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Editorial Results (free)

1. US begins offering 1B free COVID tests, but many more needed -

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time, people across the U.S. can log on to a government website and order free, at-home COVID-19 tests. But the White House push may do little to ease the omicron surge, and experts say Washington will have to do a lot more to fix the country's long-troubled testing system.

2. Insurers, employers start helping more with chronic disease -

Vanessa Akinniyi was stuck in denial about diabetes until a care manager from her health insurer coaxed her out.

The Jacksonville, Florida, resident didn't want to start insulin. All the medicines she tried made her sick.

3. COVID-19 pill rollout stymied by shortages as omicron rages -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two brand-new COVID-19 pills that were supposed to be an important weapon against the pandemic in the U.S. are in short supply and have played little role in the fight against the omicron wave of infections.

4. Omicron might be headed for a rapid drop in Britain, US -

Scientists are seeing signals that COVID-19's alarming omicron wave may have peaked in Britain and is about to do the same in the U.S., at which point cases may start dropping off dramatically.

The reason: The variant has proved so wildly contagious that it may already be running out of people to infect, just a month and a half after it was first detected in South Africa.

5. Omicron surge vexes parents of children too young for shots -

Afternoons with Grammy. Birthday parties. Meeting other toddlers at the park. Parents of children too young to be vaccinated are facing difficult choices as an omicron variant-fueled surge in COVID-19 cases makes every encounter seem risky.

6. COVID case counts may be losing importance amid omicron -

The explosive increase in U.S. coronavirus case counts is raising alarm, but some experts believe the focus should instead be on COVID-19 hospital admissions. And those aren't climbing as fast.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, for one, said Sunday on ABC that with many infections causing few or no symptoms, "it is much more relevant to focus on the hospitalizations as opposed to the total number of cases." Other experts argue that case counts still have value.

7. CDC posts rationale for shorter isolation, quarantine -

NEW YORK (AP) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday explained the scientific rationale for shortening its COVID-19 isolation and quarantine recommendations, and clarified that the guidance applies to kids as well as adults.

8. How will pandemic end? Omicron clouds forecasts for endgame -

Pandemics do eventually end, even if omicron is complicating the question of when this one will. But it won't be like flipping a light switch: The world will have to learn to coexist with a virus that's not going away.

9. US adds Merck pill as 2nd easy-to-use drug against COVID-19 -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health regulators on Thursday authorized the second pill against COVID-19, providing another easy-to-use medication to battle the rising tide of omicron infections.

The Food and Drug Administration authorization of Merck's molnupiravir comes one day after the agency cleared a competing drug from Pfizer.

10. Study: Omicron less likely to put you in the hospital -

Two new British studies provide some early hints that the omicron variant of the coronavirus may be milder than the delta version.

Scientists stress that even if the findings of these early studies hold up, any reductions in severity need to be weighed against the fact omicron spreads much faster than delta and is more able to evade vaccines. Sheer numbers of infections could still overwhelm hospitals.

11. To grandmother's house or no? Omicron disrupts holiday plans -

Dave Fravel and his wife invited several relatives to their Cape Cod home for Christmas to share food, gifts and the togetherness they've longed for during the lonely days of the pandemic. They were also looking forward to a holiday sightseeing trip to New York City.

12. Pfizer pill becomes 1st US-authorized home COVID treatment -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health regulators on Wednesday authorized the first pill against COVID-19, a Pfizer drug that Americans will be able to take at home to head off the worst effects of the virus.

13. Monarch, GBT buy 8 acres in Midtown -

Monarch Alternative Capital LP, an investment firm with approximately $9.5 billion of assets under management, has purchased the 8-acre Beaman Toyota dealership property on Broadway.

In partnership with Nashville-based GBT Realty, Monarch plans to create a development in Midtown to address the city’s increasing real estate needs.

14. Omicron sweeps across nation, now 73% of new US COVID cases -

NEW YORK (AP) — Omicron has raced ahead of other variants and is now the dominant version of the coronavirus in the U.S., accounting for 73% of new infections last week, federal health officials said Monday.

