3 To Know: A new vaccine, a new poll and a new frosty
1. FDA panel recommends Novavax COVID vaccine be the fourth allowed for use in US
A federal advisory committee Tuesday recommended a fourth COVID-19 vaccine be authorized for use in the Unites States, this one from Novavax, a Gaithersburg, Maryland-based company.
The vaccine, which was supported by $1.8 billion in taxpayer funding, relies on a more traditional approach than the vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, which have been used by more than three-quarters of Americans.
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A third vaccine, from Johnson & Johnson, was used in more than 16 million people, but has now been recommended as a second choice, because of an extremely rare, but potentially lethal side effect.
According to polling data, 73% of Americans want more vaccine choices.
Dr. Peter Marks, head of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine review division, opened Tuesday's meeting by saying that because of vaccine hesitancy – which has left about 23% of the public unvaccinated – the government should do everything within its power to offer more options.
Before the vaccine can become available, the head of the FDA must agree with the advisory panel that the benefits of Novavax's vaccine outweigh its risks. Then, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Panel and the CDC's director must also sign off on the vaccine. That process is likely to take a few weeks at least.
Novavax has said it has millions of doses available and ready to be shipped once it receives authorization. – Karen Weintraub/USA Today
2. Half of Republicans support stricter gun laws, a double-digit jump in a year, USA TODAY/Ipsos poll says
Half of Republicans support stricter gun laws, an exclusive USA TODAY/Ipsos poll finds, a double-digit increase after a series of horrific mass shootings at schools, stores, streets and houses of worship.
The increase in GOP support – from 35% last year to 50% – could boost the prospects for Congress to tighten federal gun laws, an effort that has failed for decades. The House is poised to pass a Democratic package of proposals this week as bipartisan negotiations on a less far-reaching compromise continue behind closed doors in the Senate.
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On Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Miah Cerrillo, 11, is scheduled to testify at what seems sure to be a heartbreaking hearing. She is a fourth grader who smeared herself with a classmate's blood and played dead during last month's school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two teachers.
"I'm pro-gun, that's part of the Second Amendment," says Sean Nelson, 27, an independent from Hagerstown, Maryland, who leans to the GOP. The cybersecurity analyst was among those called in the survey. The mass shootings prompted him to support stronger background checks and waiting periods for gun purchases. "With all these things happening, we need better regulation and better rules to prevent those things happening," he says. More at marconews.com. – Susan Page and Kenneth Tran/USA Today
3. Wendy's is serving a Strawberry Frosty
For a limited time, the popular Wendy's Frosty isn't only available in chocolate or vanilla.
Starting Tuesday, Wendy's will offer a Strawberry Frosty as part of a limited time summer menu update.
"We're always listening to our fans and as the most-requested item, it was a no-brainer for us to bring the Strawberry Frosty to the menu this season," said Carl Loredo, chief marketing officer for The Wendy's Company, in a statement.
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The Strawberry Frosty is available through late summer. Wendy's is also offering a Summer Strawberry Chicken Salad, which combines sliced strawberries, bacon, grilled chicken, a crispy lettuce and spring mix. It's topped with an Italian cheese blend, candied almonds and a sweet Champagne vinaigrette.
Both the Strawberry Frosty and new salad are available to order now in restaurant or through the Wendy's app. The fast-food chain said through July 3, if you order the Summer Strawberry Chicken Salad in the app, you can earn a free small order of fries. – Brett Molina/USA Today