Health News Roundup: AstraZeneca expects U.S. COVID-19 vaccine authorization in April; PM Johnson says optimistic about fully reopening in June and more

AstraZeneca expects U.S. COVID-19 vaccine authorization in April AstraZeneca Plc expects its COVID-19 vaccine could receive U.S. Emergency Use Authorization at the beginning of April and could immediately deliver 30 million doses of the shot there, a top executive said at a hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 24-02-2021 02:29 IST | Created: 24-02-2021 02:27 IST
Health News Roundup: AstraZeneca expects U.S. COVID-19 vaccine authorization in April; PM Johnson says optimistic about fully reopening in June and more
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

AstraZeneca expects U.S. COVID-19 vaccine authorization in April

AstraZeneca Plc expects its COVID-19 vaccine could receive U.S. Emergency Use Authorization at the beginning of April and could immediately deliver 30 million doses of the shot there, a top executive said at a hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday. Ruud Dobber, executive vice president at AstraZeneca, said that the drugmaker expects to be able to deliver 50 million doses of the vaccine by the end of April.

Exclusive: AstraZeneca to miss second-quarter EU vaccine supply target by half - EU official

AstraZeneca expects to deliver less than half the COVID-19 vaccines it was contracted to supply the European Union in the second quarter, an EU official told Reuters on Tuesday. The expected shortfall, which has not previously been reported, comes after a big reduction in supplies in the first quarter and could hit the EU's ability to meet its target of vaccinating 70% of adults by the summer.

U.S. administers 65 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines - CDC

The United States has administered 65,032,083 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Tuesday morning and distributed 82,114,370 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.

Johnson & Johnson ready to ship nearly 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in U.S.

Johnson & Johnson expects to be able to ship nearly 4 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine upon authorization in the U.S., an executive said at a hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday. The single-dose vaccine is being considered by an outside advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration later this week, and emergency use authorization could come shortly afterward.

French COVID-19 intensive care patients at a 12-week high

France's number of patients treated in intensive care units for COVID-19 has gone up again on Tuesday, reaching a 12-week peak of 3,435 as regional officials urge for a ban on public gatherings and consider a partial weekend lockdown. Unlike some of its neighbours, France has resisted a new national lockdown to control more contagious variants, hoping a curfew in place since Dec. 15 can contain the pandemic.

FDA to allow Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be stored at higher temps: NYT

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration plans to approve Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE's request to store their COVID-19 vaccine at standard freezer temperatures instead of in ultra-cold conditions, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. The FDA is expected to announce the new guidance to the providers as early as Tuesday, modifying documents related to the emergency use authorization that was previously granted for the vaccine, the NYT report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

COVID-19 vaccine makers tell Congress U.S. supply will surge soon

COVID-19 vaccine makers told Congress on Tuesday that U.S. supplies should surge in the coming weeks due to manufacturing expansions and new vaccine authorizations. Executives from Pfizer Inc, Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson - speaking at a hearing at the U.S. House of Representatives - said they would be able to supply enough vaccine to have fully inoculated 130 million people in the United States by the end of March.

Israel sharing some COVID vaccines with Palestinians, Honduras, Czech Republic

Israel said on Tuesday it was giving small amounts of surplus COVID-19 vaccines to Palestinian-run territories as well as to several countries. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not name which countries in a statement announcing the move.

UK PM Johnson says optimistic about fully reopening in June

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that he was very optimistic that all COVID-19 restrictions in England would end on June 21, and added that the government would hold a review into the use of vaccine certificates. Johnson unveiled a map out of lockdown for England on Monday that would keep some businesses shuttered until the summer, saying caution was necessary to ensure there were no reversals on a "one-way road to freedom".

Suriname begins coronavirus vaccination campaign with donated doses

Suriname launched a coronavirus vaccination campaign on Tuesday with a small batch of donated doses, as the South American nation seeks a steady supply of inoculations. The impoverished country, which has a population of about 600,000, has reported 8,869 cases of COVID-19 and 168 deaths. It hopes to bring in 400,000 doses by the end of the year.

(With inputs from agencies.)


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