Health News Roundup: Aspen COVID vaccine lines risk going idle as J&J orders dwindle; A2 Milk's hopes to sell baby food in U.S. curdled, shares plunge and more
Beset by soaring inflation that depresses livelihoods as the peso currency steadily declines, the dysfunctional economy is wreaking havoc on the population's state of mind as well as its wallets. Europe to consider "dose-sparing" to increase monkeypox vaccine, WHO seeks trials Health officials in Europe are discussing whether to follow a move by the United States to stretch out scarce monkeypox vaccine supplies, with the World Health Organization calling for more data.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Walgreens prescriptions added to San Francisco's opioid epidemic - judge
Walgreens Boots Alliance contributed to the opioid epidemic in San Francisco through its sale of prescription drugs in the city, a federal judge concluded on Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco said that Walgreens failed to properly investigate suspicious opioid orders for nearly 15 years. The amount the pharmacy chain must pay will be determined in a later trial.
Sick again, Argentine's economy eats away at nation's mental health -study
Argentines mired in their country's latest economic meltdown are experiencing a growing sense of hopelessness, according to a landmark mental health study that points to boom times for at least one profession: psychologists. Beset by soaring inflation that depresses livelihoods as the peso currency steadily declines, the dysfunctional economy is wreaking havoc on the population's state of mind as well as its wallets.
Europe to consider "dose-sparing" to increase monkeypox vaccine, WHO seeks trials
Health officials in Europe are discussing whether to follow a move by the United States to stretch out scarce monkeypox vaccine supplies, with the World Health Organization calling for more data. There have been 27,800 monkeypox cases - largely among men who have sex with men - and 12 deaths worldwide this year.
Aspen COVID vaccine lines risk going idle as J&J orders dwindle
South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare's COVID-19 vaccine production lines may soon go idle, and without any new orders it could be forced to pivot to manufacturing other products, a senior executive said on Wednesday. Aspen currently produces vaccines for Johnson & Johnson and, in March, it struck a deal to produce, price, and sell its own-brand version of the shot for African markets.
India to start COVID mix-and-match booster vaccines on Friday
India said on Wednesday that Biological E's COVID-19 vaccine Corbevax can be administered as a booster dose in people who have taken the country's other two main shots, Covaxin and AstraZeneca's Covishield, from Friday. Corbevax will be available to over 18s as precautionary booster six months after a second dose, the health ministry said in an Aug. 8 letter to state authorities and shared with reporters on Wednesday.
A2 Milk's hopes to sell baby food in U.S. curdled, shares plunge
A2 Milk Company Ltd said on Wednesday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deferred its request to sell infant milk formula products in the United States, sending its shares down more than 12%. The dairy producer and rival Fonterra have been advised by U.S.-based trade group International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) that the FDA has sent similar letters to all firms seeking approvals to sell infant milk formula in the United States.
U.S. allows alternate monkeypox vaccine injection method to boost supply
U.S. health regulators have authorized injecting a monkeypox vaccine intradermally in adults, meaning between layers of the skin rather than below the skin, in an effort to stretch out low vaccine supplies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday. The emergency use authorization for Bavarian Nordic's Jynneos monkeypox vaccine will increase available doses fivefold as it only uses a fraction of the dose but provides the same protection, health officials said at a White House briefing.
SARS-related coronaviruses infect around 66,000 people a year in SE Asia - study
About 66,000 people in Southeast Asia are infected each year with SARS-related coronaviruses, and nearly 500 million people live near habitats where bat hosts of those viruses are found, according to a study released on Wednesday. The research, published by Nature Communications, said viral transmission from bats to humans may have been "substantially underestimated", adding that its mapping of bat species in the region could aid efforts to determine the origins of COVID-19.
Polio spreading in London, booster campaign launched for under-10s - health agency
Britain is launching a polio vaccine booster campaign for children in London aged below 10, after confirming that the virus is spreading in the capital for the first time since the 1980s. The UK Health Security Agency has identified 116 polioviruses from 19 sewage samples this year in London. It first raised the alert on finding the virus in sewage samples in June.
Exclusive-Rotavirus childhood vaccine shortage hits four African countries
Supplies of a vaccine to prevent the deadly rotavirus infection in children have either run out in Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal and Cameroon or are close to doing so, officials close to the roll-out told Reuters, after disruptions at drugmaker GSK. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 200,000 children die each year of the highly contagious infection, which is the leading cause globally of severe, dehydrating gastroenteritis in children under the age of five.
(With inputs from agencies.)