Health News Roundup: Countries vaccinating children against COVID-19; U.S. FDA advisers back Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children and more
An authorization for that age group would be would be an important regulatory step toward reaching about 28 million children for inoculation, most of them back in school for in-person learning. Factbox-Countries vaccinating children against COVID-19 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's committee of outside experts will weigh in on authorisation of Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children aged 5-11.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Becton Dickinson begins selling new at-home rapid COVID-19 test
Becton Dickinson and Co has partnered with Amazon.com Inc to begin shipment of a new at-home rapid COVID-19 test that can confirm results using an entirely automated smartphone app.
The BD Veritor At-Home COVID-19 Test, which was authorized by U.S. regulators in August, also automatically reports results to federal and state public health authorities.
Cortexyme's Alzheimer's treatment fails to meet main goals in study
Cortexyme Inc said on Tuesday its experimental oral pill failed to meet the main goals of improving cognitive and functional abilities in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease in a study. The drug, atuzaginstat, is designed to target the P. gingivalis bacteria found in the brain of patients suffering from the memory robbing disease.
Exclusive-African Union to buy up to 110 million Moderna vaccines -officials
The African Union (AU) intends to buy up to 110 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna Inc in an arrangement brokered in part by the White House, which will defer delivery of some doses intended for the United States to facilitate the deal, officials told Reuters. The AU's doses will be delivered over the coming months, with 15 million arriving before the end of 2021, 35 million in the first quarter of next year and up to 60 million in the second quarter.
U.S. FDA advisers back Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children
An expert panel on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to recommend the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorize the Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, saying the benefits of inoculation outweigh the risks. An authorization for that age group would be would be an important regulatory step toward reaching about 28 million children for inoculation, most of them back in school for in-person learning.
Factbox-Countries vaccinating children against COVID-19
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's committee of outside experts will weigh in on authorisation of Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children aged 5-11. The panel's vote to the FDA on Tuesday is an important regulatory step toward inoculating millions of children in the United States, where schools are largely open for in-person learning.
In Kabul children's hospital, medics struggle with staff shortages
In Kabul's main children's hospital, the crumbling of Afghanistan's health system is reflected in the eyes of exhausted staff as they eke out fast-diminishing stocks of medicines. As crowds of mothers and sick children fill waiting rooms in the Indira Gandhi Children's Hospital, medical staff are squeezing three babies into a single incubator and doubling them up in cot-like infant warmer beds.
Russia puts onus on regional leaders to step up COVID fight
Russia ordered regional leaders on Tuesday to step up their fight against COVID-19 as the daily death toll hit a record for the sixth time in eight days. Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said infections were up by more than 10% in the past week and 268,500 people were receiving treatment in hospitals across the country's 85 regions.
Raytheon warns of worker losses as companies impose vaccine mandate
Raytheon Technologies' top boss warned on Tuesday the U.S. aerospace and defense firm will lose 'several thousand' employees who refused to take COVID-19 vaccines, as it prepares to meet the Biden administration's Dec. 8 deadline for immunization. "We will lose several thousand people," Raytheon Chief Executive Greg Hayes said in a CNBC interview on Tuesday, adding that staff hiring was underway. The company has a total of 125,000 U.S. employees.
EU health agency warns of severe winter flu season for elderly
The upcoming influenza season in Europe could be severe for the elderly and those with weak immunity, the EU's public health agency warned on Tuesday, adding that it could put a greater burden on health systems already strained by the COVID-19 situation. The main reported subtype of the influenza virus seen in the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) disproportionately affects older people and is associated with lower vaccine effectiveness, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said. (https://bit.ly/2ZnBlh4)
Explainer: What to know about the COVID-19 vaccine for U.S. children
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering authorizing a COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11. The vaccine from Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE has been available in the United States to kids aged 12 to 15 since May. Here is what you need to know about the vaccine and children:
(With inputs from agencies.)