Health News Roundup: WHO urges G20 to step up vaccine donations to the south; EU regulator verdict on Moderna COVID-19 booster shot next week and more
The results of the Moderna review will be announced on Oct. 25, Marco Cavaleri, head of vaccines strategy for the European Medicines Agency (EMA), told a briefing. U.S. urges all WTO members to support intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines The White House on Thursday called on all World Trade Organization members to support an intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
WHO urges G20 to step up vaccine donations to the south
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday called on the world's 20 richest nations, holding a summit next week, to step up donations of COVID-19 doses to the global south where vaccinations lag. "The @g20org countries must fulfill their dose-sharing commitments immediately," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news briefing.
EU regulator verdict on Moderna COVID-19 booster shot next week
The European Union's drug regulator expects to announce the results of its review of Moderna's COVID-19 booster vaccine next week and also to start a rolling review of Merck's antiviral oral pill, a senior official said on Thursday. The results of the Moderna review will be announced on Oct. 25, Marco Cavaleri, head of vaccines strategy for the European Medicines Agency (EMA), told a briefing.
U.S. urges all WTO members to support intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines
The White House on Thursday called on all World Trade Organization members to support an intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines. "We ... need every WTO member to step up as well and support an intellectual property waiver, and every company must act ambitiously and urgently to expand manufacturing now," White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.
U.S. CDC signs off on Moderna, J&J COVID-19 vaccine boosters, mix-and-match shots
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday recommended the COVID-19 vaccine boosters for recipients of the Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson shots and said Americans can choose a different shot from their original inoculation as a booster. CDC director Rochelle Walensky signed off on the recommendations late on Thursday, aligning the agency with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's authorization on Wednesday for the additional boosters and "mix-and-match" dosing.
Melbourne reopens as world's most locked-down city eases pandemic restrictions
Melbourne residents flocked to the city's pubs, restaurants, and hair salons in the early hours of Friday after the world's most locked-down city emerged from its latest spate of restrictions designed to combat the spread of COVID-19. Australia's second-largest city has so far endured 262 days, or nearly nine months, of restrictions during six separate lockdowns since March 2020, representing the longest cumulative lockdown for any city in the world.
UK adds nerve disorder as rare side-effect of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
The UK drug regulator added an extremely rare nerve-damaging disorder, Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), as a very rare side effect of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, updates on the agency's website showed on Thursday. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's (MHRA) decision comes after the European medicines agency added GBS as a possible side-effect last month.
New Zealand sets 90% vaccine target for ending COVID-19 lockdown
New Zealand will end its strict coronavirus lockdown measures and restore more freedoms only when 90% of its eligible population is fully vaccinated, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday. Once the poster child for stamping out COVID-19, New Zealand has been unable to beat an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 centered in Auckland, forcing Ardern to abandon her elimination strategy and switch to living with the virus.
WHO issues plan to prevent sexual abuse after Congo scandal
The World Health Organization issued its plan on Thursday to prevent any further misconduct by aid workers deployed in its field operations after WHO staff took part in a major sexual abuse scandal in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some 83 aid workers, a quarter of them employed by the WHO, were involved in sexual exploitation and abuse during the country's massive Ebola epidemic from 2018 to 2020, an independent commission said last month.
Regret and defiance in Europe's vaccine-shy east as COVID-19 rages
As Latvia goes into lockdown and hospitals in Bulgaria and Romania buckle under a COVID-19 surge while Poland sells surplus vaccine doses, many central and eastern Europeans are torn between defiance and regret over not getting inoculated. The region has the European Union's lowest vaccination rates, an unwelcome distinction in which both political and economic factors play a role, and deadlier variants of the virus are spreading there fast.
Pfizer, BioNTech say COVID-19 booster shot showed high efficacy in large study
A booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech SE was 95.6% effective against the coronavirus when compared to a vaccinated group that did not get the third shot, data from a large study released by the companies showed on Thursday. The companies in a release said the booster was tested on 10,000 participants aged 16 and older who had received two doses in its earlier trials. A booster administered about 11 months after the second shot had a favorable safety profile and worked against the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, they said. The data has not been submitted for peer review.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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