Health News Roundup: Catalent plans $100 million expansion at vaccine plant in Italy; Olympics-WHO head Tedros backs Tokyo Games amid pandemic and more
Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock earlier this month asked the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate whether FDA representatives' interactions with drugmaker Biogen Inc were inconsistent with agency policies. Delta variant behind more than 80% of U.S. cases; vaccines still highly effective -Fauci The Delta variant of the coronavirus is the cause of more than 80% of new U.S. COVID-19 cases, but the authorized vaccines remain more than 90% effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths, said top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci during U.S. Senate hearing on Tuesday.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Catalent plans $100 million expansion at vaccine plant in Italy
Catalent Inc plans a $100 million expansion of its plant in Agnani, Italy, where the contract drug manufacturer is currently filling millions of vials of COVID-19 vaccines for AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson Catalent expects the expansion will allow it by April 2023 to be able to make the drug substance for complicated biologic drugs, including COVID-19 vaccines or therapies like monoclonal antibodies.
The Tokyo Olympics should go ahead to demonstrate to the world what can be achieved with the right plan and measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic, World Health Organisation (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday. Speaking to the International Olympic Committee members at their session in the Japanese capital, Tedros said the world needed the Olympics now "as a celebration of hope".
U.S. life expectancy fell year and a half in 2020 due to COVID-19 -CDC
Life expectancy in the United States fell by a year and a half in 2020 to 77.3 years, the lowest level since 2003, primarily due to the deaths caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a U.S. health agency said on Wednesday. It is the biggest one-year decline since World War Two, when life expectancy fell 2.9 years between 1942 and 1943, and is six months shorter than its February 2021 estimate, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.
A major Taiwanese Buddhist group said on Wednesday it had signed a deal to buy 5 million doses of BioNTech SE's COVID-19 vaccine via the German firm's Chinese sales agent, further boosting the island's fight against the pandemic. The Tzu Chi Foundation said it June it was bidding to get the vaccines, and Taiwan's government said it would allow the group to negotiate on its behalf for the shot. The vaccines will be donated to the government for distribution.
Former FDA adviser calls for wider probe into Biogen Alzheimer's drug approval
A federal probe of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of a controversial new Alzheimer's disease drug should look into why that decision was made without clear evidence of patient benefit, a former adviser to the agency said on Tuesday. Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock earlier this month asked the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate whether FDA representatives' interactions with drugmaker Biogen Inc were inconsistent with agency policies.
Delta variant behind more than 80% of U.S. cases; vaccines still highly effective -Fauci
The Delta variant of the coronavirus is the cause of more than 80% of new U.S. COVID-19 cases, but the authorized vaccines remain more than 90% effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths, said top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci during U.S. Senate hearing on Tuesday. The hearing featured a pointed exchange with Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul, in which he accused Fauci of lying about the National Institutes of Health providing funding for research at China's Wuhan Institute of Virology.
India's 3,998 new COVID-19 deaths are its highest in a month
India reported on Wednesday 42,015 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, while daily deaths jumped to 3,998, their highest since June 12, health ministry data showed.
India's tally of infections stands at 31.22 million, with a death toll of 418,480, the data showed.
White House says in regular contact with Fox News over vaccine messaging
White House press secretary Jen Psaki says she is in regular contact with the conservative news network Fox News about its coverage of the COVID-19 vaccine. Fox News commentators Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, as well as other news program hosts, have often cast doubt on the vaccines' safety and efficacy to the network's millions of viewers. The network ended January with a 19-year streak as the top U.S. cable news network.
China will face pressure of low fertility rates in future -health authority
China will face pressure from its low fertility rates in the future, a deputy head of the National Health Commission (NHC) said on Wednesday, adding that total new births were still slowing in the first half of this year. Yu Xuejun made above the comments at a press conference in Beijing after China issued new measures on Tuesday to support its three-child policy.
New York, drug distributors reach $1.18 billion opioid settlement as national deal looms
The three largest U.S. drug distributors agreed on mid-trial pay up to $1.18 billion to settle claims by New York state and two of its biggest counties over their role in the nationwide opioid epidemic, the state's attorney general said on Tuesday. McKesson Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and AmerisourceBergen Corp settled as state attorneys general prepare to announce as soon as this week a landmark $26 billion deal with the distributors and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson resolving cases nationwide.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)