Health News Roundup: Swiss strike deal for COVAX to get 1 million Moderna doses more quickly; Children at lower risk from COVID, vaccines should go to poor - WHO and more
Germany registered 66,884 new coronavirus infections and 335 more deaths due to the virus, bringing the total number of deaths close to 100,000, according to figures by the Robert-Koch-Institute of infectious diseases on Wednesday. Sweden says it will extend COVID-19 boosters to all adults Sweden will begin gradually rolling out COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to all adult Swedes following the surge in cases elsewhere in Europe, government and health officials said on Wednesday.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Switzerland has become the first country to swap places in the supply queue for COVID-19 vaccines, allowing 1 million doses of the Moderna shot to go first to the COVAX dose-sharing programme, the GAVI vaccine alliance said on Wednesday. GAVI, which leads COVAX's procurement and delivery of supplies to low and middle income countries, called for other governments to "slot-swap" and work with manufacturers to ensure COVAX purchase agreements can be fulfilled as a priority.
Children at lower risk from COVID, vaccines should go to poor - WHO
As children and adolescents are at lower risk of severe COVID-19 disease, countries should prioritise sharing vaccine doses with the COVAX programme to bring urgently needed supplies to poorer countries, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday. Some rare cases of heart inflammation called myocarditis have been reported in younger men who received mRNA vaccines - Pfizer and Moderna - but these were generally mild and responded to treatment, it said in a statement.
Germany considers mandatory vaccines as cases jump
A leader of Germany's Greens, set to be part of a new government, expressed support on Wednesday for mandatory vaccinations as the number of infections jumped again. Germany registered 66,884 new coronavirus infections and 335 more deaths due to the virus, bringing the total number of deaths close to 100,000, according to figures by the Robert-Koch-Institute of infectious diseases on Wednesday.
Sweden says it will extend COVID-19 boosters to all adults
Sweden will begin gradually rolling out COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to all adult Swedes following the surge in cases elsewhere in Europe, government and health officials said on Wednesday. Booster shots of mRNA vaccine have been offered to people aged 65 or above in Sweden, with an eye to eventually extending the shots to other groups and trying to persuade a still sizable group of uninoculated people to get the vaccine.
Czech Republic reports record daily rise in COVID-19 cases
The Czech Republic reported its highest daily rise in new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, with cases surpassing 25,000 for the first time and putting further strain on hospitals. The country of 10.7 million has the world's fourth-highest infection rate per capita, according to Our World in Data, as Europe is again an epicentre for the pandemic.
Exclusive-South Africa delays COVID vaccine deliveries as inoculations slow
South Africa has asked Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer to delay delivery of COVID-19 vaccines because it now has too much stock, health ministry officials said, as vaccine hesitancy slows an inoculation campaign. About 35% of adult South Africans are fully vaccinated, higher than in most other African nations, but half the government's year-end target. It has averaged 106,000 doses a day in the past 15 days in a nation of 60 million people.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he had participated in trials of a nasal form of a vaccine against COVID-19. Putin was revaccinated against the coronavirus on Sunday with Russia's Sputnik Light shot.
Europe rethinks booster shot policy as COVID cases hit records
Coronavirus infections broke records on Wednesday in parts of Europe, once again the epicentre of a pandemic which has prompted new curbs on movement and made health experts think again about booster vaccination shots. Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary all reported new highs in daily infections as winter grips the continent and people gather indoors in the run-up to Christmas, providing a perfect breeding ground for COVID-19.
Canada gives full approval to J&J's single-shot COVID-19 vaccine
Johnson & Johnson said on Wednesday Canada gave full approval to its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 18 years and older, making it the first full approval for the vaccine globally. Canada gave full approval to Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 vaccines in September.
In major shift, EU says vaccine boosters should be considered for all adults
The head of the European Union's public health agency Andrea Ammon said on Wednesday that COVID-19 vaccine boosters should be considered for all adults, with priority for those above 40 years, in a major change to the agency's guidance. Recommendations issued by the European Centre for Disease prevention and Control (ECDC) are not binding on EU governments but are used to make health policy decisions.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)