regulators authorize it, the nation's largest purchase agreement yet for a coronavirus therapy.

50. White House: 10% of kids have been vaccinated in 1st 2 weeks -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says about 10% of eligible kids aged 5 to 11 have received a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine since its approval for their age group two weeks ago.

At least 2.6 million kids have received a shot, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said Wednesday, with 1.7 million doses administered in the last week alone, roughly double the pace of the first week after approval. It's more than three times faster than the rate adults were vaccinated at the start of the nation's vaccination campaign 11 months ago.

51. US offering investment to boost COVID-19 vaccine capacity -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is making billions of dollars available to drugmakers to scale up domestic production of COVID-19 vaccines in the hopes of building capacity to produce an additional 1 billion shots per year to share with the world.

52. Pfizer asks US officials to OK promising COVID-19 pill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pfizer asked U.S. regulators Tuesday to authorize its experimental pill for COVID-19, setting the stage for a likely launch this winter of a promising treatment that can be taken at home.

53. Pfizer agrees to let other companies make its COVID-19 pill -

LONDON (AP) — Drugmaker Pfizer Inc. has signed a deal with a U.N.-backed group to allow other manufacturers to make its experimental COVID-19 pill, a move that could make the treatment available to more than half of the world's population.

54. Biden picks former FDA chief Califf to again lead the agency -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Friday is tapping former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Robert Califf to again lead the powerful regulatory agency, according to a person familiar with the decision.

55. AstraZeneca to book modest profit from coronavirus vaccine -

LONDON (AP) — British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Friday that it will start to book a modest profit from its coronavirus vaccine as it moves away from the nonprofit model it has operated during the pandemic.

56. Johnson & Johnson to split into 2, aim for faster growth -

Johnson & Johnson is peeling off a consumer health business that helped it become the world's biggest health care products maker.

The company said Friday that it will separate its segment that sells Band-Aids, Listerine and over-the-counter medicines like Tylenol from its pharmaceutical and medical device business.

57. 'Strong' start to kids vaccine campaign, but challenges loom -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The campaign to vaccinate elementary school age children in the U.S. is off to a strong start, health officials said Wednesday, but experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.

58. Pfizer asks FDA to OK COVID-19 booster shots for all adults -

Pfizer asked U.S. regulators Tuesday to allow boosters of its COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 18 or older, a step that comes amid concern about increased spread of the coronavirus with holiday travel and gatherings.

59. EXPLAINER: How US rules on international travel are changing -

More than a year and a half after COVID-19 concerns prompted the U.S. to close its borders to international travelers from countries including Brazil, China, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom and much of Europe, restrictions are shifting to focus on vaccine status.

60. Feds urge schools to provide COVID-19 shots, info for kids -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host clinics to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to kids — and information to parents on the benefits of the shots — as the White House looks to speedily provide vaccines to those ages 5 to 11.

61. S&P 500 sets seventh straight all-time high on Wall Street -

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks pushed further into record heights on Friday following an encouraging report on hiring across the country, though trading was shaky as the bond market was hit with another day of sharp swings.

62. More vaccines, fewer mask rules as US keeps fighting COVID -

The United States is steadily chipping away at vaccine hesitancy and driving down COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations to the point that schools, governments and corporations are lifting mask restrictions yet again.

63. Pfizer says COVID-19 pill cut hospital, death risk by 90% -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pfizer Inc. said Friday that its experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19 cut rates of hospitalization and death by nearly 90% in high-risk adults, as the drugmaker joined the race for an easy-to-use medication to treat the coronavirus.

64. Key takeaways as US sets Jan. 4 vaccine mandate deadline -

Millions of U.S. workers now have a Jan 4. deadline to get a COVID vaccine.

The federal government on Thursday announced new vaccine requirements for workers at companies with more than 100 employees as well as for workers at health care facilities that treat Medicare and Medicaid patients. It also extended a deadline for federal contractors.

65. Moderna lowers forecast for 2021 COVID-19 vaccine deliveries -

Moderna is scaling back expectations for the number of COVID-19 vaccine deliveries it expects to make this year and the revenue it will record from them.

Longer delivery lead times for exports and a temporary impact from expanding its fill-finish capacity may shift some deliveries to early 2022, the drugmaker said Thursday. The company now expects full-year, 2021 product sales of between $15 billion and $18 billion.

66. Roll up your sleeves: Kids' turn arrives for COVID-19 shots -

Hugs with friends. Birthday parties indoors. Pillow fights. Schoolchildren who got their first COVID-19 shots Wednesday said these are the pleasures they look forward to as the U.S. enters a major new phase in fighting the pandemic.

67. Stocks gain, pushing the Dow Jones industrials past 36,000 -

Wall Street added to its recent run of milestones Tuesday as stock indexes hit new highs again and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 36,000 points for the first time.

