Health News Roundup: Health Canada to start real-time review; Canada at a tipping point in fight against coronavirus and more

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Health Canada to start real-time review of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

Health Canada will start a real-time review of Germany’s BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine, the companies said on Friday. The companies said they would submit safety and efficacy data from the trial of their COVID-19 vaccine to Canada’s health ministry under a rolling submission as and when it becomes available.

Canada at a tipping point in fight against coronavirus, says frustrated Prime Minister Trudeau

Canada is at a tipping point in the fight against a second wave of the novel coronavirus and health care workers are increasingly swamped, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in some of his most gloomy comments on Friday. He spoke after health officials said authorities needed to do more now to fight the pandemic since forecasts suggest the number of new infections will continue to accelerate.

U.S. CDC reports 212,111 deaths from coronavirus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday reported 7,583,200 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 54,887 cases from its previous count, and said the number of deaths had risen by 979 to 212,111. The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, as of 4 pm ET on Oct. 8 versus its previous report a day earlier.(

Europe records 100,000 daily coronavirus cases for first time

Europe surpassed 100,000 daily reported COVID-19 cases for the first time on Thursday, after countries such as Russia and United Kingdom saw no respite in the mounting number of infections every day in the past five days. Cases throughout Europe have been steadily rising over the past week even as new infections in worst-affected countries such as India and Brazil have shown signs of slowing down.

Trump says he is pushing to get Regeneron’s COVID-19 treatment approved quickly

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he is working to get coronavirus antibody drugs developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc and Eli Lilly and Co approved quickly and out to hospitals after his own positive coronavirus treatment experience. In a radio interview with Rush Limbaugh, Trump said he may not have recovered without the treatments he received to combat his own coronavirus illness.

China joins WHO-backed vaccine programme COVAX rejected by Trump

China has joined a global scheme for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine backed by the World Health Organization (WHO), it said on Friday, giving a major boost to an initiative shunned by U.S. President Donald Trump. Beijing’s latest bid to join the global fight against the coronavirus follows criticism over its handling of the pandemic, which has contributed to a growing unfavourable view of China in advanced nations, a recent survey showed.

COVID-19 surges in U.S. Midwest, Broadway dark until June

COVID-19 shattered records for new cases in the U.S. Midwest, straining hospitals, and will darken New York’s Broadway theaters until June, a decision the Actors’ Equity Association union, called “difficult but responsible.” The Broadway closure that began in March had been due to end in early January until the Broadway League industry group announced the extension on Friday.

U.S. expects over 1 million COVID-19 antibody doses from Regeneron, Lilly in 2020

The U.S. government expects to be able to provide at no cost more than 1 million doses of antibody treatments for COVID-19 similar to the one President Donald Trump received to treat his illness, according to a top U.S. health official on Friday. The government’s Operation Warp Speed program currently has “a couple of hundred thousand doses” of the monoclonal antibody treatments being developed by drugmakers Regeneron Pharmaceutical Inc and Eli Lilly & Co, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services official Paul Mango said on a call with reporters. That would top 1 million doses by the end of the year, he said.

Nevada’s prohibition of Quidel, Becton Dickinson’s COVID-19 tests violates law: HHS official

U.S. state of Nevada’s recent ban on the use of Quidel Corp’s Sofia and Becton Dickinson and Co’s (BD) Veritor point of care antigen tests in long-term care facilities violates federal law, a U.S. government official said on Friday. “The letter (on ban) from Nevada officials can only be interpreted as reflecting a fundamental lack of basic knowledge about testing and interpreting results,” said Admiral Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in a press briefing.

U.S. signs agreement with AstraZeneca to develop COVID-19 antibody treatment

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday signed an agreement with AstraZeneca Plc for development and supply of the company’s COVID-19 antibody treatment, a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies – similar class of drugs that was administered to President Donald Trump. The agency will provide nearly $486 million to AstraZeneca for two Phase 3 clinical trials as well as a large-scale manufacturing demonstration project and supply of AZD7442 doses in the United States.

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