African Health Ministers open meeting to shape continent’s health agenda

AFRICA – African Health Ministers and representatives from countries have gathered for the Seventy-first session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa, the preeminent meeting on public health in Africa. More than 400 participants, including Ministers of Health and officials from 47 Member States as well as representatives from United Nations agencies, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, academia and development partners are attending the meeting. During the annual gathering, the Health Ministers will set the health agenda for the next 12 months. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the…

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South Africa administers nearly 500 000 COVID-19 Jabs, the highest in a day

SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa has manage to administer close to half a million vaccine doses in the last 24 hrs, the highest number of vaccines administered with such a duration in the country, as over 7, 000 new COVID-19 infections have been reported. This means nearly five million adults have been fully inoculated after 247, 293 vaccine shots were administered in the last 24 hours. According to the latest data from the Department of Health, 10, 790, 501 COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed, which translates to 8, 240, 039…

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FDA approves Cara’s drug for severe itching in kidney disease patients

USA – The Food and Drug Administration has approved Cara Therapeutics’s drug to treat moderate-to-severe itching in patients with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, making it the first therapy for the ailment in the United States. The company expects to commercially launch the injection, Korsuva, in the first quarter of 2022, Chief Executive Officer Derek Chalmers said in an interview. The drug is designed to be administered three times a week after each dialysis. It reduces the activity of the sensory nerve that relays itching from the skin to the…

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India-based Cipla reopens Durban manufacturing site after vandalism

SOUTH AFRICA – Indian generic drug manufacturer Cipla has revealed that one of its plants in South Africa has reopened more than a month after it was vandalized during a period of civil unrest that claimed the lives of more than 300 and caused an estimated US$3.3 billion in economic losses. The facility is in Durban, in KwaZula-Natal province. It was looted on July 13, with no injuries to its 500-plus employees. Press reports that the plant burned down were inaccurate, the company said. Cipla said that to mitigate some…

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Egypt to intensify vaccination ahead of a fourth COVID-19 wave

EGYPT – Egypt will vaccinate all 4.5 million of its state employees against COVID-19 in August and September as it seeks to accelerate vaccinations ahead of a likely fourth wave of infections, the health minister has announced. The country’s infection rate is still low but started to increase last week and the upward curve is expected to continue for a while, Hala Zayed told a briefing, adding that a significant increase is expected in late September. “It is important for the Egyptian government and the political leadership that we work…

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Pfizer becomes first ever COVID-19 vaccine to gain FDA’s full approval

USA – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 16 years and older, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty. The approval is expected to set off more vaccine mandates by employers and organizations across the USA. It comes amid lingering vaccine hesitancy among many Americans. Even so, out of more than 170 million people in the United States fully vaccinated against Covid-19, more than 92 million have received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. In a statement, the FDA said its review for…

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