15. Moderna: Initial booster data shows good results on omicron -

Moderna said Monday that a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine should offer protection against the rapidly spreading omicron variant.

Moderna said lab tests showed the half-dose booster shot increased by 37 times the level of so-called neutralizing antibodies able to fight omicron.

16. Howard chosen as director of Tennessee Guard Joint Staff -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Brig. Gen. Cassandra Howard will be the new director of the Joint Staff for the Tennessee National Guard, Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes said.

17. Pfizer study tests extra COVID vaccine dose for kids under 5 -

Pfizer said Friday it was changing plans and testing three doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in babies and preschoolers instead of the usual two.

The addition of an extra dose came after a preliminary analysis found 2- to 4-year-olds didn't have as strong an immune response as expected to special low-dose shots.

18. US regulators lift in-person restrictions on abortion pill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday permanently removed a major obstacle for women seeking abortion pills, eliminating a long-standing requirement that they pick up the medication in person.

19. CDC panel recommends Pfizer, Moderna vaccines over J&J shot -

Most Americans should be given the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines instead of the Johnson & Johnson shot that can cause rare but serious blood clots, U.S. health advisers recommended Thursday.

The strange clotting problem has caused nine confirmed deaths after J&J vaccinations — while the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines don't come with that risk and also appear to be more effective, advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

20. US faces a double coronavirus surge as omicron advances -

The new omicron coronavirus mutant speeding around the world may bring another wave of chaos, threatening to further stretch hospital workers already struggling with a surge of delta cases and upend holiday plans for the second year in a row.

21. One year of vaccines: Many lives saved, many needlessly lost -

One year ago, the biggest vaccination drive in American history began with a flush of excitement in an otherwise gloomy December. Trucks loaded with freezer-packed vials of a COVID-19 vaccine that had proved wildly successful in clinical trials fanned out across the land, bringing shots that many hoped would spell the end of the crisis.

22. Pfizer confirms COVID pill's results, potency versus omicron -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pfizer said Tuesday that its experimental pill to treat COVID-19 appears effective against the omicron variant.

The company also said full results of its 2,250-person study confirmed the pill's promising early results against the virus: The drug reduced combined hospitalizations and deaths by about 89% among high-risk adults when taken shortly after initial COVID-19 symptoms.

23. FDA expands Pfizer COVID booster, opens extra dose to age 16 -

The U.S. is expanding COVID-19 boosters, ruling that 16- and 17-year-olds can get a third dose of Pfizer's vaccine.

The U.S. and many other nations already were urging adults to get booster shots to pump up immunity that can wane months after vaccination, calls that intensified with the discovery of the worrisome new omicron variant.

24. Vaccine makers racing to update COVID shots, just in case -

Vaccine makers are racing to update their COVID-19 shots against the newest coronavirus threat even before it's clear a change is needed, just in case.

Experts doubt today's shots will become useless but say it's critical to see how fast companies could produce a reformulated dose and prove it works -- because whatever happens with omicron, this newest mutant won't be the last.

25. Pfizer says COVID booster offers protection against omicron -

Pfizer said Wednesday that a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine may protect against the new omicron variant even though the initial two doses appear significantly less effective.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said lab tests showed a booster dose increased by 25-fold the level of so-called neutralizing antibodies against omicron.

26. Omicron v. delta: Battle of coronavirus mutants is critical -

As the omicron coronavirus variant spreads in southern Africa and pops up in countries all around the world, scientists are anxiously watching a battle play out that could determine the future of the pandemic. Can the latest competitor to the world-dominating delta overthrow it?

27. Science report: US should make less plastic to save oceans -

America needs to rethink and reduce the way it generates plastics because so much of the material is littering the oceans and other waters, the National Academy of Sciences says in a new report.

The United States, the world's top plastics waste producer, generates more than 46 million tons (42 million metric tons) a year, and about 2.2 billion pounds (1 million metric tons) ends up in the world's oceans, according to the academy's report.

28. Panel weighs safety, effectiveness of Merck's COVID-19 pill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government health advisers on Tuesday weighed the benefits and risks of a closely watched drug from Merck that could soon become the first U.S.-authorized pill for patients to take at home to treat COVID-19.

