For AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine, less may be more more—and that’s puzzling researchers

The dose of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid vaccine that showed the highest level of effectiveness was tested in a younger population than a bigger dose that showed less efficacy, according to the head of the U.S. Operation Warp Speed program.

The vaccine being developed with Oxford University was 90% effective when a half-dose was given before a full-dose booster, the partners said on Monday. However, that regime was administered to participants in a group whose age was capped at 55, Warp Speed’s Moncef Slaoui said Tuesday in a phone call with reporters.

Researchers have been puzzling about the AstraZeneca report since it was released, wondering why a smaller dose of the vaccine might have appeared to be more effective than a larger one. Most of the people in the trial received a placebo or the regimen of two full doses, which was 62% effective. That group included people who were older … Read More

Japan cuts capex view, says overall conditions remain severe in November report By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: BOJ looks to big data for clues on pandemic-driven economic changes

By Daniel Leussink

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s government cut its view on capital spending in November for the fifth time this year as companies trimmed investment, and said overall economic conditions were still severe due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world’s third-largest economy rebounded sharply in the third quarter from the COVID-19 hit, largely thanks to stronger consumption and exports, but a resurgence in infections at home and abroad is weighing on the outlook.

“The Japanese economy remains in a severe situation due to the novel coronavirus, but it is showing signs of picking up,” the government said in its November economic report.

The government said the impact from policy measures at home and improvement in activity overseas supported hopes for a continued rebound in the economy.

But it also warned “full attention” should be

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