The Omicron variant, which is spreading far faster than previous versions of the coronavirus, is not likely to help countries achieve so-called herd immunity against COVID-19 – in which enough people become immune to the virus that it can no longer spread – leading disease experts say.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States were poised to hit a new high as early as January 7, according to a Reuters tally, surpassing the record set in January 2021 as the highly contagious Omicron variant fuels a surge in infections.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) appears unprepared to assume full responsibility for the nation’s Covid-19 vaccine program, including activities currently managed by the Pentagon, according to a draft government watchdog report reviewed by Reuters.

The Janssen Pharmaceutical (a Johnson & Johnson company) medicine Invokana (canagliflozin) has a list of safety warnings, including ketoacidosis, a severe complication of diabetes that is potentially life-threatening. According to an investigation conducted by Reuters, J&J knew of the risk of ketoacidosis, but covered it up.

Democratic Party lawmakers holding up proposed drug pricing reforms are among the largest beneficiaries of the pharmaceutical industry’s push to stave off price cuts, a Reuters analysis of public lobbying and campaign data shows.

Two Indian drugmakers requested permission to end their late-stage trials on Merck & Co.’s experimental antiviral drug molnupiravir in moderate Covid-19 patients.

Worldwide deaths related to Covid-19 surpassed 5 million on Oct. 1, according to a Reuters tally, with unvaccinated people particularly exposed to the virulent Delta strain.

The United States surpassed 700,000 coronavirus-related deaths on Oct. 1, according to a Reuters tally, as officials roll out booster doses of vaccines to protect the elderly and people working in high-risk professions.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is leaning toward authorizing half-dose booster shots of the Moderna Inc. Covid-19 vaccine, Bloomberg News reported on Sept. 28, citing people familiar with the matter.

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE on Sept. 28 submitted initial trial data for their Covid-19 vaccine in 5-11 year olds and said they would make a formal request with U.S. regulators for emergency use in the coming weeks.