Health News Roundup: New coronavirus cases rise in France; Sanofi to help produce 100 million Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses and more
Lopez Obrador's diagnosis on Sunday capped the deadliest week of the coronavirus pandemic in the country with the world's fourth-highest death toll https://tmsnrt.rs/34pvUyi. Italy asks EU to take action against Pfizer over COVID-19 vaccine delays Italy asked the European Commission on Tuesday to take action against Pfizer over cuts to its COVID-19 vaccine deliveries, the government's special commissioner said.Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 27-01-2021 02:36 IST | Created: 27-01-2021 02:28 IST
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Sanofi to help produce 100 million Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses
Sanofi will fill and pack millions of doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine from July in an effort to help meet the huge demand for the U.S. drugmaker's shots. The French company will aim to help supply more than 100 million doses of the vaccine this year from its German plant in Frankfurt, CEO Paul Hudson told Le Figaro newspaper on Tuesday.
'Wear a mask': Mexicans urge president to follow rules after COVID-19 setback
Mexicans hope President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador makes a speedy recovery from COVID-19, though many believe he could have avoided infection if he had more strictly followed the government's own health advice - and worn a face mask. Lopez Obrador's diagnosis on Sunday capped the deadliest week of the coronavirus pandemic in the country with the world's fourth-highest death toll https://tmsnrt.rs/34pvUyi.
Italy asks EU to take action against Pfizer over COVID-19 vaccine delays
Italy asked the European Commission on Tuesday to take action against Pfizer over cuts to its COVID-19 vaccine deliveries, the government's special commissioner said. The request to Brussels came a day after Rome sent a formal warning letter to the U.S. drug company calling on it to respect its contractual commitments after a temporary slowdown in its COVID-19 vaccine deliveries.
Enthusiasm over COVID-19 vaccines tempered by talk of protectionism and hoarding
Europe urged pharmaceutical companies on Tuesday to honour their commitments to supply coronavirus vaccines, as delivery cuts and delays dim hopes of a quick fix to COVID-19 and increase talk of protectionism and hoarding. Countries around the world, anxious to reboot economies and restart travel by the European summer, hailed the rapid development of vaccines as the great escape from the year-long pandemic, which has killed more than 2.1 million people.
44.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines distributed, 23.5 million administered: U.S. CDC
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had administered 23,540,994 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Tuesday morning and distributed 44,394,075 doses. The tally of vaccine doses are for both Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, vaccines as of 6:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, the agency said.
Peru volunteer in Sinopharm vaccine trial dies of COVID-19 pneumonia, university says
A volunteer in the local Peruvian trial of a coronavirus vaccine produced by China's Sinopharm Group Co Ltd has died from COVID-19 related pneumonia, the university carrying out the trial said on Tuesday. Cayetano Heredia University, which is involved with the study, said that it did not know if the volunteer had received the vaccine or the placebo in the double blind trial. Peru is being hit by a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
UK passes 100,000 COVID deaths, with many more to come
The death toll in Britain from the coronavirus pandemic passed 100,000 people on Tuesday as the government battled to speed up vaccination delivery and keep variants of the virus at bay. Many more deaths would follow before a vaccination programme began to take effect, England's chief medical officer said.
EU contract did not leave time to fix vaccine hiccups: AstraZeneca CEO
AstraZeneca's Chief Executive on Tuesday said the European Union's late decision to strike a contract with the drugmaker to supply COVID-19 vaccines, months after Britain, meant the company did not have enough time to iron out glitches in setting up production lines with external partners. "We are basically two months behind where we wanted to be," Pascal Soriot told German daily Die Welt in an interview, when asked about delayed deliveries in Europe.
Democrats may move forward on coronavirus aid without Republicans: Schumer
Democrats in the U.S. Senate will act alone to approve a fresh round of coronavirus stimulus if Republicans do not support the measure, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday, the morning after securing a deal to exert his newly won leadership. President Joe Biden has made addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed over 420,000 Americans, is currently infecting more than 173,000 people daily and has left millions out of work, a major focus of his first week in office.
New coronavirus cases rise in France, third national lockdown feared
The daily number of new coronavirus infections in France stayed above 20,000 on average for the fourth straight day on Tuesday while hospitalisations reached an eight-week high of 27,041, increasing fears of a third national lockdown. President Emmanuel Macron still hopes a 6 p.m. curfew put in place 11 days ago will be enough to rein in the surge in new cases caused by the emergence of more contagious variants of the virus.
(With inputs from agencies.)