Moderna seeks US authorization for Covid vaccine in teens

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — American biotech company Moderna said Thursday it was asking the US Foods and Drug Administration for an emergency use authorization for its Covid-19 vaccine to be given to adolescents. The move was widely expected after the company announced in May-early results from a trial of 3,700 12-to-17-year-olds that found the two-dose regimen was safe and highly effective. On Monday, Moderna made similar requests to the European and Canadian regulators. “We […]

Sinovac’s CoronaVac reduces mortality by 97 percent: Uruguay study

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AFP) — The CoronaVac vaccine reduces coronavirus mortality by 97 percent, according to early results of the immunization campaign in Uruguay, which relies heavily on the Chinese jab. In people who had received two doses, it reduced infection with the coronavirus by 57 percent and intensive care admissions by 95 percent, said a report by the health ministry of the South American nation. Compared to other vaccines in use, there have been few […]

US approves first new Alzheimer’s drug in almost two decades

by Issam AHMED WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The United States on Monday approved a drug called Aduhelm to treat patients with Alzheimer’s, the first new medicine against the disease in almost two decades and the first to address cognitive decline linked to the condition. The decision was highly anticipated but also contentious, because an independent expert panel convened by the regulatory Food and Drug Administration last November found insufficient evidence of Aduhelm’s benefit and […]

New oral experimental drug Tempol identified as potential treatment for COVID-19

Compound targets essential viral enzyme and prevents replication in cells.     The experimental drug TEMPOL may be a promising oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19, suggests a study of cell cultures by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. TEMPOL can limit SARS-CoV-2 infection by impairing the activity of a viral enzyme called RNA replicase. The work was led by researchers at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). […]

First human case of H10N3 bird flu: What we know

by Paul Ricard, Brigitte Castelnau and AFP in Geneva PARIS, France (AFP) — China revealed the first human case of H10N3 bird flu on Tuesday, an announcement that has so far raised no alarm among world health authorities. Here is what we know. What was found?  The case of H10N3 bird flu announced by China on Tuesday is the first of its strain observed in humans. “The patient is a 41-year-old male from Jiangsu Province, […]

More than two billion Covid vaccines given worldwide: AFP

PARIS, France (AFP) — More than two billion Covid-19 vaccines have been given across the world, according to an AFP tally Thursday drawn from official sources. The milestone comes six months after the first vaccination campaigns against Covid-19 began. At least 2,109,696,022 shots have been given in 215 countries and territories, according to the count from an AFP database taken at 0915 GMT. Israel, which has led the race from the start, is still out […]

Covid origins mystery continues to spark speculation and tension

by Julie CHARPENTRAT PARIS, France (AFP) — The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has scorched its way across the world killing millions and bringing economies to a standstill. But where exactly did it come from? With few clear answers, speculation has persisted since the beginning of the pandemic, spawning misinformation and conspiracy theories as well as sharp diplomatic tensions. Here is a look at leads scientists are following — and others they have rejected — in trying to […]

WHO approves China’s Sinovac Covid jab

by Robin MILLARD GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The World Health Organization on Tuesday approved the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use — the second Chinese jab to receive the WHO’s green light. The UN health agency signed off on the Beijing-based firm Sinovac’s two-dose vaccine CoronaVac, which is already being deployed in several countries around the world. “I’m happy to announce that the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine has been given WHO emergency use listing after being found […]

Study shows dogs can detect Covid-positive arrivals

by Patrick GALEY PARIS, France (AFP) — Dogs can be trained to detect more than 90 percent of Covid-19 infections even when patients are asymptomatic, according to research published Monday, which authors hope could help replace the need to quarantine new arrivals. Using their remarkable sense of smell — which can pick up the equivalent of half a teaspoon of sugar in an olympic-sized swimming pool — dogs have already shown that they can sniff […]

New CDC study in health workers shows 94% efficacy of Covid-19 mRNA vaccines

(Eagle News) — A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study on a group of health care workers showed that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are effective in protecting health care personnel (HCP) against COVID-19 by as much as 94 percent. In a release from the US CDC, it said that the mRNA vaccines Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna “reduced the risk of getting sick with COVID-19 by 94% […]

Don’t vaccinate kids, but give doses to Covax: WHO chief

  GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The WHO urged wealthy countries Friday to stop vaccinating children against Covid-19 and instead donate doses to poorer nations, while warning that the pandemic’s second year looked set to be more deadly. World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus voiced outrage that a number of rich countries were now vaccinating children and teenagers, while poorer states had barely begun vaccinating health workers and the most vulnerable groups. Instead of offering […]

Experts call for new standards to combat airborne disease

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Building standards need to undergo a “paradigm shift” to better protect against airborne diseases, a group of experts said Thursday, drawing on hard-won lessons from the Covid pandemic. Future building designs must incorporate increased ventilation and air-cleaning measures, including filtration and disinfection using both filters and ultraviolet devices, they wrote in the journal Science. This comes as accumulating data suggest that tiny particles containing the coronavirus that are released by […]