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UK asks regulator to assess AZ-Oxford vaccine amid questions

The British government said Friday it has formally asked the country’s medicines regulator to assess whether a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University should be authorized for use.

The step comes amid questions about preliminary results from trials of the jab, after the company and the university acknowledged that the most encouraging part of their findings stemmed from a dosing error.

U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he had asked the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to determine whether the vaccine “meets rigorous safety standards.”

It’s the second vaccine candidate to reach the formal assessment stage in Britain, following a shot developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech. A third vaccine from U.S. firm Moderna is not far behind.

The British government has ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, and plans to start distributing it in December if it gains approval.

The regulator said

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CommonSpirit’s CHI St. Luke’s ends relationship with Molina

CHI St. Luke’s Health will officially be out of network for Molina Healthcare members beginning on Thanksgiving Day, the health system announced Wednesday.

The Houston-based CommonSpirit Health subsidiary had threatened to end its relationship with both Molina and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas in October if the insurers didn’t agree to pay more for services.

CHI St. Luke’s and Molina did not reach an agreement, so they have mutually agreed to end their relationship on Nov. 25 with an effective date of Nov. 26, Vanessa Astros, a spokeswoman for the health system, wrote in an email. Patients with certain medical situations, under the Continuity of Care provision in their insurance coverage, will be allowed to continue with St. Luke’s Health, she said.

Molina and the Texas Blues did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Negotiations are ongoing between CHI St. Luke’s and BCBCTX, Astros said. CHI St.

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Sanford Health CEO stepping down after saying he won’t wear a mask

Sanford Health CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft, who late last week said he didn’t need to wear a mask because he is immune from contracting or transmitting COVID-19 since he tested positive, is retiring.

“We decided that today was a good time to retire,” Krabbenhoft said in an emailed statement. “Sanford is in a good place, strongest ever. It is Thanksgiving week and almost exactly 25 years since my family came here. It is a good time to say ‘goodbye.'”

Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford’s board of trustees on Tuesday described the decision as mutual, and appointed Bill Gassen as Krabbenhoft’s replacement, effectively immediately. Gassen most recently served as Sanford’s chief administrative officer and has been with the health system since 2012.

Board chair Brent Teiken said in a news release that Gassen’s substantial experience with the organization makes him the right person to lead Sanford through these unprecedented times.

“We’re extremely optimistic

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