Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave an emergency use authorization to the antibody treatment developed by Vir Biotechnology and GlaxoSmithKline for treating mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in people aged 12 years and older. The antibody-drug, Sotrovimab, is not authorized for patients who are hospitalized due to COVID-19 or require oxygen therapy, the health regulator said on Wednesday. (https://bit.ly/3uorQZ8)
Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue to block Arkansas ban on most abortions
Women’s health provider Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday filed a lawsuit challenging Arkansas’ ban on all abortions except in medical emergencies, one of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the United States. Arkansas’ law, which Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson signed in March and which is due to go into effect in late summer, makes it a felony for doctors to provide abortions except in medical emergencies, with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.
UK PM’s ineptitude led to tens of thousands of deaths, ex-aide says
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s inept handling of the COVID pandemic led to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths, and officials even feared he would ask to be injected with the virus on television to show it was benign, his former chief adviser said on Wednesday. With almost 128,000 deaths, the United Kingdom has the world’s fifth highest official COVID-19 toll, far higher than the government’s initial worst-case estimates of only 20,000.
India’s Zydus Cadila seeks human trial approval for COVID-19 antibody cocktail
India’s Zydus Cadila has sought regulatory approval for clinical trials of its antibody cocktail to treat mild COVID-19, as the country grapples with a shortage of medicines and vaccines needed to effectively tackle a devastating second wave of the pandemic. The treatment candidate, ZRC-3308, was earlier shown to reduce lung damage during animal trials, the drugmaker said, adding it was found to be safe and well-tolerated.
Sinopharm’s two COVID-19 shots effective, study says
Two COVID-19 vaccines from China’s Sinopharm showed more than 70% efficacy against symptomatic cases, but it remains unclear how much protection they provide against severe or asymptomatic cases, according to the first detailed result of a large late-stage study published to the public. A vaccine developed by a Wuhan-based subsidiary of Sinopharm was 72.8% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 at least two weeks after the second injection, based on interim results, the peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed on Wednesday.
India posts daily rise in COVID-19 cases of 211,298
India on Thursday posted 211,298 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, while deaths from COVID-19 rose by 3,847. The South Asian country’s overall caseload is now at 27.37 million, while total fatalities are at 315,235, according to health ministry data.
German researchers tie cold viruses used to deliver COVID-19 vaccine to rare blood clot risk
German researchers on Wednesday said that based on laboratory research, they believed they have found the cause of the rare but serious blood clotting events among some people who received COVID-19 vaccines made by AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson. The researchers, in a study not yet reviewed by experts, said COVID-19 vaccines that employ adenovirus vectors – cold viruses used to deliver vaccine material – send some of their payloads into the nucleus of cells, where some of the instructions for making coronavirus proteins can be misread. The resulting proteins could potentially trigger blood clot disorders in a small number of recipients, they suggest.
Australia’s Victoria state to enter COVID-19 lockdown after ‘highly-infectious’ outbreak
Australia’s second-most populous state of Victoria will enter a one-week COVID-19 lockdown forcing its near seven million residents to remain home except for essential business as authorities struggle to contain a highly infectious outbreak.
“We’re dealing with a highly infectious strain of the virus, a variant of concern, which is running faster than we have ever recorded,” Victoria state Acting Premier James Merlino told reporters in Melbourne.
Post vaccination infection rare but possibly contagious; study refutes another anti-vax pregnancy claim
The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Breakthrough infections rare, but potentially contagious
President Joe Biden ordered aides to find answers to the origin of the virus that causes COVID-19, saying on Wednesday that U.S. intelligence agencies are pursuing rival theories potentially including the possibility of a laboratory accident in China. Intelligence agencies are considering two likely scenarios but still lack strong confidence in their conclusions and are hotly debating which is more probable, Biden said.
(With inputs from agencies.)
VIR Stock – Health News Roundup: India posts daily rise in COVID-19 cases of 211,298; Biden orders review of COVID origins as lab leak theory debated and more
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