Health News Roundup: Bayer to Pay $40 Million to Resolve U.S. Whistleblower Claims Over Three Drugs; Britain approves updated Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 booster vaccine and more

Here is a summary of health news briefs.

WHO monitors cases of pneumonia of unknown origin in Argentina

The World Health Organization is monitoring a cluster of 10 cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Argentina in an outbreak that has so far claimed three lives. The cases are linked to a single private clinic in the city of San Miguel de Tucumán, located in the northwest of the country, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the regional office of WHO.

Bayer to pay $40 million to resolve US whistleblower claims over three drugs

Bayer AG has agreed to pay $40 million to settle claims over its alleged use of bribes and misrepresentations related to three prescription drugs, the US Department of Justice said Friday. The settlement stemmed from lawsuits filed in 2005 and 2006 in New Jersey by Laurie Simpson, a former Bayer employee who worked in its marketing department and accused the German company of violating federal misrepresentation law.

Pfizer and BioNTech Seek to Revoke CureVac’s Patent Infringement Claims

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have filed suit in the High Court of England and Wales, seeking a judgment that their COVID-19 vaccine, based on mRNA technology, does not infringe European patents. of CureVac, according to a regulatory filing Friday. In July, CureVac filed a lawsuit against BioNTech over its use of mRNA technology, seeking fair compensation from the company and two subsidiaries for violating its intellectual property rights.

Livzon Pharma’s COVID vaccine gets approval as a booster in China

China has granted emergency use authorization for Livzon Pharmaceutical Group Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine as a booster, the company said on Friday, one of only two new products against the disease the country has phased out in more than a year. Livzon’s vaccine, based on the original coronavirus, if rolled out to the general public, would expand booster options for China’s 1.4 billion people, 90% of whom have been vaccinated and nearly 60% received a booster dose.

Britain approves updated Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 booster vaccine

Britain’s medicines regulator on Saturday approved Pfizer/BioNTech’s bivalent COVID-19 booster shot update for people aged 12 and over. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said the decision was based on data from a clinical trial which showed that a booster dose with the bivalent Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine triggers a strong immune response against the ‘Omicron and the original strain.

Shenzhen closes most public transport as China battles multiple outbreaks

On Friday, major districts in China’s tech hub of Shenzhen shut down public transportation and extended restrictions on public activities as cities across China battle COVID-19 outbreaks that have clouded prospects for economic recovery. Six districts comprising the majority of the city’s population of nearly 18 million people announced that all residents would be tested twice for COVID-19 over the weekend as subway and bus services were suspended .

US Veterans Agency will offer abortions in cases of rape and health risks

The U.S. government will for the first time ever provide abortion services to veterans in cases of rape or incest, or when pregnancy endangers the woman’s life, even in states that have banned or restricted the practice, announced the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Business announced Friday. The agency said in a policy paper that it decided to offer abortions to veterans in response to a wave of US states enacting bans and restrictions on such services since the Supreme Court ended the right national abortion in June.

EU states urged to deploy COVID reminders to tackle winter infections

EU countries should start offering COVID boosters to their populations now to contain a new wave of infections expected this fall and winter, the bloc’s executive said in a document seen by Reuters on Friday ahead of publication. official. The Brussels-based European Commission says more than 2,300 people are still dying of COVID in the bloc each week, while other negative health consequences of the disease include long-lasting COVID symptoms and problems mental.

Russia reports 50,000 COVID-19 cases for second day in a row

Russia recorded more than 50,000 new daily cases of COVID-19 for the second straight day on Saturday, the government’s coronavirus task force said. In the past 24 hours, 51,699 cases have been detected across Russia – the most in a single day since March 9.

Shenzhen districts are on lockdown as China battles COVID outbreaks

Most residents of China’s tech hub of Shenzhen found themselves in lockdown over the weekend on Saturday as mass testing for COVID-19 kicked off across much of the city of 18 million. The lockdown and suspension of bus and subway services came into effect two days after city authorities said lockdown rumors were based on a ‘misinterpretation’ of the latest COVID prevention and control measures -19.

(With agency contributions.)

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