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    NIH Director Collins calls Israeli Covid vaccine booster data 'impressive,' says it shows tenfold reduction in infection

    National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins said the data from the Israeli study shows a tenfold reduction in infection within 12 days after a person receives Pfizer’s Covid booster.
    Collins added that the data indicates a roughly twelvefold reduction in severe Covid.
    His comments Thursday came just a day after the FDA approved Pfizer’s booster for high-risk people, including anyone 65 and older.

    A patient receives his booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine during an Oakland County Health Department vaccination clinic at the Southfield Pavilion on August 24, 2021 in Southfield, Michigan.
    Emily Elconin | Getty Images

    National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins called Israel’s data on Covid-19 booster shots “impressive,” noting that the shots provided a tenfold reduction in infection for people who received a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
    Israel began administering boosters in late July to people over 60, giving scientists more time to examine their ability to combat Covid and bolster the waning effectiveness of the initial series of doses. Collins’ comments Thursday came just a day after the Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid booster for high-risk people, including anyone 65 and older.

    “Without tipping my hand too much, I will say the data looks really impressive, that the boosters do in fact provide substantial reduction in infection — like, a tenfold reduction just within 12 days after that booster, and also a reduction in severe illness, which is the thing we’re most concerned about,” Collins said during a discussion on Covid hosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

    CNBC Health & Science

    Collins added that the Israeli data indicated a roughly twelvefold reduction in severe Covid as the nation was starting to experience more breakthrough cases. Pfizer reported on Aug. 25 that recipients of its third doses experienced a threefold increase in antibodies.
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a panel of medical authorities who offer guidance to the agency, will vote Thursday on whether to endorse the FDA’s booster decision. The panel began a two-day series of presentations on boosters Wednesday to give experts and the public a chance to hear more data before the final vote.
    Vaccine makers Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are weeks away from the CDC and FDA evaluating their boosters, Collins said. Even though Pfizer’s boosters are only currently available for recipients of its first two doses, Collins said the NIH is completing a “mix and match trial” to determine the effects of administering initial doses and boosters from separate manufacturers.
    “It’s not a big trial, but it’s enough to see, do you bump your antibody levels up as well if you go to a different booster than you started with, or you maybe do even better,” Collins said.

    The CDC reports that 2.3 million people have received third doses in the U.S. since Aug. 13 and that nearly 55% of the total population is fully immunized against Covid. But false online rumors about vaccines remain a significant obstacle for health officials to overcome, Collins said.
    “In the United States, we have 70 million people who, despite the compelling evidence — it’s all been shared in public, of safety and efficacy of any one of these three vaccines — have yet to decide to roll up their sleeves,” Collins said. “And I’m afraid they’re barraged by all kinds of misinformation, and some of it actually intentional disinformation that is rampant in social media.”

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    Southwest Airlines' incoming CEO says carrier will cut flights next year if staffing falls short

    Southwest Airlines is in the process of adding some 10,000 workers through next year.
    The Dallas-based airline was left short-staffed during a summer peak after thousands of workers took buyouts and leaves of absence.
    Incoming CEO Bob Jordan vowed not to repeat the summer’s flight disruptions.

    A passenger checks in her luggage at the Southwest Airlines terminal at LAX.
    Mel Melcon | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

    Southwest Airlines customers suffered hundreds of cancelations, delays and other disruptions this summer as the carrier struggled with snowballing problems of bad weather and a lack of staff.
    Its next CEO, Bob Jordan, vowed not to repeat that. The airline is about halfway to its goal of hiring 5,000 workers this year and has already trimmed its schedule for the rest of 2021 to avoid further service shortfalls. The airline, and others like Spirit and American, set out to operate an ambitious schedule over the summer to try to recover revenues lost during the coronavirus pandemic, but a shortfall of staff exacerbated operational issues.

