Coronavirus updates | U.S. CDC panel backs booster shots

The advisory panel recommended a booster shot of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older and some adults with underlying medical conditions that put them at risk of severe disease

The World Health Organization (WHO) on September 24 recommended the synthetic antibody treatment Regeneron for Covid-19, but only in patients with specific health profiles. Persons with non-severe Covid-19 who are nonetheless at high risk of hospitalisation can take the antibody combo, as should critically ill patients unable to mount an adequate immune response, according to a WHO finding published in BMJ.

Read | Rulings that impact a State’s medical infrastructure

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the developments:

At-home COVID-19 vaccination for disabled: Centre

Persons with restricted mobility, disabilities and those with special needs can avail COVID vaccination at-home facility while following all safety protocols, the Health Ministry said on September 23.

Niti Aayog member (health) V.K. Paul said India had already achieved the milestone of vaccinating 66% of its adult population with one dose of the vaccines.

“The Health Ministry aims to provide maximum vaccine cover to as many people as possible and in the endeavour this is an important step forward. Those who do not have enough mobility, and cannot even access the near-to-home vaccination facility, can be covered under this programme. We have made the provision for at-home vaccination under supervision specially for this group of persons,” Dr. Paul said.

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U.S. CDC advisers recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters for ages 65 and older, those at high risk

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory panel on September 23 recommended a booster shot of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older and some adults with underlying medical conditions that put them at risk of severe disease.

The panel declined to recommend boosters for adults ages 18 to 64 who live or work in institutions with high risk of contracting COVID-19, based on individual risk, such as healthcare workers, teachers and residents of homeless shelters and prisons. Some panel members cited the difficulty of implementing such a proposal. – Reuters

WHO backs Regeneron COVID-19 drug cocktail as U.N. body calls for equal access

A World Health Organization (WHO) panel on September 24 recommended the use of Regeneron and Roche’s COVID-19 antibody cocktail for patients at high risk of hospitalisations and those severely ill with no natural antibodies.

The treatment has been granted U.S. emergency use authorisation, having gained attention when used to treat former President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 illness last year. Europe is reviewing the therapy, while Britain approved it last month. – Reuters

Sixth serosurvey to start in Delhi; 28,000 samples to be collected

The Delhi government will start the sixth serological survey on September 24 to find out how much percentage of the population have antibodies against COVID-19, either through natural infection or vaccination, as per an official order. The government aims to collect 28,000 blood samples of random people from all 272 wards of the city for the survey.

In April, the government had started the sixth serological survey, but due to the second wave it had to be cut short. The government never made public the result of the over 12,000 samples collected in April, despite the team submitting the results to the government.

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China tests Indian seafood online for COVID-19 virus

China, which suspended imports of frozen seafood products citing the presence of the COVID-19 virus, began inspecting stocks at the Indian processing plants and export units.

After finding traces of nucleic acid on the packaging of the seafood, China rejected the marine products shipped from India citing a threat of COVID-19, besides blacklisting some international exporters a few months ago. More than 500 seafood containers were stranded at ports in China for several days.

Also Read China tests Indian seafood online for COVID-19 virus

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