Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
UK faces danger of running out of monkeypox vaccine by this month – FT
Britain will run out of monkeypox vaccines in about two to three weeks as the country has little more than 8,300 doses of vaccine left, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday. Shipments of a new order of 100,000 doses will not resume until late September, the report added citing an internal National Health Service letter https://on.ft.com/3P6naBv.
Europe to consider “dose-sparing” to increase monkeypox vaccine, WHO seeks trials
Health officials in Europe are discussing whether to follow a move by the United States to stretch out scarce monkeypox vaccine supplies, with the World Health Organization calling for more data. There have been 27,800 monkeypox cases – largely among men who have sex with men – and 12 deaths worldwide this year.
Novavax tumbles 30% as waning COVID-19 vaccine demand hits outlook
Shares of U.S. vaccine maker Novavax fell about 30% on Tuesday after it cut its annual revenue forecast by half over falling demand for its COVID-19 shot from low- and middle-income nations. Demand for its vaccine is also waning in the United States, where it was authorized for use among adults last month and was expected to be preferred by the skeptics of messenger RNA-based shots from Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc.
FDA says found possible carcinogen in certain samples of Merck’s Januvia
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday certain samples of sitagliptin, a compound in Merck’s diabetes drug Januvia, were contaminated with a possible carcinogen. The agency said it would not object to the temporary distribution of sitagliptin containing the impurity above the acceptable intake limit to avoid a shortage.
A2 Milk’s hopes to sell baby food in U.S. curdled, shares plunge
A2 Milk Company Ltd said on Wednesday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deferred its request to sell infant milk formula products in the United States, sending its shares down more than 12%. The dairy producer and rival Fonterra have been advised by U.S.-based trade group International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) that the FDA has sent similar letters to all firms seeking approvals to sell infant milk formula in the United States.
U.S. allows alternate monkeypox vaccine injection method to boost supply
U.S. health regulators have authorized injecting a monkeypox vaccine intradermally in adults, meaning between layers of the skin rather than below the skin, in an effort to stretch out low vaccine supplies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday. The emergency use authorization for Bavarian Nordic’s Jynneos monkeypox vaccine will increase available doses fivefold as it only uses a fraction of the dose but provides the same protection, health officials said at a White House briefing.
SARS-related coronaviruses infect around 66,000 people a year in SE Asia – study
About 66,000 people in Southeast Asia are infected each year with SARS-related coronaviruses, and nearly 500 million people live near habitats where bat hosts of those viruses are found, according to a study released on Wednesday. The research, published by Nature Communications, said viral transmission from bats to humans may have been “substantially underestimated”, adding that its mapping of bat species in the region could aid efforts to determine the origins of COVID-19.
Former asthma sufferer Biden has cough, but not COVID, White House says
U.S. President Joe Biden continues to test negative for COVID-19 but is suffering its lingering effects, the White House press office said on Tuesday, after he coughed repeatedly through a speech on the South Lawn. Biden spoke to dozens of Congress members, including Republicans, as well as business executives and members of his Cabinet, in sweltering midday heat before signing the a $53 billion bill aimed at boosting the U.S. semiconductor industry.
Polio spreading in London, booster campaign launched for under-10s – health agency
Britain is launching a polio vaccine booster campaign for children in London aged below 10, after confirming that the virus is spreading in the capital for the first time since the 1980s. The UK Health Security Agency has identified 116 polioviruses from 19 sewage samples this year in London. It first raised the alert on finding the virus in sewage samples in June.
Exclusive-Rotavirus childhood vaccine shortage hits four African countries
Supplies of a vaccine to prevent the deadly rotavirus infection in children have either run out in Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal and Cameroon or are close to doing so, officials close to the roll-out told Reuters, after disruptions at drugmaker GSK. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 200,000 children die each year of the highly contagious infection, which is the leading cause globally of severe, dehydrating gastroenteritis in children under the age of five.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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