    “The next question is the March schedule. We plan to meet that but if we find ourselves not able to hire to meet that we’ll go back and look at modifying the schedule,” Jordan said in an interview on Thursday. “What we’re not going to do is we’re not going to repeat last summer.”
    Jordan, who takes the reins from Gary Kelly in February and is a 33-year Southwest employee, told the Skift Global Forum in New York earlier Thursday that the carrier also plans to add 8,000 employees next year. The Dallas-based airline has about 56,000 employees.
    Hiring has been a challenge.
    “We’re pulling out every stop,” Jordan said. The airline raised starting pay to $15 an hour and has been offering retention bonuses, referral bonuses as well as additional pay for certain markets with higher costs of living like Denver, he said.
    Jordan said he was confident that it could reach its goal to add 5,000 workers this fall, but noted competition has been brutal. Employers from retailers to airlines to restaurants have struggled to fill jobs and turned to bonuses and higher pay to attract workers.

    “You see 15 bucks [an hour] at Lowe’s and at McDonald’s,” he said. “The market sets the rate and I’m not sure it’s completely done yet.”
    Jordan told Skift earlier that the carrier usually receives 42 or 43 applicants per open position and is now seeing about 14.
    Southwest in August cut its third-quarter revenue outlook, citing weaker bookings during a rise in delta-variant cases of Covid-19.
    “The holiday bookings are holding up really well,” Jordan said. “It feels like we are on the backside of this delta wave.”
    Southwest and other airlines have been trying to ensure their own staff are vaccinated against Covid-19. United Airlines has the strictest policy: an outright mandate for its 67,000 U.S. employees that requires them to be inoculated, with few exceptions, or face termination. Delta Air Lines in November plans to impose a $200-a-month surcharge on company health insurance for unvaccinated employees.
    Southwest is currently offering incentives like two days of pay for employees who upload proof of vaccination. Jordan told CNBC he would prefer to use incentives and not issue a vaccine mandate.
    “I know the topic of vaccines and mandates are personal, it’s emotional but at the end of the day we need to get as many people vaccinated as possible, as a country, as a company,” he said. “I’d much rather get there through incentives and encouragement and data than a mandate. I would love for our employees to have a choice.”
    However, a government vaccine mandate for large employers as well as government contractors, could change that. Southwest fits both categories because it operates charter flights for the government and other services.
    “There’s a lot to learn about what the rules are,” he said.
    Jordan said it isn’t clear yet what percentage of staff is vaccinated but the new incentives would provide more data. He guessed the company’s rate of fully vaccinated employees mirrors the national average, which is just more than 64% of the U.S. population over the age of 12. “I’m hopeful with the incentives we get to something much higher than that,” he said.

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    Photos document the fight to save the world's largest trees

    Last week, fires began burning out of control in steep canyons near Sequoia National Park, which contains some of the world’s largest trees.
    These photos show the efforts to save the trees by wrapping their bases in fireproof blankets as firefighters fought the blazes.

    Ed Christopher, deputy fire director at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, looks over the Four Guardsmen at the entrance to General Sherman at Sequoia National Park, California, Sept. 22, 2021.
    Gary Kazanjian | AFP | Getty Images

    Last week, fires began burning out of control in steep canyons near California’s Sequoia National Park, which contains some of the world’s largest trees as measured by volume. As the flames approached, park officials wrapped the bases of some trees in fireproof aluminum blankets to protect the giants. By Monday, the flames had mostly passed by the biggest trees, although the blankets were probably less important to their salvation than the controlled burns the park has done in recent years, a park official told SFGate.
    Here’s a look back at the fight to protect the trees in Sequoia:

    Protecting an icon

    Firefighters cover a sign carved from sequoia wood at an entrance to Sequoia National Park, Sept. 17, 2021.
    Sequoia and Kings Canyon National | via Reuters

    A tree aflame

    Flames lick up a tree as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest in California, Sept. 19, 2021.
    Noah Berger | AP

    Photographing the giants

    A photographer takes pictures at the base of giant sequoia trees in the Lost Grove along Generals Highway north of Red Fir during a media tour of the KNP Complex fire in the Sequoia National Park in California on Sept. 17, 2021.
    Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images

    A memory captured

    Firefighters from Orange County take photos as the Windy Fire burns in Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, Sept. 21, 2021.
    David Swanon | Reuters

    Holding the line

    Firefighters spray water as flames push toward a road during the Windy Fire in the Sequoia National Forest near Johnsondale, California, on Sept. 22, 2021.
    Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images

