Johnson & Johnson is entering late-stage trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, with interim data expected by the end of January. If the results are positive, the company will likely apply for emergency use authorization in February. (Reuters

Vice President Mike Pence received a COVID-19 vaccine on live television. His wife, Karen Pence, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams also received the vaccine, though it remains unclear if and when President Trump will be vaccinated. (Politico

Merck announced a $1 billion deal to collaborate with Janux Therapeutics. The San Diego-based biotech has several programs focused on T-cell engagers. (Endpoints News

Google sibling Verily announced that it has raised another $700 million in capital. The company intends to use some of the funding to expand Baseline, its clinical healthcare platform. (CNBC)
Southern California has run out of ICU beds and hospitals are operating in surge mode. Officials fear that holiday gatherings could lead to an intensified surge of infection. (Los Angeles Times)