The Morning Dispatch: Finland and Sweden Weighing NATO Bids

Happy Friday! Chag Pesach Sameach to those celebrating the start of Passover tonight, and Happy Easter to our members celebrating on Sunday!

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced Thursday that one of its missile cruisers—The Moskva—sank off the coast of Ukraine this week. Russian officials said a fire detonated ammunition onboard the ship—the flagship of its Black Sea fleet—but the Ukrainian military claimed to have hit the vessel with an anti-ship missile. An anonymous U.S. Defense Department official backed the Ukrainians’ claim, and several other Russian warships have reportedly repositioned further from shore in recent days.

  • Despite weeks of draconian lockdowns, Chinese health officials reported the country’s highest-ever number of daily COVID-19 cases on Thursday. And it’s not just Shanghai: According to a recent Nomura survey, 45 Chinese cities—home to a combined 373 million people and responsible for about 40 percent of China’s economic output—were either fully or partially locked down as of Monday. 

  • Pfizer and BioNTech announced Thursday that a Phase 2/3 clinical trial featuring 140 children ages 5 through 11 found a 10-microgram COVID-19 vaccine booster dose to be safe and capable of increasing neutralizing antibody titers against the Omicron variant 36-fold compared to two doses alone. The companies plan to apply for emergency use authorization so this age group can receive booster doses. Just 28 percent of U.S. children ages 5 through 11 are currently fully vaccinated.

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