Health News Roundup: U.S. has administered 187 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines; Brazil sees 1,803 COVID-19 deaths and moreDevdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 12-04-2021 10:51 IST | Created: 12-04-2021 10:30 IST
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
India overtakes Brazil as world's second worst-hit country by COVID-19
India reported a record 168,912 COVID-19 infections overnight, data from the health ministry showed on Monday, overtaking Brazil to become the second-most affected country globally by the coronavirus. India's overall tally reached 13.53 million, surpassing Brazil's 13.45 million cases, according to data compiled by Reuters. The United States led the global tally with 31.2 million cases.
China considers mixing COVID-19 vaccines to boost protection rate
China's top disease control official has said the country is formally considering mixing COVID-19 vaccines as a way of further boosting vaccine efficacy. Available data shows Chinese vaccines lag behind others including Pfizer and Moderna in terms of efficacy, but require less stringent temperature controls during storage.
Thailand reports daily record of 985 new coronavirus cases
Thailand Monday reported 985 new COVID-19 cases, the biggest daily jump for the second day in a row, as the country deals with the third wave of infections and a highly contagious variant. The Southeast Asian nation has reported a total of 33,610 coronavirus cases, while deaths remained at 97.
In COVID-19 vaccination pivot, Canada targets frontline workers
Canada is shifting its vaccination campaign to target frontline workers, moving away from a largely age-based rollout as the country tries to get a handle on the raging third wave of the pandemic. Canada's approach thus far has left unvaccinated many so-called "essential workers," like daycare providers, bus drivers, and meatpackers, all of whom are among those at higher risk of COVID-19 transmission. Provinces are now trying to adjust their strategy to tackle the surge driven by new variants.
Japan begins COVID-19 shots for over 65s as fourth infection wave looms
Japan began COVID-19 vaccinations for its sizable elderly population on Monday, with imported doses still in short supply and the pace unlikely to stop the fourth wave of infection. Shots for people aged 65 and above began at some 120 sites across the country, using Pfizer Inc's vaccine made in Europe and delivered to the regions in the past week.
'The right path' - Chile defends Sinovac use amid fresh efficacy questions
Chilean authorities on Sunday backed the country's widespread use of the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Chinese firm Sinovac after China's top disease official appeared to make conflicting statements about its efficacy. Gao Fu, the director of the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a conference in the Chinese city of Chengdu on Saturday that the country was considering mixing COVID-19 vaccines since currently available vaccines "don't have very high rates of protection."
AstraZeneca says it had positive meeting with EU over vaccine row
AstraZeneca had a positive meeting with the European Commission last week, the Anglo-Swedish company said after an Italian newspaper said the group had not replied to an EU letter of complaint about COVID-19 vaccines within a 20-day deadline. European Union member states and the pharmaceutical company are at odds over the delivery of shots after the group shipped less than indicated to the EU than in the initial agreement.
Brazil sees 1,803 COVID-19 deaths; Chinese vaccine found 50.7% effective against variant
Brazil on Sunday recorded 1,803 new COVID-19 deaths, as a large study found that a Chinese vaccine that has become the linchpin in the country's vaccination campaign is 50.7% effective against the infectious new homegrown variant known as P1. Brazil, which has in recent weeks become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, saw over 37,000 new cases, the Health Ministry said on Sunday. With over 353,000 deaths, Latin America's biggest country has the second-highest coronavirus death toll in the world, after the United States.
Australia abandons COVID-19 vaccination targets after new advice on AstraZeneca shots
Australia has abandoned a goal to vaccinate nearly all of its 26 million population by the end of 2021 following advice that people under the age of 50 take Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine rather than AstraZeneca's shot. Australia, which had banked on the AstraZeneca vaccine for the majority of its shots, had no plans to set any new targets for completing its vaccination program, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a Facebook post on Sunday afternoon.
U.S. has administered 187 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, CDC says
The United States had administered 187,047,131 doses of COVID-19 vaccines and distributed 237,796,105 doses as of Sunday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Those figures are up from the 183,467,709 doses the CDC said had been administered by April 10, out of 237,791,735 doses delivered.
(With inputs from agencies.)