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With a highly transmissible new variant of the virus surging across Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has imposed a third national lockdown in England - its most populous region -

Health

With a highly transmissible new variant of the virus surging across Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has imposed a third national lockdown in England - its most populous region - ...

Britain has now given around 2 million people a COVID-19 vaccination, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday ahead of a ramp-up in the roll-out of the shots on Monday.

U.S. FDA advisory panel sets stage for Moderna vaccine authorization. Image credit - Jarkata Post

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The vaccines are not a panacea, however, as they will take months to roll out to a nation where the virus is running rampant and public health measures such as social distancing and mask wearing are being rejected by large parts of the population.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will “rapidly” work towards granting emergency approval of Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said on Thursday.

Moderna nears U.S. authorization for COVID-19 shot with FDA staff endorsement

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Moderna’s is the second vaccine the FDA has considered, behind one from Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech, which was authorized last week. Hospitals in the U.S. began giving the Pfizer shots on Monday.

Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine appeared set for regulatory authorization this week after U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff endorsed it as safe and effective in documents released Tuesday.

Registered nurse La Tanya Forbes, right, is inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by RN Cheryl Birmingham, left, at Memorial Healthcare System, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Miramar, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

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“Relieved,” proclaimed critical care nurse Sandra Lindsay after becoming one of the first to be inoculated at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York. “I feel like healing is coming.”

Health care workers around the country rolled up their sleeves for the first COVID-19 shots Monday as hope that an all-out vaccination effort can defeat the coronavirus smacked up against the heartbreaking reality of 300,000 U.S. deaths.

US allows emergency COVID-19 vaccine in bid to end pandemic

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The move sets off what will be the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history -- but it also has global ramifications because it’s a role model to many other countries facing the same decision.

The U.S. gave the final go-ahead Friday to the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine, marking what could be the beginning of the end of an outbreak that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans.

US panel: 1st vaccines to health care workers, nursing homes

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Health care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line when the first coronavirus vaccine shots become available, an influential government advisory panel said Tuesday.

A research scientist works inside a laboratory of India's Serum Institute, the world's largest maker of vaccines, which is working on vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Pune, India, May 18, 2020. Picture taken May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Euan Rocha/File Photo

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Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine producer, sees AstraZeneca Plc’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate as a “very good” option, giving it a major vote of confidence after some experts raised questions around its trial data.

In this undated image from video provided by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, scientists work with a bioreactor at a company facility in New York state, for efforts on an experimental coronavirus antibody drug. The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 authorized the use of the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. drug to try to prevent patients with mild-to-moderate disease from worsening and needing hospitalization. It's given as a one-time treatment through an IV and is still going through more testing to establish its safety and effectiveness. (Regeneron via AP)

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Initial supplies will likely be vastly outstripped by demand as the U.S. has surged past 12 million reported cases, with the country facing what health experts say will be a dark winter due to uncontrolled spread of the virus.

U.S. health officials Saturday agreed to allow emergency use of a second antibody drug to help the immune system fight COVID-19, an experimental medicine that President Donald Trump was given when he was sickened last month.

A file photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer's COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

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Pfizer's vaccine won't be rolled out in any mass immunization campaign just yet. First, the company must demonstrate that the vaccine is not just effective, but also safe.

In a promising development, an initial glimpse at the data from Pfizer's ongoing late-stage clinical trial shows that the company's vaccine is more effective at preventing COVID-19 than placebo.

Medical task force recommends lowering suggested age for colorectal screenings. Image credit - healthline

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The Task Force announced Tuesday morning their proposal to lower the suggested age for when to start colorectal screenings, moving it up five years, from 50, to 45 years old.

New recommendations from the United States Preventive Services Task Force aim to offset what experts call an alarming trend in American health: a rising number of young people are getting diagnosed with, and dying from, colorectal cancer.

File: A healthcare worker takes a sample at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test centre in Rome, Italy, October 8, 2020. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

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Italy on Friday topped 5,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day for the first time since March. Daily infections remained over 5,000 both on Saturday and Sunday.

Italy is preparing fresh nationwide restrictions, including on private parties, in response to a recent spike in new coronavirus cases, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Sunday.

Greek doctors march and measure to promote use of face masks. AP photo

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Opponents of mandatory face mask use have spread the claim that wearing face coverings makes people short of breath and actually is bad for their health.

Doctors marched with their families and a few friends in Greece's second-largest city Saturday not to protest, but to debunk misinformation about face masks circulating during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Tunji Funsho - File image

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In August 2019, Nigeria reached three years without a case of wild poliovirus. Nigeria’s progress, led by Rotary, its GPEI partners and local and national governments, ...

TIME named Nigerian physician Dr. Tunji Funsho to the 2020 TIME100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. The full list and related tributes are available now at time.com/time100, and Dr. Funsho’s TIME100 profile is available here.

