An advisory panel for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Wednesday that people ages 65 years and older choose higher-dose flu shots or ones that include an ingredient to boost immune response. The CDC commonly adopts the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, but in the past it has not advised older adults to get a particular flu shot. The CDC says older people are both at a higher risk for more serious illness from the flu and tend to have a lower protective immune response. The advisory committee said that while its preference is for the higher-dose shots or adjuvanted flu vaccines, if one of those options is not available, people age 65 and older should still be vaccinated with a standard flu vaccine. Some information for this report came from The Associated Press.
The United States is expanding its capacity to test for monkeypox by shipping tests to five commercial labs. The Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday the effort will “dramatically expand testing capacity nationwide and make testing more convenient and accessible for patients and health care providers.” Health care providers will be able to start using the labs to test for monkeypox by early July, the agency said. As of Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there have been 142 reported monkeypox infections in the United States since the first in mid-May. More than 30 countries where monkeypox is not endemic have reported cases. Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters
The U.S. mission to the United Nations said Wednesday that Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield tested positive for COVID-19. Spokesperson Melissa Quartell said in a statement that Thomas-Greenfield is fully vaccinated and received a booster vaccination, and that she was “experiencing mild symptoms.” Quartell said the ambassador would be working from home in accordance with guidance from health officials. The statement also said Thomas-Greenfield encouraged all those eligible to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The war in Ukraine is causing disruptions around the world, from what President Joe Biden terms a “Putin price hike” for American petroleum consumers to an impending global food crisis. On Wednesday, Biden said he was taking steps to try to offset the effects, something he said he’ll be focusing on ahead of two key summits and a Mideast trip. Anita Powell reports from the White House.
The U.S. military has spent hundreds of millions of dollars upgrading a remote northern airbase in Alaska near the Arctic Circle. Pentagon Correspondent Carla Babb recently visited the base, which houses combat aircraft that can reach anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. Camera: Mike Burke.
Tahir Johnson and his lifelong friend Jon Dockery have been arrested multiple times for marijuana possession. But now, the two men will be among the first who will be able to sell it legally as part of a program set up by the New Jersey’s cannabis regulatory commission. One of the program’s requirements is to have a felony for cannabis-related offenses. But not everybody is in favor of giving perks to former convicts. Aron Ranen has this report. Producer: Igor Tsikhanenka.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing a limit on the amount of nicotine allowed in cigarettes with an aim to make it easier for people to quit using them and to prevent young people who experiment with cigarettes from becoming addicted. The proposed limit appeared Tuesday among a number of actions the Biden administration is considering. The FDA said more than half of adults who smoke cigarettes make a serious attempt at quitting each year, but that most fail because of the addictiveness of cigarettes. “The goal of the potential rule would be to reduce youth use, addiction and death,” the agency said. “Nicotine is powerfully addictive,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement. “Making cigarettes and other combusted tobacco products minimally addictive or non-addictive would help save lives.” Some information for this report came from Agence France-Presse and Reuters
U.S. lawmakers’ investigation into the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol resumed Tuesday, with a public hearing that examined former President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn state election results. As VOA’s congressional correspondent Katherine Gypson explains, investigators are arguing Trump’s false claims directly led to the deadly attack. Produced by: Katherine Gypson, Camera: Adam Greenbaum
Russia’s war in Ukraine is now in its fourth month, and more U.S. troops have headed to Europe to defend NATO’s eastern flank. But the growing threat from Russia and China has the U.S. looking not only east, but also to the far north. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb took to the Arctic skies of Alaska for an exclusive look at the U.S. military’s multibillion-dollar transformation of the remote Eielson Air Force Base. Camera: Mike Burke
British golfer Matt Fitzpatrick held onto a one-shot lead on the final hole Sunday to win the U.S. Open. The victory at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts was the first major title for the 27-year-old from Sheffield, England. He won the U.S. Amateur at the same course in 2013. Sunday’s win netted Fitzpatrick $3.15 million. By shooting a two-under-par 68 in the final round, including a dramatic par on the 18th hole, Fitzpatrick held off Americans Scottie Sheffler and Will Zalatoris, who tied for second place. Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama finished fourth, while American Collin Morikawa and Britain’s Rory McIlroy tied for fifth place.
The House of Representatives committee investigating the January 6 , 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol will hold its next hearing Tuesday. The committee has sought to make its case against former President Donald Trump, saying his baseless and repeated claims of a stolen election incited his followers to violence. VOA’s Arash Arabasadi reports,