Health News Roundup: Children lead rise in England's COVID-19 prevalence; Biden administration to urge halt to strict Texas abortion law and more

The U.S. Justice Department eight days later sued in federal court to try to invalidate it. Merck's COVID-19 pill cuts risk of death, hospitalization by 50% in study Merck & Co Inc's experimental oral drug for COVID-19, molnupiravir, reduced by around 50% the chance of hospitalization or death for patients at risk of severe disease, according to interim clinical trial results announced on Friday. Merck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics plan to seek U.S. emergency use authorization for the pill as soon as possible, and to submit applications to regulatory agencies worldwide.


Reuters | Updated: 01-10-2021 18:46 IST | Created: 01-10-2021 18:29 IST
Health News Roundup: Children lead rise in England's COVID-19 prevalence; Biden administration to urge halt to strict Texas abortion law and more
Representative Image Image Credit: Pixabay

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Children lead rise in England's COVID-19 prevalence

The prevalence of COVID-19 infections in England increased in the week ending Sept 25, Britain's Office for National Statistics said on Friday, led by an increase in infections in school-age children. Schools in England have been open for around a month, and some epidemiologists have highlighted concern about rising cases among children, although it is yet to translate into a sustained increase in infections for the population more broadly.

Biden administration to urge halt to strict Texas abortion law

President Joe Biden's administration on Friday is set to urge a judge to block a near-total ban on abortion imposed by Texas - the strictest such law in the nation - in a key battle in the ferocious legal war over abortion access in the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 1 allowed the Republican-backed law to take effect even as litigation over its legality continues in lower courts. The U.S. Justice Department eight days later sued in federal court to try to invalidate it.

Merck's COVID-19 pill cuts risk of death, hospitalization by 50% in study

Merck & Co Inc's experimental oral drug for COVID-19, molnupiravir, reduced by around 50% the chance of hospitalization or death for patients at risk of severe disease, according to interim clinical trial results announced on Friday.

Merck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics plan to seek U.S. emergency use authorization for the pill as soon as possible, and to submit applications to regulatory agencies worldwide. Due to the positive results, the Phase 3 trial is being stopped early at the recommendation of outside monitors.

Get someone jabbed against COVID-19 and get a gift token, Swiss say

Switzerland is offering gift certificates to people who persuade others to be jabbed against COVID-19, the government said on Friday, part of efforts to increase the country's low vaccination rate. Every newly vaccinated person will be asked to name one person who convinced them to be inoculated, the government said, with that person receiving a 50 Swiss franc ($53.68) gift token for their assistance.

Pharmacy chains face first trial in U.S. opioid litigation, judge urges settlement

Four large pharmacy chains are set to face their first trial over the deadly U.S. opioid epidemic, creating new pressure to reach settlements with state and local governments who accuse them of contributing to the public health crisis. The Ohio counties of Lake and Trumbull allege that oversight failures at pharmacies run by Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, CVS Health Corp, Walmart Inc and Giant Eagle Inc led to excessive amounts of opioid pills in their communities.

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now: Merck pill cuts risk of death, hospitalization by 50%

England's R number estimated slightly higher

England's COVID-19 weekly reproduction "R" number was estimated between 0.8 and 1.1, the UK Health Security Agency said on Friday, and it is less clear if the epidemic is still shrinking. An R number between 0.8 and 1.1 means that for every 10 people infected, they will on average infect between 8 and 11 other people. Last week the R number was estimated between 0.8 and 1.0.

Brazil's Biomm signs deals to distribute Cansino COVID-19 vaccine

Brazilian biotech company Biomm SA has signed an exclusive deal to distribute Cansino Biologics' COVID-19 vaccine in Brazil, a securities filing showed on Friday. Biomm said the agreement includes a potential production of the vaccine in its plant in Minas Gerais. The company will send Brazilian healthcare authority Anvisa a new requirement for the emergency use of Cansino's vaccine in Brazil.

In a first, COVAX to send COVID shots only to least covered nations

A global scheme designed to ensure fair access to COVID-19 vaccines will this month for the first time distribute shots only to countries with the lowest levels of coverage, the World Health Organization said. Co-led by the WHO, COVAX has since January largely allocated doses proportionally among its 140-plus beneficiary states according to population size.

EU finds J&J COVID shot possibly linked to another rare clotting condition

The European Union's drug regulator on Friday identified a possible link between rare cases of blood clotting in deep veins with Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine and recommended the condition be listed as a side-effect of the shot. The European Medicines Agency also recommended that immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), a bleeding disorder caused by the body mistakenly attacking platelets, be added as an adverse reaction with an unknown frequency to the J&J vaccine product information and to AstraZeneca's vaccine.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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