    Guarding the Four Guardsmen

    Ed Christopher, deputy fire director at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, looks over the Four Guardsmen at the entrance to General Sherman at Sequoia National Park, Sept. 22, 2021.
    Gary Kazanjian | AFP | Getty Images

    The forest ablaze

    A firefighter with Alaska’s Pioneer Peak Interagency Hotshot Crew carries a chain saw as the Windy Fire burns in the Sequoia National Forest near Johnsondale, California, on Sept. 22, 2021.
    Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images

    Saving General Sherman, the world’s largest tree

    Operations Section Chief Jon Wallace looks over General Sherman, the world’s largest tree, which was protected by structure wrap from fires at Sequoia National Park, Sept. 22, 2021.
    Gary Kazanjian | AFP | Getty Images

    Controlling the burn

    Firefighters work to control the Windy Fire as trees burn in the Sequoia National Forest near Johnsondale, California, on Sept. 22, 2021.
    Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images

    Checking residual heat

    Ed Christopher, deputy fire director at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, checks the residual heat near the Four Guardsmen at Sequoia National Park, Sept. 22, 2021.
    Gary Kazanjian | AFP | Getty Images

    A blaze in the night

    The Windy Fire blazes through the Long Meadow Grove of giant sequoia trees near the Trail of 100 Giants overnight in Sequoia National Park, near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 21, 2021.
    David McNew | Getty Images

    A warning of danger

    A huge tree is marked unsafe by firefighters as the Windy Fire burns in Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, Sept. 21, 2021.
    David Swanson | Reuters

    Working through the smoke

    Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest on Sept. 19, 2021.
    Noah Berger | AP

    Watching the flames

    A firefighter watches flame and smoke rise into the air as trees burn during the Windy Fire in the Sequoia National Forest near Johnsondale, California, on Sept. 22, 2021.
    Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images

    General Sherman survives

    The historic General Sherman tree, which was saved from fires, is seen at Sequoia National Park, California, Sept. 22, 2021.
    Gary Kazanjian | AFP | Getty Images

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    The future of work is here, employee burnout needs to go

    To join the CNBC Workforce Executive Council, apply at cnbccouncils.com/wec.

    Apply to the Workforce Executive Council
    Workforce Wire: Coronavirus

    The World Health Organization finally recognized burnout as an occupational health issue in 2019.
    Employers are making burnout and mental health more of a priority after 19 months of working from home during the Covid pandemic.

    Work burnout is real, and during Covid, it only got worse. A survey from careers site Indeed conducted during the spring found more than half of workers saying they felt burned out, and more than two-thirds saying the feeling had gotten worse throughout the pandemic. 
    The good news: the world of work is taking it more seriously.

    While Sweden is the only country to recognize burnout as a disease, the World Health Organization added burnout as an occupational phenomenon in 2019. Research shows the condition is a lot more complex than just a heavy workload, but businesses, from Nike to online dating company Bumble, have recently offered office employees extra time off of work to support their mental health and address the issue of burnout.
    How to deal with burnout — and prevent future burnout — is a challenge all businesses are now tasked with as many workers hit 19 months of working from home.

    Research from work burnout expert Jennifer Moss finds that while the average person says they are “fine” 14 times a week when they are asked how they are doing, 19% of the time they are lying.
    (Photo: Getty | Maria Korneeva)

    Jennifer Moss, author of the new book, “The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It,” recently spoke with CNBC’s Workforce Executive Council about strategies employers and employees can implement to reduce burnout.   
    “The future of work is here, and that means we need to test some new rules out,” Moss said. 

    Burnout needs to be treated in the workplace  

    Burnout is not considered a mental health illness, but it is a mental health issue, and needs to be treated as such in workplace environments.

