May 6 News You Need to Know

From the latest news on the coronavirus to upcoming changes in the stock market, here are the May 6 headlines you need to know.

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FDA announces that Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday announced that the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective, clearing the way for its use in the United States. The move comes just a day after a panel of independent advisers recommended that the vaccine be authorized for use in people 18 and older.

The decision means that there are now three vaccines authorized for use in the United States to help protect against Covid-19. “With today’s authorization, we have three safe and effective vaccines to help protect Americans from Covid-19,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, M.D. “This is a significant moment in the fight against this global pandemic.”

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is different from the other two authorized Covid-19 vaccines in that it only requires one dose, whereas the other two vaccines require two doses given several weeks apart. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is also easier to store and transport than the other two vaccines, which need to be kept at ultra-cold temperatures.

CDC updates guidance on mask-wearing and social distancing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidance on mask-wearing and social distancing, saying that people who are fully vaccinated can go without a mask indoors in most settings and do not need to maintain social distance.

The agency said that people who are not yet vaccinated should continue to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

The CDC’s new guidance came as the US reached a milestone in the vaccination effort, with more than half of adults now fully vaccinated.

White House says inflation is transitory

The White House says the transitory nature of inflation will have no bearing on the administration’s decision to let the Fed continue to support the economy.

In a statement, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “The Administration’s view is that the transitory nature of inflation will have no bearing on the decision of the Federal Reserve to continue to support the economy through asset purchases and near-zero interest rates.”

Psaki’s comments come after the release of data showing that consumer prices rose in April at their fastest pace in nearly 13 years. The Labor Department reported that the consumer price index rose 0.8% last month, driven by higher prices for gasoline, housing, food and vehicles.

Inflation has been rising as the economy reopens from the pandemic and as businesses grapple with supply shortages. The Fed has said it expects inflation to be transitory and has downplayed concerns about it becoming a problem.

Treasury yields continue to rise

U.S. Treasury yields continued to rise on Thursday as data showed that initial jobless claims unexpectedly fell last week and as traders bet on a strong recovery from the coronavirus-induced recession.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.671%, its highest level since March 2020. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond also climbed, to 2.415%.

Yields have been climbing this week after a report on Wednesday showed that private payrolls increased by a record 978,000 in April, adding to evidence that the labor market is rapidly recovering from the pandemic.

In other economic news, inflation remains muted, with the consumer price index rising just 0.8% in the 12 months ended March 31. And retail sales rose 0.9% in April, less than economists had expected.

European Union announces plans to reopen borders

The European Union has announced plans to begin reopening its borders to vaccinated travelers from select countries starting on July 1. The list of countries will be determined based on the percentage of the population that has been vaccinated, the rate of new infections, and other factors.

This news comes as a relief to many who have been cut off from family and friends for over a year now. However, it is important to remember that even with a vaccine, there is still some risk of contracting or transmitting the virus. Vaccinated individuals should continue to take precautions such as wearing a mask and social distancing when possible.

For now, travelers will need to show proof of vaccination and a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure. The EU is also working on developing a digital “vaccine passport” that will eventually replace the need for paper documents.

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