Hospital Funds Diverted to Pharma; 'Novastan' Hype; Team USA's First Positive Test – MedPage Today

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by Nicole Lou, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
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The Biden administration diverted money allocated for hospitals and physician practices affected by the pandemic to pay makers of COVID-19 vaccines and therapies, according to a document obtained by STAT.
Denmark will be free of nearly all pandemic restrictions starting February 1 as COVID-19 is no longer deemed a “societally critical” disease there. (Financial Times)
Moderna’s phase II study of an Omicron-specific booster vaccine is officially underway with one patient dosed, the company announced.
Meanwhile, scientists continue working on a pan-coronavirus vaccine that works against multiple variants. (ABC News)
As of 8 a.m. EST on Thursday, the unofficial COVID-19 toll in the U.S. was 72,910,879 cases and 876,066 deaths, increases of 732,876 and 3,940, respectively, from yesterday.
Unique in the world, Hong Kong’s many unvaccinated elders may be unwittingly partaking in a natural experiment on the Omicron variant’s transmissibility. (STAT)
“Novastans,” frenzied fans of the Novavax coronavirus vaccine, have high hopes for FDA approval. (Fortune)
Volunteers are still sought for Oxford University’s ongoing COVID challenge trial. (Reuters)
How to take advantage of the N95 mask giveaways happening in pharmacies and grocery stories. (NPR)
Daily life can be full of challenges for immunocompromised people at the mercy of their community coronavirus infection rates. (NPR)
FDA warns that Philips Respironics has certain models of its Trilogy EVO ventilators under class I recall due to a foam issue.
A positive COVID test throws into question whether U.S. bobsledder Josh Williamson will be able to compete in the upcoming Beijing Olympics. Other athletes are facing the same problem. (ESPN, AP)
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in challenging a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for National Guard members under state command. (AP)
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin dined outdoors at a Manhattan restaurant, unvaccinated, 2 days after testing positive for COVID-19. (CNN)
Neil Young said he would pull his music from Spotify in protest of COVID misinformation spread on the platform — and Spotify said go ahead. (Washington Post)
You lost your CDC vaccination card. Now what? (New York Times)
Five anti-vaccine writers are together making at least $2.5 million a year from their Substack newsletters. (The Guardian)
Peter Robbins, a Charlie Brown voice actor in the 1960s, died from suicide at age 65. He was known to have bipolar disorder. (Independent)
Macaques eating THC edibles for 7 months resulted in decreased levels of testosterone and severe testicular shrinkage. (Fertility and Sterility)
Nicole Lou is a reporter for MedPage Today, where she covers cardiology news and other developments in medicine. Follow
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