29. How COVID shots for kids help prevent dangerous new variants -

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Cadell Walker rushed to get her 9-year-old daughter Solome vaccinated against COVID-19 — not just to protect her but to help stop the coronavirus from spreading and spawning even more dangerous variants.

30. New hurdle for COVID-19 home testing -- the holiday season -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions more home tests for COVID-19 are hitting store shelves, but will there be enough for Americans hoping to screen themselves before holiday gatherings?

Gone are last year's long lines to get tested, thanks to nearly a year of vaccinations, increased testing supplies and quicker options. But with many Americans unvaccinated and reports of infections among those who've gotten the shots, some are looking to home tests for an extra layer of protection ahead of this year's festivities.

31. FDA official explains decision on 'simplified' booster shots -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government's booster campaign got a lot simpler Friday after Food and Drug Administration officials authorized extra shots of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for all adults.

32. US advisers support expanding COVID boosters to all adults -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government on Friday moved to open up COVID-19 booster shots to all adults, expanding efforts to get ahead of rising coronavirus cases that experts fear could snowball into a winter surge as millions of Americans travel for the holidays.

33. US overdose deaths topped 100,000 in one year, officials say -

NEW YORK (AP) — An estimated 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in one year, a never-before-seen milestone that health officials say is tied to the COVID-19 pandemic and a more dangerous drug supply.

34. SpaceX's Musk: 1st Starship test flight to orbit in January -

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX founder Elon Musk said Wednesday that his company will attempt to launch its futuristic, bullet-shaped Starship to orbit in January, but he's not betting on success for that first test flight.

35. Pfizer asks US officials to OK promising COVID-19 pill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pfizer asked U.S. regulators Tuesday to authorize its experimental pill for COVID-19, setting the stage for a likely launch this winter of a promising treatment that can be taken at home.

36. Racial disparities in kids' vaccinations are hard to track -

The rollout of COVID-19 shots for elementary-age children has exposed another blind spot in the nation's efforts to address pandemic inequalities: Health systems have released little data on the racial breakdown of youth vaccinations, and community leaders fear that Black and Latino kids are falling behind.

37. Biden picks former FDA chief Califf to again lead the agency -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Friday is tapping former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Robert Califf to again lead the powerful regulatory agency, according to a person familiar with the decision.

38. 'Strong' start to kids vaccine campaign, but challenges loom -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The campaign to vaccinate elementary school age children in the U.S. is off to a strong start, health officials said Wednesday, but experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.

39. Pfizer asks FDA to OK COVID-19 booster shots for all adults -

Pfizer asked U.S. regulators Tuesday to allow boosters of its COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 18 or older, a step that comes amid concern about increased spread of the coronavirus with holiday travel and gatherings.

40. Pfizer says COVID-19 pill cut hospital, death risk by 90% -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pfizer Inc. said Friday that its experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19 cut rates of hospitalization and death by nearly 90% in high-risk adults, as the drugmaker joined the race for an easy-to-use medication to treat the coronavirus.

41. Roll up your sleeves: Kids' turn arrives for COVID-19 shots -

Hugs with friends. Birthday parties indoors. Pillow fights. Schoolchildren who got their first COVID-19 shots Wednesday said these are the pleasures they look forward to as the U.S. enters a major new phase in fighting the pandemic.

42. FDA paves way for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations in young kids -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday paved the way for children ages 5 to 11 to get Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine.

The FDA cleared kid-size doses — just a third of the amount given to teens and adults — for emergency use, and up to 28 million more American children could be eligible for vaccinations as early as next week.

43. 'Everything is at stake' as world gathers for climate talks -

More than one world leader says humanity's future, even survival, hangs in the balance when international officials meet in Scotland to try to accelerate efforts to curb climate change. Temperatures, tempers and hyperbole have all ratcheted up ahead of the United Nations summit.

44. China offers few new climate targets ahead of UN conference -

WASHINGTON (AP) — China is offering no significant new goals for reducing climate-changing emissions ahead of the UN climate summit set to start next week in Glasgow.

