Global health leaders encouraged use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine despite a study showing that it may not be as effective against the South Africa variant. After it initially called for its rollout to be halted, South Africa plans to debut the AstraZeneca vaccine in a “stepped manner.” (Reuters)

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been declining, but Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle Walensky says variants could reverse the gains. Moderna, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson have warned that their vaccines may be less effective against the South African variant of the virus. (CNBC Weekly)

Freeline Therapeutics announced Monday that it is delaying a trial for its hemophilia B program, FLT180a. The company attributed the two-year delay to a need to address CMC (chemistry, manufacturing and controls) feedback from the Food and Drug Administration. (Endpoints News)

A $1 billion federal public awareness campaign for COVID-19 vaccines is on hold as limited supply slows down the vaccination effort. The educational campaign is designed to increase confidence in vaccines. (POLITICO)

Russia revised its COVID-19 data from 2020. The country now says that more than 162,000 people died from COVID-19-related causes last year, representing a much higher number of virus-related deaths than previously reported. (AP)