Health News Roundup: U.S. health officials releasing some Jynneos vaccine doses for monkeypox -CDC; Pfizer/BioNTech say 3 COVID shots elicit a good response in children under 5 and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
U.S. health officials releasing some Jynneos vaccine doses for monkeypox -CDC
U.S. health officials are in the process of releasing some Jynneos vaccine doses for use in monkeypox cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Monday.
CDC officials said there are more than 1,000 doses of the vaccine, approved in the United States in 2019, in the national stockpile and they expect that level to ramp up very quickly in the coming weeks.
Pfizer/BioNTech say 3 COVID shots elicit a good response in children under 5
Drugmakers Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE said on Monday that three doses of their COVID-19 vaccine generated a strong immune response in children under age 5 and were safe and well-tolerated in their clinical trial. The companies said they plan to soon ask global regulators to authorize the shot for the age group, children for whom no vaccine is currently approved in most of the world. They said they expect to complete their submission of data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration set June 14-15 as the new meeting date to review Moderna Inc's emergency authorization request for its COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 months to 5 years and Pfizer Inc's vaccine for those aged 6 months through 4 years. The new dates for our pediatric COVID-19 vaccine advisory committee meetings will now be June 14 and June 15, the FDA said in a statement Monday.
The Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's biggest vaccine maker, is considering setting up its first manufacturing plant in Africa as it looks to expand globally after its success in selling COVID-19 shots, its CEO told Reuters on Monday. Africa was the only continent that did not have its own manufacturing capacity for COVID shots during the worst phases of the pandemic in the last two years, leaving it at the mercy of suppliers from overseas, including the SII.
Beijing stepped up quarantine efforts to end its month-old COVID outbreak as fresh signs of frustration emerged in Shanghai, where some bemoaned unfair curbs with the city of 25 million preparing to lift a prolonged lockdown in just over a week. Even as China's drastic attempts to eradicate COVID entirely - its "zero-COVID" approach - bite into prospects for the world's second-biggest economy, new reported infection numbers remain well below levels seen in many Western cities. The capital reported 48 new cases for Monday among its population of 22 million, with Shanghai reporting fewer than 500.
WHO says no evidence monkeypox virus has mutated
The World Health Organization does not have evidence that the monkeypox virus has mutated, a senior executive at the U.N. agency said on Monday, noting the infectious disease that has been endemic in the west and central Africa has tended not to change. Rosamund Lewis, head of the smallpox secretariat that is part of the WHO Emergencies Programme, told a briefing that mutations tended to be typically lower with this virus, although genome sequencing of cases will help inform understanding of the current outbreak.
Shanghai reports 422 asymptomatic cases, and 58 symptomatic cases for May 23
Shanghai reported 422 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases on May 23, down from 503 a day earlier, with symptomatic cases edging up to 58 from 55, the city government said on Tuesday.
All the new cases were in already quarantined areas.
N.Korea says no new fever deaths, COVID situation under control
North Korea said on Tuesday there were no new deaths among fever patients in the country, the first time since it flagged a COVID-19 outbreak nearly two weeks ago, adding that it was seeing a "stable" downward trend in pandemic-related cases.
The COVID-19 wave, which North Korea first declared on May 12, has fuelled concerns over a lack of vaccines, inadequate medical infrastructure, and a potential food crisis in the country of 25 million.
Omicron breakthrough infections may spare young hearts; no need to delay mammograms after vaccination
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. Omicron breakthrough infections may spare young hearts
WHO says no urgent need for mass monkeypox vaccinations
The World Health Organization does not believe the monkeypox outbreak outside of Africa requires mass vaccinations as measures like good hygiene and safe sexual behavior will help control its spread, a senior official said on Monday. Richard Pebody, who leads the high-threat pathogen team at WHO Europe, also told Reuters in an interview that immediate supplies of vaccines and antivirals are relatively limited.
(With inputs from agencies.)