Health News Roundup: Austria will only use Sputnik V vaccine; Spain to trial mixing COVID vaccines ad mofreDevdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 19-04-2021 18:47 IST | Created: 19-04-2021 18:30 IST
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Spain will study the effects of mixing different coronavirus vaccines, government researchers said on Monday, responding to shifting guidelines on the safety of the AstraZeneca's shot. Along with several other European countries, Spain restricted vaccines produced by the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker to people over 60 after regulators linked it to a rare form of brain blood clots, mostly in younger women.
Resuming the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine in the United States will require clear guidelines for the medical community on how to best treat patients that develop a rare type of blood clot, as well as alerting vaccine recipients to be aware of the telltale symptoms, according to heart doctors and other medical experts. U.S. health regulators recommended last week that use of the J&J vaccine be paused after six cases of rare brain blood clots, accompanied by low platelet levels, were reported in women following vaccination, out of some 7 million people who have received the shot in the United States. A panel of expert advisors to U.S. health agencies will meet later this week to determine whether the pause should continue, with a decision expected as early as Friday.
FDA tells Emergent plant behind botched COVID-19 vaccines to stop manufacturing
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has asked Emergent BioSolutions Inc to stop manufacturing new drug material at its plant in Baltimore, which was responsible for millions of ruined COVID-19 vaccine doses earlier this month. The U.S government had put Johnson & Johnson in charge of the plant following the incident when workers conflated ingredients for the J&J and AstraZeneca Plc vaccines. U.S. regulators also stopped the British drugmaker from using the facility.
Austria will only use Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine once the European Medicines Agency has approved it, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Monday, amid growing public frustration with the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations. Austria has been in talks with Russia to buy a million doses of the vaccine, and Kurz said on March 31 the order would probably be placed the following week. However, that order has yet to be announced.
India's Delhi to lockdown for six days as COVID-19 outbreak worsens
The Indian capital New Delhi will be under a strict lockdown for six days starting on Monday night, the city's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, adding the healthcare system was at a breaking point because of the worsening COVID-19 outbreak. The city was also facing acute shortages of hospital beds, medical oxygen supplies, and key medicines such as the anti-viral Remdesivir, Kejriwal said.
Exclusive-Abu Dhabi art gallery owner has a sideline business: trading COVID-19 vaccines
From a small office in an Abu Dhabi skyscraper, Ukrainian national Natalya Muzaleva and her Hungarian husband Istvan Perger run an art gallery, a real estate agency, and an oilfield services company. They have also pursued another venture: selling COVID-19 vaccines into Europe.
J&J, others face California trial over claims they fueled opioid epidemic
Four drugmakers are set to face trial on Monday in a lawsuit by several large counties in California that are seeking more than $50 billion over claims the companies helped fuel an opioid epidemic by deceptively marketing addictive painkillers. The case against Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Endo International PLC, and AbbVie's Allergan unit is one of the thousands of lawsuits by states and local governments seeking to hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for the drug crisis.
Some countries are restricting the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to certain age groups, or suspending use, after European and British regulators confirmed possible links to rare blood clots. Johnson & Johnson's single-shot vaccine has also been hit by concerns over blood clots. European regulators are reviewing such cases and are expected to issue findings on April 20. U.S. federal health agencies recommended pausing its use temporarily on April 13 and a U.S. health advisory panel will meet on April 23 to discuss whether the pause should continue.
What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now: Delhi locks down
India to fund capacity boost at Serum Institute as vaccines run short - source
India is set to accept the Serum Institute of India's (SII) request for a 30 billion rupee ($400 million) grant to boost its capacity to make the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, a government source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. SII, the world's biggest vaccine maker, sought the funds to increase its monthly capacity to more than 100 million doses by the end of May, from up to 70 million currently.
(With inputs from agencies.)