Health News Roundup: Doctors scale rockslides, invoke gods to vaccinate Himalayan villages; Vietnam delays reopening resort island over low vaccination rate and more
The Southeast Asian nation, which is currently shut to all visitors apart from returning citizens and investors, has been struggling to speed up inoculations to help contain a spike in COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant in recent months. WHO backs Regeneron COVID-19 drug cocktail as UN body calls for equal access A World Health Organization (WHO) panel on Friday recommended the use of Regeneron and Roche's COVID-19 antibody cocktail for patients at high risk of hospitalisations and those severely ill with no natural antibodies.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Doctors scale rockslides, invoke gods to vaccinate Himalayan villages
To visit the Indian village of Malana deep in the Himalayas, a COVID-19 vaccination team scrambled over a landslide that blocked the road the day before, scaled a retaining wall and then began a three-hour trek down and up a river valley. Despite the hostile terrain, the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, where Malana is located, earlier this month became the first in India to administer at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose in all its adults.
Vietnam delays reopening resort island over low vaccination rate
Vietnam has pushed back a plan to re-open the resort island of Phu Quoc to foreign tourists until November, after failing to meet targets for inoculating residents due to insufficient vaccine supplies, state media reported. The Southeast Asian nation, which is currently shut to all visitors apart from returning citizens and investors, has been struggling to speed up inoculations to help contain a spike in COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant in recent months.
WHO backs Regeneron COVID-19 drug cocktail as UN body calls for equal access
A World Health Organization (WHO) panel on Friday recommended the use of Regeneron and Roche's COVID-19 antibody cocktail for patients at high risk of hospitalizations and those severely ill with no natural antibodies. The treatment has been granted U.S. emergency use authorization, having gained attention when used to treat former President Donald Trump's COVID-19 illness last year. Europe is reviewing the therapy, while Britain approved it last month.
Australia hits vaccine milestone as Melbourne cases hover near record levels
More than half of Australia's adult population were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Friday, authorities said, as they step up inoculations in hopes of easing restrictions while cases linger near-daily record levels in Victoria. Australia is grappling with a third wave of infections from the highly infectious Delta variant that has led to lockdowns in its two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, and the capital, Canberra, affecting nearly half the country's 25 million people.
Brazil approaches 600,000 COVID deaths in second-deadliest outbreak
Brazil has had 24,611 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours, and 648 deaths from COVID-19, the health ministry said on Thursday. The South American country has now registered 21,308,178 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 592,964, according to ministry data, in the world's third-worst outbreak outside the United States and India and its second-deadliest after the United States.
Abortion providers in Texas on Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene on an urgent basis in their challenge to a state law imposing a near-total ban on abortion. The providers asked the justices to hear their case before lower courts have finished ruling on the dispute because of the "great harm the ban is causing." The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, this month refused to block the law, which bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
EU drugs regulator to decide on Pfizer vaccine booster in early October
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) aims to decide in early October whether to endorse a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be given half a year after the initial two-shot course, saying breakthrough infections added some urgency to its review. "The outcome of this evaluation is expected in early October, unless supplementary information is needed," EMA's head of vaccines strategy, Marco Cavaleri, told a press briefing on Thursday.
U.S. CDC advisers back COVID-19 booster shots for those 65 and older, not for high-risk workers
A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory panel on Thursday recommended a booster shot of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older and some adults with underlying medical conditions that put them at risk of severe disease. But the panel declined to recommend boosters for younger adults, including healthcare workers, who live or work in institutions with high risk of contracting COVID-19, which could narrow the scope of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's emergency use authorization issued on Wednesday.
4DMedical lung imagery sheds more light on 'long COVID' effects
Doctors in California are using cutting-edge lung scans to better understand the effects of 'long COVID' among patients who suffer severe symptoms months after their initial bout of infection. The scans by 4DMedical allow physicians to detect areas of high and low lung ventilation using existing equipment in hospitals, said founder and Chief Executive Andreas Fouras.
CanSinoBIO's COVID vaccine, tested at lower dosage, safe for children -study
CanSino Biologics Inc's (CanSinoBIO) single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, given at a lower dosage than that for adults, is safe and triggers an immune response in children aged 6-17, results from a small trial showed. Researchers decided to lower the dosage after a few participants developed fever and headaches graded at level 2 severity - the second-lowest of four levels. In children, the lower dose triggered higher antibody levels than the dosage approved for use in adults in China, according to the peer-reviewed finding supplementary data from a mid-stage trial.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)