The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on May 17 authorized the use of a booster shot of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, making everyone in the United States over the age of 5 eligible for a third shot.

On May 17, the U.S. FDA authorized a booster of Pfizer’s vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 years. The action comes as major cities are announcing a rise in cases. Additionally, COVID-19 would have claimed over 110,000 more lives in 2021 if not for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to a Pfizer-sponsored report on the first year of the U.S. vaccination program.

Shanghai set out plans on May 16 for the end of a painful COVID-19 lockdown that has lasted more than six weeks, heavily bruising China’s economy, and for the return of more normal life from June 1.

Leader Kim Jong Un ordered North Korea’s military to stabilize distribution of COVID-19 medicine in the capital, Pyongyang, in the battle against the country’s first confirmed outbreak of the disease, state media said.

Pharmacovigilance, the industry term for drug safety, was unfamiliar to most of the general public before March 2020. But as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded, its rapid spread thrust drug safety into the spotlight. The public is more aware of drug safety and health regulators’ role than ever — and as the demand for pharmacovigilance information rises, the industry has had to find ways to keep up — according to Beena Wood, VP of safety at ArisGlobal.

Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been increased interest in developing a universal antiviral that would stop a pandemic in its tracks.

North Korea’s admission that it is battling an “explosive” COVID-19 outbreak raised concerns that the virus could devastate a country with an under-resourced health system, limited testing capabilities, and no vaccine program.

At least one person confirmed to have COVID-19 has died in North Korea and hundreds of thousands have shown fever symptoms, state media said on May 13, offering hints at the potentially dire scale of the country’s first confirmed outbreak of the pandemic.

The White House is preparing for a scenario in which Congress fails to approve President Joe Biden’s request for additional COVID funds by reviewing old contracts to see if there is any money it can “claw back,” the president’s top COVID adviser said on May 12.

The state of Massachusetts on May 12 agreed to pay $56 million to resolve a lawsuit by families of veterans who contracted COVID-19 during an outbreak at a veterans’ care center that killed 84 people early in the pandemic.