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The French drugmaker is in talks with a potential partner on producing an updated version of its COVID-19 vaccine that targets new variants of the disease, sending its shares up. Valneva has struggled to bring its COVID-19 vaccine to market to compete with rival products from drugmakers such as AstraZeneca, Moderna and BioNTech/Pfizer.

Moderna Inc.Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton said on Wednesday the company is “eager” to collaborate with China on supplying its mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines to the country.

Global vaccine alliance GAVI has set up financial instruments that will allow the group to immediately access pledged donor funding if it needs to buy vaccines for future pandemics, Chief Executive Seth Berkley told Reuters.

The COVID-19 pandemic is still a threat on the African continent given low vaccination rates, the acting director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Thursday.

The world has never been in a better position to end the COVID-19 pandemic, the head of the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, urging nations to keep up their efforts against the virus that has killed over six million people.

The United States is likely to start recommending COVID-19 vaccines annually, health officials said on Tuesday, as new boosters designed to fight currently circulating variants of the coronavirus roll out.

The U.S. government expects its supply of COVID-19 vaccines and antiviral treatments to run out over the next year and is preparing for them to be sold via the commercial market, the Department of Health and Human Services said on Tuesday.

The United States plans to roll out an updated COVID-19 booster vaccine to include Omicron subvariants of the coronavirus. Regulators are reviewing the shots and could give the go-ahead as soon as next week.

The United States has administered more than 7,300 doses of Novavax Inc.’s (NVAX.O) COVID-19 shot, which health officials hope will convince more people to opt for vaccinations as it is based on a technology that has been in use for decades.

Compared with the earlier Omicron BA.2 subvariant, currently dominant Omicron BA.5 is linked with higher odds of causing a second SARS-COV-2 infection regardless of vaccination status, a study from Portugal suggests.