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U.S. CDC advisers to vote on COVID-19 vaccine in young children

By Michael Erman

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U.S. CDC advisers to vote on COVID-19 vaccine in young children
© Reuters. A medical worker prepares a dose of the “Comirnaty” Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in a vaccination center in Nantes, France, October 6, 2021. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/Files

By Michael Erman

(Reuters) – The United States could begin administering Pfizer (NYSE:) and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11 as soon as Wednesday after a panel of outside experts votes on Tuesday on how broadly the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should recommend its use in the age group.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization of the vaccine in the age group on Friday, but CDC Director Rochelle Walensky must make her recommendations before it can be rolled out.

While the vote from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will be considered by Walensky, she disregarded their advice last month, when she issued a broader recommendation for booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine than the panel had supported.

After the FDA authorization, the U.S. government and Pfizer began distributing the vaccine in preparation for a broad rollout for children, many of whom are back in school for in-person learning.

“Over the next couple of days, several million doses will start arriving at local pediatricians and family doctors offices, pharmacies, children’s hospitals, community health centers, rural health clinics and other locations,” White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said at a press briefing on Monday.

Zients said the United States has enough supply of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for all 28 million children aged 5 to 11. While some children may be able to get their first shots as soon as Wednesday, Zients said the U.S. pediatric vaccine program will be running at full strength by next week.

The FDA authorized a 10-microgram dose of Pfizer’s vaccine in young children. The original shot given to those age 12 and older is 30 micrograms.

Advisers to the FDA last week said the lower dose could help mitigate some of the rare side effects. At their meeting, they paid close attention to the rate of a heart inflammation called myocarditis that has been linked to the vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna (NASDAQ:), primarily in young men.

The FDA has not yet authorized Moderna’s vaccine in teenagers as it works to understand the rate of myocarditis linked to that vaccine. Moderna said on Sunday it will delay seeking authorization of its vaccine in younger kids while the FDA completes its review for 12- to 17-year-olds that may take until January.

Myocarditis concerns will also be discussed during Tuesday’s ACIP meeting.

While the rate of severe illness from COVID-19 in children is much lower than in adults, it is still the eight highest killer of children in the age group in the United States this year, according to CDC data.

Only a few other countries, including China, Cuba and the United Arab Emirates, have so far cleared COVID-19 vaccines for children in this age group and younger.

In the United States, around 58% of the population is fully vaccinated, lagging other nations such as the UK and France.

The share of young children who receive the shots may be even lower. The U.S. vaccination rate for 12- to 15-year-olds trails other age groups at roughly 47%, and even some fully vaccinated parents may be reticent to inoculate their younger kids.

U.S. states with the highest adult COVID-19 vaccination rates are planning a big push to get children inoculated compared to states where hesitancy remains strong, potentially widening the gaps in protection nationwide, public health officials and experts have said.

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European stock indices are falling following Asian stock markets on Monday

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European stock indices are falling

Major European stock indices are falling under pressure from Asian markets, according to trading data and analyst commentary.

The British FTSE 100 index is down 0.71% to 7431.66 points, French CAC 40 is down 0.64% to 6667.31 points and German DAX is down 0.58% to 14456.82 points.

Why are European stock indices down? 

On Monday, investors’ attention was turned to the situation around the coronavirus in China. The country has seen a record surge in cases of coronavirus for several days in a row, and authorities have imposed a lot of new anti-coviral restrictions. As a result, Shanghai residents demonstrated on Sunday against the restrictions imposed by the authorities.

Against this backdrop, Asia-Pacific stock indexes ended Monday’s trading in the negative, which had an impact on the mood of traders in Europe.

“China will be the main driver today because any political instability in the country is a source of uncertainty and anxiety for markets,” Jaime Espejo, an equity fund manager at Imantia Capital in Madrid, told Bloomberg.

One of the main events for investors in Europe this week will be the statistical data on consumer prices in the euro area. Analysts think that, according to preliminary estimations, annual inflation slowed down to 10.4% from 10.6% in October.

Earlier we reported that the U.S. had banned imports of equipment by Huawei and several other companies from China.

