Health News Roundup: COVID-19 infections ease in Sydney, curve flattening not seen yet; Advocates see 'chaos' if U.S. Supreme Court guts abortion rights and more
Tuesday's 15 new infections in New Zealand were a drop from Monday's figure of 33, but about 1.7 million people will stay in lockdown in Auckland until next week, as the government battles to hold down a cluster of the highly infectious Delta variant. U.S. and India in talks over timeline for restarting COVID-19 vaccine exports The United States is communicating regularly with India in bilateral and multilateral channels to discuss the supply of COVID-19 vaccines and inquire about its timeline for restarting vaccine exports, a senior Biden administration official said.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
COVID-19 infections ease in Sydney, curve flattening not seen yet
Sydney's COVID-19 cases rose at the slowest pace in nearly two weeks on Tuesday, but officials said they needed to see a steady drop in daily cases before deciding whether the infection curve had flattened after 12 weeks in lockdown. New South Wales (NSW) state reported 1,127 new local cases, the majority in state capital Sydney, down from 1,257 on Monday. Two deaths were reported.
Advocates see 'chaos' if U.S. Supreme Court guts abortion rights
Abortion rights advocates on Monday urged the U.S. Supreme Court not to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide - a 1973 landmark imperiled in the legal fight over Mississippi's attempt to ban the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy. "The fallout would be swift and certain. As abortion bans are enforced - or the threat of enforcement looms - large swaths of the South and Midwest would likely be without access to legal abortion," said lawyers for Jackson Women's Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in Mississippi.
Biden vaccine plan hinges on the rarely used rules, inviting legal challenges
U.S. President Joe Biden's plan requiring more than 100 million Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 relies on a rarely used workplace rule with a history of being blocked in court, making it an inviting target for legal challenges by employers. As part of Biden's plan, unveiled Thursday, private employers with 100 or more staff must ensure that their workers are fully vaccinated or produce a negative COVID-19 test weekly.
Florida governor threatens fines for cities, counties over vaccine mandates
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has threatened fines for cities and counties that mandate employees must get vaccinated against COVID-19, which has killed nearly 50,000 people in the state. "If a government agency in the state of Florida forces a vaccine as a condition to employment, that violates Florida law," DeSantis said in a press conference.
COVID-19 vaccine boosters not widely needed, top FDA and WHO scientists say
Additional COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are not needed for the general population, leading scientists including two departing senior U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials and several from the World Health Organization (WHO) said in an article published in a medical journal on Monday. The scientists said more evidence was needed to justify boosters. That view disagrees with U.S. government plans to begin offering another round of shots to many fully vaccinated Americans as soon as next week, contingent on approval from health regulators.
Walgreens COVID-19 test registration system left patient data unprotected - Recode
Drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance's COVID-19 test registration system exposed data of potentially millions of people, including their phone numbers and email addresses, Recode reported on Monday. The data also exposed names, dates of birth and gender identities on the open web for potentially anyone to see and for the multiple ad trackers on Walgreens' site to collect, the report said. (https://bit.ly/3AdXgoE)
England to offer COVID vaccine to all 12- to 15-year-olds
All 12- to 15-year-olds in England will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine after top medical advisers said on Monday that children would benefit from reduced disruption to their education. The British government confirmed that the offer would be extended to all children aged 12-15 after a unanimous recommendation by the Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) from the four nations of the United Kingdom.
U.S. CDC advises against travel to Afghanistan, other countries over COVID-19
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday warned against travel to Afghanistan, Albania, Serbia, Belize, Lithuania, and four other destinations because of COVID-19 concerns. The CDC raised its travel recommendations to "Level 4: Very High" for nine destinations, telling Americans they should avoid travel to the locations. The destinations also include Grenada, Saint Kitts, and Nevis, Slovenia, and Mauritius.
New Zealand looks to boost COVID-19 vaccinations as new cases ease
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern asked New Zealanders on Tuesday to get vaccinated as soon as possible, as it was the only way to beat the spread of coronavirus and see curbs lifted in the biggest city of Auckland. Tuesday's 15 new infections in New Zealand were a drop from Monday's figure of 33, but about 1.7 million people will stay in lockdown in Auckland until next week, as the government battles to hold down a cluster of the highly infectious Delta variant.
U.S. and India in talks over timeline for restarting COVID-19 vaccine exports
The United States is communicating regularly with India in bilateral and multilateral channels to discuss the supply of COVID-19 vaccines and inquire about its timeline for restarting vaccine exports, a senior Biden administration official said. The global pandemic will be a key topic on Sept. 24, when U.S. President Joe Biden will host the first in-person summit of leaders of the "Quad" countries - Australia, India, Japan, and the United States.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)