Health News Roundup: EU lists rare spinal condition as side-effect of J&J COVID-19 shot; EU lists rare spinal condition as side-effect of J&J COVID-19 shot and more

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

EU lists rare spinal condition as side-effect of J&J COVID-19 shot

Europe’s drug regulator on Thursday recommended adding a rare type of spinal inflammation called transverse myelitis as a side-effect of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

Reports of this serious neurological illness was also at the heart of trial halts in the early stages of development for both AstraZeneca and J&J’s shots, which are based on similar technology.

EU lists rare spinal condition as side-effect of J&J COVID-19 shot

Germany’s likely new chancellor Olaf Scholz urged more citizens to get vaccinated against COVID-19 on Thursday as the parliament debated new rules to tackle a fourth wave of infections without imposing lockdowns or making shots mandatory for anyone. The three parties negotiating to form Germany’s new government have agreed to let a state of emergency in place since the start of the pandemic expire on Nov. 25, despite record new cases as colder weather and more indoor gatherings turn Europe once more into a coronavirus hotspot.

Diabetes problem makes Africa more vulernable to COVID-19 death, says WHO

Death rates from COVID-19 infections are much higher in patients with diabetes in Africa, where the number of people with diabetes is growing rapidly, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. A WHO analysis of data from 13 African countries found a 10.2% case fatality rate in COVID-19 patients with diabetes, compared with 2.5% for COVID-19 patients overall.

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine patent dispute headed to court, U.S. NIH head says

U.S. National Institutes of Health scientists played “a major role” in developing Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine and the agency intends to defend its claim as co-owner of patents on the shot, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins told Reuters on Wednesday. In a story first reported by the New York Times on Tuesday, Moderna excluded three NIH scientists as co-inventors of a central patent for the company’s multibillion-dollar COVID-19 vaccine in its application filed in July.

Moderna offers COVID-19 shot at $7 to African Union – Africa CDC head

Moderna Inc has offered to sell its COVID-19 vaccines to the African Union at $7 a shot, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control John Nkengasong said on Thursday, half the price paid by the United States earlier in the year. It is also a substantial discount to what other buyers like the European Union have agreed this year, part of a broader trend for drugmakers to sell at lower prices to lower income countries.

Ten states sue Biden administration over COVID-19 vaccine mandate for U.S. health workers

Ten Republican state attorneys general sued on Wednesday to stop the Biden administration’s requirement that millions of U.S. health workers get vaccinated against the coronavirus, saying it would worsen staff shortages. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, said last Thursday he will enforce the mandate starting Jan. 4.

Merck says making progress on meeting surge in lab gear demand

Germany’s Merck KGaA, which is investing to catch up with ballooning demand for its biotech manufacturing supplies, said the order book in COVID-19 related lab gear was still growing faster than sales but it was getting a better handle on the situation. “We are really very well trained at this time to deal with the supply chain pressures… We have made tremendous progresses, however, our order book is still growing faster than our sales,” Chief Executive Belen Garijo told journalists after releasing full quarterly results.

Dutch experts recommend western Europe’s first lockdown since summer

A pandemic advisory panel in the Netherlands on Thursday recommended imposing western Europe’s first partial lockdown since the summer, putting pressure on the government to take unpopular action to fight a COVID-19 surge. Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s cabinet is expected to decide on Friday on measures following the recommendation of the Outbreak Management Team, broadcaster NOS reported.

Ukraine to impose mandatory COVID-19 shots for doctors, municipal workers

Ukraine’s health ministry has proposed expanding the list of occupations for which COVID-19 vaccinations will be compulsory to cover medical personnel and municipal employees, it said on Thursday. The government already obliges teachers and employees of state institutions and local governments to receive vaccinations, without which they face being suspended from work.

Russia’s daily COVID-19 deaths hover near record high

Russia on Thursday reported 1,237 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, close to a record one-day toll recorded the previous day, amid a nationwide surge in cases. The government coronavirus task force said it had recorded 40,759 new infections nationwide, down from a record tally of 41,335 on Saturday.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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