CDC abruptly removes new guidance on coronavirus airborne transmission

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The CDC said the guidance had been posted on its website "in error."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that it made a mistake when it posted new guidance online citing “growing evidence” that COVID-19 is airborne, sending health experts and the public scrambling to determine if schools and business should rethink mitigation steps to prevent the spread of the virus.

New Zealand records 100 days without domestic virus case but warns against complacency

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“Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone, however, as we all know, we can’t afford to be complacent, ....

New Zealand marked 100 days without a domestic transmission of the coronavirus on Sunday, but warned against complacency as countries like Vietnam and Australia which once had the virus under control now battle a resurgence in infections.

A pharmacist gives Jennifer Haller the first shot, March 16, 2020, in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.

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The world's biggest COVID-19 vaccine test got underway July 27 with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers. The experimental vaccine is made by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., and it's one of several candidates in the final stretch of the global vaccine race.

Dr. Noubar Afeyan, co-founder and chairman of Moderna Therapeutics, said the biotech firm would become the first U.S. company to enter Phase III of a clinical trial for a potential coronavirus vaccine.

Over 10 000 health workers in Africa infected with COVID-19

Health

Inadequate access to personal protective equipment or weak infection prevention and control measures raise the risk of health worker infection.

The World Health Organization's Regional Office For Africa (WHO) has warned of the threat posed by COVID-19 to health workers across Africa. More than 10 000 health workers in the 40 countries which have reported on such infections have been infected with COVID-19 so far, a sign of the challenges medical staff on the frontlines of the outbreak face.

COVID-19 rashes: How your skin can be a sign of the virus

Health

One of the most widely talked about skin findings related to coronavirus infection is the so-called "COVID toes" syndrome. Dr. Ginette Okoye, ...

As the pandemic continues, doctors and researchers are learning more about the symptoms of COVID-19. And, as it turns out, some of them -- like rashes -- may be easy to see.

Wave of promising study results raise hopes for coronavirus vaccines

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The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is one of 150 in development globally, but is considered the most advanced. Late-stage trials have begun in Brazil and South Africa and are due to start in the United States, where the infection prevalence is highest.

Early data from trials of three potential COVID-19 vaccines released on Monday, including a closely-watched candidate from Oxford University, increased confidence that a vaccine can train the immune system to recognize and fight the novel coronavirus without serious side effects.

Men should limit alcohol to 1 drink a day, experts say

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The proposed advice shouldn’t be interpreted to mean that not having a drink on Thursday means you can have two on Friday, ....

If you decide to have an alcoholic drink, limiting yourself to one a day is best — whether you’re a man or woman.

How Covid-19 can damage the brain

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These findings suggest that Covid-19 has a “neurotropic inclination, meaning that it attacks neurons”, Lledo continued. The best-known neurotropic virus is rabies, which attacks the central nervous system almost exclusively. The fact that Covid-19 is primarily a respiratory illness in no way prevents it from having this neurological aspect.

Not only does Covid-19 damage the lungs, heart and kidneys, it can also cause severe brain damage – with patients suffering neurological conditions including paranoia and hallucinations, a British scientific study has revealed.

This 2020 electron microscope made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention image shows the spherical coronavirus particles from the first U.S. case of COVID-19. Two new studies published online Monday, June 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggest more than 250 U.S. children have developed a serious inflammatory condition linked to the coronavirus and while most recovered after intensive-care treatment, the potential for long-term or permanent damage is unknown. (C.S. Goldsmith, A. Tamin/CDC via AP)

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Digestive symptoms including nausea and diarrhea are common. Some children may have symptoms resembling Kawasaki disease, a rare condition in children that can cause swelling and heart problems.

At least 285 U.S. children have developed a serious inflammatory condition linked to the coronavirus and while most recovered, the potential for long-term or permanent damage is unknown, two new studies suggest.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Health

"The reality is this is not close to being over," Tedros told reporters. "Globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up."

Six months after the World Health Organization (WHO) first identified a cluster of atypical pneumonia cases at a hospital in Wuhan, China, the number of people newly infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is rising rapidly.

CanSino's COVID-19 vaccine candidate approved for military use in China

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The Ad5-nCoV is one of China’s eight vaccine candidates approved for human trials at home and abroad for the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus. The shot also won approval for human testing in Canada.

China’s military has received the greenlight to use a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by its research unit and CanSino Biologics (6185.HK) after clinical trials proved it was safe and showed some efficacy, the company said on Monday.

Gilead prices COVID-19 drug remdesivir at $2,340 per patient in developed nations

Health

The price tag is slightly below the range of $2,520 to $2,800 suggested last week by U.S. drug pricing research group the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) after British researchers said they found that the cheap, widely available steroid dexamethasone significantly reduced mortality among severely ill COVID-19 patients.

Gilead Sciences Inc on Monday priced its COVID-19 antiviral remdesivir at $2,340 per patient for wealthier nations and agreed to send nearly all of its supply of the drug to the United States over the next three months.

