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NEW YORK – Responding to a severe shortage of tests for the novel coronavirus in the state of New York, the US Food and Drug Administration on Thursday gave the New York State Department of Health permission to authorize New York laboratories to begin patient testing.

In a statement issued on Friday, the agency said it is "not objecting" to the NYSDOH's approach, under which labs need to provide validation data to the health department within 15 days of starting testing instead of having to pursue an Emergency Use Authorization with the FDA.

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The Washington Post reports that US states and territories are seeking more funding for the distribution of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

The strain now accounts for about 80 percent of cases in Wales and Scotland, and about half of cases in England, the Guardian reports.

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