A vial labelled with the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021. (DADO RUVIC / REUTERS)

MOSCOW – Pfizer Inc and its partner BioNTech said on Thursday the EU health regulator has recommended authorizing the use of their bivalent COVID-19 shot as a booster in children aged 5 through 11.

The Omicron-tailored vaccine is already authorized by the European Commission for individuals aged 12 years and above.

The updated bivalent booster shot targets the original coronavirus strain as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron.

US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Thursday rejected a bid to prevent New York City from enforcing its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for municipal workers against a group teachers, firefighters and others who challenged the policy.

ALSO READ: Russia reports 7,329 new COVID-19 cases


AstraZeneca raised its full-year earnings outlook on Thursday after strong sales of its key cancer drugs helped it beat quarterly profit and revenue forecasts, driving its shares to a 2-1/2 month high.

The Anglo-Swedish company said it managed to grow its business in China despite protracted COVID lockdowns and was no longer pursuing US approval for its COVID-19 vaccine.

AstraZeneca is seen as a bellwether for the pharmaceutical sector in China, which accounted for about 16% of the company's total revenue last year.


Russia registered 5,594 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 21,483,520, said the official monitoring and response center on Thursday.

READ MORE: US daily COVID-19 cases remain close to 130,000

The center said the nationwide death toll increased by 61 to 390,835, while the number of recoveries grew by 7,623 to 20,884,515.