FDA experts among group opposing US booster shot plan

The average person doesn’t need a COVID-19 booster yet, an international group of scientists — including two top U.S. regulators — wrote Monday in a scientific journal. The experts reviewed studies of the vaccines' performance and concluded the shots are working well despite the extra-contagious delta variant, especially against severe disease. “Even in populations with fairly high vaccination rates, the unvaccinated are still the major drivers of transmission" at this stage of the pandemic, they concluded. The opinion piece, published in The Lancet, illustrates the intense scientific debate about who needs booster doses and when, a decision the U.S. and other countries are grappling with.

'Shang-Chi' tops box office again with $35.8 million

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” stayed on top at the box office, collecting $35.8 million in ticket sales in its second weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. That total was good enough for the best second-weekend gross of any film during the pandemic, edging out the previous Marvel movie, “Black Widow.” This year, relatively few films have held well in theaters either because they've been streaming simultaneously at home or because moviegoers' attention fades. “Shang-Chi" is playing exclusively in theaters, and its second-week drop, 53%, was relatively modest. In two weeks of release, it has grossed $247.6 million globally. At its current pace, “Shang-Chi,” the first Marvel movie to star an Asian superhero (played by Simu Liu), may become the top summer release at the North American box office. Globally, its path is less certain. “Shang-Chi” currently doesn't have a release date in China. Worldwide, Universal's “Fast and Furious" sequel “F9” has fared better than any other pandemic release with more than $714 million in ticket sales.

S. Carolina, Georgia destinations top Travel + Leisure list

Two of the South’s most picturesque destinations have topped a major travel magazine’s list of best U.S. cities. Readers of Travel + Leisure ranked Charleston, South Carolina, No. 1 on its list of the top 15 cities in the U.S. Coming in at No. 3 was a coastal Southern neighbor — Savannah. The magazine wrote that Southern cities “continue to steal the hearts” of its readers "thanks to the wonderful mix of warm hospitality, approachable size, excellent food and striking architecture.” It’s the ninth straight year that Charleston has led Travel + Leisure’s best U.S. cities list. The city that beat out Savannah for No. 2 on this year’s list was Santa Fe, New Mexico. The list is featured in the magazine's October issue.

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