Health News Roundup: U.S. FDA moving to authorize Pfizer-BioNTech booster for 16-, 17-year-olds - WSJ; Hong Kong expands travel curbs on Omicron fears, Australia reports 5 cases and more
New South Wales (NSW) health officials said initial testing "strongly indicates" the traveller who arrived in Sydney last week before the latest border restrictions has been infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Celltrion signs COVID-19 antibody therapy supply deals with Europe South Korean biotech company Celltrion's distribution arm has signed supply deals for its monoclonal antibody to treat COVID-19 with nine European countries, Celltrion Healthcare said on Tuesday.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
U.S. FDA moving to authorize Pfizer-BioNTech booster for 16-, 17-year-olds - WSJ
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration could authorize COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE for use in 16- and 17-year olds as soon as next week, the Wall Street Journal reported late on Monday, citing a person familiar with the planning.
Hong Kong expanded a ban on entry for non-residents from several countries as global health authorities raced to curb a potential outbreak of the Omicron virus, while Australia's cabinet will review on Tuesday containment steps after five tested positive. Singapore's health ministry said two travellers from Johannesburg who tested positive for the variant in Sydney had transited through its Changi.
Biden warns against Omicron panic, pledges no new lockdowns
President Joe Biden urged Americans on Monday not to panic about the new COVID-19 Omicron variant and said the United States was making contingency plans with pharmaceutical companies if new vaccines are needed. Biden said the country would not go back to lockdowns to stop the spread of Omicron, and he would lay out his strategy on Thursday for combating the pandemic over the winter. He urged people to get vaccinated, get boosters and wear masks.
U.S. steps up search for Omicron variant in domestic COVID-19 cases
The United States is enhancing its COVID-19 surveillance to distinguish domestic cases of the Omicron variant from the still-dominant Delta, the head of the association of state-run public health laboratories told Reuters on Monday. The new variant, first identified in southern Africa last week, has since been detected in 10 other countries. U.S. officials say it is only a matter of time before it turns up in the country.
U.S. CDC says all adults should get COVID-19 booster shots
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Monday everyone aged 18 years and older should get a booster shot, as it looks to tackle a new and highly infectious strain of the coronavirus that is quickly spreading across the globe. The update comes after President Joe Biden on Monday called for wider vaccination to curb the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, which was first detected in southern Africa.
Ecuador announces restrictions for travelers due to Omicron coronavirus strain
Ecuador will impose entry restrictions on travelers flying from or via a number of African countries and will request vaccine certificates from those arriving from other countries due to the new Omicron strain of coronavirus, President Guillermo Lasso said on Monday. With the announcement Ecuador joins other countries across the globe in restricting travel in response to the Omicron strain, which carries a very high risk of increased infection, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday the Omicron coronavirus variant carried a very high risk of infection surges, while border closures by more countries cast a shadow over an economic recovery from the two-year pandemic. Big airlines acted swiftly to protect their hubs by curbing passenger travel from southern Africa, where the new Omicron variant was first detected, fearing that a spread of the variant would trigger restrictions from other destinations beyond the immediately affected regions, industry sources said.
Analysis-How fast does it spread?: Scientists ask whether Omicron can outrun Delta
As scientists race to understand the consequences of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, one of the most important questions is whether this new version of the coronavirus can outrun the globally dominant Delta variant. The World Health Organization on Friday designated Omicron a "variant of concern" just days after the variant was first reported in southern Africa. The WHO said it is coordinating with many researchers worldwide to better understand how the variant will impact the COVID-19 pandemic, with new findings expected within "days and weeks."
Australia on alert after first probable Omicron community case
Australian authorities said on Tuesday that an international traveller who was most likely infected with the Omicron variant has spent time in the community as officials rushed to track the person's close contacts and locations visited. New South Wales (NSW) health officials said initial testing "strongly indicates" the traveller who arrived in Sydney last week before the latest border restrictions has been infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Celltrion signs COVID-19 antibody therapy supply deals with Europe
South Korean biotech company Celltrion's distribution arm has signed supply deals for its monoclonal antibody to treat COVID-19 with nine European countries, Celltrion Healthcare said on Tuesday. The European Commission earlier this month approved the company's antibody therapy Regkirona, granting marketing authorization for adults with COVID-19 who are at increased risk of progressing to a severe condition.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
- READ MORE ON:
- The World Health Organization
- World Health Organization
- The World Health Organization
- Wall Street Journal
- Pfizer Inc
- United States
- New South Wales
- Guillermo Lasso
- South Korean
- Celltrion Healthcare
- The European Commission
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration