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New data reveals Ebola vaccine reduces mortality by half; The latest health stories from around the world

There’s welcome news in the battle against the Ebola virus, an infectious disease that for years had almost no treatments or remedies.  Outbreaks of the deadly Ebola virus flare up in parts of Africa almost every year, and they’re vicious.  The virus kills about half the people it infects. But a new study published in The …

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Fluoridation: public health advancement or potential problem? The latest health stories from around the world

A long-simmering scientific battle assumed a new life this week, as experts clashed in a San Francisco courtroom over whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should ban fluoridation of drinking water to protect foetuses and children from the risk of neurodevelopmental problems. https://www.science.org/content/article/does-fluoride-drinking-water-lower-iq-question-looms-large-court-battle?  The case, being heard in a federal district court, “is precedent setting,” …

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Malaria vaccine rolled out in Cameroon; The latest health stories from around the world

After a 60-year quest, childhood malaria vaccinations were administered to infants and toddlers in Cameroon on 22 January, the world’s first routine immunization against the disease.  Remarkably, the RTS,S or Mosquirix, made by GlaxoSmithKline and approved for general use in 2021 by the World Health Organization (WHO) reduces all kinds of deaths among children – …

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Eli Lilly announces direct-to-patient portal for new weight loss drug; The latest health stories from around the world

Eli Lilly, maker of the anti-obesity drug Zepbound, announced last week the launch of LillyDirect, a direct-to-patient portal, allowing some patients to obtain its drug for as little as $25 a month.  The move is seen as a major shift in the way these popular medications can reach patients. https://www.medscape.com/s/viewarticle/eli-lilly-offers-obesity-drug-directly-consumers-2024a10000fl?   For many of the 42 million Americans with obesity, weight …

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Opioid addiction settlement reached with US Consultancy firm; The latest health stories from around the world

Consulting firm McKinsey & Co has agreed to pay $78 million to resolve claims by U.S. health insurers and benefit plans that it fuelled an epidemic of opioid addiction through its work for drug companies including OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma. https://www.reuters.com/legal/mckinsey-pay-78-million-us-opioid-settlement-with-health-plans-2023-12-30/  The settlement was disclosed in papers filed on Friday (29 Dec) in federal court …

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Biden weighs in on drug costs in US; The latest health stories from around the world

US President Joe Biden has stepped into a long-running debate about whether the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has legal authority to override an exclusive patent license granted to drug developers if they charge too much for treatments that relied on agency-funded research. In draft policy guidance, the Biden administration says federal agencies would be …

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Project NextGen unveils contracts for vaccine development support; The latest health stories from around the world

Six months after announcing the $5 billion Project NextGen to develop treatments and vaccines that can “stay ahead of COVID-19,” the U.S. government has awarded 20 contracts that reveal what much of that sum will support. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on 13 October that up to $1.2 billion will go …

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Nobel Prize awarded for COVID-19 mRNA vaccine development; The latest health stories from around the world

The 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been jointly awarded to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman for their discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/2023/press-release/  The discoveries by the two Nobel Laureates were critical for developing effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 during the pandemic …

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New monovalent COVID-19 vaccines approved in US; The latest health stories from around the world

After the US Food and Drug Administration authorized new monovalent COVID vaccines on early last week, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices backed the decision a day later with a nearly unanimous vote in favour of universal XBB-containing shots. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/996378?  Reports of a mutating virus and COVID hospitalisations of about 17,000 people a …

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New COVID-19 vaccine to be made available next month; The latest health stories from around the world

A new COVID vaccine is due out next month, but health experts and analysts say it is likely to be coolly received even as hospitalizations from “Eris”, a variant of the Omicron form of the coronavirus, rise around the country. https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/new-covid-vaccines-are-way-eris-variant-rises-2023-08-14/ Fortunately, early data suggests that the new shots will still be effective against Eris. …

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