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Huawei is banned in the US: the US has banned the import of equipment from Huawei and several other companies from China

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huawei is banned in us

Huawei is banned in the US. The Federal Communications Commission for the first time recognized products of a lot of Chinese companies banned for import and sale because of national security risks. Commission member Carr said that China threatens U.S. interests through espionage.

Telecommunications and surveillance equipment manufactured by Huawei, ZTE, Hytera and several other Chinese companies are banned from importation and sale in the United States because of “unacceptable risks” to national security. This was announced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on its website.

Huawei banned in the U.S. – what is banned?

The products of the subsidiaries and affiliates mentioned in the list of companies fall under the ban. Brendan Carr, a member of the Federal Communications Commission, called the decision unprecedented and unanimously adopted with the support of both parties in Congress. This is the first time in the history of the agency, he noted, that the distribution of communications and electronic equipment has been banned because of national security reasons.

Carr pointed out that “Communist China and other malevolent actors” are too eager to use loopholes in U.S. electronic systems to obtain sensitive information, they are trying to “compromise American interests through espionage, intellectual property theft, blackmail, foreign influence campaigns and other nefarious activities.”

Two years ago, the commission had already banned using government subsidies to buy equipment from Huawei and other Chinese companies, he recalled, and as a result many operators had refused to cooperate with such firms. But that decision left a loophole for buying equipment with private funds, and it’s time to close it, Carr said.

Huawei was put on U.S. sanctions lists more than three years ago, in May 2019. Washington accused the company of industrial espionage, stealing technology and threatening the U.S. economy. In February 2020, The Wall Street Journal, citing statements from U.S. officials, reported that Huawei had covert access to cell phone networks around the world.

The CIA believes Huawei was funded by Chinese intelligence, the Chinese Armed Forces and the Republic’s National Security Central Committee, sources told The Times. At the same time, the FBI believes that Huawei equipment installed on cellular towers near US military bases can jam and intercept Defense Department communications, including those used by the US Strategic Command, which is responsible for nuclear weapons.

Earlier, we reported that Bloomberg named the most profitable stock market in 2022.

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What is the most profitable stock market? Bloomberg called it the most profitable stock market in 2022

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what is the most profitable stock market

What is the most profitable stock market? The stock market of Turkey, which is the most profitable stock market in the world, has become the growth leader this year, ahead of U.S., European and Asian platforms, Bloomberg wrote. The benchmark index Borsa Istanbul 100 (BIST 100) since the beginning of the year rose 78% in dollar terms.

In lira terms, the index, which includes shares of the 100 largest Turkish companies listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange, has risen by more than 150% since January. This was the best result since 1999, the publication calculated. Most European financial markets have shown negative dynamics this year.

What is the most profitable stock market?

Turkey’s stock market hit an all-time high in November 2022 as private investors invested in Turkish assets to protect against high inflation. The Borsa Istanbul 100 index rose to a new record high of 4,784 points in trading on Nov. 16. During trading on Tuesday, Nov. 22, the BIST 100 index gained 3.6 percent to trade at 4,734 points.

Domestic investors are investing in stocks as Turkey’s central bank pursues a policy of lowering interest rates to spur economic growth, even as the country’s inflation rate exceeds 80 percent. Despite high inflation, the country’s regulator has conducted monetary policy easing cycles in 2021, which goes against current monetary policy. The rate cut has helped weaken the Turkish lira and turned equities into one of the few income-generating havens for investors.

Inflation in Turkey surpassed 85% in October for the first time in 25 years, and while the country’s central bank predicts it could fall to 65.2% by year’s end, price growth remains among the highest in the world.

Stocks have become favorites of Turkish investors. The number of stock trading accounts opened by private investors rose 32% this year to 3.1 million as of Nov. 18, according to Turkey’s Central Securities Depository.

According to Evren Kirikoglu, founder of Istanbul-based Sardis Research Consultancy, Turkish stocks are likely to remain attractive to investors for at least the first half of next year, even as inflation in the country begins to decline.

Earlier we reported that the U.S. stock market was up more than 1% for the day.

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