Chinese firm says coronavirus vaccine candidate shows promise in human test

Health

Chinese companies and researchers have been allowed to test eight vaccine candidates in humans at home and abroad, making China a major front-runner in the race to develop a shot against the virus that has killed nearly 500,000 people globally.

China National Biotec Group (CNBG) said on Sunday that early human test results for a coronavirus vaccine candidate suggested it could be safe and effective, the second vaccine candidate from the firm to show encouraging results in a clinical trial.

Military personnel are seen at a drive-through coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing facility in Hyde Park, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, London, Britain, June 11, 2020. File image

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“Saliva testing could potentially make it even easier for people to take coronavirus tests at home, without having to use swabs,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

A weekly coronavirus testing regime using a “no-swab” saliva test is being trialled in Southampton, southern England, and could result in a simpler and quicker way to detect outbreaks of the virus, the British government said on Monday.

WHO moves to update COVID-19 guidance after 'great news' in drug study

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Trial results announced on Tuesday showed dexamethasone, used since the 1960s to reduce inflammation in diseases such as arthritis, cut death rates by around a third among the most severely ill COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was moving to update its guidelines on treating people stricken with COVID-19 to reflect results of a clinical trial that showed a cheap, common steroid can help save critically ill patients.

A close-up of a box of Dexamethasone tablets in a pharmacy on June 16, 2020, in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Results of a trial announced today have shown that Dexamethasone, a cheap and widely used steroid drug which is used to reduce inflammation, reduced death rates by around a third in the most severely ill COVID-19 patients who were admitted to the hospital.A close-up of a box of Dexamethasone tablets in a pharmacy on June 16, 2020, in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Results of a trial announced today have shown that Dexamethasone, a cheap and widely used steroid drug which is used to reduce inflammation, reduced death rates by around a third in the most severely ill COVID-19 patients who were admitted to the hospital. Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

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Meanwhile, the drug also seemed to benefit patients who required oxygen assistance without mechanical ventilation, reducing deaths in this group by about 20%.

As the world awaits a COVID-19 vaccine, researchers studying possible treatments have found a commonly used steroid called dexamethasone that might help save one-third of patients who end up on ventilators.

The agency determined that the legal criteria for issuing an EUA are no longer met. Based on its ongoing analysis of the EUA and emerging scientific data, the FDA determined that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19 for the authorized uses in the EUA.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revoked the emergency use authorization (EUA) that allowed for chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate donated to the Strategic National Stockpile to be used to treat certain hospitalized patients with COVID-19 when a clinical trial was unavailable, or participation in a clinical trial was not feasible.

Coronavirus patients most infectious when they first feel unwell: WHO

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Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergencies expert, said that the novel coronavirus lodges in the upper respiratory tract, making it easier to transmit by droplets than related viruses such as SARS or MERS, which are in the lower tract.

Studies show people with the coronavirus are most infectious just at the point when they first begin to feel unwell, World Health Organization (WHO) experts said on Tuesday.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus . File image

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More than 136,000 new cases were reported worldwide on Sunday, the most in a single day so far, he said. Nearly 75% of them were reported from 10 countries, mostly in the Americas and South Asia.

New coronavirus cases had their biggest daily increase ever as the pandemic worsens globally and has yet to peak in central America, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday, urging countries to press on with efforts to contains the virus.

A scientist examines COVID-19 infected cells during research for a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a laboratory of BIOCAD biotechnology company in Saint Petersburg, Russia May 20, 2020. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

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GAVI is a public-private partnership backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the WHO, the World Bank, UNICEF and others, which arranges bulk buys to reduce vaccine costs for poor countries.

The GAVI vaccines alliance said on Thursday it had raised $8.8 billion from international donor governments, companies and philanthropic foundations to fund its immunisation programmes through to 2025.

Eli Lilly starts human study of potential COVID-19 antibody treatment

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Rival Regeneron Pharmacuticals Inc has said it plans to start clinical studies in June to test its antibody cocktail treatment for the new coronavirus and is aiming to have hundreds of thousands of preventative doses available by the end of August.

Eli Lilly and Co said on Monday it had started an early-stage trial to test its potential treatment for COVID-19, in the world’s first study of an antibody treatment against the disease.

UN virus therapy trial pauses hydroxychloroquine testing

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Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are approved for treating lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and for preventing and treating malaria, but no large rigorous tests have found them safe or effective for preventing or treating COVID-19.

The World Health Organization said Monday that it will temporarily drop hydroxychloroquine — the anti-malarial drug U.S. President Trump says he is taking — from its global study into experimental COVID-19 treatments, saying that its experts need to review all available evidence to date.

WHO warns of 'second peak' in areas where COVID-19 declining

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Ryan said epidemics often come in waves, which means that outbreaks could come back later this year in places where the first wave has subsided. There was also a chance that infection rates could rise again more quickly if measures to halt the first wave were lifted too soon.

Countries where coronavirus infections are declining could still face an “immediate second peak” if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

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