China, the world's top emitter of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses that cause global warming, formally submitted its goals Thursday. The highly-anticipated announcement gathered targets previously established in speeches by President Xi Jinping and domestic policy documents.

45. Cheap antidepressant shows promise treating early COVID-19 -

A cheap antidepressant reduced the need for hospitalization among high-risk adults with COVID-19 in a study hunting for existing drugs that could be repurposed to treat coronavirus.

Researchers tested the pill used for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder because it was known to reduce inflammation and looked promising in smaller studies.

46. Mounting money mistakes could signal dementia -

Some of the early signs of dementia are financial, forgetting to pay bills, for example, or having trouble calculating a tip. People who develop dementia also are more likely to miss credit card payments and have subprime credit scores years before they’re diagnosed, a study published last year in medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine finds.

47. FDA panel backs Pfizer's low-dose COVID-19 vaccine for kids -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. moved a step closer to expanding COVID-19 vaccinations for millions more children as government advisers on Tuesday endorsed kid-size doses of Pfizer's shots for 5- to 11-year-olds.

48. FDA advisers review Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Kid-size doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine may be getting closer as government advisers on Tuesday began deliberating whether there's enough evidence that the shots are safe and effective for 5- to 11-year-olds.

49. Moderna says its low-dose COVID shot works for kids 6 to 11 -

Moderna said Monday that a low dose of its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and appears to work in 6- to 11-year-olds, as the manufacturer moves toward expanding shots to children.

Competitor Pfizer's kid-sized vaccine doses are closer to widespread use, undergoing evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration for nearly the same age group — starting at age 5. Its vaccine already is authorized for anyone 12 or older.

50. EXPLAINER: Is it time to get a COVID-19 booster? Which one? -

Millions more Americans just became eligible for COVID-19 boosters, but figuring out who's eligible and when can be confusing. And adding to the challenge is that this time around, people can choose a different brand of vaccine for that extra dose.

51. COVID vaccine: CDC expands booster rollout, OKs mixing shots -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions more Americans can get a COVID-19 booster and choose a different company's vaccine for that next shot, federal health officials said Thursday.

Certain people who received Pfizer vaccinations months ago already are eligible for a booster and now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says specific Moderna and Johnson & Johnson recipients qualify, too. And in a bigger change, the agency is allowing the flexibility of "mixing and matching" that extra dose regardless of which type people received first.

52. COVID-19 vaccine: CDC panel discusses booster rollout -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Influential government advisers are deciding Thursday how best to expand the nation's COVID-19 booster campaign, including whether and when it's OK to "mix and match" brands for the extra dose.

53. US salmonella outbreak tied to onions sickens more than 650 -

NEW YORK (AP) — A salmonella outbreak tied to onions has sickened more than 650 people in 37 states, U.S. health officials said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at least 129 people have been hospitalized. No one has died. Nearly all of the illnesses were reported in August and September, and the largest numbers of cases were in Texas and Oklahoma.

54. FDA OKs mixing COVID vaccines; backs Moderna, J&J boosters -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators on Wednesday signed off on extending COVID-19 boosters to Americans who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine and said anyone eligible for an extra dose can get a brand different from the one they received initially.

55. Top Davidson County commercial sales for September 2021 -

Top commercial real estate sales, September 2021, for Davidson County, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Chandler Reports has been publishing Real Estate Market Data since 1968. That year, Chandler began collecting residential sales information for the Chandler Residential Report, considered the authoritative source for residential real estate sales information. Over the next three decades, the publications have been continually refined, enhanced and expanded, growing to include lot sales data, new residential construction and absorption information, and commercial sales. In 1987, Chandler Reports began one of the first on–line real estate market data services in the country, and is a nationally recognized leader in the industry. In 2004, Chandler Reports was purchased by The Daily News Publishing Co. In 2007, Chandler introduced RegionPlus, including property research for Nashville and Middle Tennessee. Visit online at chandlerreports.com.

