Brazil registered 14,288 new coronavirus cases and 525 further deaths in the last 24 hours, the country’s health ministry said on Thursday, Reuters reports.
A unit of Abbott Laboratories is recalling two Covid-19 test kits as they can potentially issue false positive results, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said.
The regulator has identified the recall of the Alinity m SARS-CoV-2 AMP and the Alinity m Resp-4-Plex AMP laboratory test kits by unit Abbott Molecular Inc as a Class 1 recall, the most serious type.
The agency in September issued a letter cautioning healthcare providers and clinical laboratories of a potential for false positive results with the two tests, and recommended they consider retesting positive patient samples with another authorised Covid-19 test, Reuters reports.
The US government has donated 3.6m doses of the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE Covid-19 vaccine to Nigeria, a local television station said.
It said that the shipment arrived in the country’s capital Abuja, Reuters reports.
Nigeria has received 501,600 doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine from the French government through the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility, a senior health official said.
Faisal Shuaib, head of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said the country also received 434,400 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine from the African Union, Reuters reports.
Both supplies were received last week, Shuaib said, adding that more were expected through the COVAX facility and the African Union.
The COVAX facility, backed by the World Health Organization and the GAVI vaccine alliance, aims to secure billions of doses for lower-income countries by the end of 2021.
Here is more on US health advisers voting in favour of some Americans who received Moderna’s Covid vaccine getting a half-dose booster to bolster protection against the virus.
US advisers vote in favour of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine boosters
Advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration have voted in favour of a third dose of Moderna Inc’s Covid-19 vaccine for people aged 65 and over along with those at high risk of severe illness, Reuters reports.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will now make specific recommendations on who should get the jabs. CDC advisers are scheduled to meet next week.
Joe Biden told visiting Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta that the US will make a one-time donation of more than 17m doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the African Union (AU), Reuters reports.
“We are hopeful this donation will help AU countries build vaccination programs and get shots into arms,” the White House said in a statement.
A panel of outside advisers to the US health regulator will meet next month to discuss whether to authorize Merck & Co’s experimental Covid-19 antiviral drug, the agency said.
The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) panel will meet on 30 November to discuss the safety and effectiveness of the drug, molnupiravir, for the treatment of mild-to-moderate Covid-19 in adults who have tested positive and are at high risk for progression to severe illness.
The FDA typically follows the advice of its experts but is not bound to do so, Reuters reports.
Verizon Communications said about 30,000 non-union U.S. employees must show proof of vaccination against Covid-19 by December 8th under US president Joe Biden’s federal contractor executive order.
Verizon, a federal contractor, said it is in discussions with its unions about vaccination requirements, Reuters reports.
Verizon said retail employees and some other employees must be vaccinated by February 1st.
For contractors, vendors, visitors and new hires who enter Verizon U.S. facilities must be fully vaccinated by January 1st.
GPs have reacted with fury to the UK government plans to name and shame them over access to care, as the health secretary Sajid Javid failed to address the profession at its annual conference.
The head of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) said medics had recently come under attack from some politicians and sections of the media, which he branded “abuse”, adding it was “ demoralising and indefensible”.
Professor Martin Marshall, head of the RCGP, told delegates that GPs had worked tirelessly to support patients through the pandemic, and are now helping all those with conditions such as long Covid as well as patients on long NHS waiting lists.
He said GPs have found themselves at the centre of a “public storm over face-to-face appointments”, PA reports.
People who are taking statins may be less likely to die from coronavirus than similar people not on the medication, research suggests.
Statins are prescribed for lowering cholesterol in the blood, and are a recommended and common intervention.
The study by the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden found that statin treatment was associated with a slightly lower risk of dying from Covid-19, a correlation that did not vary significantly among risk groups.
Here is a round-up of all the day’s main Covid news stories:
- In the UK, the government confirmed today that there had been a further 45,066 lab-confirmed Covid cases. It is the highest daily figure since mid-July. The official data also confirmed a further 157 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid as of Thursday, bringing the UK total to 138,237.
- The European Union’s medicines regulator has announced that it has started a “real-time review” of AstraZeneca’s antibody-based Covid therapy.
- Italy recorded 40 coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday, up from 37 the previous day, the country’s health ministry said.
- Areas of Syria outside Bashar al-Assad’s control are facing their most deadly wave of Covid yet, pushing already depleted healthcare systems to the limit.
- In the US, health advisers are debating if millions of Americans who received Moderna vaccinations should get a booster shot – this time using half the original dose.
- China’s foreign ministry has warned against what it calls possible “political manipulation” of a renewed probe by the World Health Organization (WHO) into the origins of the coronavirus.
- In Australia, teachers are warning that schools in New South Wales and Victoria are not yet ready to go back, raising concerns over poor ventilation, a lack of air filters, and no guidance on how to safely manage class sizes.
- Hungary reported 1,141 new infections, with the number rising above 1,000 for the first time during the fourth wave of the pandemic.
- Only one in seven Covid cases in Africa are being detected, meaning the continent’s estimated infection level may be 59 million people, according to a new study by the World Health Organization.
- Russia has called on pension-age doctors who quit during the pandemic for safety reasons to return to their jobs. It came on Thursday as the authorities reported a record one-day tally of coronavirus cases, as well as a record number of deaths.
- In the US, Bloomberg News is reporting that the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will send drugmaker Merck & Co’s Covid antiviral drug, molnupiravir, to a panel of its outside advisers for review.
- The Latvian government has cancelled most planned hospital operations from Monday amid an increased need for beds and staff as Covid cases climb, the country’s health ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
- Indonesia’s holiday island of Bali reopened to foreign tourists after 18 months of pandemic hiatus today.
- Poland has confirmed it is set to donate a million AstraZeneca Covid shots to Iran.
That’s it from me, Tom Ambrose, for today. My colleague Nadeem Badshah will be seeing you through the rest of this evening and I will be back tomorrow. Goodbye.