Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Alzheimer’s drugmakers seek accelerated FDA review despite U.S. coverage decision
Eisai Co Ltd and Eli Lilly and Co on Friday said they still plan to seek accelerated U.S. approval for experimental Alzheimer’s drugs even after the Medicare health plan decided to severely limit coverage of medicines approved in that manner. On Thursday, after a months-long review and a pressure campaign from patient advocacy groups, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said it would only pay for Biogen Inc’s Aduhelm, and other drugs that work in a similar fashion, for patients enrolled invalid clinical studies, unless the treatments demonstrate clear evidence of patient benefit.
Shanghai reports 22,609 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases, 1,015 symptomatic cases for April 8
The major Chinese financial center of Shanghai reported 22,609 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases and 1,015 new symptomatic cases on April 8, the local government said on Saturday. The number of asymptomatic cases was up from 20,398 a day earlier. The number of symptomatic cases also rose from 824.
Alabama governor signs law criminalizing some trans youth care
Alabama’s Republican governor on Friday signed into law a bill passed by the legislature just a day earlier that would criminalize gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth. The measure makes it a felony punishable with up to 10 years in prison to provide medical care including hormone treatment, puberty blockers, and surgery to help align physical characteristics to the gender identity of a minor.
Factbox-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus
The fast-spreading Omicron variant stoked U.S. interest in better masks for children to ward off COVID-19, and that is adding fuel to an effort that could set the stage for domestic oversight of their quality. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
India to widen COVID booster effort to all adults from Sunday
India will offer booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to all adults from Sunday, although free third doses will be limited to frontline workers and those older than 60 who get them at government centers. The country has given 1.85 billion vaccine doses among its population of 1.35 billion. Of these, 82% are the AstraZeneca made domestically and called Covishield.
Moderna recalls thousands of COVID vaccine doses in Europe
Moderna Inc said on Friday it was recalling 764,900 doses of its COVID-19 vaccine made by its contract manufacturer Rovi after a vial was found contaminated by a foreign body. No safety issues have been identified, Moderna said about the lots that were distributed in Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden in January.
Shanghai widens COVID testing as other Chinese cities impose curbs
Shanghai on Friday announced a record 21,000 new cases and a third consecutive day of COVID testing as a lockdown of its 26 million people showed no sign of easing and other Chinese cities tightened curbs – even in places with no recent infections. Beijing authorities intervened in Shanghai after its failure to isolate COVID by locking the city down in stages and insists that the country sticks to its zero-tolerance policy to prevent its medical system from breaking down.
Omicron spawns U.S. search for better kids’ masks, new standard
The fast-spreading Omicron variant stoked U.S. interest in better masks for children to ward off COVID-19, and that is adding fuel to an effort that could set the stage for domestic oversight of their quality. Adult N95 masks are federally regulated and considered a gold standard. They were among the “better masks” U.S. health officials recommended in January to protect against Omicron. For children, no comparable U.S.-regulated mask exists, and some concerned parents turned to kid-sized masks made to South Korea’s KF94 or China’s KN95 standards instead.
China reports 1,350 new confirmed COVID cases on April 8 vs 1,576 a day earlier
China reported 1,350 new confirmed coronavirus cases on April 8, the country’s national health authority said on Saturday, compared with 1,576 a day earlier. Of the new cases, 1,334 were locally transmitted, the National Health Commission said, compared with 1,540 a day earlier.
Belgium orders Ferrero plant shut over Kinder salmonella link
Belgian health authorities ordered an Italian confectionery group, Ferrero, on Friday to suspend production at its plant in Belgium, after an investigation into dozens of cases of salmonella linked to the company’s Kinder chocolates. Ferrero, which recalled several batches of Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs and other products from shelves in Spain, Britain, Ireland, and the United States, said other Kinder products made at its Arlon site had also been recalled.
(With inputs from agencies.)