Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
U.S. delivers 2.7 million COVID vaccine doses for kids under five to administration sites
The United States has delivered about 2.7 million doses of COVID vaccines for children below five years to administration centers while another one million shots will reach the sites soon, the Department of Health and Human Services said on Wednesday. Vaccine delivery to administration sites began on Friday, immediately after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)granted the emergency-use authorization, the federal agency said.
Schumer will put legislation to cut insulin costs on the Senate floor ‘very soon’
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday said he will put bipartisan legislation on lowering insulin costs to a vote on the Senate floor “very soon.” “The cost of insulin has skyrocketed in recent years and the Insulin Act will make this life-saving medication more affordable by capping the cost of insulin at $35 a month,” Schumer said in a statement. “I will put this bipartisan legislation on the Senate floor very soon.”
Moderna booster candidate shows strong response against Omicron subvariants
Moderna Inc said on Wednesday that an updated version of its COVID-19 vaccine designed to target the Omicron variant also generated a strong immune response against the fast-spreading Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which have gained a foothold in the U.S. in recent weeks. The updated vaccine, which Moderna is hoping will be approved for use as a booster shot for the fall, is a bivalent vaccine, meaning it contains a vaccine designed to target two different coronavirus variants – the original variant from 2020 and the Omicron variant that was circulating widely last winter.
U.S. FDA gets complaint of one more infant death related to baby formula
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday it was notified of one more infant death in January potentially related to Abbott Laboratories’ baby formula and the agency has started a probe. Abbott initiated a recall of its infant formula products and closed its Michigan plant in February after reports of serious bacterial infections in four infants, worsening a shortage among multiple manufacturers that began with pandemic supply chain issues.
U.S. expanding monkeypox testing capacity as cases rise
The Biden administration announced on Wednesday it is expanding monkeypox testing capacity to five commercial laboratory companies amid rising cases. As of Tuesday, there have been 142 reported monkeypox cases in the United States across 24 states and Washington, D.C. The first U.S. case was reported to the CDC on May 17.
Omicron-specific COVID vaccines on the horizon, Pfizer chief says
COVID-19 vaccines that specifically target the Omicron and other variants are under development, Pfizer Inc’s chief executive said on Wednesday, adding that the company will be able to quickly adapt shots as the novel coronavirus mutates. While the ultimate approval decisions rest with U.S. regulations, “we are ready for that,” the drugmaker’s CEO Albert Bourla told MSNBC in an interview, noting that the Food and Drug Administration is convening a meeting later this month.
Nearly 1 in 5 adults who had COVID have lingering symptoms – U.S. study
Nearly 1 in 5 American adults who reported having COVID-19 in the past are still having symptoms of long COVID, according to survey data collected in the first two weeks of June, U.S. health officials said on Wednesday. Overall, 1 in 13 adults in the United States have long COVID symptoms lasting for three months or more after first contracting the disease, which they did not have before the infection, the data showed.
Polio found in London sewage, but risk of infection considered low
Polio has been detected in sewage samples in the British capital, the first sign since the 1980s that the virus could be spreading in the country, but no cases have been found, authorities said. The risk of infection from the disease, which causes paralysis in children in under 1% of cases, was also low because of high vaccination rates, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said.
Spain denies regional report of first local cholera infection since 1979
Spain’s national health ministry on Wednesday denied a report by regional counterparts that a case of locally acquired cholera had been detected for the first time in four decades, saying the case was in fact vibrio gastroenteritis. A female patient was hospitalized in a private health care facility in Madrid and was later discharged after receiving treatment, a spokesperson for the Madrid health authority said, without providing the hospitalization dates or other details. No other cases were reported.
Juul e-cigarettes to be ordered off U.S. shelves – WSJ
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is preparing to order Juul Labs Inc to take its e-cigarettes off the market in the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. Shares in tobacco giant Altria Group, which owns a 35% stake in the maker of the vaping product, fell 8.5% following the report. The decision could come as early as Wednesday, the report said.
(With inputs from agencies.)