Health News Roundup: Japan fears COVID-19 variants are behind possible fourth wave

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday the administration will continue to ensure coronavirus vaccine is equitably distributed in Florida amid media reports of improper distribution in the state. Psaki said the White House has been monitoring the situation and it has found 17% of Florida’s population is African-American, but less than 7% of vaccinations have gone to African-Americans.

Japan fears COVID-19 variants are behind possible fourth wave

Japanese health authorities are concerned that variants of the coronavirus are driving a nascent fourth wave in the pandemic with just 109 days remaining until the Tokyo Olympics. The variants appear to be more infectious and may be resistant to vaccines, which are still not widely available in Japan. The situation is worst in Osaka, where infections hit fresh records last week, prompting the regional government to start targeted lockdown measures for one month from Monday.

Novavax begins participant crossover in two COVID-19 vaccine trials Novavax Inc on Monday said it had begun to crossover patients in its ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials in South Africa and the UK to ensure participants who previously received placebo also receive active vaccine.

Venezuela doctors and scientists urge COVID-19 vaccination progress as cases spike CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s main academies of medicine and science on Monday urged renewed efforts to vaccinate the South American nation’s population against the coronavirus amid a spike in infections that has led the government to extend lockdown measures. The pandemic was significantly less severe than expected in Venezuela in 2020 due to widespread gasoline shortages that restricted vehicle movement, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences said in a joint statement.

WHO wins dismissal of lawsuit in New York over pandemic response NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. judge has dismissed a lawsuit by residents of a suburban New York City county who accused the World Health Organization of gross negligence in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel on Monday said the WHO was immune under its own 1948 constitution and the International Organization Immunities Act from the proposed class-action lawsuit by the seven Westchester County plaintiffs.

India’s daily virus cases breach 100,000; mutants, behaviour blamed NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India reported a record rise in COVID-19 infections on Monday, becoming the second country after the United States to post more than 100,000 new cases in a day, as politicians stage massive election rallies raising fears of further spreading the virus. Hospitals in the worst affected state, Maharashtra, are being overrun by patients. India’s richest state, home to its commercial capital Mumbai and numerous industries, reported a record 57,074 new cases overnight.

U.S. COVID-19 cases rise for third straight week, hospitalizations also up New cases of COVID-19 in the United States rose 5% to more than 450,000 last week, the third week in a row that infections have increased, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data. The average number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals rose 4% to more than 37,000 in the week ended April 4, breaking a streak of 11 weeks of falling admissions.

UK health regulator may restrict AstraZeneca shot for younger people, Channel 4 says Britain’s health regulator is considering a proposal to restrict the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in younger people over concerns about very rare blood clots, Channel 4 News reported on Monday. “Two senior sources have told this programme that while the data is still unclear, there are growing arguments to justify offering younger people – below the age of 30 at the very least – a different vaccine,” the broadcaster reported.

(With inputs from agencies.)



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