J&J Shot Faces New Scrutiny; Relaxed Rules for Abortion Pill? New PsA Drug OK’d

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CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet today to discuss whether to limit use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine due to the rare thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome. Check back later today for MedPage Today‘s full coverage.

Omicron appears to infect airways far more rapidly than Delta, but infiltrates lung tissue less quickly, according to a study from University of Hong Kong researchers that has not yet been peer-reviewed.

The FDA may permanently drop certain restrictions on the use of mifepristone for medical abortions; the Biden administration currently allows access to the pills by mail. (NPR)

South Africa and the U.K. each broke single-day COVID-19 case records on Wednesday amid increasing spread of Omicron, while Canada is asking its citizens to stay in the country due to the variant. (Reuters, CNBC, CNN)

As of Thursday at 8 a.m. EST, the unofficial U.S. COVID-19 toll reached 50,374,554 cases and 802,511 deaths, up 137,952 and 2,038, respectively, since this time yesterday.

In Germany, police broke up an alleged assassination plot by radical anti-vaxxers that targeted the governor of Saxony. (NPR)

Two doses of Moderna’s vaccine showed limited ability to neutralize the Omicron variant in lab studies, but that improved with a third dose, a medRxiv preprint suggested.

The FDA approved the JAK inhibitor upadacitinib (Rinvoq) for treating active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in adults who failed on tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, drugmaker AbbVie announced.

In other regulatory news, the agency approved a generic version of vasopressin (Vasostrict) after a legal battle over rights to the long-used drug, Eagle Pharmaceuticals said.

Texas’s attorney general has launched an investigation into drug companies for allegedly promoting off-label use of their hormone-blocking drugs to stave off puberty in transgender kids. (FiercePharma)

Vuity (pilocarpine hydrochloride 1.25% ophthalmic solution), the first eye drops for age-related blurry near vision will hit the shelves today; the novel treatment was approved in late October. (New York Times)

In Uganda, drones are being tested in a pilot study to help improve delivery of HIV drugs. (Reuters)

Lions, tigers, and orangutans, oh my! A zoo in Chile is testing an investigational COVID vaccines on its most susceptible species. (Reuters)

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    Ian Ingram is Managing Editor at MedPage Today and helps cover oncology for the site.

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