    Moss said that require leaders to “trust employees and create flexibility” in the workplace. Creating safe spaces, offering psychological safety and resources, and prioritizing employees mental health will benefit workers and business productivity, she said. And any effort made to invest in employee well-being will show up in business results, but it has to start from the top. A leader’s first task is to give permission to workers to make their mental health a priority. 
    “The key to [creating] comfort inside organizations is being permitted to prioritize mental health,” Moss said. 
    Her research finds that while the average person says they are “fine” 14 times a week when they are asked how they are doing, 19% of the time they are lying. 
    Asking workers more specific questions to better assess how they are doing, will translate into their professional work. Moss says while most meetings go on for too long and harp on non-essential issues, a 15-minute meeting a week between managers and employees can pay off in terms of mental wellness and job productivity, and it should not only focus on work issues.
    Among the key questions Moss says should be covered in a short meeting:

    How was this week?
    What were the highs and lows?
    What can I do for you next week to make things easier?
    What can we do for each other?

    “It’s so simple,” she said.
    Talking about mental health in the workplace establishes open communication and a safe environment for employees to feel connected to their work and to their leaders, she says, and also helps employees to reach their goals. It helps leaders begin to better understand what their employees need to be more productive.
    “Simple actions done with repetition equal positive wellbeing outcomes,” Moss said.

    Work stress, a new idea of success, and the Great Resignation  

    More companies are worried about the “Great Resignation” impact on their workforce, and Moss said keying in on burnout and employee’s desire to better connect with their work and their values has to be part of the analysis in employee retention efforts. 
    “The hyper use of technology, not meeting people in person disconnected [workers] emotionally from what we care about inside the organization,” Moss said.  
    The past year-plus of the pandemic has allowed people to develop what Moss calls “cognitive gratitude” and that means employees are zeroing in on what matters most.
    “That’s why we are seeing the mass resignations. I want more from my manager, more from my leader,” she said. Many people are making different life choices than they would have made pre-pandemic, and defining success in new ways.
    In some ways, the pandemic also has dissolved the “we” versus “them” mentality between workers and managers, as organizations as a whole have faced the same challenges, and that is a positive, Moss said. It should also make managers more willing to be open with teams.
    “Leaders should be transparent about their struggles as well,” she said. “It is not healthy to remain stoic.” 
    Leaders are exhausted too — “exhausted leaders leading exhausted teams,” Moss said, referencing the name of a talk she gives. She added that interventions she has done inside organizations show that most managers right now don’t really know what their direct reports are doing given how busy they are themselves.
    The transparency of the 15-minute meetings, “the constant communication,” is what prevents teams from being sent “off trajectory,” Moss said, and “that changes the inefficiencies that reduces the workload, which reduces burnout.”
    Leaders also need to know how to direct employees to resources. Companies are prioritizing mental health because of the pandemic, but many organizations have had mental health resources available for years and had not taken advantage of them. Moss said it is important for leaders to communicate what programs and mental health resources are available to employees and should not feel that they need to be a mental health expert to do so. 
    Moss said what she learned while interviewing managers is that they are often concerned about having a conversation with workers on the subject without being a mental health expert, and “that made them shut down.”
    “I keep telling them you are not meant to be a mental health expert, but you are meant to know where those mental health experts exist in your organization. You are a conduit,” Moss said, adding that also extends to knowing about community resources. “Managers just need to be able to point people in the right direction.” More

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    Have a large amount of cash to invest? Here's how deploying it all at once compares with doing so over time

    Assuming a 100% stock portfolio, the return on lump-sum investing outperformed dollar-cost averaging 75% of the time, according to research.
    For portfolios with 100% bonds, the rate of outperformance was 90%.

    Valeriy_G | iStock | Getty Images

    If you have a big wad of cash to invest, you may wonder whether you should put all of it to work immediately or spread out over time.
    Regardless of what the markets are doing, you’re more likely to end up with a higher balance down the road by making a lump-sum investment instead of deploying the money at set intervals (known as dollar-cost averaging), a study from Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management shows.

    That outperformance holds true regardless of the mix of stocks and bonds you invest in.
    More from Personal Finance:Before quitting your job, do these four thingsHere are tips for reining in impulse spendingHow to avoid buying a flood-damaged car
    “If you look at the probability that you’ll end up with a higher cumulative value, the study shows it’s overwhelmingly when you use a lump-sum investment [approach] versus dollar-cost averaging,” said Matt Stucky, senior portfolio manager of equities at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management.
    The study looked at rolling 10-year returns on $1 million starting in 1950, comparing results between an immediate lump-sum investment and dollar-cost averaging (which, in the study, assumes that $1 million is invested evenly over 12 months and then held for the remaining nine years).
    Assuming a 100% stock portfolio, the return on lump-sum investing outperformed dollar-cost averaging 75% of the time, the study shows. For a portfolio composed of 60% stocks and 40% bonds, the outperformance rate was 80%. And a 100% fixed income portfolio outperformed dollar-cost averaging 90% of the time.