56. FDA OKs mixing COVID vaccines; backs Moderna, J&J boosters -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators on Wednesday signed off on extending COVID-19 boosters to Americans who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine and said anyone eligible for an extra dose can get a brand different from the one they received initially.

57. US regulators lay out plan for over-the-counter hearing aids -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Health regulators on Tuesday unveiled their proposal to allow Americans to buy hearing aids without a prescription, a long-awaited move intended to make the devices more accessible to millions of people with hearing problems.

58. FDA panel endorses booster shot for J&J COVID-19 vaccine -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health advisers endorsed a booster of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine Friday, citing growing worry that Americans who got the single-dose shot aren't as protected as those given two-dose brands.

59. FDA panel endorses lower-dose Moderna COVID shot for booster -

U.S. health advisers said Thursday that some Americans who received Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago should get a half-dose booster to rev up protection against the coronavirus.

The panel of outside advisers to the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously to recommend a booster shot for seniors, as well as younger adults with other health problems, jobs or living situations that put them at increased risk from COVID-19.

60. FDA unlikely to rule on Merck's COVID pill before December -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it will ask its outside experts to meet in late November to scrutinize Merck's pill to treat COVID-19.

The Nov. 30 meeting means U.S. regulators almost certainly won't issue a decision on the drug until December, signaling that the agency will conduct a detailed review of the experimental treatment's safety and effectiveness. The panelists are likely to vote on whether Merck's drug should be approved, though the FDA is not required to follow their advice.

61. FDA panel debates lower-dose Moderna COVID shots for booster -

U.S. health advisers are debating if millions of Americans who received Moderna vaccinations should get a booster shot -- this time, using half the original dose.

Already millions who got their initial Pfizer shots at least six months ago are getting a booster of that brand. Thursday, advisers to the Food and Drug Administration evaluated the evidence that Moderna boosters should be offered, too -- and on Friday, they'll tackle the same question for those who got Johnson & Johnson's vaccine.

62. FDA grapples with timing of booster for J&J COVID-19 vaccine -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is wrestling with whether and when to offer a booster of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine — at six months or as early as two months. And a new study raises the prospect that using a different vaccine might give a better boost.

63. FDA authorizes first e-cigarettes, cites benefit for smokers -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Heath officials on Tuesday authorized the first electronic cigarettes in the U.S., saying the R.J. Reynolds vaping products can benefit adult smokers.

The Food and Drug Administration said data submitted by the company showed its Vuse e-cigarettes helped smokers either quit or significantly reduce their use of cigarettes, the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.

64. Next on FDA's agenda: Booster shots of Moderna, J&J vaccines -

WASHINGTON (AP) — With many Americans who got Pfizer vaccinations already rolling up their sleeves for a booster shot, millions of others who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine wait anxiously to learn when it's their turn.

65. Merck asks US FDA to authorize promising anti-COVID pill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Drugmaker Merck asked U.S. regulators Monday to authorize its pill for treating COVID-19 in what would add an entirely new and easy-to-use weapon to the world's arsenal against the pandemic.

66. New FDA chief can't come soon enough for beleaguered agency -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Straining under a pandemic workload and battered by a string of public controversies, one of the leading agencies in the government's fight against COVID-19 is finally on the verge of getting a new commissioner.

67. Pfizer asks US to allow COVID shots for kids ages 5 to 11 -

Pfizer asked the U.S. government Thursday to allow use of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 -- and if regulators agree, shots could begin within a matter of weeks.

Many parents and pediatricians are clamoring for protection for children younger than 12, today's age cutoff for the vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech. Not only can youngsters sometimes get seriously ill, but keeping them in school can be a challenge with the coronavirus still raging in poorly vaccinated communities.

68. More than 120,000 US children had caregivers die during pandemic -

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of U.S. children orphaned during the COVID-19 pandemic may be larger than previously estimated, and the toll has been far greater among Black and Hispanic Americans, a new study suggests.

69. J&J seeks US clearance for COVID-19 vaccine booster doses -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson asked the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday to allow extra shots of its COVID-19 vaccine as the U.S. government moves toward expanding its booster campaign to millions more vaccinated Americans.

