Health news digest: US orders 2.5 million more doses of Bavarian Nordic’s monkeypox vaccine; Omicron-specific COVID injections could increase protection as boosters – EMA and more

Here is a summary of health news briefs.

Omicron-specific COVID injections could increase protection as boosters – EMA

Coronavirus vaccines modified to include the variant strain of Omicron may improve protection when used as a booster, the European Medicines Agency and other global health regulators said on Friday. Following a meeting on Thursday, the EMA said global regulators had agreed on key principles for updating COVID-19 injections to respond to emerging variants.

US orders 2.5 million more doses of Bavarian Nordic’s monkeypox vaccine

The U.S. government has ordered an additional 2.5 million doses of Bavarian Nordic’s vaccine for use against monkeypox outbreaks, the Department of Health and Human Services announced on Friday. The vaccine has already been licensed for smallpox and monkeypox in the United States, where it is called Jynneos.

Novavax expects COVID vaccine to target Omicron in Q4

Novavax Inc said Friday it plans to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine targeting Omicron in the fourth quarter as it ramps up development of vaccines to protect against the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. The US FDA on Thursday recommended that COVID-19 vaccine makers change the design of their booster shots starting this fall to include components tailored to combat the currently dominant Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.

Symptoms of monkeypox differ from previous outbreaks – UK study

Monkeypox patients in the UK are showing significantly different symptoms to those seen in previous outbreaks, researchers in London say, raising concerns that cases are being missed. Patients reported less fever and fatigue and more skin lesions in their genital and anal areas than typically seen in monkeypox, the study of 54 patients from Sexual Health Clinics London found in May this year.

Superior courts in Texas and Ohio allow abortion bans to take effect

The highest courts in Texas and Ohio on Friday allowed Republican-led states to enforce abortion restrictions and bans after the US Supreme Court last week struck down the nation’s constitutional right to abortion. ‘abortion. The Texas Supreme Court allowed a nearly century-old abortion ban to go into effect Friday night after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade and abolished women’s constitutional right to abortion.

North Korea blames ‘alien things’ near border with South for COVID outbreak

North Korea claimed on Friday that the country’s first outbreak of COVID-19 began with patients touching “alien things” near the border with South Korea, apparently blaming the neighbor for the surge. infections in the isolated country. Announcing the results of an investigation, the North ordered people to “deal vigilantly with extraterrestrials from wind and other weather phenomena and balloons in areas along the demarcation line and borders,” it said. the official KCNA news agency.

U.S. Abortion Ruling Sparks Retailer Interest in Female Contraceptive Manufacturers – Vanda

Retail investors flocked to small biotech companies making contraceptives for women after the U.S. Supreme Court last week overturned Roe v. Wade who recognized the constitutional right to abortion, Vanda Research said on Friday.

This historic decision shone a spotlight on access to contraception and led to a temporary increase in demand for over-the-counter emergency contraceptive pills.

China reports 268 new COVID cases as of July 1, up from 245 the day before

Mainland China has reported 268 new cases of COVID-19 as of July 1, including 72 symptomatic and 196 asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Saturday. That compares with 245 new cases a day earlier – 37 symptomatic and 208 asymptomatic infections, which China counts separately.

Abortion drug maker says Mississippi can’t ban pill despite Supreme Court ruling

The maker of a drug used in medical abortions tells a federal judge that the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling eliminating the nation’s abortion right doesn’t allow Mississippi to stop it from selling the pills in the state. GenBioPro Inc, which makes a generic version of the drug mifepristone, said in a filing in federal court in Jackson, Miss., on Thursday that the drug’s approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should overturn any ban on drug use. ‘State.

Oxford Biomedica signs new deal to get AstraZeneca COVID vaccinated

Britain’s Oxford Biomedica said on Friday it had signed a new three-year deal to potentially manufacture AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine beyond 2022, but no volumes were set in an indication of lower demand for the vaccine. Cell and gene therapy company Oxford Biomedica said in April it had manufactured more than 100 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine since their partnership began in September 2020. Commitments under the deal are expected to continue. complete this year.

(With agency contributions.)