    The average outperformance of lump-sum investing for the all-equity portfolio was 15.23%. For a 60-40 allocation, it was 10.68%, and for 100% fixed income, 4.3%.
    Even when markets are hitting new highs, the data suggests that a better outcome down the road still means putting your money to work all at once, Stucky said. And, compared with investing the lump sum, choosing dollar-cost averaging instead can resemble market timing no matter how the markets are performing.
    “There are a lot of other periods in history when the market has felt high,” Stucky said. “But market-timing is a very challenging strategy to implement successfully, whether by retail investors or professional investors.”

    However, he said, dollar-cost averaging is not a bad strategy — generally speaking, 401(k) plan account holders are doing just that through their paycheck contributions throughout the year.
    Additionally, before putting all your money in, say, stocks, all at once, you may want to be familiar with your risk tolerance. That’s basically a combination of how well you can sleep at night during periods of market volatility and how long until you need the money. Your portfolio construction — i.e., its mix of stocks and bonds — should reflect that risk tolerance, regardless of when you put your money to work.
    “From our perspective, we’re looking at 10-year time horizons in the study … and market volatility during that time is going to be a constant, especially with a 100% equity portfolio,” Stucky said. “It’s better if we have expectations going into a strategy than afterwards discover our risk tolerance is very different.”

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    Lake Powell could stop producing energy in 2023 as water levels plunge

    Major reservoirs like Lake Powell and Lake Mead, which store water from the Colorado River, are experiencing a major decline in water levels thanks to a megadrought exacerbated by climate change.
    The Bureau of Land Management projects 3% chance that Lake Powell’s water levels fall below the minimum level necessary for the lake’s Glen Canyon Dam to generate hydroelectricity next year. In 2023, the chance of a power shutdown jumps to 34%.
    Other large bodies of water in the U.S. West have also hit record lows this year and triggered concern about power generation, including Lake Oroville in California.

    Glen Canyon Dam is seen, behind which are record low water levels at Lake Powell, as the drought continues to worsen on July 2, 2021 near Page, Arizona.
    David McNew | Getty Images

    Falling water levels at Lake Powell, the massive reservoir on the Utah-Arizona border, could cause its dam to stop generating hydroelectric power in 2023, according to new projections by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, an agency of the Interior Department.
    Amid a historic megadrought and record-breaking temperatures in the U.S. West, exacerbated by climate change, Lake Powell and Lake Mead on the Colorado River are experiencing a record decline in water levels.

    The Bureau’s projections show a 3% chance that Lake Powell’s water levels fall below the minimum level necessary for the lake’s Glen Canyon Dam to generate hydroelectricity next year. In 2023, the chance of a power shutdown jumps to 34%.
    If water levels drop below 3,490 feet, the so-called minimum power pool, the Glen Canyon Dam, which supplies electricity for about 5.8 million customers in the inland West, will no longer be able to generate electricity. Lake Powell’s water levels are projected to drop to roughly 3,536 feet by the year’s end, according to the Bureau’s data.
    “The latest outlook for Lake Powell is troubling,” the Bureau’s Upper Colorado Basin Regional Director Wayne Pullan said in a statement. “This highlights the importance of continuing to work collaboratively with the Basin States, Tribes and other partners toward solutions.”

    More from CNBC Climate:

    Other large bodies of water in the U.S. West have also hit record lows this year and triggered concern about power generation, including Lake Oroville in California. In August, the state shut down the lake’s Hyatt Power Plant because water levels fell near the minimum necessary to generate power.
    The federal government also recently declared a water shortage at Lake Mead for the first time ever due to drought conditions. The declaration triggered water supply cuts that will mostly impact Arizona farmers starting next year.