The Dow and benchmark S&P 500 each rose 0.4%. The Nasdaq gained 0.3%. The three indexes also notched all-time highs on Monday.

68. Pfizer tops Q3 forecasts as total COVID vaccine sales soar -

Pfizer beat third-quarter expectations and raised its 2021 forecast again even as sales of its top product, the COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty, slipped in the U.S.

Soaring international sales of the preventive shots helped pushed total Comirnaty revenue close to $13 billion in the quarter, and the drugmaker said Tuesday that it now expects to book about $36 billion in sales from the vaccine this year.

69. COVID vaccine for younger kids already being packed, shipped -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Anticipating a green light from vaccine advisers, the Biden administration is assembling and shipping millions of COVID-19 shots for children ages 5-11, the White House said Monday. The first could go into kids' arms by midweek.

70. Moderna: FDA delaying decision on its shot for adolescents -

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — U.S. regulators are delaying their decision on Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 17-year-olds while they study the rare risk of heart inflammation, the company said Sunday.

71. FDA paves way for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations in young kids -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday paved the way for children ages 5 to 11 to get Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine.

The FDA cleared kid-size doses — just a third of the amount given to teens and adults — for emergency use, and up to 28 million more American children could be eligible for vaccinations as early as next week.

72. FDA panel backs Pfizer's low-dose COVID-19 vaccine for kids -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. moved a step closer to expanding COVID-19 vaccinations for millions more children as government advisers on Tuesday endorsed kid-size doses of Pfizer's shots for 5- to 11-year-olds.

73. FDA advisers review Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Kid-size doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine may be getting closer as government advisers on Tuesday began deliberating whether there's enough evidence that the shots are safe and effective for 5- to 11-year-olds.

74. US details new international COVID-19 travel requirements -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Children under 18 and people from dozens of countries with a shortage of vaccines will be exempt from new rules that will require most travelers to the United States be vaccinated against COVID-19, the Biden administration announced Monday.

75. Moderna says its low-dose COVID shot works for kids 6 to 11 -

Moderna said Monday that a low dose of its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and appears to work in 6- to 11-year-olds, as the manufacturer moves toward expanding shots to children.

Competitor Pfizer's kid-sized vaccine doses are closer to widespread use, undergoing evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration for nearly the same age group — starting at age 5. Its vaccine already is authorized for anyone 12 or older.

76. EXPLAINER: Is it time to get a COVID-19 booster? Which one? -

Millions more Americans just became eligible for COVID-19 boosters, but figuring out who's eligible and when can be confusing. And adding to the challenge is that this time around, people can choose a different brand of vaccine for that extra dose.

77. COVID vaccine: CDC expands booster rollout, OKs mixing shots -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions more Americans can get a COVID-19 booster and choose a different company's vaccine for that next shot, federal health officials said Thursday.

Certain people who received Pfizer vaccinations months ago already are eligible for a booster and now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says specific Moderna and Johnson & Johnson recipients qualify, too. And in a bigger change, the agency is allowing the flexibility of "mixing and matching" that extra dose regardless of which type people received first.

78. AP FACT CHECK: Biden overstates his record on COVID vaccine -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden botched the numbers behind the COVID-19 vaccine rollout Thursday as he stretched to take all the credit for the surge of shots once he was in office.

A look at his remarks during a CNN town hall event:

79. COVID-19 vaccine: CDC panel discusses booster rollout -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Influential government advisers are deciding Thursday how best to expand the nation's COVID-19 booster campaign, including whether and when it's OK to "mix and match" brands for the extra dose.

80. FDA OKs mixing COVID vaccines; backs Moderna, J&J boosters -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators on Wednesday signed off on extending COVID-19 boosters to Americans who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine and said anyone eligible for an extra dose can get a brand different from the one they received initially.

81. US marks 200M COVID-19 shots shared with world -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. on Thursday donated its 200 millionth COVID-19 shot to help vaccinate the rest of the world, the White House announced. The Biden administration aims to lead a global vaccination campaign even as it rolls out boosters for domestic use, which critics say diverts doses from those who are in greater need around the world.

82. FDA OKs mixing COVID vaccines; backs Moderna, J&J boosters -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators on Wednesday signed off on extending COVID-19 boosters to Americans who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine and said anyone eligible for an extra dose can get a brand different from the one they received initially.

83. White House details plans to vaccinate 28M children age 5-11 -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Children ages 5 to 11 will soon be able to get a COVID-19 shot at their pediatrician's office, local pharmacy and potentially even their school, the White House said Wednesday as it detailed plans for the expected authorization of the Pfizer shot for elementary school youngsters in a matter of weeks.

