U.S. House narrowly passes Biden’s $1.9T COVID-19 relief bill, clearing 1st hurdle – National

U.S. President Joe Biden scored his first legislative win as the House of Representatives passed his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package early Saturday, though Democrats faced challenges to their hopes of using the bill to raise the minimum wage. Democrats who control the chamber passed the sweeping measure by a mostly party-line vote of […]

Single dose of Pfizer vaccine may reduce transmission, early U.K. study suggests – National

A single dose of Pfizer and BioNtech’s COVID-19 vaccine cuts the number of asymptomatic infections and could significantly reduce the risk of transmission of the virus, results of a UK study found on Friday. Researchers analyzed results from thousands of COVID-19 tests carried out each week as part of hospital screenings of healthcare staff […]

Vaccine passports gain traction, but experts warn of ‘huge moral crisis in equity’ – National

Violet light bathed the club stage as 300 people, masked and socially distanced, erupted in gentle applause. For the first time since the pandemic began, Israeli musician Aviv Geffen stepped to his electric piano and began to play for an audience seated right in front of him. “A miracle is happening here tonight,” Geffen […]

AstraZeneca backtracks, says it will meet EU supply for Q2 after reporting shortfall – National

AstraZeneca will deliver 180 million COVID-19 vaccines to Europe in the second quarter, including 20 million to Italy, the head of its Italian unit was quoted as saying on Thursday, but EU officials remained wary about supply. Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing an EU official directly involved in talks with the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker, that […]

A 3rd dose of Pfizer? Company testing booster of COVID-19 vaccine in new trial – National

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE said on Thursday they are testing a third dose of their COVID-19 vaccine to better understand the immune response against new variants of the virus. They are also in talks with regulatory authorities about testing a vaccine modified to protect specifically against the highly transmissible new variant found in […]

Biden signs executive order mandating review of U.S. supply chains for vital goods – National

U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday intended to boost manufacturing jobs by strengthening U.S. supply chains for advanced batteries, pharmaceuticals, critical minerals and semiconductors. The United States has become increasingly reliant on imports of these goods — a potential national security and economic risk that the Biden administration hopes to address with the planned 100-day review […]

‘Minefield’ of variants: How the California strain is different from the others – National

As COVID-19 snakes through cities and countries, it has changed, morphed and mutated. The latest iteration of the respiratory disease making waves is one first identified in California. The Western state is now teeming with the variant, known as B.1.427/B.1.429. Its recent role in creating a heavily-mutated virus hybrid has raised eyebrows worldwide, but […]

Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine is safe, prevents COVID-19, U.S. FDA says – National

Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine protects against COVID-19, according to an analysis by U.S. regulators Wednesday that sets the stage for a final decision on a new and easier-to-use shot to help tame the pandemic. The Food and Drug Administration’s scientists confirmed that overall the vaccine is about 66% effective at preventing moderate to […]

AstraZeneca to deliver less than half of vaccines promised to EU in Q2 – National

AstraZeneca has told the European Union it expects to deliver less than half the COVID-19 vaccines it was contracted to supply in the second quarter, an EU official told Reuters on Tuesday. Contacted by Reuters, AstraZeneca did not deny what the official said, but a statement late in the day said the company was […]

Ghana becomes first country to receive vaccines through COVAX program – National

Ghana has become the first country in the world to receive coronavirus vaccines acquired through the United Nations-backed COVAX initiative with a delivery of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India. The vaccines, delivered by UNICEF, arrived at Accra’s international airport early Wednesday and are part of the […]