Health News Roundup: Americas are facing pandemic of the unvaccinated, PAHO says; U.S. life expectancy falls to lowest level in almost 20 years due to COVID-19 - CDC and more
Under the settlement proposal, the three largest U.S. drug distributors, McKesson Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and AmerisourceBergen Corp, are expected to pay a combined $21 billion, while drugmaker Johnson & Johnson would pay $5 billion. Australia, under lockdown, sees worrying jump in COVID-19 cases Australia's two largest states reported sharp increases in new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, a blow to hopes that lockdown restrictions would be lifted with more than half the country's population under stay-at-home orders.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Americas are facing pandemic of the unvaccinated, PAHO says
The Americas are facing a pandemic of the unvaccinated, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday, as it warned that countries with low inoculation rates are seeing increases in COVID-19 and repeated a call for vaccine donations. "We face a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and the only way to stop it is to expand vaccination," PAHO director Carissa Etienne said at a weekly briefing. "Vaccines are critical, even if no vaccine is 100% effective."
Mexico says Delta COVID-19 variant, rising cases complicated reopening U.S.-Mexico border
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Wednesday that the Delta COVID-19 variant and an increase in coronavirus cases has complicated a reopening of the U.S.-Mexico land border to non-essential travel. The U.S. government on Wednesday extended the closure of land borders with Canada and Mexico to non-essential travel such as tourism through Aug. 21 even as officials debate whether to require visitors to have received a COVID-19 vaccine.
U.S. life expectancy falls to lowest level in almost 20 years 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.
New York City requires health workers to be vaccinated or get tested weekly
As part of a nationwide response to the threat posed by the more contagious Delta coronavirus variant, New York City will require COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly tests for workers at city-run hospitals and clinics. The new policy will go into effect on Aug. 2, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference on Wednesday. The city will suspend without pay any employee who refuses to either get vaccinated or tested.
Greek police, protesters clash in protest against COVID vaccines
Police fired tear gas and water canon to disperse crowds protesting against coronavirus vaccinations in Athens on Wednesday. About 1,500 people took part in the protest outside parliament, the second in a week against Greece's COVID-19 inoculation drive. A rally last Wednesday drew more than 5,000 people, some of them waving Greek flags and wooden crosses.
Factbox-Companies pay billions of dollars over role in U.S. opioid crisis
State attorneys general on Wednesday unveiled a $26 billion settlement with the three largest U.S. drug distributors and Johnson & Johnson to resolve thousands of lawsuits by states and local governments over the companies' role in the country's opioid painkiller crisis. The following is a list of major companies that were alleged to have contributed to the crisis and the legal settlements or judgments involving those companies.
1.5 million children have lost parents to pandemic; potential brain gateway for virus found
The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19. 1.5 million children lost parents to COVID-19 so far
State AGs urge support for landmark $26 billion opioid settlement
A group of state attorneys general unveiled on Wednesday a landmark $26 billion settlement with large drug companies for allegedly fueling the deadly nationwide opioid epidemic, but some states were cool on the agreement. Under the settlement proposal, the three largest U.S. drug distributors, McKesson Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and AmerisourceBergen Corp, are expected to pay a combined $21 billion, while drugmaker Johnson & Johnson would pay $5 billion.
Australia, under lockdown, sees worrying jump in COVID-19 cases
Australia's two largest states reported sharp increases in new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, a blow to hopes that lockdown restrictions would be lifted with more than half the country's population under stay-at-home orders. New South Wales (NSW) state, home to the country's most populous city Sydney, reported 110 new cases, up from 78 the day before, nearly four weeks into a lockdown of the city and surrounding areas to contain an outbreak of the virulent Delta variant.
Hundreds of people protested in Paris on Wednesday against the introduction of a health pass for some activities and against compulsory vaccinations for health workers as the government seeks to curb a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections in France. From Wednesday visitors heading to museums, cinemas or swimming pools in France will be denied entry if they cannot produce the health pass showing that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have had a recent negative test.
(With inputs from agencies.)