Health News Roundup: WHO’s COVID vaccine scheme to offer insurance; Fauci says first U.S. COVID-19 vaccines and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
WHO’s COVID vaccine scheme to offer insurance coverage to poor nations
A vaccine scheme co-led by the World Health Organization is setting up a compensation fund for people in poor nations who might suffer any side-effects from COVID-19 vaccines, aiming to allay fears that could hamper a global rollout of shots and prolong the pandemic. The scheme is being set up by the promoters of the COVAX vaccine facility, which is co-led by the WHO and GAVI, a vaccine alliance.
Fauci says first U.S. COVID-19 vaccines could ship late December or early January
If all goes well, the first doses of a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine will likely become available to some high-risk Americans in late December or early January, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious diseases expert, said on Thursday. Based on current projections from vaccine front-runners Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc, Americans will likely know “sometime in December whether or not we have a safe and effective vaccine,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a live chat on Twitter and Facebook.
Britain resisted pressure on Thursday to impose a second nationwide lockdown after France and Germany ordered sweeping restrictions on social life to contain a surge in coronavirus infections that has pushed health services to their limits. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has so far tried to avoid a nationwide lockdown, opting instead for a tiered system of local controls intended to tighten measures in affected regions while leaving others less restricted.
White House advisers warn of ‘unrelenting’ COVID-19 spread, ‘whole lot of pain’
The White House coronavirus task force on Thursday warned of a persistent and broad spread of COVID-19 in the western half of the United States, and its members urged aggressive mitigation measures to curb infections. The hardest-hit areas include a number of battleground states that will play an important role in Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election as Republican President Donald Trump seeks a second term against Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
Exclusive: Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine trial slows as focus shifts to second dose
Russia has temporarily paused the vaccination of new volunteers in its COVID-19 vaccine trial, staff at eight of 25 trial clinics said, with some citing high demand and a shortage of doses. However, the vaccine’s developer said the uptake of new participants had only slowed.
Analysis: What do waning COVID-19 antibodies tell us about immunity and vaccines?
Growing evidence that COVID-19 antibody levels can wane swiftly after someone is infected is not necessarily bad news for immunity, experts said on Thursday, and does not mean protection offered by coronavirus vaccines will be weak or short-lived. Specialists in immunology and viruses warned against reading too much into studies of antibody levels in the blood of people previously infected with COVID-19, cautioning that antibody readings do not translate directly into levels of protective immunity.
Global coronavirus cases rise by single-day record of half a million
Global coronavirus cases rose by more than 500,000 for the first time on Wednesday, a record one-day increase as countries across the Northern Hemisphere reported daily spikes. Global daily COVID-19 cases have risen by nearly 25% in less than two weeks as the world witnessed 400,000 daily reported cases for the first time last Friday. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/34JDOD7)
U.S. CDC reports 227,045 deaths from coronavirus
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday reported 8,834,393 cases of new coronavirus, an increase of 81,599 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 1,060 to 227,045. 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. 28, versus its previous report released on Wednesday. (https://bit.ly/3mA7Hfa)
Exclusive: Brazil will have a COVID-19 vaccine by June 2021, says regulator
Brazil expects to have a vaccine against COVID-19 approved and ready for use in a national inoculation program by June, the head of the country’s health regulator Anvisa, Antonio Barra Torres, said on Thursday. Torres told Reuters that Anvisa has not decided on the minimum efficacy to require but he said the agency has approved vaccines in the past with less than 50% effectiveness.
France reports nearly 50,000 new COVID-19 cases
France on Thursday reported 47,637 new confirmed coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, compared to 36,437 on Wednesday and a record high of 52,010 on Sunday. The total number of infections rose to over 1.28 million. The death tally went up by 235 to 36,020.