Health News Roundup: Singapore grants interim approval for Moderna's bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine; Half a million Somali children face hunger in world's worst famine this century and more

The vaccine has been authorised for use as a booster shot in individuals aged 18 years and above who have received the primary series of COVID-19 vaccinations, the city-state's Health Sciences Authority said. Half a million Somali children face hunger in world's worst famine this century More than 500,000 Somali children under five are expected to suffer severe acute malnutrition and risk death from famine this year, a number unseen in any country this century, the U.N. children's agency said on Tuesday.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 14-09-2022 18:42 IST | Created: 14-09-2022 18:30 IST
Health News Roundup: Singapore grants interim approval for Moderna's bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine; Half a million Somali children face hunger in world's worst famine this century and more
Representative Image. (Photo Credit - Reuters) Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Singapore grants interim approval for Moderna's bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine

Singapore on Wednesday granted interim authorization for a bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine made by Moderna, the government said in a statement. The vaccine has been authorized for use as a booster shot in individuals aged 18 years and above who have received the primary series of COVID-19 vaccinations, the city-state's Health Sciences Authority said.

Half a million Somali children face hunger in world's worst famine this century

More than 500,000 Somali children under five are expected to suffer severe acute malnutrition and risk death from famine this year, a number unseen in any country this century, the U.N. children's agency said on Tuesday. "We've got more than half a million children facing preventable death. It's a pending nightmare," James Elder, spokesperson for the U.N. children's agency UNICEF said at a Geneva news briefing.

Evidence is lacking for diabetes screening in youths - U.S. panel

A U.S. panel tasked with weighing the pros and cons of regular diabetes screening for children and adolescents found a lack of evidence for the testing, even as the proportion of U.S. youths with type 2 diabetes has doubled since 2001. That rise tracks with increases in obesity - the chief risk factor for the most common form of diabetes linked to poor diet and lack of exercise.

Explainer-How the U.S. drug pricing law affects Medicare and its members

U.S. President Joe Biden last month signed the $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act, authorizing the federal government to negotiate prices on some prescription drugs and cap costs for the government's Medicare health program. Here is how the law may affect some of the 63 million Americans aged 65 or over or with disabilities who receive Medicare health benefits:

'Challenge' to maintain world's focus on global health after COVID-19: Bill Gates

Asking the world to prioritize saving lives in the world's poorest countries is increasingly challenging in a world still rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the threat of climate change, rising energy costs and the war in Ukraine, according to Bill Gates. The Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist said it was a "paradox" that in the wake of a huge global health threat, funding for tackling diseases like malaria and AIDS could actually drop this year.

Moderna open to supplying COVID vaccines to China, CEO says

Moderna Inc has held talks with the Chinese government about supplying COVID-19 vaccines, but no decision has yet been made, CEO Stephane Bancel told Reuters on Wednesday. As the rest of the world gradually lifts COVID restrictions, China continues to lock down enormous parts of society and conduct mass testing to eradicate the coronavirus. It has not approved any foreign COVID vaccines and relies on several domestically developed shots.

UK long-term sickness rate rises to highest since 2005

The proportion of Britain's workforce too sick to work has jumped to its highest since 2005, which economists say is likely due to a mix of long COVID and greater difficulty in accessing health care since the start of the pandemic. A record 2.464 million people aged 16-64 gave long-term sickness as the reason why they were neither working nor seeking work during the three months to July, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed on Tuesday.

Novartis escapes claim that it paid kickbacks to promote MS drug

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed, for the second time, a whistleblower lawsuit accusing drugmaker Novartis AG of paying kickbacks to doctors through a sham speaker program to promote its multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya. U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan said former Novartis sales representative Stephen Camburn had not provided enough detail to support his claims.

Exclusive-Medical journals broaden inquiry into potential heart research misconduct

Three medical journals recently launched independent investigations of possible data manipulation in heart studies led by Temple University researchers, Reuters has learned, adding new scrutiny to a misconduct inquiry by the university and the U.S. government. The Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology and the Journal of Biological Chemistry are investigating five papers authored by Temple scientists, the journals told Reuters.

Pfizer starts late-stage trial of mRNA-based flu vaccine

Pfizer Inc said on Wednesday it had started a late-stage U.S. trial of an influenza vaccine involving 25,000 patients, among the first such studies for a messenger RNA flu shot. The company said that the first participants had been dosed with the vaccine, which is based on the same technology used in its widely-used COVID-19 shot developed in partnership with Germanay's BioNTech SE.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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