NEWS DIGEST 18.09.2022: Today’s world news on COVID-19

Good morning. Our news bulletin today will cover the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic through Google News.

Saint-Herblain and Dessau-Roßlau, September 16, 2022 – Valneva SE, a specialty vaccine company, and IDT Biologika today announced they have agreed to terminate their collaboration following the delivery of inactivated COVID-19 bulk vaccine to Valneva, and considering the current order levels and existing inventories. As per the commercial manufacturing services agreement signed in November 2021, IDT Biologika produced VLA2001 bulk vaccine at its Biosafety Level 3 facilities in Germany, and Valneva bought the batches that were manufactured so far by IDT. In light of the reduced European Commission order , Valneva has suspended manufacturing of the vaccine and, as compensation, will pay IDT up to €36.2 million in cash and the equivalent of €4.5 million in kind, in the form of specified equipment purchased by Valneva. About Valneva SEValneva is a specialty vaccine company focused on the development and commercialization of prophylactic vaccines for infectious diseases with significant unmet medical need. Valneva has leveraged its expertise and capabilities both to commercialize three vaccines and to rapidly advance a broad range of vaccine candidates into and through the clinic, including candidates against Lyme disease and the chikungunya virus. Even if the actual results or development of Valneva are consistent with the forward-looking statements contained in this press release, those results or developments of Valneva may not be indicative of future results – Valneva and IDT Biologika Agree on Termination of their COVID-19 Collaboration (Valneva)

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Millions of Americans risk losing access to life-saving Covid-19 treatments that were previously given for free if Congress fails to approve more pandemic funding, Joe Biden’s coronavirus tsar has warned. Ashish Jha, who runs the US pandemic response, told the Financial Times that lives were at risk if the money is not released soon, with members expected to vote on a wider bill to fund the government in the coming weeks. Millions of Americans have taken Pfizer’s Paxlovid treatment for free, including the president. “All of a sudden you will find millions of millions of Americans without access to these things.” Last week Bharat Biotech received approval in India for emergency use of its two-dose nasal Covid vaccine, while Beijing approved a vaccine developed by CanSino Biologics, which is inhaled through the mouth – Joe Biden’s Covid-19 tsar warns millions risk losing access to treatment (Financial Times ~ Coronavirus treatment)

The introduction of a last-minute bank holiday has meant hospitals are now postponing some routine treatments which had been booked in for Monday. A host of leading hospitals told the BBC there would be some disruption to their services. The NHS said patients should be contacted by hospitals to let them know whether their appointment is on or not. Prof Philip Banfield, of the British Medical Association, said: “There remains confusion over what NHS services will be provided in hospitals.” Other NHS trusts which confirmed there would be some disruption to routine services include Bedfordshire Hospitals, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, University Hospitals Birmingham and King’s College Hospital and the Royal Free, both of which are in London. Bosses in Greater Manchester said some treatments would be affected across its network of hospitals, but it would prioritise urgent treatment. Dr Layla McCay, of the NHS Confederation, which represents hospitals, said it was vital patients let services know if they would not be attending – Queen’s funeral: Routine hospital care being postponed (BBC News ~ Health)

All cells used for the cholesterol assay are wild-type: kidney cell lines HEK293T and Vero E6 and lung cell lines A549 and H1793. The MTT assay showed HCQ treatment significantly decreased cell metabolism in HEK293T cells by ~36.05 ± 6%. However, the reduction in cell viability of HCQ did not account for the full reduction in viral entry. Cholesterol shifts viral entry from cell surface entry to endosomal entry and HCQ counteracts such effect. Fixable Viability Dye eFluorTM 506 was used to label dead cells in both HEK293T cell and Vero E6 cell cultures with or without HCQ treatment. MTT assay kit was applied to assess cell metabolic activity in both HEK293T cell and Vero E6 cell cultures with or without HCQ/tetracaine/propofol treatment – Hydroxychloroquine blocks SARS-CoV-2 entry into the endocytic pathway in mammalian cell culture (Nature/Communications Biology ~ articles)

The covid-19 pandemic may be triggering early puberty in some girls. In the latest of a string of studies, researchers at the University of Bonn, Germany, reported how the number of girls diagnosed with early puberty at a single medical centre remained constant between 2015 and 2019, at fewer than 10 cases a year. Early puberty has also been associated with certain mental health problems, such as anxiety in boys and depression in girls. In addition to an increased number of girls starting puberty early, the age of onset may have also declined. In a follow-up study to the Italian paper, researchers found that girls who were diagnosed with early puberty during lockdown had more disturbed sleep and later bedtimes than those diagnosed pre-pandemic – Covid-19 pandemic linked to early onset of puberty in some girls (New Scientist ~ Health)

Happy 13th birthday Shani! 🎂🎁🎉

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