Health News Roundup: Abbott pauses baby formula production in Michigan after severe storms; Explainer-What to know about COVID vaccines for young children and more
The company, which has notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said the incident will likely delay production and distribution of the infant formula for a few weeks. Explainer-What to know about COVID vaccines for young children A panel of advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday unanimously voted to recommend Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine for children under 6 years old and Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE's for children under 5.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Abbott pauses baby formula production in Michigan after severe storms
Abbott Laboratories said late Wednesday it has stopped production of its EleCare specialty formula after severe storms and heavy rains in southwestern Michigan flooded areas of its plant in Sturgis. The company, which has notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said the incident will likely delay the production and distribution of the infant formula for a few weeks.
Explainer-What to know about COVID vaccines for young children
A panel of advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday unanimously voted to recommend Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine for children under 6 years old and Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE's for children under 5. The following are some important details to know about these two messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines for this age group.
U.S. issues new warnings on 'forever chemicals' in drinking water
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday released new warnings for synthetic pollutants in drinking water known as "forever chemicals" saying the toxins can still be harmful even at levels so low they are not detectable. The family of toxic chemicals known as per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, have been used for decades in household products such as non-stick cookware, stain- and water-resistant textiles, and in firefighting foam and industrial products.
WHO looks into reports of monkeypox virus in semen
The World Health Organisation is looking into reports that the monkeypox virus is present in the semen of patients, exploring the possibility that the disease could be sexually transmitted, a WHO official said on Wednesday. Many cases in the current monkeypox outbreak, largely centred on Europe, are among sexual partners who have had close contact, and the agency reiterated that virus is mainly transmitted via close interpersonal contact.
Valneva reaches settlement with Britain on COVID-19 vaccine deal termination
French drugmaker Valneva said on Wednesday it reached a settlement agreement with the British government linked to the termination of the supply agreement for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate VLA2001. Valneva said in September that it had received a termination notice from the British government of its COVID-19 vaccine supply deal, sending its shares plunging 35% that day.
Baby formula makers raced for FDA approval. They may be waiting a while
To ease the U.S. shortage of baby formula, Nature's One and Holle are poised to ship hundreds of thousands of pounds, if not millions of pounds, of additional formula into stores, company executives told Reuters. They may be waiting a while.
U.S. FDA advisers back COVID vaccines for children as young as 6 months
Advisers to the U.S Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday unanimously recommended the agency authorize COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE for millions of the youngest American children. The committee's recommendation is an important step toward immunizing children under the age of 5 and as young as 6 months old who have not yet been eligible for the shots.
N.Korea faces infectious disease outbreak amid COVID battle
North Korea reported an outbreak of an unidentified intestinal epidemic in a farming region on Thursday, putting further strain on the isolated country as it battles chronic food shortages and an unprecedented wave of COVID-19 infections.
Leader Kim Jong Un sent medicines to the western port city of Haeju on Wednesday to help patients suffering from the "acute enteric epidemic", state news agency KCNA said, without giving the number affected, or identifying the disease.
U.S. Supreme Court faults Medicare cuts to hospitals for outpatient drugs
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) exceeded its authority when it cut billions of dollars in annual Medicare reimbursements to a group of nonprofit hospitals that cater to poor and uninsured people, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday. The justices, in a 9-0 decision authored by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, sided with the hospitals, which sued after HHS starting in 2018 reduced by $1.6 billion the government's yearly Medicare payments for outpatient drugs that had helped subsidize the operations of these hospitals.
EU drugs watchdog in rolling review of Pfizer-BioNTech's variant vaccine
The European Medicines Agency on Wednesday launched a rolling review of a variant-adapted COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, as cases of new sub-variants of the coronavirus's Omicron lineage are on the rise. When available, clinical trial data will be added to the rolling submission, which is designed to speed up any approval, BioNTech and Pfizer said in a joint statement.
(With inputs from agencies.)