70. Merck says COVID-19 pill cuts risk of death, hospitalization -

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a potential leap forward in the global fight against the pandemic, drugmaker Merck said Friday that its experimental pill for people sick with COVID-19 reduced hospitalizations and deaths by half.

71. US stem cell clinics boomed while FDA paused crackdown -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of clinics pushing unproven stem cell procedures caught a big break from the U.S. government in 2017: They would have three years to show that their questionable treatments were safe and worked before regulators started cracking down.

72. US booster shots start, even as millions remain unprotected -

The U.S. launched a campaign to offer boosters of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to millions of Americans on Friday even as federal health officials stressed the real problem remains getting first shots to the unvaccinated.

73. CDC endorses COVID booster for millions of older Americans -

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday endorsed booster shots for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans, opening a major new phase in the U.S vaccination drive against COVID-19.

74. FDA backs Pfizer COVID-19 boosters for seniors, high-risk -

The U.S. moved a step closer Wednesday to offering booster doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to senior citizens and others at high risk from the virus as the Food and Drug Administration signed off on the targeted use of extra shots.

75. Biden bets on rapid COVID tests that can be hard to find -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is betting on millions more rapid, at-home tests to help curb the latest deadly wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is overloading hospitals and threatening to shutter classrooms around the country.

76. Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine works in kids ages 5 to 11 -

Pfizer said Monday its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11 and that it will seek U.S. authorization for this age group soon -- a key step toward beginning vaccinations for youngsters.

The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech already is available for anyone 12 and older. But with kids now back in school and the extra-contagious delta variant causing a huge jump in pediatric infections, many parents are anxiously awaiting vaccinations for their younger children.

77. FDA panel is first key test for Biden COVID-19 booster plan -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration's embattled plan to dispense COVID-19 booster shots to most Americans faced its first major hurdle Friday as a government advisory panel met to decide whether to endorse extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

78. Contest winners, health worker orbiting world in SpaceX 1st -

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The four people on SpaceX's first private flight are fairly ordinary, down-to-Earth types brought together by chance.

They'll circle Earth for three days at an unusually high altitude — on their own without a professional escort — before splashing down off the Florida coast.

79. SpaceX launches 4 amateurs on private Earth-circling trip -

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX's first private flight streaked into orbit Wednesday night with two contest winners, a health care worker and their rich sponsor, the most ambitious leap yet in space tourism.

80. FDA strikes neutral tone ahead of vaccine booster meeting -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Influential government advisers will debate Friday if there's enough proof that a booster dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective — the first step toward deciding which Americans need one and when.

81. FDA delays decision on e-cigarettes from vaping giant Juul -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials on Thursday delayed a high-stakes decision on whether to permit bestselling vaping brand Juul to stay on the market, while ordering thousands of other electronic cigarettes off store shelves.

82. FAA bans Virgin Galactic launches while probing Branson trip -

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday that Virgin Galactic cannot launch anyone into space again until an investigation is complete into a mishap that occurred during July's flight with founder Richard Branson.

83. 100,000 more COVID deaths seen unless US changes its ways -

The U.S. is projected to see nearly 100,000 more COVID-19 deaths between now and Dec. 1, according to the nation's most closely watched forecasting model. But health experts say that toll could be cut in half if nearly everyone wore a mask in public spaces.

84. Pfizer seeking FDA OK for COVID-19 vaccine booster dose -

Pfizer is seeking U.S. approval of a booster dose of its two-shot COVID-19 vaccine.

The drugmaker said Wednesday that it has started the application process for a third dose of its vaccine for everyone ages 16 and older. The company said it will complete the application with the Food and Drug Administration by the end of this week.

85. US regulators give full approval to Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine Monday, potentially boosting public confidence in the shots and instantly opening the way for more universities, companies and local governments to make vaccinations mandatory.

86. Record delta wave hits kids, raises fear as US schools open -

The day before he was supposed to start fourth grade, Francisco Rosales was admitted to a Dallas hospital with COVID-19, struggling to breathe, with dangerously low oxygen levels and an uncertain outcome.

