FDA considers approval of new therapeutic pill

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) ‌compiled‌‌ compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌ (Previous‌ ‌figures‌ in‌ ‌parentheses.) ‌

Total‌ ‌United States‌ ‌confirmed cases‌: ‌ 48,454,229 (48,235,081) ‌

Total‌ United States‌ ‌death: ‌ 778,870 (776,651)

Total‌ of ‌global‌ cases: ‌ 262,416,000 (261,707,621)

Total‌ worldwide ‌deaths‌: ‌ 5,211,983 (5,203,155) ‌

FDA committee considers therapeutic pill

A panel of medical experts advising the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is meeting today to review a new pill to treat COVID-19. The panel will decide whether or not to recommend approval of molnupiravir, the drug manufactured by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

Scientists say the drug could be an important weapon in the fight against the pandemic. The pill can be taken at home and can help patients recover if they start taking it when symptoms first appear. It could also take on increased importance with the emergence of a new variant.

“With the omicron breathing through our necks, we need drugs, we need really effective antivirals and we need more,” Carl Dieffenbach, director of the Institute’s AIDS division, told NPR. National Allergy and Infectious Disease.

Meanwhile, the FDA is expected to soon authorize recalls of the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents aged 16 or 17.

Moderna says his vaccine is probably less effective against Omicron

Health officials stress that getting the vaccine is still the best defense against the coronavirus, but the head of vaccine maker Moderna says the vaccine is less likely to provide as much protection against the Omicron variant as against the Delta variant.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel made a less optimistic note, saying he didn’t see how the current vaccine could be as effective against the Omicron variant as it was in its original clinical trials.

“I think it’s going to be a big drop,” he said. “I just don’t know how bad because we have to wait for the data. But every scientist I’ve talked to is like, ‘This is not going to be good.’

Biden says no lockdown – yet

President Biden said the emergence of the Omicron variant is a “cause for concern” but not a cause for panic. The president said he was not considering a lockdown, at least not now.

Biden said the best way to deal with the new threat is to continue to take precautions. He again urged Americans to get fully immunized and wear masks in public spaces.

At the White House, Biden said it was “almost inevitable” that the new variant, first reported in South Africa, would eventually appear in the United States. Cases have already been detected in Canada.

Around the nation

  • Michigan: Health officials are sounding the alarm as cases continue to rise statewide. Michigan now ranks second in the country for the number of new infections. “The past one to two weeks have been particularly bad,” said Dr Natasha Bagdasarian, state medical director.

  • Florida: State tourism officials cite Florida’s lack of warrants and blockades for an influx of visitors during the Thanksgiving holiday, as well as for most of 2021. Officials say Miami is one of the main ones. Search destinations on travel websites. From July to September, the number of tourists exceeded the same period in 2019.

  • Texas: A Texas man has been sentenced to nine years in prison after being convicted of abusing COVID-19 relief funds. According to the US Department of Justice, a Houston businessman laundered more than $ 1.6 million in relief funds and used the money for personal expenses, including a Lamborghini.

  • Kansas: Governor Laura Kelly has signed a bill, which was passed by a special session of the state legislature on Monday, that makes it easier to avoid a COVID-19 warrant. The legislation provides moral, religious and medical exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine requirements and compensates anyone made redundant because of their vaccine status.

  • Minnesota: There is a bright spot in the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota. Thirty-one percent of adults received a booster shot, ranking second in the country in this category. State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm is asking residents to get vaccinated, wear masks in crowds and get tested if they have symptoms or viral exposure.

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