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Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the extended weekend break — on our side of the pond, anyway — was somehow relaxing and invigorating, despite the challenging coronavirus news. This was predictable, though, yes? In any event, a new cycle of online calls and deadlines await, so we are coping by engaging in the usual ritual — brewing cups of stimulation. Our choice today is the seasonal peppermint mocha. Feel free to join us. Meanwhile, here is the latest line up of items for you to peruse and digest. We hope you have a smashing day and conquer the world. And of course, do keep in touch. We cherish your private notes and juicy tips. …

Vaccine makers will spend several weeks assessing the danger and potential impact of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19, but they are already racing to develop ways to combat it, The Wall Street Journal explains. For now, researchers at the vaccine companies say it is too early to determine a course of action. Over the next few weeks, they will watch to see if infections from the new variant lead to a surge in hospitalizations and deaths, a sign that Omicron is more dangerous than previous coronavirus variants. Vaccine companies are also awaiting data from lab tests under way to see if existing vaccines generate sufficient neutralizing antibodies to combat the new variant.


Meanwhile, Moderna (MRNA) chief executive officer Stephane Bancel says it will take months to develop and ship a vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron variant, CNBC reports. However, a higher 100-microgram dose of the company’s booster shot could be ready much sooner. “Depending on how much (the efficacy of the vaccine) dropped, we might decide on the one hand to give a higher dose of the current vaccine around the world to protect people, maybe people at very high risk, the immunocompromised, and the elderly should need a fourth dose” he says.

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