Sinovac – Reuters Health News Summary
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Wuhan residents remember coronavirus ‘whistleblower’ doctor a year after his death
A year after his death from COVID-19, residents in the Chinese city of Wuhan say they remain grateful to the “whistleblower” doctor who first sounded the alarm about the outbreak before it received official recognition. Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist at a hospital in the city, became one of the most visible figures in the early days of the outbreak in Wuhan when he tried to sound the alarm about its appearance, but was reprimanded by police for “spreading rumours.”
Germany talking to BioNTech about funding for vaccine capacity
Germany is in talks with BioNTech and other COVID-19 vaccine makers about possible funding to help them secure capacity and raw materials, Health Minister Jens Spahn tweeted on Saturday. The discussions follow a government “vaccine summit” this week with state leaders and representatives of pharmaceutical companies and the European Commission to discuss progress in vaccinating the population.
Bolivia funeral homes, cemeteries overwhelmed as COVID-19 deaths mount
Corpses in Bolivia have begun to pile up as a fierce second wave of the coronavirus has overwhelmed funeral homes and cemeteries, according to officials, stoking fears the growing backlog could become yet another focal point of infection. The bodies of the dead, wrapped in impromptu Andean alpaca wool blankets and blue plastic bags or even packed into suitcases have inundated funeral parlors in the capital La Paz, the hardest hit region of the Andean nation.
France on Saturday reported a fall in new COVID-19 infections and in the number of patients being treated in hospital, slightly easing pressure on the health system as the country rolled out shots with a third approved vaccine. The country registered 20,586 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, down from 22,139 the previous day and marking the third straight daily fall.
Yankee Stadium makes debut as big-league vaccination hub
Friday was a different sort of Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, the legendary home of baseball’s “Bronx Bombers,” as New York ramped up its drive to vaccinate its most vulnerable residents, many who live in the hard-hit Bronx neighborhoods that surround the legendary sports venue. The stadium, which opened its doors as the city’s newest COVID-19 vaccination hub, is the pride of the Bronx, the most recognizable landmark in the borough that has struggled with one of the highest death rates during the global coronavirus pandemic. The Bronx is predominantly Black and Hispanic, communities that have suffered higher infection and death rates.
German minister angry at vaccine rollout, which EU chief defends
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Saturday he was angry that more COVID-19 vaccines were not ordered last year as EU chief executive Ursula von der Leyen renewed her defence of the European Commission’s record on rolling them out. EU countries have so far given first doses to just under 4% of their populations, compared with 11% for the United States and almost 17% for Britain, according to Our World in Data. Von der Leyen has been under fire for the EU’s slow rollout.
Exclusive: Indonesia approves China’s Sinovac vaccine for the elderly
Indonesia has approved Sinovac Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in the elderly, a letter from the food and drug agency shows, potentially changing the country’s strategy which has prioritised its working population first. That strategy was partially due to limited data on the vaccine’s safety for the elderly, authorities have said.
China approves Sinovac Biotech COVID-19 vaccine for general public use
Sinovac Biotech said on Saturday that its unit’s COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use by the general public by China’s medical products regulator. It marks the second vaccine approved for public use in China, after one developed by a Beijing institute affiliated with state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) was approved in December.
India asks states to speed up COVID-19 vaccination
India’s government urged states and union territories on Saturday to accelerate COVID-19 vaccinations after a review found “substantial” room for speeding up the programme. India started what it says in the world’s biggest vaccination programme on Jan. 16, aiming to reach 300 million people by July-August.
Pfizer Inc has applied for full regulatory approval in Brazil of its COVID-19 vaccine developed with BioNTech Se, Brazilian health regulator Anvisa said on Saturday. It is the second vaccine submitted for registration in Brazil. AstraZeneca Plc applied on Jan. 29 for full regulatory approval of the vaccine it developed with Oxford University, and will make it in Brazil in partnership with the federally funded Fiocruz biomedical center.
Sinovac – Reuters Health News Summary