Reuters Health News Summary

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Iran schools re-open despite concerns over spread of virus

Schools in Iran re-opened to 15 million students on Saturday after a seven-month closure despite concerns over increased spread of the novel coronavirus in the country. “This year, we shoulder a heavier burden of responsibility toward our students,” said President Hassan Rouhani, who oversaw the opening of schools in a video conference broadcast live on state television.

Sanofi France chief: future COVID-19 vaccine seen below 10 euros

Sanofi’s chief in France, Olivier Bogillot, said on Saturday that its future COVID-19 vaccine was likely to be priced below 10 euros per shot. “The price is not totally set … We are assessing production costs for the coming months … We will be below 10 euros,” Bogillot told France Inter radio.

U.S. coronavirus deaths projected to more than double to 410,000 by January

U.S. deaths from the coronavirus will reach 410,000 by the end of the year, more than double the current death toll, and deaths could soar to 3,000 per day in December, the University of Washington’s health institute forecast on Friday. Deaths could be reduced by 30% if more Americans wore face masks as epidemiologists have advised, but mask-wearing is declining, the university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said.

Frenchman with incurable disease to livestream his death

A Frenchman suffering from a rare and incurable condition is livestreaming his death on social media as he refuses to take food, drink or medicine after President Emmanuel Macron turned down his request for euthanasia. Alain Cocq, 57, who has been suffering from a degenerative disease for 34 years, has said he would livestream his death on Facebook from Saturday morning.

China’s CNBG, Sinovac find more countries to test coronavirus vaccines

China National Biotec Group (CNBG) and Sinovac Biotech Ltd said on Saturday four more countries have agreed to run late-stage clinical tests of their coronavirus vaccine candidates, as China steps up its efforts in the global race. Serbia and Pakistan are among the new countries agreeing to Phase 3 trials, as the two companies seek more data overseas amid dwindling new cases in China.

Lockdown protesters defy police as Australia coronavirus cases ease

Protesters against a COVID-19 lockdown defied police in Australia’s hotspot on Saturday, prompting 15 arrests, even as the state of Victoria continued its gradual improvement in stemming new cases due to the nearly five weeks of restrictions. Around 200 protesters in the state capital Melbourne rallied with chants of “freedom” and “human rights matter”, surrounded by swarms of police.

Slovakia reports record spike in coronavirus cases

Slovakia on Saturday reported a spike of 226 cases of the new coronavirus, the biggest one-day rise in the central European country since the start of the pandemic. The jump comes as neighbours in the region have also seen record rises in virus cases after the summer holidays and as students return to school. Officials are seeking to avoid large-scale lockdowns similar to those seen at the start of the outbreak, which hammered economic activity.

India crosses four million coronavirus cases with record surge

India’s total coronavirus cases surged beyond 4 million with a record rise on Saturday, making it the third country in the world to surpass that mark, following the United States and Brazil. India added 86,432 cases of the new virus on Saturday, a global daily record, according to data from the federal health ministry.

Exclusive: J&J seeking one-third of COVID-19 vaccine trial volunteers in hard-hit Latin America

Johnson & Johnson will seek 20,000 volunteers for late-stage human trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine in hard-hit Latin America, one-third of the planned global total, one of its public health chiefs in the region said. Josue Bacaltchuk, vice president of medical affairs for Latin America for Janssen, J&J’s Belgian unit developing the vaccine prototype, said countries hosting the trials would also likely get preferential access to vaccines once ready.

COVID-19 vaccine developers prepare joint safety pledge: WSJ

Several COVID-19 vaccine developers, including Pfizer Inc , Johnson & Johnson and Moderna Inc, plan to issue a public pledge not to seek government approval until their vaccine candidates are proven to be safe and effective, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The companies would pledge to adhere to high scientific and ethical standards in the conduct of clinical studies and in their manufacturing processes, the Journal report https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-19-vaccine-developers-prepare-joint-pledge-on-safety-standards-11599257729?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1 said, citing the draft of a joint statement that is still being finalized.





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