The Omicron variant of the coronavirus does not have a negative effect on cardiovascular health in young adults who have been vaccinated, a small study suggests. Additionally, women should not delay routine mammograms after receiving a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, experts now say.

An advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is meeting on May 19 to discuss whether to recommend COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for children ages 5 to 11, a group that is just 29% vaccinated so far.

Valneva SE confirmed that the European Medicines Agency accepted the filing of a marketing authorization application (MAA) for the specialty vaccine company’s inactivated, whole-virus COVID-19 vaccine candidate, VLA2001. 

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.

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.

North Korea reported the country’s first COVID-19 outbreak on May 12, calling it the “gravest national emergency” and ordering a national lockdown, with state media saying an Omicron variant had been detected in the capital, Pyongyang.

Janssen terminated a seven-year-old vaccine collaboration with Bavarian Nordic. The two companies partnered in 2015 to develop potential vaccines against the hepatitis B virus and human papillomaviruses.

U.S. health officials on May 6 said they are investigating 109 cases of severe hepatitis of unknown origin in children, including five reported deaths, updating a nationwide alert issued in April for doctors to be on the lookout for such cases of the liver disease.

Severe obesity may weaken the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in those who have never been infected with the coronavirus, according to a small Turkish study. Additionally, South African researchers have found infection with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus can significantly improve the immune system’s ability to protect against other variants, but only in people who have been vaccinated.

The first World Trade Organization meeting to discuss a draft agreement to temporarily waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines went “very well”, its chair said on May 6.