Health News Roundup: U.S. Supreme Court declines to block Texas abortion ban; Moderna seeks U.S. authorization for COVID-19 vaccine booster and more
Barring a few cases in February, New Zealand had been largely free of coronavirus until the Delta outbreak prompted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to order the snap lockdown last month. Moderna seeks U.S. authorization for COVID-19 vaccine booster Moderna Inc on Wednesday asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow the use of a third booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
U.S. Supreme Court declines to block Texas abortion ban
The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Wednesday to block a Texas ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, dealing a major blow to abortion rights by leaving in place a state law that prohibits the vast majority of abortions. The decision is a major milestone in the fight over abortion, as opponents have sought for decades to roll back access to the procedure.
Moderna seeks U.S. authorization for COVID-19 vaccine booster
Moderna Inc on Wednesday asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow the use of a third booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA is considering booster shots of the Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE vaccine, but so far has only allowed people with weakened immune systems to receive third doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer shots.
New Zealand says fall in COVID-19 cases shows Delta lockdown working
New Zealand reported a drop in new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, which authorities said was a sign that a nationwide lockdown was helping to limit the spread of the infectious Delta variant. Barring a few cases in February, New Zealand had been largely free of coronavirus until the Delta outbreak prompted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to order the snap lockdown last month.
Australian doctors warn of risks to hospitals once COVID-19 curbs ease
Australian doctors on Thursday warned the country's hospitals are not ready to cope with the government's reopening plans, even with higher vaccination rates, as some states prepare to move from a virus suppression strategy to living with COVID-19. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) said the health system was in danger of being locked into a "permanent cycle of crisis" and has called for new modelling to check if staffing levels in hospitals can withstand an expected surge in cases when lockdown rules ease.
South Korean health workers drop strike plans after agreement
South Korean frontline health workers on Thursday dropped plans to strike after they reached an agreement with the government on their demand for increased staffing and better work conditions during last-ditch negotiations overnight. The Korean Health and Medical Worker's Union had warned some of its 80,000 members, including nurses, medical engineers, and pharmacists who say they are exhausted from battling waves of COVID-19 outbreaks, would begin striking from Thursday if their demands were not met.
The first batch of BioNTech SE's COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Taiwan on Thursday, helped by the involvement of two of the world's most important tech firms after months of heated political and diplomatic wrangling. Taiwan has blamed China, which claims the island as its own territory, for nixing an original order from the German firm this year - charges Beijing has angrily denied. Taiwan's government then allowed major Apple Inc supplier Foxconn - formally Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd - as well as its high-profile billionaire founder, Terry Gou, along with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, to negotiate on its behalf for the doses. A $350 million deal for 10 million shots was inked in July, which will be donated to the government for distribution. A cargo flight from Luxembourg carrying the vaccines landed at Taiwan's main international airport at Taoyuan, outside of Taipei, at 7 a.m. (2300 GMT), and was met on the tarmac by Health Minister Chen Shih-chung and Sophie Chang, the TSMC Charity Foundation's chairwoman, and Gou's cousin.
U.S. FDA seeks new warnings on arthritis drugs from Pfizer, Lilly and AbbVie
The U.S. drug regulator has asked Pfizer, Eli Lilly & Co, and AbbVie to include information about the risks of serious conditions and death from the use of their drugs that belong to a class of treatments known as JAK inhibitors. The warnings on Wednesday stem from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's review of Pfizer's arthritis drug Xeljanz after initial results from a February trial showed an increased risk of serious heart-related problems and cancer with the drug.
Moderna to recall COVID-19 doses in Japan after stainless steel contaminants found
Moderna Inc and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd on Wednesday said they are working with Japanese authorities to recall three batches of COVID-19 vaccine after an investigation found stainless steel contaminants in some vials. Japanese authorities had suspended the use of these batches of Moderna shots containing 1.63 million doses last week after being notified of the contamination issue.
U.S. FDA advisory panel to discuss COVID-19 vaccine boosters on Sept. 17
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday its outside advisers will meet on Sept. 17 to discuss additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines and specifically Pfizer Inc and partner BioNTech's application for the use of a booster vaccine dose.
Judge will approve Purdue Pharma bankruptcy plan that shields Sacklers
A U.S. judge said on Wednesday he would approve OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP's bankruptcy reorganization plan, clearing a path to resolve thousands of opioid lawsuits and shielding the company's wealthy Sackler family owners from future opioid litigation. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain said that with small changes he would approve the plan, which overcame opposition to garner support from nearly all states, local governments, tribes, hospitals, and other creditors that voted on the restructuring. They became creditors in the bankruptcy by virtue of suing Purdue and Sackler family members over their alleged contributions to the nationwide opioid epidemic.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)