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Health News Roundup: Brazil COVID-19 death toll reaches 175,964; Moderna CEO confident of producing 500 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in 2021 and more

Canada doubles Moderna vaccine order, daily COVID-19 cases could top 10,000 by January Canada has doubled the number of doses of Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine it has on firm order, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said on Friday, while the country's top doctor warned that daily new cases could top 10,000 by January.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 05-12-2020 11:30 IST | Created: 05-12-2020 11:26 IST
Health News Roundup: Brazil COVID-19 death toll reaches 175,964; Moderna CEO confident of producing 500 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in 2021 and more
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Exclusive: FDA chief had 'robust discussion' with White House about vaccine timelines

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's chief had a "robust discussion" with the White House this week about the timeline for coronavirus vaccine approvals and believes vaccinating 20 million Americans this year is realistic, he said on Friday. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn declined to lay out a specific timetable for approval of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech but said he hoped the regulator would make a decision this month.

WHO hopes to have 500 million vaccine doses via COVAX scheme in first quarter of 2021, chief scientist

The World Health Organization hopes to have half a billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines available for distribution by the global COVAX initiative in the first quarter of 2021, its chief scientist said on Friday. To date 189 countries have joined the COVAX programme, which is backed by the WHO and seeks to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines. The United States is not among them, having secured bilateral deals.

Brazil COVID-19 death toll reaches 175,964

Brazil reported 46,884 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 694 deaths from COVID-19, the Health Ministry said on Thursday. The South American country has now registered 6,533,968 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 175,964, according to ministry data, in the world's third worst outbreak outside the United States and India.

Moderna CEO confident of producing 500 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in 2021

Moderna Inc will be able to produce 500 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel said on Friday "For 500 million, I am very comfortable we are gonna get there (2021)," Bancel said, while speaking at the Nasdaq Investor Conference.

U.S. Supreme Court takes up Trump bid to revive Medicaid work requirements

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a bid by President Donald Trump's administration to revive pilot programs adopted by the states of Arkansas and New Hampshire that allow work requirements to be imposed on people who receive healthcare under the Medicaid program for the poor. The justices took up the administration's appeals of rulings by a lower court that found the work requirement programs to be unlawful. The case potentially could become moot once Democratic President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20. Seventeen other states are pursuing similar policies.

Canada doubles Moderna vaccine order, daily COVID-19 cases could top 10,000 by January

Canada has doubled the number of doses of Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine it has on firm order, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said on Friday, while the country's top doctor warned that daily new cases could top 10,000 by January. "Canada is exercising options for an additional 20 million doses of the Moderna vaccine candidate. This will bring Canada's total allotment of this vaccine to 40 million doses to be delivered in 2021," Anand said at a health briefing.

Record U.S. deaths prompt urgent calls for masking, stay-at-home orders

U.S. leaders urgently called on Americans to wear masks and threatened even more drastic stay-at-home orders after deaths from the coronavirus set a single-day record, with two people dying every minute. More than 213,830 new cases and 2,861 deaths were reported on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally of official data, with several experts projecting the death toll will soon surpass 3,000 per day.

U.S. CDC reports 275,386 deaths from coronavirus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday reported 14,041,436 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 219,187 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 2,861 to 275,386. The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by the new coronavirus, as of 4 p.m. ET on Dec. 3 versus its previous report a day earlier. (https://bit.ly/33mTSJz)

Young Brazilian partygoers stir fears of second COVID-19 wave

When a young woman joined her family for a barbecue one recent Sunday in southern Brazil, soon after a night on the town, she had no idea she would infect 18 relatives with the new coronavirus, and three of them would eventually die. Young Brazilians, energized by the arrival of summer and suffering from social distancing fatigue after months of confinement, have taken to the streets and beaches to party in increasing numbers.

Analysis: First U.S. delivery of COVID-19 vaccine will leave out many high-risk workers

The U.S. government's first shipment of millions of coronavirus vaccine doses to be divided among states and federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, will fall far short of protecting high priority groups such as healthcare workers, a Reuters analysis has found. Across the country, state health departments are preparing local hospitals for the first shipments of Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 vaccine if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorizes it, possibly as early as mid-December.

(With inputs from agencies.)


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