Health News Roundup: Italy to hold boar cull around Rome to stem African swine fever; Analysis-Test, test, test? Scientists question costly mass COVID checks and more
Shanghai, a city of 25 million people, has been locked down for nearly six weeks as it battles China's biggest coronavirus outbreak, but the government have shrugged off criticism of its zero-COVID strategy, saying it remains the best option. Novavax 2022 COVID vaccine deliveries off to slow start, shares drop Novavax Inc on Monday revealed a sharp drop in first-quarter COVID-19 research funding and said it shipped less than a fourth of the total vaccine deliveries slated for 2022, dragging shares of the company down nearly 16% after hours.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Italy will launch a cull of wild boars around Rome after African swine fever was found in one of the thousands that live in the Italian capital and the surrounding countryside, local authorities said on Monday. An isolated outbreak of the deadly hog disease was reported in northwest Italy at the start of the year, and the case found in Rome last week - the first detected in central Italy - has triggered fears of a spreading epidemic.
Analysis-Test, test, test? Scientists question costly mass COVID checks
For many people worldwide, having cotton swabs thrust up their nose or down their throat to test for COVID-19 has become a routine and familiar annoyance. But two years into the pandemic, health officials in some countries are questioning the merits of repeated, mass testing when it comes to containing infections, particularly considering the billions it costs.
BioNTech's Q1 vaccine sales triple but it still flags a full-year decline
BioNTech's first-quarter sales and earnings more than tripled thanks to demand for the COVID-19 vaccine it developed with Pfizer, but the German biotech firm is still forecasting a full-year decline in vaccine sales. Quarterly revenues more than tripled from a year earlier to 6.37 billion euros ($6.73 billion), as did net income, to 3.70 billion euros, the company said on Monday.
Cancer diagnosis a year before infection is not linked to worse outcomes; air travel carries COVID risks
The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review. An old cancer diagnosis not linked with worse COVID-19 outcomes
France eases restrictions as the number of bird flu outbreaks wane
France will lift most restrictions on poultry farming that had been imposed country-wide to contain the fast spread of bird flu after a decrease in the number of outbreaks in recent weeks, the agriculture ministry said on Monday. France culled 16 million birds since the end of November to address its worst-ever bird flu crisis, which accelerated when the highly contagious virus spread to the country's largest poultry regions in western France.
China medical experts say the zero-COVID strategy buys time to vaccinate more people
China's tough zero-COVID measures remain essential to defeat the pandemic and buy time to improve vaccination rates and develop new treatments, senior health advisers wrote in recently published reports. Shanghai, a city of 25 million people, has been locked down for nearly six weeks as it battles China's biggest coronavirus outbreak, but the government has shrugged off criticism of its zero-COVID strategy, saying it remains the best option.
Novavax 2022 COVID vaccine deliveries off to slow start, shares drop
Novavax Inc on Monday revealed a sharp drop in first-quarter COVID-19 research funding and said it shipped less than a fourth of the total vaccine deliveries slated for 2022, dragging shares of the company down nearly 16% after hours. It sold 31 million doses of the vaccine in the quarter, a small fraction of the 2 billion shots it plans to send around the world in 2022.
China reports 3,475 new COVID cases on May 9 vs 4,333 a day earlier
Mainland China reported 3,475 new coronavirus cases on May 9, of which 357 were symptomatic and 3,118 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday. That compares with 4,333 new cases a day earlier, consisting of 415 symptomatic and 3,918 asymptomatic infections, which China counts separately.
With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to strike down the right to an abortion, the next legal fault line is already taking shape as lawmakers from anti-abortion states explore ways to take the radical step of extending bans to states where the procedure remains legal. A leaked draft opinion by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito this week overruling the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established abortion rights has the potential to fray relationships between states on opposite sides of abortion and test Constitutional limits, according to legal experts.
COVID vaccine makers shift focus to boosters
COVID-19 vaccine makers are shifting gears and planning for a smaller, more competitive booster shot market after delivering as many doses as fast as they could over the last 18 months. Executives at the biggest COVID vaccine makers including Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc said they believe most people who wanted to get vaccinated against COVID have already done so - more than 5 billion people worldwide.
(With inputs from agencies.)