Health News Roundup: Regulators could OK Pfizer boosters for older Americans this week; Mirati Therapeutics taps industry veteran Meek as CEO and more
Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the method, which doctors began exploring https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/thailand-explore-injecting-coronavirus-vaccines-under-skin-2021-08-19 last month, could be used at the discretion of medical professionals, providing it was supported by evidence. U.S. administers 386.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines - CDC The United States has administered 386,237,881 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Monday morning, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Regulators could OK Pfizer boosters for older Americans this week
U.S. regulators could authorize a booster shot of the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine for older and some high-risk Americans early this week in time for the government to roll them out by Friday. The Food and Drug Administration is expected to give the nod to the third shots for at least this group before advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are due to meet on Wednesday. The CDC panel will discuss more precise recommendations for how to administer the shots.
Mirati Therapeutics taps industry veteran Meek as CEO
Mirati Therapeutics Inc named industry veteran David Meek as its chief executive officer on Monday as it pushes on with the development of its promising candidates for cancer treatment. 58-year-old Meek will join the company's board and replaces Charles Baum, who has served as the president and CEO of California-based Mirati since 2012.
Thailand to try alternative COVID-19 vaccination method to stretch supplies
Doctors in Thailand have been given the go-ahead to start giving COVID-19 booster shots under the skin, rather than injecting them into muscles, officials said on Monday, in an effort to strengthen immunity and stretch vaccine supplies. Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the method, which doctors began exploring https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/thailand-explore-injecting-coronavirus-vaccines-under-skin-2021-08-19 last month, could be used at the discretion of medical professionals, providing it was supported by evidence.
U.S. administers 386.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines - CDC
The United States has administered 386,237,881 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Monday morning, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Those figures are up from the 385,586,012 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by Sept. 19.
India set to get first J&J COVID vaccine doses in October, says source
India expects to get its first Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses from next month, filled and finished in India by a partner of the U.S. drugmaker, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Monday. It could receive as many as 43.5 million doses of the single-shot vaccine in October, said the source - a big step towards helping India meet its target of producing more than 300 million doses https://www.reuters.com/world/india/india-resume-covid-vaccine-exports-next-quarter-2021-09-20 in the month.
Vaccine skeptic Bolsonaro gets a pass at U.N. but not New York restaurants
Unvaccinated heads of state attending the United Nation General Assembly this week may have to settle for a piece of pizza on a sidewalk instead of fine dining at New York's restaurants. That is how Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro dined on his first night in New York, where no one is allowed into the city's restaurants without proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
Austria will require masks, COVID-19 passes for ski lifts
Austria will require protective face masks and COVID-19 passes for the use of ski lifts this winter as it tries to attract foreign skiers for the first time in two years and also prevent coronavirus outbreaks. The conservative-led government outlined the rules for the coming season at a news conference that underlined the importance of reviving tourism, which directly contributes about 5% of economic output in Austria.
COVID creates shortages of an array of U.S. medical supplies
Shortages of masks and gloves that marked the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic have spread to a host of other items needed at medical facilities in the United States, from exam tables and heart defibrillators to crutches and IV poles. It can now take up to five months to get some types of exam tables, for instance, compared to three to six weeks before the pandemic, according to CME Corp, a distributor of medical equipment that handles over 2 million products.
U.S. FDA approves first biosimilar rival to Roche's blockbuster eye drug
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved South Korean drugmaker Samsung Bioepis Co Ltd and Biogen Inc's biosimilar rival to Roche Holding AG's blockbuster eye drug, Lucentis. Biosimilars are cheaper versions of biologic drugs made from living organisms.
Pfizer/BioNTech say data show COVID-19 vaccine safe and protective in kids
Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE said on Monday their COVID-19 vaccine induced a robust immune response in 5 to 11 year olds, and they plan to ask for regulatory authorization as soon as possible to use the shot in children in that age range in the United States, Europe and elsewhere. The companies said their two-dose vaccine generated an immune response in the 5-to-11 year olds in a Phase II/III clinical trial that matched what was previously observed in 16-to-25 year olds. The safety profile was also generally comparable to the older age group, they added.
(With inputs from agencies.)