AP News | |

Johnson & Johnson said Thursday that U.S. regulators extended the expiration date on millions of doses of its COVID-19 vaccine by six weeks.

The company said a Food and Drug Administration review concluded the shots remain safe and effective for at least 4 1/2 months. In February, the FDA originally authorized J&J’s vaccine for up to three months when stored at normal refrigeration levels.

Kimberly Redmond | |

United Parcel Service (UPS) is launching a pilot program to explore whether or not a same day delivery model is feasible for the company, according to The Wall Street Journal.

During an investor day webcast on Wednesday, UPS chief executive officer Carol Tomé said, “We don’t have a same day product today, as you know, and so we’re looking at it. We don’t have this all the way figured out, but we’ve got a team of people looking at it.”

Kimberly Redmond | |

The US will purchase and donate 500 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to dozens of low-income countries, as well as the African Union, the White House announced Thursday.

Two hundred million of those doses — enough to fully protect 100 million people — will be shared this year, and the balance will be donated during the first half of 2022. All doses will be distributed through COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX), the international vaccine initiative, and will go to 92 low- and lower-income countries, in addition to the African Union.

Kimberly Redmond | |

Amid declining COVID-19 infections and continued vaccination efforts, Japanese officials may allow domestic spectators at the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

On Wednesday, The Asahi Shimbun reported that the Japanese government and 2020 games organizers could decide by June 20, when the current state of emergency in Tokyo is due to expire.

Kimberly Redmond | |

The Mastercard Foundation announced Tuesday it will deploy $1.3 billion to save lives and improve pandemic response efforts in Africa.

The initiative, which will be implemented over the next three years in partnership with the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), is intended to acquire and deliver vaccines to more than 50 million people across the continent.

Kimberly Redmond | |

Starbucks Corporation (Nasdaq: SBUX) said customers can start using reusable cups again at company-owned cafes in the US later this month, more than a year after pausing the program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an announcement Tuesday, the Seattle-based coffee giant said it would reintroduce the service starting June 22 through a “completely contactless” method that eliminates “any shared touch points between the customer and baristas.”

Kimberly Redmond | |

Millions of Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE: JNJ) single-shot COVID-19 vaccines are at risk of expiring this month after an 11-day pause in April created a stockpile in the US, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Nearly half of the 21 million doses J&J produced for the country remain unused and are due to expire at the end of June, prompting federal and state officials to determine how to reroute the vaccines to areas that need them.

Kimberly Redmond | |

US consumer borrowing continued to grow throughout the month of April, but credit card usage declined, according to newly-released data from the Federal Reserve Board.

In its G.19 consumer credit report for April, the Fed said total consumer debt outstanding — which includes student loans and auto loans, as well as revolving debt — grew $18.6 billion.

Reuters | |

Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has called on China to release the medical records of nine people whose ailments might provide vital clues into whether COVID-19 first emerged as the result of a lab leak, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

"I would like to see the medical records of the three people who are reported to have got sick in 2019. Did they really get sick, and if so, what did they get sick with?" the report quoted Fauci as saying about three of the nine.

Reuters | |

A Japanese Olympic Committee board member on Friday blasted organizers of the Tokyo Games for ignoring public concerns about holding the global sporting showpiece amid a pandemic, as Japan's top medical adviser urged new steps to reduce the risk.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) appeared to think it could steamroll over the wishes of the Japanese public, who, surveys show, overwhelmingly want the games canceled or postponed, the JOC's Kaori Yamaguchi said in an opinion piece carried by Japan's Kyodo news agency.