Health News Roundup: Spain to begin monkeypox vaccination of close contacts; BioNTech to soon start mRNA vaccine factory construction in Rwanda and more -

Health News Roundup: Spain to begin monkeypox vaccination of close contacts; BioNTech to soon start mRNA vaccine factory construction in Rwanda and more

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Man in Sao Paulo hospital with Brazil’s first monkeypox case -officials

Health officials in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo confirmed the country’s first case of monkeypox on Thursday. The patient was a 41-year-old man who recently traveled to Spain and Portugal, the city’s health secretariat said in a statement. He is hospitalized, the secretariat said, without mentioning his health condition.

Age to buy cigarettes in England should rise every year, review says

The legal age of sale for cigarettes in England should be raised by one year every year until eventually no one can buy tobacco products, a government-commissioned review said on Thursday. Progressively increasing the minimum age from 18 was one of 15 recommendations in a review ordered by health minister Sajid Javid to help meet a target to be “smokefree” by 2030. Smokefree is defined as 5% smoking prevalence or less in England.

Diabetes may increase long COVID risk; COVID while pregnant linked to baby brain development issues

The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review. Diabetes may increase long COVID risk

African swine fever detected in pig livestock near Rome for first time

Two cases of swine fever have been found in pigs at a farm near Rome, local media quoted health authorities as saying on Thursday, the first time in Italy that the African disease has spread from wild boar to livestock. Alessio D’Amato, a health official of the Lazio region of which Rome is the capital, was quoted as telling La Repubblica newspaper that pigs on the farm will be culled.

White House expects COVID vaccine orders for children under 5 to pick up

Pre-orders of vaccines for children under age five have been slow, but Biden administration senior officials say they are not alarmed and expect the pace to pick up after federal approvals later this month. The administration expects vaccinations of young children to start as early as June 21 if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approve the vaccines next week, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha said on Thursday.

BioNTech to soon start mRNA vaccine factory construction in Rwanda

COVID-19 vaccine maker BioNTech said construction of an mRNA vaccine factory to enable African nations to jump-start their own manufacturing network would start on June 23 in Rwanda. The groundbreaking ceremony in the capital city of Kigali is to be attended by Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, further heads of African states, as well as representatives from the European Union and the World Health Organization, the biotech firm said in a statement on Thursday.

Factbox-What the WHO says on how to find COVID-19’s origins, prepare for next pandemic

A panel of experts drafted by the World Health Organization to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare a framework to investigate future outbreaks has published its first report. The panel, set up in October, comprises 26 experts from around the world and is called the Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO).

German vaccine authority recommends Imvanex for adults at risk of monkeypox

Germany’s vaccine advisory committee recommends that people over 18 who have been exposed to or are at increased risk of monkeypox infection receive Bavarian Nordic’s Imvanex vaccine, it said on Thursday. Those at increased risk of monkeypox include men who have sex with multiple male partners and infectious disease lab workers, the committee, known as STIKO, said.

Spain to begin monkeypox vaccination of close contacts

Spain will begin vaccinating close contacts of confirmed monkeypox cases after more than 242 people tested positive for the virus since May 19, the health ministry said on Thursday. Due to short supply of vaccines, only those who have been in close contact or have a great risk of serious illness can get vaccinated, the ministry added in a statement.

Pandemic’s origins obscured by lack of Chinese data – WHO panel

The World Health Organization said on Thursday its latest investigation into the origins of COVID-19 was inconclusive, largely because data from China is missing, another blow to its years-long effort to determine how the pandemic began. The report from the WHO expert panel said all available data showed the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 probably came from animals, likely bats, a similar conclusion to the U.N. agency’s previous work on the topic in 2021 that followed a trip to China.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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