Health News Roundup: Alarmed Europe prepares for more COVID; EU warns not enough COVID vaccines and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Alarmed Europe prepares for more COVID pain amid rising discontent
European governments prepared on Tuesday to introduce new restrictions to try to curb a growing surge of coronavirus infections across the continent and provide economic balm to help businesses survive the pandemic. Eight months into the crisis, world leaders face an increasingly difficult task holding the disease at bay while also trying to keep their economies afloat as they wait for a vaccination that should mitigate the contagion.
EU warns not enough COVID vaccines for all in Europe until 2022
Only part of the European Union population can be inoculated against the new coronavirus before 2022, EU officials said in an internal meeting, as the vaccines the bloc is securing may not prove effective or may not be manufactured in sufficient doses. The 27-nation bloc, with a population of 450 million, has booked more than 1 billion doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines from three drugmakers. It is negotiating the advance purchase of another billion vials with other companies.
Novavax delays U.S. trial of COVID-19 vaccine to November
Novavax Inc on Tuesday delayed the start of a late-stage U.S. trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine by roughly a month to the end of November, citing delays in scaling up the manufacturing process. The U.S.-based drug developer said data from a separate Phase III trial being conducted in Britain was expected by the first quarter of 2021 and could be the basis for global regulatory approvals although it did not elaborate. Shares of the company rose nearly 3%.
Almost half a million Americans contract COVID-19 in past week as infections surge
Nearly half a million people in the United States have contracted the novel coronavirus in the last seven days, according to a Reuters tally, as cases and hospitalizations set fresh records in hot spots in the Midwest. More than 5,600 people died from the virus nationwide in the last week, with hospitalizations shooting up 13%, a Reuters analysis showed.
U.S. CDC reports 225,084 deaths from coronavirus
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday reported 8,680,611 cases of new coronavirus, an increase of 63,589 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 483 to 225,084. The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, as of 4 p.m. ET on Oct. 26 compared with its previous report a day earlier. (https://bit.ly/31Dqz4H)
France mulling month-long national lockdown to combat COVID-19 crisis: BFM TV
The French government is envisaging a month-long national lockdown to combat a rise in coronavirus infections which could take effect from midnight on Thursday, France’s BFM TV reported on Tuesday. French President Emmanuel Macron is due to make a televised address on Wednesday. His office did not comment on whether Macron would announce such a measure then.
Eli Lilly strikes optimistic tone on COVID-19 therapy after trial failure
Eli Lilly and Co on Tuesday aimed to ease investor concerns about its COVID-19 antibody treatment after a trial of the therapy failed to show a benefit in hospitalized patients. Lilly said it remains optimistic about ongoing trials for the experimental COVID-19 antibody therapy. The drugmaker also said issues raised by U.S. regulators after an inspection of one of its manufacturing facilities do not effect the quality or safety of the treatment.
Wisconsin breaks one-day state records in COVID-19 deaths and cases
Wisconsin on Tuesday broke one-day state records in COVID-19 deaths and cases as state officials told residents to stay home, wear a mask, and implored them to cancel travel and social gatherings. The U.S. state had 64 deaths due to the virus and 5,262 new cases over the last 24 hours, state officials said during an afternoon news conference.
Pfizer says no COVID-19 vaccine data yet, could be week or more before it reports
Drugmaker Pfizer Inc said on Tuesday it does not yet have data from the late-stage trial of the COVID-19 vaccine it is developing with Germany’s BioNTech SE, and provided a timeline that makes its release unlikely ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election.Pfizer said there had not yet been enough infections in the 44,000-volunteer trial to trigger an analysis of whether or not the vaccine works. An independent panel will conduct the first analysis when it reaches 32 infections. Chief Executive Albert Bourla said after it has enough data for the analysis, it typically takes 5 to 7 days before the company can publicly release the data, meaning it is likely to happen after the election.
Russia applies for WHO emergency use tag for its COVID-19 vaccine
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has submitted applications to the World Health Organization for an Emergency Use Listing and prequalification of its coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said on Tuesday. Russia was the first country to grant regulatory approval for a novel coronavirus vaccine, and did so before large-scale trials were complete, stirring concerns among scientists and doctors about the safety and efficacy of the shot.