Health News Roundup: Singapore reports 1,012 new COVID-19 cases, highest since April last year; World leaders return to U.N. with focus on pandemic, climate and more
Health officials signaled they expected boosters would ultimately be recommended for a broad swath of the population, but urged Americans not to seek booster doses until they have FDA approval. Australia reports 1,607 COVID-19 cases as states learn to live with virus Australia reported 1,607 new coronavirus cases on Sunday as states and territories gradually shift from trying to eliminate outbreaks to living with the virus.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Mirati drug combination shrinks tumors in 39% of colon cancer patients in study
A combination of Mirati Therapeutics Inc's genetic mutation-targeting adagrasib and older cancer drug Erbitux shrank tumors in 39% of patients with advanced colorectal cancer treated in a small trial, the company said on Sunday. Chief Executive Officer Charles Baum told Reuters Mirati plans to meet with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October to discuss whether it can pursue accelerated approval based on the combination therapy data.
Explainer-The case for, and against, COVID-19 vaccine boosters
The U.S. government aims to begin offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots widely next week to Americans age 16 and up. A panel of outside advisers to the Food and Drug Administration voted against such broad coverage on Friday but backed a shot for people 65 and older, which the agency may or may not follow. President Joe Biden's administration faces criticism within the scientific community over whether the additional shots are needed for the general population.
Singapore reports 1,012 new COVID-19 cases, highest since April last year
Singapore's health ministry reported 1,012 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the highest since April last year. A recent rise in cases after the relaxation of some COVID-19 measures has prompted Singapore to pause further reopening. More than 80% of its population has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Brazil reports over 150,000 COVID-19 cases in one day amid Rio backlog
Brazil reported 935 COVID-19 deaths on Saturday and some 150,106 additional cases, according to data released by the nation's Health Ministry, an unusually large number due to what officials said was an adjustment in how case numbers are tabulated. Some 92,614 cases occurred in Rio de Janeiro in recent months, but only entered into the official count in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said.
Stockpiled COVID vaccines must be handed to poorer nations, says former UK PM
A vaccine summit being hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden must come up with a plan this week to transfer 100 million stockpiled COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries before they reach their expiry date, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said. Biden is due to convene a virtual COVID-19 summit on Wednesday on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly, aimed at boosting vaccinations worldwide with the goal of ending the pandemic by the end of 2022.
World leaders return to U.N. with focus on pandemic, climate
World leaders are returning to the United Nations in New York this week with a focus on boosting efforts to fight both climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, which last year forced them to send video statements for the annual gathering. As the coronavirus still rages amid an inequitable vaccine rollout, about a third of the 193 U.N. states are planning to again send videos, but presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers for the remainder are due to travel to the United States.
Data needed to determine the advisability of booster shots of the Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines is just weeks away, President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said on Sunday. Health officials signaled they expected boosters would ultimately be recommended for a broad swath of the population, but urged Americans not to seek booster doses until they have FDA approval.
Australia reports 1,607 COVID-19 cases as states learn to live with virus
Australia reported 1,607 new coronavirus cases on Sunday as states and territories gradually shift from trying to eliminate outbreaks to living with the virus. Victoria, home to about a quarter of Australia's 25 million people, recorded 507 cases as its premier said a weeks-long lockdown will end once 70% of those 16 and older are fully vaccinated, whether or not there are new cases.
New Zealand sees small increase in daily COVID-19 cases over weekend
New Zealand reported 24 new locally acquired coronavirus cases on Sunday, up from 20 on Saturday, showing an upturn after several days of lower numbers, as the country's largest city Auckland awaits to hear if its lockdown restrictions will ease. All of the new cases have been reported in greater Auckland, a city of about 1.7 million people which has been in a full level 4 lockdown since mid-August.
U.S. administers about 385.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines -CDC
The United States has administered 385,586,012 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Sunday morning and distributed 466,561,785 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Those figures are up from 384,911,290 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by Sept. 18 out of 466,569,635 doses delivered.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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