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CDC panel backs expanding COVID-19 booster eligibility to all U.S. adults

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CDC panel backs expanding COVID-19 booster eligibility to all U.S. adults
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A patient receives their coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine booster during a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination clinic in Southfield, Michigan, U.S., September 29, 2021. REUTERS/Emily Elconin

By Michael Erman and Manas Mishra

(Reuters) – Advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday recommended expanding eligibility of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to all adults in the United States, which would pave the way for millions more Americans to get additional protection against the virus.

Earlier on Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized broader use of booster doses for adults who had received their second shot of either the Pfizer (NYSE:) Inc/BioNTech SE or Moderna (NASDAQ:) Inc vaccines at least six months prior.

It had previously allowed the additional shot for all recipients of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:)’s one-dose vaccine.

Final regulatory review now moves to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, who has publicly supported boosters for all and needs to sign off on the expert panel’s recommendations.

The panel of outside advisers to the CDC voted unanimously to recommend expanding eligibility to all adults aged 18 and older, but stopped short of saying all adults should get a booster shot. For younger adults aged 18 to 49, the panel said individuals may get the vaccine if they choose to.

The panel also moved to further clarify the recommendations for people aged 50 to 64, suggesting that all in this age group should get a booster, rather than only those who have underlying medical conditions that put them at risk

After about two months of declining infections, the United States has reported daily increases for the past two weeks, driven by the more easily transmitted Delta variant of the virus and people spending more time indoors due to colder weather.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said this week https://www.reuters.com/world/us/fauci-says-us-can-reach-covid-endemic-level-rather-than-pandemic-next-year-2021-11-16 that boosters, along with increasing overall vaccination rates, should help the country move beyond the worst of the pandemic in the coming months.

The FDA said its decision was supported by data showing that a third round of shots increased the immune response to the virus in studies of both the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines.

More than 32 million Americans have already received boosters, which had been approved for people in several categories in the United States. Some states in recent days had opened them to all adults ahead of FDA authorization, creating a patchwork of eligibility.

“The current guidelines – though well intentioned and thoughtful – generate an obstacle to uptake of boosters. In pursuit of precision, they create confusion,” said Nirav Shah, a top Maine public health official and president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

“Our concern is that eligible individuals are not receiving boosters right now,” Shah said, noting that no states had voiced opposition to the expanding eligibility.

The Biden Administration first proposed boosters for everyone in August, but has made them available in stages as health experts argued there was not enough scientific data to support the need for further vaccination in all groups.

Booster doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been available for people who are immunocompromised, those aged 65 and above, and for individuals at high-risk of severe disease or who are regularly exposed to the virus through work or living conditions.

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Stock Markets

U.S. stock market indices are down 1-2%

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U.S. stock market indices

U.S. stock market indices declined yesterday on growing fears of a recession in the U.S. economy, with the S&P 500 index falling for the fourth consecutive time.

U.S. stock indices list – what’s happening right now?

Inflation will drain Americans’ financial reserves and could lead to a recession sometime in the middle of next year, according to the head of JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM). Jamie Dimon. His Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS) colleague David Solomon also expects a recession in the coming months, and he believes markets are in for a turbulent period. The situation also affected T-Bond Futures.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Commerce Department said Tuesday that the country’s trade deficit widened 5.5 percent to $78.2 billion in October, the highest in four months but below analysts’ expectations of $80 billion.

Previously published positive data on business activity in the service sector and the number of new jobs in the U.S. economy have led investors to doubt that the Federal Reserve is willing to slow the pace of key interest rate increases, writes Trading Economics.

“The market got off to a nervous start this week as strong U.S. statistics hit investors’ hopes that the Fed would soften its stance in the coming months,” wrote SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes. “Ultimately, it’s more important exactly where the Fed stops, not how quickly they get to it. A stronger-than-expected labor market and positive business sentiment make it more likely that the rate will exceed 5%,” he added.

Market participants also watched for corporate news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 350.76 points (1.03%) to 33596.34.

Earlier, we reported that European stock indicators on December 7 showed a contradictory mood.

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Stock Markets

Current European stock market shows a contradictory mood

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european stock indexes today

European stock indexes today do not show unified dynamics during trades. Composite index of the largest companies in the region, Stoxx Europe 600, decreased by 0.29% to 437.66 points.

Current European stock market – current situation

Germany’s DAX stock index was down 0.25%. France’s CAC 40 was down 0.09% and Spain’s IBEX 35 was down 0.06%. The British FTSE 100 rose 0.16%, the Italian FTSE MIB – 0.13%.

Investors are increasingly concerned about the negative impact of tightening financial conditions on economic growth in the region and the profits of companies, writes Trading Economics. The situation was also reflected in the Euro Fx Futures.

Market participants are waiting for meetings of several major central banks next week and are assessing statements by representatives of the European Central Bank (ECB).

Inflation in the eurozone is close to a peak, ECB Chief Economist Philip Lane said the day before.

“It is too early to conclude that inflation has peaked, but I can say with confidence that we are close to peaking,” Lane told Italian newspaper Milano Finanza.

The ECB raised all three key interest rates by 75 bps in October. The benchmark interest rate on loans was raised to 2%; the rate on deposits – to 1.5%; the rate on margin loans – to 2.25%. Since July this year, the ECB has raised key rates by 200 bp.

Experts expect the lending rate to rise to at least 2% from 1.5% in December.

Meanwhile, data from Germany’s Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) released Wednesday showed that industrial production in Germany fell by 0.1% in October compared to the previous month. Analysts polled by Trading Economics had on average expected a larger decline of 0.6%.

Earlier we reported that data on a decline in Chinese exports dropped Asia’s stock market.

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Stock Markets

Asian stock market news: Data on decline in Chinese exports caused Asia’s stock market to plummet

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asian stock market news

Asian stock market news: Asian stock indices fell in today’s trading after data showed a decline in Chinese exports.

China’s exports fell 8.7 percent year on year in November to $296.1 billion, official data showed. The index fell for the second month in a row (in October it dropped by 0.3%), and the rate of its decline was the highest since February 2020. Experts attribute this reduction mainly to a drop in demand in the world amid a slowdown in the global economy. Even EURODOLLAR futures were affected by the situation.

Asian stock market today – what’s happening right now?

Imports fell 10.6% year-on-year last month to $226.2 billion, after declining by 0.7% a month earlier. China’s foreign trade surplus narrowed to its lowest since April, $69.84 billion in November, down from $85.15 billion a month earlier and $71.7 billion a year earlier.

Meanwhile, investors welcomed the news of further easing of coronavirus restrictions in China. Now, entire neighborhoods and blocks will not be closed for lockdowns, as they used to be, but only residential floors and buildings. Also, people who test positive for COVID-19 will be able to self-isolate at home rather than in overcrowded hospitals. Also, schools that have not had outbreaks will have to return to the face-to-face format.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index was down 0.7%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.9%. Australia’s GDP rose 0.6% in Q3 from the previous quarter, according to the country’s Bureau of Statistics. Analysts on average had expected the Australian economy to grow by 0.7% in July-September, Trading Economics wrote.

The country’s GDP grew by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Thus, the Australian economy has shown an upturn for the fourth consecutive quarter. but the rate of increase was the weakest in that period amid weak growth in consumer spending due to high inflation and higher interest rates. On an annualized basis, GDP rose 5.9% in Q3 after climbing 3.4% in Q2 and compared to the 6.2% expected by analysts.

Earlier, we reported that European stock markets mostly closed lower on December 5.

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