Health News Roundup: English health service planning for roll-out of different COVID-19 vaccines; Hundreds sign up for Delhi race as it battles coronavirus surge, pollution and more

Pfizer ends its COVID-19 vaccine trial with a 95% success rate Final results from Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 vaccine trial showed its shot had a 95% success rate and two months of safety data, paving the way for the drugmaker to apply for an emergency U.S. authorization within days, it said on Wednesday.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 18-11-2020 18:34 IST | Created: 18-11-2020 18:30 IST
Health News Roundup: English health service planning for roll-out of different COVID-19 vaccines; Hundreds sign up for Delhi race as it battles coronavirus surge, pollution and more
Representative picture. Image Credit: Unsplash

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

English health service planning for roll-out of different COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines in England will be delivered through a variety of routes including local doctors surgeries and vaccine centres, NHS England's medical director said on Wednesday, adding that the exact plans will be contingent on which vaccine is used. "We will be using our traditional vaccine routes, so general practices, likely community pharmacy, but we will also be looking at other ways of delivering vaccinations such as vaccine centres," Stephen Powis said at a news conference.

Hundreds sign up for Delhi race as it battles coronavirus surge, pollution

Some of the world's leading long-distance runners and hundreds of others will take part in a half-marathon and shorter races this month in New Delhi, the organiser said on Wednesday, despite concerns over the Indian capital's toxic air. Ethiopia's Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who won a bronze last month at the women's World Athletics half marathon championships in Poland, is among those who will run the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2020 on Nov. 29.

EU recommends use of COVID rapid tests after symptoms emerge

The European Commission recommended on Wednesday the use of rapid COVID-19 antigen tests mostly on people already showing symptoms because it said the kits were deemed less accurate in detecting the virus in asymptomatic cases. Rapid antigen kits are less precise than standard PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, but can offer results in a few minutes, as opposed to days, in what could prove a crucial tool in fighting large outbreaks.

Dutch aim to tackle coronavirus outbreak with vast walk-in testing sites

Dutch authorities opened a vast walk-in coronavirus testing site in the central town of Utrecht this week, capable of 800 tests an hour and delivering results within 24 hours, as the country seeks to boost its ability to quickly spot new outbreaks. "This is an extra-large facility", Utrecht's testing facility supervisor Gerben van Manen told Reuters.

Spain authorises Phase III trial of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

Spain's medicines agency authorised the launch of late-stage trials of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday as the race to develop successful vaccines intensifies. The Phase III trial of the two-dose vaccination will be carried out in nine hospitals throughout Spain on volunteers both with and without previous health conditions, the AEMPS agency said in a statement.

Analysis: Can first COVID-19 vaccines bring herd immunity? Experts have doubts

Governments and officials are voicing hopes that COVID-19 vaccines could bring "herd immunity", with some calculating that immunising just two-thirds of a population could halt the pandemic disease and help protect whole communities or nations. But the concept comes with caveats and big demands of what vaccines might be capable of preventing. Some experts say such expectations are misplaced.

Global daily coronavirus deaths cross record of 10,733 single-day deaths – Reuters tally

The number of reported global daily deaths from the coronavirus stood at 10,816 on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally, the highest single-day death count as the virus's global epicenter the United States entered winter. The previous record of global daily deaths was 10,733, registered on Nov. 4, according to the Reuters tally.

'A catastrophic situation': COVID-19 threatens to overwhelm Canada's health system

In July, the Canadian province of Manitoba went two weeks without a single new case of COVID-19. Theaters and casinos reopened and children soon returned to school. By October, the 1.4 million people living in a province only slightly smaller geographically than Texas had Canada's highest rate of active cases - now 512 per 100,000 people, or nearly quadruple the national rate.

Pfizer ends its COVID-19 vaccine trial with a 95% success rate

Final results from Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 vaccine trial showed its shot had a 95% success rate and two months of safety data, paving the way for the drugmaker to apply for an emergency U.S. authorization within days, it said on Wednesday. The vaccine's efficacy rate, the highest of any candidate in late-stage clinical trials so far, pleased experts who had already said that interim results showing Pfizer's shot was over 90% effective were very encouraging.

Q&A: Where are we in the COVID-19 vaccine race?

Drugmakers and research centers around the world are working on COVID-19 vaccines, with large global trials of several of the candidates involving tens of thousands of participants well underway. The following is what we know about the race to deliver vaccines to help end the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 1.34 million lives worldwide:

(With inputs from agencies.)


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