87. US health officials call for booster shots against COVID-19 -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials Wednesday announced plans to dispense COVID-19 booster shots to all Americans to shore up their protection amid the surging delta variant and signs that the vaccines' effectiveness is falling.

88. EXPLAINER: What do we know about booster shots for COVID-19? -

U.S. health officials may soon recommend COVID-19 booster shots for fully vaccinated Americans. A look at what we know about boosters and how they could help fight the coronavirus:

WHY MIGHT WE NEED BOOSTERS?

89. Extra COVID vaccine OK'd for those with weak immune systems -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators say transplant recipients and others with severely weakened immune systems can get an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to better protect them as the delta variant continues to surge.

90. CDC urges COVID vaccines during pregnancy as delta surges -

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged all pregnant women Wednesday to get the COVID-19 vaccine as hospitals in hot spots around the U.S. see disturbing numbers of unvaccinated mothers-to-be seriously ill with the virus.

91. Groups make own drugs to fight high drug prices, shortages -

Impatient with years of inaction in Washington on prescription drug costs, U.S. hospital groups, startups and nonprofits have started making their own medicines in a bid to combat stubbornly high prices and persistent shortages of drugs with little competition.

92. CDC team: 'War has changed' as delta variant dangers emerge -

New evidence showing the delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and may be more dangerous than other versions has prompted U.S. health officials to consider changing advice on how the nation fights the coronavirus, internal documents show.

93. VUMC’s Wilkins lands major national award -

Consuelo Wilkins, M.D., MSCI, is the 2021 recipient of the Marion Spencer Fay Award from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia.

The national award recognizes women physicians and/or scientists who have made “an exceptionally significant contribution to health care.” Previous recipients include the late Bernadine Healy, M.D., the first female director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and pioneering breast cancer geneticist Mary-Claire King, Ph.D.

94. Moderna expanding kids vaccine study to better assess safety -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Moderna said Monday it plans to expand the size of its COVID-19 vaccine study in younger children to better detect rare side effects, such as a type of heart inflammation recently flagged by U.S. health authorities.

95. Tennessee man sentenced in scheme that duped cancer patients -

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee man who ran a Ponzi scheme disguised as a holistic wellness business was sentenced to eight years in prison on Friday.

Howard L. Young falsely claimed to have a grant from Vanderbilt University to study cancer patients and other patients with chronic medical conditions, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office in Nashville. Young also claimed he had cured himself of cancer using naturopathic methods. He required patients to pay $10,000 to participate in his nonexistent study but told them they would get their money back at the end of the year.

96. US life expectancy in 2020 sees biggest drop since WWII -

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. life expectancy fell by a year and a half in 2020, the largest one-year decline since World War II, public health officials said Wednesday. The decrease for both Black Americans and Hispanic Americans was even worse: three years.

97. Jeff Bezos blasts into space on own rocket: 'Best day ever!' -

VAN HORN, Texas (AP) — Jeff Bezos blasted into space Tuesday on his rocket company's first flight with people on board, becoming the second billionaire in just over a week to ride his own spacecraft.

98. US overdose deaths hit record 93,000 in pandemic last year -

NEW YORK (AP) — Overdose deaths soared to a record 93,000 last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government reported Wednesday.

That estimate far eclipses the high of about 72,000 drug overdose deaths reached the previous year and amounts to a 29% increase.

99. Vaccine deliveries rising as delta virus variant slams Asia -

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — As many Asian countries battle their worst surge of COVID-19 infections, the slow flow of vaccine doses from around the world is finally picking up speed, giving hope that low inoculation rates can increase and help blunt the effect of the rapidly spreading delta variant.

100. Bezos' Blue Origin gets OK to send him, 3 others to space -

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Jeff Bezos' rocket company has gotten government approval to launch people into space, himself included.

The Amazon founder will climb atop his New Shepard rocket next Tuesday in West Texas, joined by his brother, an 82-year-old female aviation pioneer and a $28 million auction winner. It will be the first launch with passengers for Blue Origin, which like Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic plans to start flying paying customers in the months ahead.