Health News Roundup: U.S. to require nursing home employees to get COVID-19 shots; Cancer patients’ own cells used in 3D printed tumours to test treatments and more

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

U.S. to require nursing home employees to get COVID-19 shots

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday his administration will require employees at nursing homes to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of the facilities participating in the Medicare and Medicaid government healthcare programs. Biden made the announcement hours after the release of a study showing that the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines for residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, where residents are often elderly and frail, has dropped since the Delta variant became dominant in the United States.

Cancer patients’ own cells used in 3D printed tumours to test treatments

Researchers have used brain cancer patients’ own cells in a form of 3D printing material to make a model of their tumor test the efficacy of potential treatments before using them for real inside the body. The scientists extract “a chunk” of the tumor from the brain of a patient with glioblastoma – aggressive cancer with a very poor prognosis – and use it to print a model matching their MRI scans, said Professor Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, who led the research at Tel Aviv University.

No need for COVID booster jabs for now – WHO

Current data does not indicate that COVID-19 booster shots are needed, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, adding that the most vulnerable people worldwide should be fully vaccinated before high-income countries deploy a top-up. The comments came just before the U.S. government said it planned to make the booster shots widely available to all Americans starting on Sept. 20 as infections from the Delta variant of the coronavirus rise.

Asian airlines report high vaccination uptake among crew

Asian airlines are reporting high vaccination take-up rates among pilots and cabin crew as they wait for the region’s tight pandemic-related border controls to be relaxed. International travel in the Asia-Pacific region remains down about 95% from pre-pandemic levels, and concerns about the Delta variant have led to even stricter quarantines or flight caps in some places, leaving many aircrew members idle and hoping for a recovery.

Sydney vaccine rollout sped up as Australia’s COVID-19 cases hit high

Australian authorities began doling out emergency COVID-19 vaccine supplies on Thursday in the Sydney suburbs worst hit by an outbreak of the fast-moving Delta strain, as the country reported its biggest one-day rise in COVID-19 infections. New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the ramp-up in inoculations in Australia’s biggest city was providing some hope as the city battles its worst outbreak since the coronavirus pandemic began.

British study shows COVID-19 vaccine efficacy wanes under Delta

A British public health study has found that protection from either of the two most commonly used COVID-19 vaccines against the now prevalent Delta variant of the coronavirus weakens within three months. It also found that those who get infected after receiving two shots of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the AstraZeneca vaccine may be of greater risk to others than under previous variants of the coronavirus.

New Zealand identifies Delta outbreak origin as cases jump

New Zealand’s COVID-19 outbreak jumped to 21 cases on Thursday, but the authorities said the virus may not have been in the community for long as they linked its origin to a recent returnee from Sydney. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Chief Ashley Bloomfield told a news conference 11 new cases had been reported over the past day.

War over masks deepens in U.S. South where COVID-19 cases are highest

Florida’s largest school district on Wednesday imposed a mask mandate in defiance of the state’s governor, the latest chapter in the coronavirus political battle in the southern United States where new infections are highest. At a day-long meeting that grew contentious at times, the Miami-Dade County School Board voted to require most of the district’s 360,000 students, as well as staff, to wear face coverings when classes begin on Monday. Governor Ron DeSantis previously placed a ban on local mask mandates.

S.Korea COVID-19 count ticks up as authorities consider tougher distancing

South Korea reported more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases for the second time on Thursday as it struggles to subdue a wave of outbreaks during the summer holidays, driven by the more contagious Delta variant. South Korea has managed to tackle outbreaks since its epidemic began early last year thanks to intensive testing and tracing but it is now facing persistent spikes in infections and vaccine shortages.

U.S. appeals court upholds Texas ban on second-trimester abortion procedure

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld on Wednesday a Texas law effectively banning the most common abortion procedure for terminating second-trimester pregnancies, reversing a ruling last year by a three-judge panel of the same court. Wednesday’s decision marks the first time a U.S. federal court has upheld a prohibition on the standard abortion method used after 15 weeks of pregnancy – dilation and evacuation, or D&E – though some other states have acted to outlaw it.

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

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