BioNTech SE, the German biotech that developed a widely used COVID-19 vaccine with Pfizer Inc, will set up research and manufacturing centres in Australia based on the same technology, the company and Australian lawmakers said on Friday. The Nasdaq-listed company and Australia's Victoria state said they signed a partnership to create a centre, which would run clinical research of experimental messenger ribonucleic acid, or mRNA, vaccines and therapies with the aim of attracting experts from around the world. The partnership would also involve setting up mRNA manufacturing facilities in Melbourne, based on BioNTech's modular design, the company and the state government said.
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Around 3.9 million people in the United States received updated COVID-19 booster shots over the past week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday. The 11.5-million figure represents only 5.3% of the 215.5 million people in the United States aged 12 or older who are eligible to receive the shots because they have completed their primary vaccination series. The shots are being administered at a slower pace than last year, when the United States initially authorized COVID boosters just for older and immunocompromised people.