Health News Roundup: BioNTech shots have stronger antibody response than Sinovac, Hong Kong study shows - SCMP; Guinea declares end to Ebola outbreak that killed 12 and more
The Southeast Asian nation has recorded one of the world's smallest COVID-19 caseloads, but the outbreak that was first detected in late February has caused infections to climb to 42,052 cases with 414 deaths. Exclusive-U.S. triples vaccines for Taiwan with 2.5 million-dose shipment The United States will ship 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan on Saturday, a senior administration official told Reuters, more than tripling Washington's previous allocation of shots for the island, which has faced increasing political and military pressure from China.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
People who are vaccinated against COVID-19 with BioNTech's vaccine were found to have "substantially higher" levels of antibodies than those who received Sinovac's jab, the South China Morning Post reported https://bit.ly/3iX7S5t on Saturday, citing a Hong Kong study. Some who received the Sinovac vaccine might need a third booster shot as well, the newspaper said, citing lead researcher Professor Benjamin Cowling, an epidemiologist with the University of Hong Kong (HKU).
Guinea declares end to Ebola outbreak that killed 12
An Ebola outbreak which started in southeast Guinea in February, infecting 16 people and killing 12, has been declared over, the health ministry and the World Health Organization said on Saturday. "I solemnly declare the end of the Ebola outbreak in Guinea," Health Minister Remy Lamah told a press conference in the capital Conakry, leading to cheers from health workers watching virtually from the epicenter of the outbreak in Nzerekore.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday urged Americans to get COVID-19 shots, as the country looks likely to miss the White House's goals for vaccination next month as a new coronavirus variant triggered serious concerns. "Act now, act now," Biden said in remarks at the White House, urging the unvaccinated to talk to their family and friends who have had shots and to their doctors.
EU loses bid for speedier AstraZeneca vaccine deliveries
The European Union on Friday lost its bid to speed up deliveries of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccines, the first of its legal challenges against the drugmaker that rocked the bloc as it scrambled to shore up supplies. AstraZeneca said the EU had lost its legal case, but European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the court ruling supported its view that the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant had failed to honour its commitments.
Cambodia reports 20 deaths from COVID, record for single day
Cambodia reported 20 deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday, a record for a single day, as the country detected its first Delta variant cases and authorities urged people to be vigilant. The Southeast Asian nation has recorded one of the world's smallest COVID-19 caseloads, but the outbreak that was first detected in late February has caused infections to climb to 42,052 cases with 414 deaths.
Exclusive-U.S. triples vaccines for Taiwan with 2.5 million-dose shipment
The United States will ship 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan on Saturday, a senior administration official told Reuters, more than tripling Washington's previous allocation of shots for the island, which has faced increasing political and military pressure from China. Washington, competing with Beijing to deepen geopolitical clout through so-called "vaccine diplomacy", initially had promised to donate 750,000 doses to Taiwan, but is increasing that number as President Joe Biden's administration advances its pledge to send 80 million U.S.-made shots around the world.
Shenzhen airport tightens COVID-19 measures as China logs 30 new cases
The airport in China's southern city of Shenzhen said on Saturday that anyone entering the premises must show a negative virus test taken within 48 hours before entry. The instruction posted on the airport's official WeChat page follows the outbreak of new cases in southern China since late May which has seen lockdowns in certain neighborhoods and the cancellation of flights.
Analysis: Rival treatments may help justify FDA gamble with Biogen Alzheimer's drug
Data from clinical trials of three experimental Alzheimer's disease drugs expected to start emerging next year could help shed light on whether U.S. regulators were justified in their controversial approval of a Biogen Inc treatment without clear evidence that it works. In approving Biogen's Aduhelm over the objection of its own panel of outside expert advisers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has required a trial to confirm that the medicine will indeed slow the progression of the lethal, mind-wasting disease - a process that could take several years - even as the drug is being used by patients.
India ask states to 'carefully calibrate' lockdown easing
India's central government on Saturday urged states to be careful in reopening COVID-19 lockdowns to prevent a resurgence of infections in the hard-hit country. Indian states are easing restrictions as the second wave of coronavirus infections appears to abate. The country is second only to the United States in confirmed infections at 29.82 million, with 385,137 deaths.
Australia's largest state records two new local COVID-19 cases
Australia's largest state New South Wales (NSW) recorded two locally acquired coronavirus cases on Saturday, as concerns grow over the further spread of infections amid an increase in exposure sites. The point of transmission of the new infections hasn't been determined, but authorities believed they are linked to the first case of the Sydney cluster of the highly infectious coronavirus Delta variant, which now stands at six cases.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)