Your Thursday briefing: Booster and Omicron from Pfizer.

We cover testing of Pfizer’s Omicron variant booster vaccine and a new chapter in Germany after 16 years under Angela Merkel. Pfize...

We cover testing of Pfizer’s Omicron variant booster vaccine and a new chapter in Germany after 16 years under Angela Merkel.

Pfizer and BioNTech said on Wednesday that two doses of their Covid vaccine “may not be enough to protect against infection” with the new Omicron variant, but lab tests suggested that three doses offered significant protection.

The companies said blood tests of people who received only two doses revealed much lower levels of antibodies against Omicron compared to an earlier version of the virus.

Blood samples taken from people a month after a booster showed neutralizing antibodies against Omicron, comparable to antibody levels against a previous version of the virus after two doses, the companies said.

Large takeaway meals: These experiments, performed with blood samples in the lab, cannot be sure how vaccines will work in the real world. But the results seem to underscore the importance of booster shots.

And after: The chairman of Pfizer said the company started developing a version of its vaccine targeting Omicron last month and could be produced within 95 days. Moderna is on a similar path.

here is the latest updates and pandemic cards.

In other developments:

Angela Merkel handed over the Chancellery to Olaf Scholz, start a new chapter for the largest democracy in Europe.

Scholz will lead the first center-left government in 16 years and will be in the difficult position of trying to meet the high expectations set by Merkel.

Several crises demand his immediate attention, foremost among them the coronavirus pandemic and a possible Russian military invasion of Ukraine. Scholz is also working at regain a working-class base.

End of an era: Under Merkel, Germany became the leading European power for the first time in modern history. We watched Merkel’s tenure in photos.

Swearing-in: Scholz omitted the “So help me God” of the traditional oath. The transition was smooth, with kind words from Merkel and Scholz to each other. In her farewell remarks, Merkel called the Chancellery “one of the finest jobs there is.”

First: The Turks are the largest immigrant group in Germany. Germany elected its Turkish-German Prime Minister. In addition, Scholz’s new cabinet will have more women than ever. Half, to be exact.

The move allows countries to express their disapproval of China for its human rights violations. The nations hope to send a message to China about the internment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang and other matters of concern.

Iain Duncan Smith, a member of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, said Johnson’s decision was “not strong enough at all”.

Response from China: The word “boycott” appears to have been banned from online searches. A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy said, “The Beijing Winter Olympics are a gathering of Olympic athletes and winter sports enthusiasts from all over the world, not a tool of political manipulation for no country.

Analysis: Our columnist writes that the diplomatic boycotts are a start, but they don’t go far enough. The companies sponsoring the events should also take action, he writes.

Olympic Games Viewing Guide: Speed ​​skating, curling and monobob: Here is an overview of each sport which will be contested at the 2022 Winter Games.

Asia Pacific

The idea that Yoko Ono condemned the Beatles has long been criticized. Amanda Hess, general critic for The Times, writes that in “The Beatles: Get Back”, a new eight-hour documentary, Ono’s presence is a kind of artistic performance in itself. “Ono just never leaves,” writes Hess. “She refuses to sit on the sidelines, but she also resists the staging of stereotypes.”

Lives lived: Hyun Sook Han was 12 when she fled her home during the Korean War. She dedicated her life to an adoption program for Korean orphans. Han deceased at 83.

We’ve rounded up 21 things that have happened for the first time this year – some are surprising trends, others are serious events. Here is an exerpt, or see the full list.

1. An African woman headed the World Trade Organization.

2. A purely digital work of art auctioned for millions.

3. A human brain was wirelessly connected to a computer via a transmitter.

4. Mexico elected its first transgender lawmakers.

5. The world’s first 3D printed school opened in Malawi.

6. El Salvador became the first country to make Bitcoin a national currency.

7. NASA’s Perseverance rover produced oxygen on Mars.

8. National Geographic cartographers have recognized the Southern Ocean as the fifth largest ocean in the world.

9. SpaceX has launched the first fully civilian crew into space.

10. Sales of zero emission vehicles have overtaken diesel sales in Europe.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Your Thursday briefing: Booster and Omicron from Pfizer.
Your Thursday briefing: Booster and Omicron from Pfizer.
Newsrust - US Top News
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