Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A disagreement between the Biden administration and Moderna over booster shot details has thrown a wrench in the administration's plans, and may result in the booster effort beginning with only some Pfizer recipients later this month.

Why it matters: How the dispute shakes out could have implications for the global vaccine supply chain — as well as for Moderna's bottom line.

State of play: Moderna completed its booster dose submission with the FDA yesterday, asking the agency to evaluate the authorization of a third shot of the vaccine.

  • But the company's submission was for a 50-microgram dose, or half of the dose included in the first two shots.
  • The Biden administration wants to see data for boosting with 100 micrograms as well. The FDA needs both datasets to evaluate what elicits a more durable immune response, a senior Biden administration official told Axios.

The big picture: The Biden administration's booster effort is already under fire for getting ahead of the data and for poor messaging.

  • The administration argues that it doesn't have any time to lose when it comes to staying ahead of the virus.

Between the lines: If Moderna booster shots are a half-dose of the original level, that vastly expands the company's global supply overnight.

  • That means more shots would be available around the world. But it also means Moderna could make a lot more money.
  • “FDA has requested Moderna to submit both. Moderna’s focused only on its 50. Yes, that increases supply, but it’s also in its economic interests," the senior administration official said.

By the numbers: Boosting with a half-dose bumps a person's immune response up to well above the level it was at two weeks after their second dose of the vaccine, the company said in August.

  • “50 [micrograms] clearly works, and it also allows additional doses to be freed up and offered in other areas," said a source close to Moderna.

Many public health experts say there's no data currently suggesting that most adults who received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, outside of certain vulnerable populations, need a booster shot when much of the world hasn't had a first round.

  • That's because the vaccines have, so far, held up well against severe disease, even though their effectiveness at preventing infection appears to have dropped significantly over time.
  • Following that logic, it stands to reason that eliciting the maximum immune response may not be worth foregoing an increase to the global vaccine supply.

What they're saying: “We always said we would follow the science, and this is all part of a process that is now underway,” White House spokesman Chris Meagher told the New York Times, which first reported the booster plan may be scaled back initially.

  • “When that approval and recommendation are made we will be ready to implement the plan our nation’s top doctors developed so that we are staying ahead of this virus,” Meagher added.

What we're watching: If a third Pfizer shot is authorized before Moderna, that not only complicates the effort, but could also leave Moderna behind.

  • “The question is whether their strategy is going to [result in] everyone moving on to Pfizer," the senior administration official said.

Go deeper

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: New York Supreme Court grants stay for indoor mask mandate — Neil Young demands Spotify take down music over vaccine misinformation — Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated Dec 19, 2021 - Economy & Business

Omicron derails company holiday parties

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

It looked like corporate Christmas parties would get the green light this year after virtual soirees in 2020 — but along came Omicron.

Driving the news: Companies of every size and across the world are rethinking their holiday bashes as the Omicron winter wave rolls in. And a popular new option is putting the ball in workers' courts by planning hybrid parties.

Dec 13, 2021 - Health

SCOTUS declines to block New York's COVID vaccine mandate for health care workers

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks during a news conference in New York on Sept. 30. Photo: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to block New York's coronavirus vaccine mandate for health care workers, which does not allow for religious exemptions.

Why it matters: A group of health care workers had sued the state arguing the mandate violated their religious freedoms.