84. Will vaccine hesitancy extend to little arms? -

Nashville dad Pierce Sandwith jumped at the chance to have his 2-year-old daughter vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of a clinical trial at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

85. COVID-19 and pregnancy: Women regret not getting the vaccine -

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (AP) — Sometimes when she's feeding her infant daughter, Amanda Harrison is overcome with emotion and has to wipe away tears of gratitude. She is lucky to be here, holding her baby.

86. White House details plans to vaccinate 28M children age 5-11 -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Children ages 5 to 11 will soon be able to get a COVID-19 shot at their pediatrician's office, local pharmacy and potentially even their school, the White House said Wednesday as it detailed plans for the expected authorization of the Pfizer shot for elementary school youngsters in a matter of weeks.

87. US expected to authorize mix-and-match COVID booster shots -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are expected to authorize the mixing and matching of COVID-19 booster shots this week in an effort to provide flexibility for those seeking to maintain protection against the coronavirus.

88. New Zealand hits virus high, pushes vaccination as way out -

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand counted its most new coronavirus cases of the pandemic Tuesday as an outbreak in its largest city grew and officials urged vaccinations as a way out of Auckland's two-month lockdown.

89. J&J hikes 2021 profit forecast, COVID-19 vaccine sales grow -

Johnson & Johnson is raising its 2021 profit forecast again after growing sales of the cancer treatment Darzalex and other drugs pushed it past Wall Street's third-quarter earnings expectations.

The health care giant also said Tuesday that sales of its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine started to pick up in the quarter, nearly doubling what it brought in during the first half of the year.

90. FDA panel endorses booster shot for J&J COVID-19 vaccine -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health advisers endorsed a booster of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine Friday, citing growing worry that Americans who got the single-dose shot aren't as protected as those given two-dose brands.

91. FDA panel endorses lower-dose Moderna COVID shot for booster -

U.S. health advisers said Thursday that some Americans who received Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago should get a half-dose booster to rev up protection against the coronavirus.

The panel of outside advisers to the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously to recommend a booster shot for seniors, as well as younger adults with other health problems, jobs or living situations that put them at increased risk from COVID-19.

92. FDA unlikely to rule on Merck's COVID pill before December -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it will ask its outside experts to meet in late November to scrutinize Merck's pill to treat COVID-19.

The Nov. 30 meeting means U.S. regulators almost certainly won't issue a decision on the drug until December, signaling that the agency will conduct a detailed review of the experimental treatment's safety and effectiveness. The panelists are likely to vote on whether Merck's drug should be approved, though the FDA is not required to follow their advice.

93. FDA panel debates lower-dose Moderna COVID shots for booster -

U.S. health advisers are debating if millions of Americans who received Moderna vaccinations should get a booster shot -- this time, using half the original dose.

Already millions who got their initial Pfizer shots at least six months ago are getting a booster of that brand. Thursday, advisers to the Food and Drug Administration evaluated the evidence that Moderna boosters should be offered, too -- and on Friday, they'll tackle the same question for those who got Johnson & Johnson's vaccine.

94. FDA grapples with timing of booster for J&J COVID-19 vaccine -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is wrestling with whether and when to offer a booster of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine — at six months or as early as two months. And a new study raises the prospect that using a different vaccine might give a better boost.

95. Next on FDA's agenda: Booster shots of Moderna, J&J vaccines -

WASHINGTON (AP) — With many Americans who got Pfizer vaccinations already rolling up their sleeves for a booster shot, millions of others who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine wait anxiously to learn when it's their turn.

96. Merck asks US FDA to authorize promising anti-COVID pill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Drugmaker Merck asked U.S. regulators Monday to authorize its pill for treating COVID-19 in what would add an entirely new and easy-to-use weapon to the world's arsenal against the pandemic.

97. UK to offer new vaccine shots to Novavax trial volunteers -

LONDON (AP) — Britain announced Friday that it will offer new vaccinations to thousands of people who volunteered for trials of the Novavax coronavirus vaccine, which hasn't yet been approved for use in any country.

98. Finland joins other Nordic nations in curbing Moderna shots -

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Finland has joined other Nordic countries in suspending or discouraging the use of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine in certain age groups because of an increased risk of heart inflammation, a rare side effect associated with the shot.

99. New FDA chief can't come soon enough for beleaguered agency -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Straining under a pandemic workload and battered by a string of public controversies, one of the leading agencies in the government's fight against COVID-19 is finally on the verge of getting a new commissioner.

100. Stocks closing higher as receding debt fears spur rally -

Stocks are closing higher on Wall Street Thursday as investors welcomed progress in Congress' standoff over extending the federal debt ceiling.

A temporary extension will give lawmakers more time to reach a permanent resolution.