Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
UK minister: no decision yet on COVID-19 vaccines for healthy children
British vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi on Sunday said a decision had not yet been taken on whether healthy children aged 12- to 15-years-old should be vaccinated against COVID-19, following reports that a rollout could begin in the coming days.
Britain’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on Friday declined to recommend vaccinations for children in that group, taking a precautionary approach due to a rare risk of heart inflammation, but adding the issue was finely balanced.
Israel to present COVID-19 booster shot data to FDA experts
Israel this month will present data from an extensive rollout of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is weighing White House plans to begin a booster drive in the United States. Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of public health at Israel’s Health Ministry, said the ministry had been asked by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to brief its advisors at a Sept. 17 meeting.
New Zealand reports 20 local COVID-19 cases
New Zealand reported 20 local COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the same as in previous day and all in Auckland, the epicentre of an outbreak of the highly transmissible Delta variant, health authorities said. This brings to 801 the number of cases of the community outbreak, the vast majority of them in Auckland. Of those, 38 people are in hospital and six are in intensive care.
Pfizer on track for U.S. vaccine boosters, Moderna lagging, Fauci says
Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that officials were likely to soon get the regulatory go-ahead to administer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots made by Pfizer, although Moderna booster could take a little longer. Asked on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” about President Joe Biden’s goal to give booster shots starting Sept. 20, Fauci said that “in some respects” that remained the plan.
Each COVID-19 surge poses a risk for healthcare workers: PTSD
Nurse Chris Prott’s knees jump, his heart races, his mouth goes dry and his mind floods with dark memories when he talks about working in the Milwaukee VA Medical Center’s intensive care unit (ICU) during pandemic surges. Prott shares a struggle common to many of the military veterans for whom he has cared for years: symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Born conjoined back-to-back, Israeli twins finally see each other after surgery
One-year-old twin Israeli girls who were born conjoined at the head, back to back, can make eye contact for the first time after undergoing rare separation surgery. The more than 12-hour operation at the Soroka Medical Centre took months of preparation and involved dozens of experts from Israel and abroad, the hospital said on Sunday.
Australia reports 1,684 new COVID-19 cases but planning a merry Christmas
Australia reported 1,684 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday as authorities race ahead with vaccinations in a bid to end lockdowns on the populous southeast coast in the hope of making Christmas as close to normal as possible. More than 15 million people in Victoria state, neighbouring New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory have been under stay-at-home orders as officials struggle to quell Australia’s worst wave of the coronavirus infections, driven by the Delta variant.
India reports 42,766 coronavirus cases
India reported 42,766 new coronavirus infections overnight, the federal health ministry said on Sunday, taking its tally to 32.9 million cases. The death toll rose by 308 to 440,533, data from the ministry showed.
Vietnam sets deadline to vaccinate biggest cities’ adults
Vietnam’s coronavirus epicentre, Ho Chi Minh City, and capital Hanoi must vaccinate all of their adult residents with at least one shot by Sept. 15, the ministry of health said on Sunday. Vietnam has one of the lowest coronavirus vaccination rates in the region, with only 3.3% of the country’s 98 million people fully vaccinated with two shots, and 15.4% with one shot.
Russia’s coronavirus cases surpass 7 million mark
Russia’s coronavirus cases tally hit 7 million on Sunday, with the country reporting 18,645 new infections in the past 24 hours and 793 more deaths. The latest figures took the total number of cases to 7,012,599, with the overall death toll at 187,200.
(With inputs from agencies.)