FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Europe’s drug regulator on Friday said it would hold a press briefing on its review of very rare blood clotting disorders associated with the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, April 20, at 1500 GMT.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) had previously announced it would provide an update on its review of the cases, which have occurred in the United States, next week. It has so far maintained that the benefits of the shot outweighed the risk of any side effects
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Tom Sims)
(Reuters) -The number of new COVID-19 infections reported globally each week has nearly doubled in the last two months, approaching the highest rate seen so far during the pandemic, the head of the World Health Organisation said.
Meanwhile, India has pledged to increase the monthly output of its own COVID-19 vaccine about tenfold by September, while Thailand has lined up hotels to provide extra beds for patients, as both countries battle record surges in new infections.
* Italy will ease restrictions in many areas as of April 26, bringing forward slightly the easing it originally planned for the start of May.
* A shortage of shots may force the Madrid region to close down mass vaccination centres next week, as infections in the Spanish capital outpace the national average.
* German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged lawmakers to approve new powers that would allow her to force lockdowns and curfews on areas with high infection rates.
* The prevalence of infections in England has dropped to its lowest level since September.
* Germany’s public health agency has taken Britain and the Mid-West and South-East of Ireland off its COVID-19 risk list, meaning less onerous travel regulations.
* Portugal lifted its ban on flights to and from Britain and Brazil for work and studies but not for tourism, while restrictions on travel by land and sea to Spain will stay in place for another 15 days.
* An advisory committee to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will re-convene next week to discuss Johnson & Johnson‘s vaccine, after the use of the vaccine was paused following reports of rare but serious blood clots.
* Modeling shows that cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, could treble by the end of May unless harsh restrictions are imposed, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp said.
* India battled a surge in cases as hospitals ran out of oxygen and beds, while politicians held election rallies and hundreds of thousands of Hindu devotees attended a weeks-long festival, infuriating health officials.
* Australia reported its first fatality from blood clots in a recipient of AstraZeneca’s shot, and its regulator said there was a likely link between the 48-year-old woman’s death and the vaccine.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Food prices in West Africa have jumped more than 30% since last year to their highest levels in nearly a decade due to lockdowns and a decline in cereal production, the World Food Programme (WFP) said.
* Johnson & Johnson has contacted rival vaccine makers to join in an effort to study the risks of blood clots, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
* Sinovac’s vaccine CoronaVac was 67% effective in preventing symptomatic infection in the first real-world study of the Chinese shot, the Chilean government said.
* Eli Lilly and Co has requested cancellation of the U.S. authorization granted to its COVID-19 antibody, which will now be used in combination with another to achieve greater efficacy against emerging variants.
* Global stocks hit a record high and oil climbed after strong U.S. and Chinese economic data bolstered expectations of a solid global recovery from the coronavirus-induced slump. [MKTS/GLOB]
* China’s economic recovery quickened sharply in the first quarter to record growth of 18.3% from last year’s slump, propelled by stronger demand at home and abroad and continued government support for smaller firms.
(Compiled by Milla Nissi and Juliette Portala; Edited by William Maclean)