Health News Roundup: U.S. may cut some Moderna vaccine doses in half to speed rollout, official says; Mexico reports 5,211 new coronavirus cases, 362 more deaths and more

'That's real:' Fauci rejects Trump claim that U.S. coronavirus deaths overcounted Two top U.S. health officials on Sunday disputed a claim by President Donald Trump that federal data on COVID-19 cases and deaths in the United States is overblown, and both expressed optimism that the pace of vaccinations is picking up.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 04-01-2021 11:11 IST | Created: 04-01-2021 10:28 IST
Health News Roundup: U.S. may cut some Moderna vaccine doses in half to speed rollout, official says; Mexico reports 5,211 new coronavirus cases, 362 more deaths and more
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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

U.S. may cut some Moderna vaccine doses in half to speed rollout, official says

The U.S. government is considering giving some people half the dose of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine in order to speed vaccinations, a federal official said on Sunday. Moncef Slaoui, head of Operation Warp Speed, the federal vaccine program, said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that officials were in talks with Moderna and the Food and Drug Administration about the idea. Moderna's vaccine requires two injections.

Mexico reports 5,211 new coronavirus cases, 362 more deaths

Mexico's health ministry reported 5,211 new coronavirus cases and 362 additional fatalities on Sunday, bringing its totals to 1,448,755 infections and 127,213 deaths. The real number of infected people and deaths is likely significantly higher than the official count, the health ministry has said.

Colombia's Bogota puts three neighborhoods in quarantine once more

Colombia's capital Bogota will implement strict two-week quarantines in three neighborhoods beginning Tuesday to try and control a second wave of coronavirus, the mayor's office said on Sunday. Home to a combined 2.7 million people, Bogota's neighborhoods of Usaquen, Suba, and Engativa will enter strict quarantines with restrictions on movement and the shuttering of non-essential retail, as well as restaurants and bars, until Jan. 18, the mayor's office said.

NHS denies report it hasn't committed to delivering 2 million COVID-19 jabs a week

Britain's National Health Service late on Sunday denied a media report that claimed it has not committed to delivering two million COVID-19 jabs a week. The Daily Telegraph newspaper had said the NHS declined to make the commitment due to the supply of vaccines and issues of logistics including creating an army of vaccinators to deliver the biggest vaccination programme in history. An NHS spokeswoman told Reuters the "story is not true".

'That's real:' Fauci rejects Trump claim that U.S. coronavirus deaths overcounted

Two top U.S. health officials on Sunday disputed a claim by President Donald Trump that federal data on COVID-19 cases and deaths in the United States is overblown, and both expressed optimism that the pace of vaccinations is picking up. "The deaths are real deaths," Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on ABC News' This Week, adding that jam-packed hospitals and stressed-out healthcare workers are "not fake. That's real."

U.S. CDC reports 349,246 total deaths from coronavirus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday reported 349,246 deaths from the new coronavirus, a rise of 2,321 deaths from its previous count. The agency said the number of cases had risen by 284,554 to 20,346,372.

Japan PM says government will consider state of emergency for Tokyo area

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Monday the government would consider declaring a state of emergency for the Greater Tokyo metropolitan area as coronavirus cases climb and strain the country's medical system. The possible emergency declaration would mark a reversal, as has Suga resisted any such drastic steps to restrict economic activity.

Brazil to import 2 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses, not yet approved for use

Brazil's health regulator Anvisa said late on Saturday it had approved the import of 2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, although the jab is not yet approved for use in the country. Anvisa said it approved the importation request from federal government-affiliated biomedical center Fiocruz on Thursday. Australia's most populous state reports zero COVID cases, urges thousands to get tested

Australia's most populous state New South Wales (NSW) on Monday reported zero local coronavirus cases for the first time in nearly three weeks, as Sydney battled multiple outbreaks and authorities urged tens of thousands of people to get tested. NSW daily testing numbers have dropped to around 20,000 in the last two days from a peak of about 70,000 recorded on Christmas Day, Dec. 25. The overwhelming majority of tests are in the state capital Sydney. 'Pivotal moment' as Britain set to roll out AstraZeneca vaccine

Britain will become the first country to roll out the low cost and easily transportable AstraZeneca and Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, another step forward in the global response to the pandemic. Six hospitals in England will administer the first of around 530,000 doses Britain has ready. The programme will be expanded to hundreds of other British sites in the coming days, and the government hopes it will deliver tens of millions of doses within months.

(With inputs from agencies.)


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