(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday authorized the use of a third dose of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 and narrowed the interval for booster shot eligibility to five months from six.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals for a case tracker and summary of news
* The Premier League said on Monday it had found 94 positive COVID-19 cases among players and staff in the last week, the first week-by-week decrease in positive results for eight weeks.
* France on Monday reported 67,641 new confirmed coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period, a figure much lower than a couple of days ago, when daily additional infections were over 200,000.
* Spain’s Health Ministry reported a new record in the national 14-day COVID-19 infection rate on Monday, as the figure climbed to 2,295.8 per 100,000 people from 1,775.27 registered last Thursday, before a long weekend.
* A survey of wastewater showed the Omicron variant spreading to a majority of regions of Italy in December, the government’s National Health Institute said.
* The Netherlands, under a strict COVID-19 lockdown for the past two weeks, will reopen primary and secondary schools on Jan. 10 despite coronavirus infections remaining high, the government announced on Monday.
* The U.S. Congress is experiencing an unprecedented rise in COVID-19 cases, with the seven-day positivity rate at a congressional test site surging to 13% from just 1% in late November, the Capitol’s attending physician said.
* Canada’s Ontario province on Monday announced restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus as officials warned of a “tsunami” of new COVID-19 cases in the days and weeks ahead due to the Omicron variant.
* U.S. investment bank Jefferies Financial Group has asked staff to work remotely until Jan. 31, according to an Instagram post on Monday from its chief executive officer.
* Starbucks Corp will require its U.S. workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing in order to comply with new federal mandates, the company said in an update sent to employees on Monday.
* Turkey recorded 44,869 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest daily figure since late April, health ministry data showed on Monday.
* Australia said the milder impact of the Omicron variant meant the country could push ahead with plans to reopen the economy even as new infections hit a record of more than 37,000 and the number of people hospitalised rose.
AFRICA AND MIDDLE EAST
* Israel said on Monday it will admit foreigners with presumed COVID-19 immunity from countries deemed medium-risk next week, partially reversing a ban imposed in late November in response to the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
* Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi and his wife Isaura have tested positive for COVID-19 and are isolating, the president’s office said on Monday.
* The interval between receiving a second dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine and a booster dose remains unchanged at six months, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock said.
* World markets got 2022 off to an optimistic start, with U.S. and European equity markets powering higher on Monday, in parallel with rising oil prices and U.S. Treasury yields.
(Compiled by Shailesh Kuber, Boleslaw Lasocki and Uttaresh.V; Edited by Shounak Dasgupta, Milla Nissi and Arun Koyyur)