    The projections for Lake Powell come as Western lawmakers call on President Joe Biden and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to declare a drought disaster in the West, which would provide aid to states facing water cuts.
    “There is little to no livestock feed available in the West, farmers are considering selling their livestock or land, and many species of wildlife are suffering from wildfires and lack of water,” Democratic Reps. Joe Neguse of Colorado and Jared Huffman of California wrote in a letter to the president in August.

    In this aerial view, The tall bleached “bathtub ring” is visible on the rocky banks of Lake Powell on June 24, 2021 in Page, Arizona.
    Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

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    Stocks making the biggest moves midday: Salesforce, Darden, BlackBerry and more

    Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff speaks at the grand opening of the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco in May 2018.
    David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

    Here are the stocks making headlines in midday trading.
    Salesforce — The software company rose 6.4% in midday trading after raising its full-year 2022 revenue guidance to between $26.25 billion and $26.35 billion. Analysts expected $26.31 billion. The company also gave 2023 revenue guidance of $31.65 billion to $31.80 billion.

    Darden Restaurants — The Olive Garden parent popped more than 6% in midday trading after reporting earnings of $1.76 per share, higher than the $1.64-per-share forecast, according to Refinitiv. The company said that 27% of its quarterly sales at Olive Garden were off-premise, showing that its takeout business is still a big part of the business even after health restrictions have been lifted for many restaurants around the country.
    BlackBerry — Shares of BlackBerry surged over 13% after the software company’s quarterly financial results topped Wall Street expectations. BlackBerry reported a loss of 6 cents per share, compared with analysts’ expectation of 7 cents lost per share, according to Refinitiv. The company posted revenue of $175 million, topping estimates of $164 million.
    KB Home — Shares of the homebuilder rose 2.1% despite the company missing estimates on the top and bottom lines for the third-quarter. Revenue guidance also came in under expectations, according to StreetAccount, but Wedbush Securities said in a note that the details of the guidance may lead analysts to raise the earnings estimates.
    Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Carnival Cruise Line — Norwegian gained more than 6%, while Carnival was up 5.9% amid a broad risk-on shift in the stock market. Carnival also announced that it was track to be back at 50% fleet capacity by the end of October, putting it close to its previously stated goal of 65% by the start of next year.
    Joby Aviation — The air taxi start-up’s shares jumped 7.9% after Morgan Stanley initiated coverage of the stock with an overweight rating. The investment firm said in a note that Joby appears to have a head-start on getting its in-development vehicles certified by regulators compared to its competitors.

    Liberty Global — Shares of the telecom conglomerate rose 4% after Jefferies upgraded the stock to buy from hold. The investment firm said in a note that it expects a significant increase in cash flow for Liberty over the next three years.
    Roku – Shares of the streaming service gained 3% after Guggenheim upgraded the stock to buy from neutral. The Wall Street firm said Roku’s international expansion and improving advertising tools should help complement the company’s core business.
    Biogen – The biotech stock rose roughly 2% after Needham initiated coverage on the stock with a buy rating. The firm is bullish on Biogen’s controversial Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm, saying it will be a blockbuster for the company in the long run.
    Fisker – The electric automaker’s stock rose over 6% after Tudor Pickering initiated coverage of the stock with a buy rating a $19 per share price target. The investment firm said its rating was based on assumptions for production and sales, partnerships and meeting timeline targets on developmental milestones.

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    Watch live: CDC panel votes on who should get Pfizer Covid booster shot after FDA OK

    [The stream is slated to start at 12 p.m. ET. Please refresh the page if you do not see a player above at that time.]
    A key Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory group is meeting Thursday to debate and vote on exactly who should get booster shots of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine.

    The meeting comes a day after the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to administer Pfizer’s shots to the elderly and adults with medical conditions that place them at risk of getting severely sick or who are at risk of serious complications because of frequent exposure to the virus.
    The agency also added people from 18 to 64 “whose frequent institutional or occupational exposure” to the virus place them at a high risk of getting Covid. That leaves enough room for the CDC panel to potentially recommend third doses for people in nursing homes, prisons, front-line health employees and other essential workers who were among the first Americans to get the initial shots in December.
    If the CDC adopts that plan Thursday, booster shots could begin immediately.

    CNBC Health & Science

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