Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Japan finds another Moderna vial suspected to contain foreign substance
Japan’s Kanagawa prefecture said it has found another vial of Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine suspected of containing a foreign substance and has put the rest of the lot on hold. In a statement on Tuesday, prefectural authorities said a pharmacist found several black particles in one vial upon checking for foreign substances before the vaccine’s use.
New Zealanders venture out as COVID-19 curbs eased in most regions
New Zealanders on Wednesday visited beaches and queued for takeaway food as tough lockdown measures enforced to beat an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus were eased for most of the country. About 1.7 million people in the largest city Auckland still remain in strict level 4 lockdown for another two weeks, but restrictions for the remainder of the country were loosened.
Ireland to drop almost all COVID-19 restrictions in October
Ireland, which had one of Europe’s longest COVID-19 lockdowns, will drop almost all pandemic restrictions in October after one of the continent’s most successful vaccine rollouts, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said on Tuesday. From Oct. 22, the requirement for vaccine certificates in bars and restaurants will be dropped, as will all restrictions on the numbers attending indoor and outdoor events.
Novartis signs deal with Britain’s NHS for new cholesterol drug Leqvio
Novartis AG said on Wednesday it had agreed a deal with Britain’s healthcare service provider for use of the drugmaker’s new anti-cholesterol drug Leqvio, after the country’s healthcare cost agency NICE approved the medicine. The agreement, whose value was not disclosed, will help with wide access to the Swiss drugmaker’s medicine through Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) for people at risk of heart disease and for whom conventional treatment has not worked.
Melbourne drops COVID-zero plans, shifts focus to rapid vaccinations
Australian authorities on Wednesday extended the COVID-19 lockdown in Melbourne for another three weeks, as they shift their focus to rapid vaccination drives and move away from a suppression strategy to bring cases down to zero. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews flagged a staggered easing of the tough restrictions once 70% of the state’s adult residents receive at least one dose, a milestone he hopes to reach at least by Sept. 23, based on current vaccination rates.
S.Korea says secures 1.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Romania
South Korea has secured 1.5 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines from Romania, the health ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
Idaho reactivates National Guard to help with rising coronavirus cases
Idaho Governor Brad Little said on Tuesday he was reactivating the National Guard and directing up to 370 additional people to help hospitals as they were overwhelmed with unvaccinated COVID-19 patients. There were only four intensive care unit beds available Tuesday in the entire state, out of nearly 400, the governor said in a statement.
Pennsylvania governor issues mask mandate for schools, child care facilities
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf on Tuesday issued a mask mandate for all K-12 school and child care facilities to protect against the spread of COVID-19, three weeks after the Democrat said he would leave the decision to individual districts. The order, which goes into effect Sept. 7, comes amid a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the highly-contagious Delta variant of the virus.
Walmart says ready to administer millions of COVID-19 vaccine boosters
Walmart Inc on Tuesday became the latest U.S. retailer to say that it is ready to administer millions of COVID-19 booster vaccine doses this fall if U.S. health officials endorse such a shot to improve fading immunity against the coronavirus. Rivals CVS Health Corp and Kroger Co earlier this month had announced plans to make booster shots available at their stores, pending regulatory guidance.
No evidence that Ivory Coast patient had Ebola, says WHO
New testing has found no evidence that the woman in Ivory Coast who tested positive earlier this month for Ebola actually had the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. “WHO considers that the patient did not have Ebola virus disease and further analysis on the cause of her illness is ongoing,” it said in a statement.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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