Health News Roundup: Australia COVID-19 cases rise but vaccination surge gives hope; U.S. administers 382.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines - CDC and more
Tourists will receive AstraZeneca vaccines, with the recommended interval between the two doses set at eight to 12 weeks, the government said in a statement. U.S. will focus on tackling climate crisis, COVID at UN meeting -State Dept The United States will focus next week at the United Nations General Assembly meeting, along with other countries, on an agenda including tackling climate change and countering the COVID-19 pandemic, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told a briefing on Wednesday.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Australia COVID-19 cases rise but vaccination surge gives hope
Australia's Victoria state reported its biggest one-day rise in COVID-19 cases of the year on Thursday as a surge in vaccinations nationwide raised hope for easing restrictions with almost 70% of the adult population has had the first dose. Victoria, home to the city of Melbourne, detected 514 new infections, exceeding the year's previous daily high of 473 on Monday.
U.S. administers 382.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines - CDC
The United States has administered 382,294,795 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Wednesday morning and distributed 461,117,525 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Those figures are up from the 381,453,265 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by Sept. 14 out of 458,771,465 doses delivered.
Exclusive-Indonesia in talks with WHO to become global vaccine hub: minister
Indonesia is in talks with the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as six drug companies to become a global hub for manufacturing vaccines, its health minister told Reuters. Detailing the ambitious strategy for the first time, Budi Gunadi Sadikin said in an interview that Indonesia would kickstart the initiative by prioritizing purchases of COVID-19 vaccines from companies that shared technology and set up facilities in Indonesia.
Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine protection wanes, makes case for booster
New data from Moderna Inc's large COVID-19 vaccine trial shows that the protection it offers wanes over time, supporting the case for booster doses, the company said in a news release on Wednesday. "This is only one estimate, but we do believe this means as you look toward the fall and winter, at minimum we expect the estimated impact of waning immunity would be 600,000 additional cases of COVID-19," Moderna President Stephen Hoge said at a conference call with investors.
Nearly 3 million Americans sign up for healthcare during special enrollment period
Nearly three million Americans have signed up for health insurance on the U.S. government website Healthcare.gov during a special enrollment period that began on Feb. 15, President Joe Biden said in a statement on Wednesday. Biden, a Democrat, re-opened the online health insurance marketplace to give more Americans a chance to take advantage of benefits provided under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Canada's Alberta province brings in vaccine passport as Premier apologizes
The Canadian province of Alberta introduced a vaccine passport system on Wednesday to combat the fourth wave of COVID-19 that is close to overwhelming the healthcare system, as Premier Jason Kenney apologized for mishandling the pandemic. Alberta will impose measures including capacity restrictions for businesses and a ban on indoor dining in restaurants unless patrons can show government-issued proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours.
U.N. chief Antonio Guterres stressed on Wednesday that he cannot ask world leaders to show they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, after New York City officials said proof should be required for anyone entering the U.N. General Assembly Hall. Dozens of heads of state and government and foreign ministers - accompanied by countless diplomats - are due to be in New York next week for an annual high-level gathering at the United Nations. Some leaders are staying away and sending a video statement instead because of the coronavirus pandemic.
FDA staff say Pfizer COVID-19 boosters may not be needed, but do improve immunity
U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientists said on Wednesday that booster doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine may not be needed, even though the third shot generates a higher immune response in recipients. The FDA staff members said in a document prepared for outside advisors that it is still unproven that the efficacy of Comirnaty - the COVID-19 vaccine Pfizer developed with Germany's BioNTech SE - is declining.
Panama to hand out AstraZeneca vaccines to visitors in tourism push
Panama approved a plan on Wednesday to vaccinate visitors in a bid to boost a tourism industry badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the first Central American nation to offer vaccine doses to tourists. Tourists will receive AstraZeneca vaccines, with the recommended interval between the two doses set at eight to 12 weeks, the government said in a statement.
U.S. will focus on tackling climate crisis, COVID at UN meeting -State Dept
The United States will focus next week at the United Nations General Assembly meeting, along with other countries, on an agenda including tackling climate change and countering the COVID-19 pandemic, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told a briefing on Wednesday.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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