New York City has expanded its COVID-19 vaccine mandate to all public employees, the mayor’s office said Wednesday. The new rule, which does not include provisions for frequent testing of the unvaccinated, will impact some 160,000 workers. (CNBC Weekly)

AstraZeneca’s Phase I/II study for its cancer drug AZD5991 has been placed on hold by the Food and Drug Administration owing to safety issues. The halt comes two years after the FDA similarly paused Amgen’s MCL-1 inhibitor due to signs of cardiac toxicity. (Endpoints News)

Novavax announced that its COVID-19 vaccine will be ready before the year is out and that it plans to file for emergency use authorization in the next few weeks. The announcement follows a report that the company was experiencing serious manufacturing issues that could potentially delay the vaccine’s arrival. (Politico)

The Gates Foundation will invest $120 million to boost access to Merck’s COVID-19 pill in low-income countries. The funds will be devoted in large part to helping increase production of molnupiravir via generic manufacturers. (STAT)

COVID-19 cases are surging across Russia and Eastern Europe, where public health officials have struggled to convince large swaths of the population to receive the vaccine. Romania, with a vaccination rate of 36%, had the world’s highest COVID-19 death rate per capita this week. (Reuters)