Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
New York governor lifts remaining COVID-19 restrictions, calls it a ‘momentous day’
New York is lifting all state-mandated coronavirus restrictions after reporting that 70% of the state’s adults have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday. “It is an important milestone, and we’re going to keep pushing to do more,” Cuomo told a news conference, adding that the state would continue to encourage more New Yorkers to get vaccinated.
Five U.S. states had coronavirus infections even before first reported cases -study
At least seven people in five U.S. states were infected with the novel coronavirus weeks before the states reported their first cases, a large new government study showed, pointing to the presence of the virus in the country as early as December 2019. Participants who reported antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were likely exposed to the virus at least several weeks before their sample was taken as the antibodies do not appear until about two weeks of infection, the researchers said.
Slovenia declares end of COVID-19 state of emergency
Slovenia will allow a state of emergency declared over the COVID-19 pandemic to expire on Tuesday after eight months, lifting most remaining restrictions, the Health Ministry said. Cultural and sports events will be able to reopen at 75%-capacity for people who can demonstrate they have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from a previous infection.
U.S. administers nearly 311.9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines – CDC
The United States has administered 311,886,674 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Tuesday morning and distributed 374,865,165 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Those figures are up from the 310,645,827 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by June 14 out of 374,398,105 doses delivered.
EU wants faster vaccine production in “age of pandemics”
The European Union plans to boost its early warning system and have a permanent capacity to produce about 300 million vaccines in the first six months of any new health emergency, as it prepares for “the age of pandemics”. The EU executive published on Tuesday a set of new proposals to strengthen the bloc’s ability to react to new crises, acknowledging that its preparedness and the initial reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic fell short.
J&J to send 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to S.Africa by end-June -President Ramaphosa
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday that Johnson & Johnson would send 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the country by the end of the month, making up for the amount lost due to contamination at an U.S. ingredient supplier.
Aspen Pharmacare, J&J’s local producer, had to destroy 2 million doses of the vaccine after the contamination at a plant in Baltimore, Maryland, was discovered, the latest blow to South Africa’s struggling vaccination campaign.
AstraZeneca said on Tuesday a late-stage trial failed to provide evidence that its COVID-19 antibody therapy protected people who had contact with an infected person from the disease, a small setback in its efforts to find alternatives to vaccines.
The study assessed whether the therapy, a cocktail of two types of antibodies, could prevent adults who had been exposed to the virus in the past eight days from developing COVID-19 symptoms.
Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine to be made in India soon – govt official
The Serum Institute of India is preparing to produce Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine in the country, government official Vinod Kumar Paul said at a press briefing on Tuesday. The vaccine maker on Monday had said its COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective in a large, late-stage U.S.-based clinical trial.
Alarm rises in India over COVID-19 risks as crowds return to malls and rail stations
Having barely got over a devastating second wave of coronavirus infections, India was gripped with alarm on Tuesday over risks of a resurgence as crowds thronged railway stations and shopping malls a day after major cities relaxed curbs on movement. The capital New Delhi, in the north, and tech hub Bengaluru, in the south, were among the cities that have begun lifting strict lockdowns as the nationwide tally of new infections dropped to its lowest level in more than two months.
Exclusive – Indian scientists: We didn’t back doubling of vaccine dosing gap
The Indian government doubled the gap between the two doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine without the agreement of the scientific group that it said recommended the increase, three members of the advisory body told Reuters. The ministry of health announced the decision to change the gap from 6-8 weeks to 12-16 weeks on May 13, at a time when supplies of the shot were falling short of demand and infections were surging across the country.
(With inputs from agencies.)
Novavax Stock – Health News Roundup: Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine to be made in India soon; AstraZeneca antibody cocktail fails to prevent COVID-19 in large trial and more
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