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The European Union’s population shrank for a second year running last year, the bloc’s statistics office said on Monday, as the region reels from over two million deaths from the coronavirus.

Multiple Chinese cities are adopting fresh COVID-19 curbs, from business halts to lockdowns, to rein in new infections, with the commercial hub of Shanghai bracing for another mass testing effort after finding a highly-transmissible Omicron subvariant.

The agreement will enable the sharing of scientific expertise, technical skills and materials with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help Afrigen produce mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 and other diseases, said the Cape Town-based biotech start-up.

With just a very small amount of raw sewage and a new analysis technique, researchers can determine the genetic mixture of SARS-CoV-2 variants in the community and detect new variants up to 14 days before they start showing up on patients’ nasal swabs, according to a new report; A sizable proportion of older patients may be taking medications that interact with Paxlovid, Pfizer Inc’s antiviral treatment for COVID-19, according to a new report.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is open to using next generation COVID-19 vaccines that target older offshoots of the Omicron variant this fall, an official said on Thursday, amid a rise in cases due to new Omicron subvariants.

The agency revised its EUA to authorize state-licensed pharmacists to prescribe Paxlovid to eligible patients, with certain limitations to ensure appropriate patient assessment and prescribing of Paxlovid.

The fast-spreading BA.4 and BA.5 sub-lineages of Omicron are estimated to make up a combined 70.1% of the coronavirus variants in the United States as of July 2, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday.

Pfizer said it submitted a New Drug Application for Paxlovid to the FDA for the treatment of COVID-19 in vaccinated and unvaccinated people at high risk for progression to severe illness.

Germany’s BioNTech, Pfizer’s partner in COVID-19 vaccines, said the two companies would start tests on humans of next-generation shots that protect against a wide variety of coronaviruses in the second half of the year.

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted 19-2 that the next wave of COVID booster shots should include a component that targets the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.