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A panel in Japan has given the OK for the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, Bloomberg reports.

It adds that this greenlight from the Ministry of Health's advisory Pharmaceutical Affairs and Food Sanitation Council could enable the vaccine to be approved as early as Sunday. If that happens, Bloomberg notes this would be Japan's first SARS-CoV-2 vaccine approval.

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SARS-CoV-2 vaccine developers are evaluating further vaccine doses as well as modified doses to keep up with new viral variants, according to CNN.

The New York Times reports that a new viral variant of concern has been identified in New York City.

In Nature this week: spatiotemporally resolved map of the human cell cycle, folding single-cell RNA sequencing into cancer drug studies, and more.

According to BBC News, the global vaccine-sharing initiative has sent its first shipment, which arrived in Ghana this week.