• US coronavirus cases exceed 54 million. Source

• The UK Health Security Agency issues an update on Omicron, which notes that receiving two doses of a coronavirus vaccine reduces the risk of hospitalization with the variant by 65 percent; being fully vaccinated and boosted lowers the risk by 81 percent. Source

• In South Africa, despite a persistent 20 percent positivity rate among people tested for SARS-CoV-2, some restrictions are being lifted, including the midnight to 4 am curfew and forcing bars to close by 11pm; capacity limits for indoor and outdoor gatherings have increased. Source

• Novavax announces that it will seek US FDA emergency use authorization for Nuvaxovid, its protein-based coronavirus vaccine, and that it is already developing an Omicron-specific vaccine. Source

• The New York Times summarizes new research on Omicron in animals, which found that the variant causes milder illness than other versions of SARS-CoV-2, possibly due to lower levels of virus in the lungs. Source

• New York reports 85,45 new cases of coronavirus – an all-time high. Source

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