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US regulators have formally approved the single-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, the third jab to be authorised in the country.

The vaccine is set to be a cost-effective alternative to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and can be stored in a refrigerator instead of a freezer.

Trials found it prevented serious illness but was 66% effective overall when moderate cases were included.

The vaccine is made by the Belgian firm Janssen.

The company has agreed to provide the US with 100 million doses by the end of June. The first doses could be available to the US public as early as next week.

The UK, EU and Canada have also ordered doses, and 500 million doses have also been ordered through the Covax scheme to supply poorer nations.

President Joe Biden hailed it as “exciting news for all Americans, and an encouraging development”, but warned that the “fight is far from over”.

“Though we celebrate today’s news, I urge all Americans – keep washing your hands, stay socially distanced, and keep wearing masks,” he said in a statement.

“As I have said many times, things are still likely to get worse again as new variants spread, and the current improvement could reverse.”

The authorisation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came after an external committee of experts unanimously backed the vaccine on Friday.

Results from trials conducted in the US, South Africa and Brazil showed it was more than 85% effective at preventing serious illness, and 66% effective overall when moderate cases were included.

Notably, there were no deaths among participants who had received the vaccine and no hospital admissions after 28 days post-vaccine.

Overall protection was lower in South Africa and Brazil, where virus variants have become dominant, but defence against severe or critical illness was “similarly high”.

South Africa began administering the unapproved Johnson & Johnson jab to healthcare workers as part of a study earlier this month. It came after early trials suggested the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine offered “minimal protection” against mild disease from the variant dominant in large parts of the country.

So far the only other country to approve the vaccine for emergency use is Bahrain, which gave it the green light on Thursday.

Because the vaccine will require fewer doses than its two-shot Pfizer and Moderna counterparts, it will also require fewer vaccine appointments and medical staff.

Who else has ordered the Johnson & Johnson jab?

  • UK – 30 million doses
  • EU – 200 million doses
  • Canada – 38 million doses
  • Covax nations – 500 million doses

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a common cold virus that has been engineered to make it harmless.

It then safely carries part of the coronavirus’s genetic code into the body. This is enough for the body to recognise the threat and then learn to fight coronavirus.

This trains the body’s immune system to fight coronavirus when it encounters the virus for real.

This is similar to the approach used by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca.

What is the situation in the US?

About 72.8 million Americans have already been vaccinated and about 1.3 million doses are being administered across the country each day. President Biden has pledged to administer 100 million vaccines in his first 100 days in office.

More than 508,000 people in the US have died of Covid but new cases, hospitalisations and deaths have all been on the decline over the past few weeks.

Top public health experts, however, continue to warn that mutations of the virus can still threaten progress.

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‘All Strikes & No Balls’ billboard in NYC slams MLB’s decision on all-star game

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Business group Job Creators Network demands game be returned to Atlanta.

The prominent small business group Job Creators Network is placing a billboard in Manhattan demanding Major League Baseball return its all-star game to Atlanta, saying the decision to move the event unnecessarily hurt black small businesses and amounted to “all strikes & no balls.”

The billboard, set to go up Monday near MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s office, urges viewers to go to a Web site called MLBfail.com where Job Creators Network lays out the economic consequences of the decision to protest Georgia’s new election integrity law by moving the all-star game to Colorado.

“Hey Rob, All Strikes & No Balls,” the billboard reads. “MLB all-star pullout cost Georgia $100,000,000. Hurting mostly minority-owned small businesses… Move it Back NOW.”

A spokesman for MLB did not immediately return a call Saturday seeking comment.

Alfredo Ortiz, president and CEO of Job Creators Network, said the billboard was designed to highlight that professional baseball’s decision hurt the very minority community it claimed t be helping.

“MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s $100 million dollar slap in the face to minority-owned businesses deserves a billboard of a proportionate size,” he said. “Small, minority-owned businesses in Georgia have been struggling to get by in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, and moving the MLB’s All Star game is pulling the rug right out from underneath them.

“And for what? To virtue signal against a law that closer aligns Georgia voting rules with other states? Commissioner Manfred needs to stand up to the woke mob and step up for the small businesses of Atlanta by moving the game back to Georgia.”

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Biden falsely says $2.25T spending plan will create 19M jobs

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Moody’s estimate finds spending plan would add about 2.7M jobs, not 19M


Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin provides insight into the SPAC boom, more government spending, and his race for governor of Virginia.

President Biden is seeking to convince the American people that Congress needs to pass his next big-ticket economic plan, touting the sweeping, $2.25 trillion measure unveiled last week as a once-in-a-generation investment in the nation’s economy and infrastructure.

But the president and his top lieutenants have inaccurately depicted how many jobs the eight-year initiative will create, a figure that’s essential to their sales pitch.

“Independent analysis shows that if we pass this plan the economy will create 19 million jobs,” Biden said in remarks at the White House last week. “Good jobs, blue-collar jobs, jobs that pay well.”

The figure cited by Biden comes from a Moody’s Analytics estimate, which found the U.S. economy will add about 19 million jobs between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the fourth quarter of 2030 if lawmakers pass the so-called American Jobs Plan.

But that research includes many jobs that would be created even if the government did nothing.

Over that 10-year time period, the economy is already on track to add about 16.3 million jobs, whether or not Congress passes the infrastructure bill, according to Moody’s. That would mean the proposal itself will add about 2.7 million jobs, significantly fewer than the 19 million promoted by Biden and other administration officials.

Both Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, and Pete Buttigieg, the secretary of transportation, have lauded the job-creating potential of the spending measure.

“Moody’s suggests it would create 19 million jobs,” Deese said during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” Buttigieg repeated that same figure during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a FOX Business request for comment, but Buttigieg did acknowledge during an interview on CNN’s “Situation Room” that the 19 million figure includes just 2.7 million from the passage of the American Jobs Plan.

“I should be precise about this. Moody’s modeled a scenario where the American Jobs Plan is passed. In that scenario they see the American economy creating 19 million jobs,” he said. “That’s 2.7 [million] more than if this bill doesn’t pass.”

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1.7 Million Counterfeit N95 Face Masks Seized From NewYork Warehouse

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In the last three weeks, investigators have seized more than 11 million counterfeit masks, including 1.7 million counterfeit masks at a warehouse in Queens, New York. They are uncovering a treasure trove of counterfeit N-95 face masks meant for healthcare workers. With so many fakes floating around, how can you tell if a mask is legit? “One of the easiest ways to spot a fake N-95 is looking at the straps. If the straps go around your ears, it is not an approved N-95,” said Dr. Jack Caravanos.

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