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Reuters Health News Summary

Reuters logo Reuters 1/18/2021

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now: Vaccine nationalism risks 'catastrophic moral failure'-WHO

UK says vaccine manufacturing is 'lumpy' but still on course for targets

Britain's vaccine rollout is limited by a "lumpy" manufacturing process affecting supplies of both Pfizer and AstraZeneca, but is on track to hit its targets, Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Monday. The United Kingdom, which has the world's fifth worst official death toll from COVID-19, is racing to be among the first major countries to vaccinate its population - seen as the best way to exit the pandemic and get the economy going again.

As bodies pile up, Germany's eastern COVID hot spots struggle for answers

For some in Meissen the caskets piling up in the eastern German city's sole crematorium are a tragic reminder of what happens when the coronavirus is not taken seriously. For others it is simply nature's way. Meissen, along with other places across old East Germany that are generally poorer, older and more supportive of a far-right opposed to lockdown, are the worst hit by the pandemic in the country, complicating Chancellor Angela Merkel's efforts to bring it under control.

Brazil to begin vaccination campaign on Monday afternoon

All Brazil's available vaccine doses will be distributed to the country's states on Monday, health minister Eduardo Pazuello said, with vaccinations able to start from 5 p.m. (2000 GMT). The states had asked the government to bring forward the rollout of the only vaccine available - the CoronaVac shot made by China's Sinovac Biotech and imported by the Butantan biomediacl center in Sao Paulo.

Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

The world is on the brink of "catastrophic moral failure" in sharing COVID-19 vaccines, the head of the World Health Organization said, urging countries and manufacturers to spread doses more fairly. EUROPE

Fauci says 100 million vaccinations in 100 days 'absolutely a doable thing'

President-elect Joe Biden's goal of delivering 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine within the first 100 days of his presidency "is absolutely a doable thing," Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Sunday. Fauci, speaking on NBC's "Meet The Press", said two new vaccines under development by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson could "very soon" be presented to U.S. regulators for approval, which would increase the pace of vaccinations. "We're weeks away, not months away, for sure," he said.

Sinovac says its COVID-19 vaccine more effective with longer dosing interval

China's Sinovac Biotech said on Monday that a clinical trial in Brazil showed its COVID-19 vaccine was almost 20 percentage points more effective in a small sub-group of patients who received their two doses longer apart. The protection rate for 1,394 participants who received doses of either CoronaVac or placebo three weeks apart was nearly 70%, a Sinovac spokesman said.

Vaccine nationalism puts world on brink of 'catastrophic moral failure': WHO chief

The world is on the brink of "catastrophic moral failure" in sharing COVID-19 vaccines, the head of the World Health Organization said on Monday, urging countries and manufacturers to spread doses more fairly around the world. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the prospects for equitable distribution were at "serious risk" just as its COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme aimed to start distributing inoculations next month.

AstraZeneca, Daiichi's breast cancer drug gets broader U.S. approval

AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo's breast cancer drug has been approved as a treatment for a certain type of advanced gastric cancer in the United States, the British drugmaker said on Monday. Drugmakers are using biomarker-driven drugs to treat patients with rare tumours. AstraZeneca made a $7-billion bet on the treatment, Enhertu, when it partnered with Daiichi in 2019 in a direct challenge to Roche.

Russians queue for COVID vaccine at luxury Red Square mall

Dozens of Moscow residents queued on Monday to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at the GUM department store, opposite the Kremlin on Red Square, where the shot is given on a first-come, first-served basis. Surrounded by Christmas decorations, with the shop fronts of Chanel and Rolex nearby, Muscovites of all ages waited for their first shot of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.

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