Health News Roundup: Facing new COVID wave, Dutch delay care for cancer, heart patients; China has given 76.3% of population complete COVID-19 vaccine doses and more

Below is a summary of current health newsletters.

Facing new COVID wave, Dutch people delay cancer care, heart patients

Dutch health officials on Friday said they have begun to postpone surgeries for some cancer and heart patients to free up space in intensive care units amid a record wave of COVID-19 infections. “These are cancer patients who should actually have surgery within six weeks of diagnosis, and that will not be met in all cases. They are also heart patients,” said a spokesperson for LCPS, the national organization that allocates hospital resources.

China has given full COVID-19 vaccine doses to 76.3% of the population

China had given 76.3% of its population full doses of COVID-19 vaccine by Nov. 19, Wu Liangyou, an official with the National Health Commission (NHC) said Saturday. In total, 1.076 billion people in the country have received the required number of doses for their COVID vaccination, NHC spokesman Mi Feng said in a news conference.

Czechs report highest daily coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic

The Czech Republic reported 22,936 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the largest daily number since the start of the pandemic, health ministry data showed on Saturday. Earlier this week, the country tightened restrictions on people who have not had COVID-19 injections to encourage more vaccinations and ease the burden on hospitals.

Canada approves Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children, shipments begin immediately

Canada on Friday approved the use of Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, paving the way for primary school-age immunization across the country. Medical officials said the approval was timely as Canada’s COVID-19 incidence is now highest among those in the 5-to-11 bracket.

Explainer-All US adults are eligible for COVID-19 boosters; which one is best?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday expanded the availability of COVID-19 booster shots to all U.S. adults, hoping to maintain vaccine protection against the rapidly spreading Delta variant. Previously, the agency had only recommended booster shots for people 65 and older, or at high risk for COVID, and said they could choose a different vaccine than the one they received before their first shot.

EU recommends Merck COVID-19 pill for adults at risk of serious illness

The European Union drug regulator advised Friday that an experimental COVID-19 pill from Merck should be given within five days of the first symptoms to treat adults who do not require oxygen support and are at risk of their disease worsening.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said the pill, which was co-developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, should be taken twice a day for five days, but it is not recommended during pregnancy for women planning to become pregnant.

BioMarin drug becomes first US-approved therapy for dwarfism

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc’s once-daily injection for children with the most common form of dwarfism received approval from the US health regulator on Friday, making it the first approved therapy for achondroplasia in the country.

The approval for Voxzogo, intended for children five years and older, comes months after it became the first therapy to receive the green light from regulators to treat the genetic disorder in Europe.

Hong Kong approves Sinovac vaccine for children aged 3-17

Hong Kong has agreed to lower the age limit for China’s Sinovac Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine to three years, down from 18, as it launches a broader campaign to encourage its 7.5 million residents to get involved vaccinate. “Adolescents aged 12 to 17 will be given priority to receive the CoronaVac vaccine, with a view to expanding to children of a younger age group at a later stage,” said Sophia Chan, Hong Kong’s Minister of Food and Health (SFH). Kong in a statement. published on Saturday.

Singapore eases tight COVID-19 social curbs from Monday

Singapore’s government is easing some of the severe social restrictions it has imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 after infections stabilized in the city-state over the past month. From Monday, the limits on social interactions and eating out will be extended to five people from the current rule of a maximum of two vaccinated people, government ministers told a news conference on Saturday.

US extends COVID-19 booster eligibility to all adults

U.S. regulators Friday extended the eligibility for booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines to all adults, giving millions of Americans additional protection against the virus amid a recent surge in infections. The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Walensky, approved the expanded eligibility Friday night after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration extended its booster dose approval to all adults receiving their second injection of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna Inc. vaccine at least six months in advance.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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