Health News Roundup: Pfizer/BioNTech shot boosts antibodies in elderly; COVID-19 obesity risk higher for men; India's Cipla says supply of COVID-19 disruptions and more
The first such study by a European Union country on the real-world impact of its immunisation campaign was carried out by Italy's National Institute of Health (ISS) and the Ministry of Health on 13.7 million people vaccinated nationwide. Walmart says fully vaccinated employees can go without masks starting Tuesday Walmart said on Friday that fully vaccinated employees will not need to wear a mask at work starting Tuesday, following the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Delayed 2nd Pfizer/BioNTech shot boosts antibodies in elderly; COVID-19 obesity risk higher for men
The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Delaying second Pfizer/BioNTech dose boosts antibodies in elderly
India's Cipla says supply of COVID-19 drug remdesivir catching up with demand
India's Cipla said on Saturday that its manufacturing of the COVID-19 remdesivir drug was beginning to catch up with demand after the company sought to boost production amid a massive second wave of coronavirus infections in the country. Backorders and complaints over low supply started moderating in the second week of May, the drugmaker said, after it began ramping up production of the antiviral drug last month.
Italian study shows COVID-19 infections, deaths plummeting after jabs
COVID-19 infections in adults of all ages fell by 80% five weeks after a first dose of Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccine, according to Italian research published on Saturday. The first such study by a European Union country on the real-world impact of its immunisation campaign was carried out by Italy's National Institute of Health (ISS) and the Ministry of Health on 13.7 million people vaccinated nationwide.
Walmart says fully vaccinated employees can go without masks starting Tuesday
Walmart said on Friday that fully vaccinated employees will not need to wear a mask at work starting Tuesday, following the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The world's largest retailer said in an internal memo to U.S. stores, Sam's Clubs and supply chain facilities that unvaccinated workers must still wear face coverings. Vaccinated customers and Sam's Club members will be allowed to shop without a mask starting Friday.
Venezuela approves Russia's single-shot COVID-19 vaccine
Venezuela has approved for use Russia's single-shot Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccine, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on Saturday. Developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute, the slimmed-down vaccine, which the RDIF says is 79.4% effective against COVID-19 and costs under $10 a dose, has been earmarked for export and has been billed as a way to help vaccine supplies go further in countries with high infection rates.
FACTBOX-Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 161.42 million, death toll at 3,488,751
More than 161.42 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 3,488,751 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
Britain to hold meeting to encourage global COVID vaccine take-up
Britain said on Saturday it plans to hold a virtual meeting on June 2 to encourage global take-up of COVID-19 vaccines, bringing together medical experts, officials from G7 countries and other partners. The event will discuss how to tackle misinformation about vaccines, including the role social media companies can play in stopping the spread of damaging falsehoods.
Explainer: What is the science behind the new U.S. mask guidance?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday advised that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks outdoors and can avoid wearing them indoors in most places, updated guidance the agency said will allow life to begin to return to normal. The following lays out some of recent scientific evidence on which the CDC and Director Rochelle Walensky based their updated guidelines, including vaccine efficacy against virus variants, increased availability and a reduction in cases:
Disney World and other U.S. theme parks update mask rules
Disney World and other U.S. amusement parks updated their mask policy following the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week. Masks have been made optional in outdoor areas and pool decks at Walt Disney Inc's Disney World in Orlando, Florida, effective May 15, but are still needed for entering rides and at indoor locations, according to the guidelines posted in its website.
India hopes COVID-19 cases stabilising even as daily deaths stay near 4,000
India reported its smallest daily increase in coronavirus infections in nearly three weeks on Saturday, with deaths still near the 4,000-mark, but federal health officials said cases and fatalities are rapidly stabilising in this wave of the pandemic. The overall rate of positive cases per tests had dipped to 19.8% this week from 21.9% last week, federal health officials said in a briefing, but warned that cautiousness must continue.
(With inputs from agencies.)