Yesterday, the FDA greenlit two updated COVID-19 booster shots. Pfizer and Moderna have tweaked their recipes to target Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, as well as the originalCOVID-19strain. That’s good news for many, since those subvariants make up 90% of all new cases. And the US is now seeing almost 90,000 recorded cases per day — with the virus contributing to a drop in life expectancy. But others are less enthusiastic.
The FDA cleared the new boosters without complete data from human trials. That’s the norm for things like the flu shot. But it’s the first time it’s been done for a COVID-19 vaccine. Instead, the FDA relied on data from mouse trials, plus human data from the original shots. The takeaway: given the current wave (and expected fall surge) the gov decided it was worth it to roll these out, now.
So what happens now?
Today, a CDC advisory panel weighs in on whether to issue their ownrecommendation to clear the shots. Then the CDC director makes the final call. Both are expected to say ‘OK.’ In the meantime, doses are set to begin shipping to states. The goal is for people to be able to get boosted at pharmacies and doctor’s offices within days.
We’re no longer in the era of mask mandates and lockdowns. Now, agencies like the CDC and FDA are loosening their grip somewhat…and leaving it to Americans to take their health care into their own (washed) hands.
Where injustice is being called out...
Xinjiang. The UN has released a long-awaited report that accuses China of committing human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims and other minorities. And it is calling on China to release “individuals arbitrarily deprived of their liberty.” Since 2017, the Chinese gov has detained more than 1 million Uyghurs and others from ethnic minority groups in its northwest Xinjiang region. There’ve been reports that Uyghurs have been kept in forced labor camps — and that women have been sterilized. The US has called it a genocide, banned imports from the region, and withheld diplomats from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. China apparently claims the camps are to fight terrorism, and says the UN ignored human rights “achievements” in Xinjiang. But the report contends the situation could amount to “crimes against humanity.”
Who turned off the tap…
Russia. Yesterday, the Kremlin entirely cut off gas for its Nord Stream 1 pipeline — a major pipeline to Europe. Problem, because Europe’s dealing with an energy crunch. And Russia’s already reduced gas flow at the pipeline to 20% capacity. It’s blaming the supply cuts on sanctions and maintenance issues. But a German official said earlier this month that Nord Stream 1 was “fully operational.” And many see the move as retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russia for invading Ukraine. Russia says the pipeline could come back online later this week. But European officials are already prepping for the threat of more gas cuts in the winter...and are trying to stockpile to prevent a crisis.
...Oh and speaking of heading off a crisis: Zaporizhzhia. UN inspectors arrived in the Ukrainiancity yesterday to try to visit the nuclear plant there. It’s the largest one in Europe, and currently held by Russian forces. The inspectors will try to assess damage from shelling as fears of a Chernobyl-like nuclear disaster grow.
What’s cutting back…
Snapchat. The social media platform’s parent company, Snap, announced that it’s laying off 20% of its employees — more than 1,200 people. The company also says it’s shutting down projects like shorts with celebrities (aka no more renegades with Charli D’Amelio). The move comes as Snap stock has dropped more than 75% since the beginning of the year — quite the disappearing act. Now, CEO Evan Spiegel says the restructuring will bump up focus on “community growth, revenue growth, and augmented reality.”
Bed Bath & Beyond. The retailer said it’s closing about 150 stores and letting 20% of its staff go. In better news, the company — which recently got the meme stock treatment — also revealed it had gotten more than $500 million in new financing deals. But that may not help. Its sales dropped 25% in the first quarter. And one analyst says its moves are like “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic” (ouch). Investors seem to agree, with the company’s stock falling more than 20% following the announcement.
Another club. Another club. Night owls know what we’re talking about. In fact, human beings are the only mammals that willingly delay sleep. Which isn’t exactly a good thing. Especially since a full night’s rest is essential for things like focus and immune system support.
If you’re suddenly inspired to up your bedtime, check out Lunya. Their machine-washable silk (yep, you read that right) PJ sets aren’t just luxuriously soft. They’re also thermoregulating. Meaning they’re designed to keep you looking — and feeling — cool. So you can catch the highest quality Zzz’s. Oh, and Skimm’rs get an exclusive 15% off through Monday night with code FOR-SKIMM-LABORDAY. Nighty-night.
Talking to your kids about spending, saving, and making money can help set them up for a fruitful financial future. Some even suggest starting them young…as in, when they hit kindergarten. Yes, really.
Once they reach their teen years (deep breaths), it’s time to teach ’em about credit and healthy spending habits. Apple Card Family can help with that. You can add kids ages 13 or over to your account. And each participant earns their own unlimited Daily Cash back on purchases they make. Meaning their Friday night pizza can go towards a Sunday night movie. Which they'll <3. Apply now to start working on your finances, family style.
Here are today’s recs to help you live a smarter life…
1. A can’t-miss sale that’ll save you big $$$. Wayfair’s Labor Day sale is here to cure your end-of-summer blues. Score up to 70% off bedding, cookware, and that couch you’ve been eyeing forever. Now through Tuesday. Start saving.*
2.Ready-to-eat meals that make dinnertime a lot less stressful. These nutritious, chef-crafted meals are designed for different lifestyles. Think: Keto, veggie, and vegan. And they’ll ship straight to your door. Psst…here’s $130 off. Yes, chef.*
3. A retinol serum that’ll get you glowing. This brand’s anti-aging serum (an Allure Best of Beauty award winner, NBD) works on all skin types. Say ‘hi’ to improved skin clarity and ‘bye’ to fine lines and wrinkles. Psst…Skimm’rs get 10% off sitewide with code SKIMM10.*
We like to celebrate the wins, big and small. Let us know how your friends, neighbors, coworkers (and yes, even you) are making career moves, checking off goals, or making an impact in the community.
The cats meow…Balungile B (IL). She published her first children’s book, about two cats named after music legends Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Sounds paws-itively jazzy.
(Some) Birthdays…Chelsea Bernstein (NY), theSkimm's Kaitie Lynch (MA), Alex Lane (NY), Brittany Aprati (IL), Rujuta Kortikar (NY), Charmayne Evans (TX), Adri Andree (FL), Alexia Eaton (MI), Alexandra Stewart (NY) Anna Blanch Rabe (NM), Anne Zellner (CO), Alyssa Vigada (NY), Brett Freidkes (FL), Carly Hasse (WI), Danielle Dillavou (GA), Emily Gipple (KS), Heather Harris (WI)
PS: Paging all members of theSkimm. Reach out here for a chance to be featured.
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