Reuters Health News Summary

15 Mar 2021 / 12:59 H.

    Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

    HK scientist develops retinal scan technology to identify early childhood autism

    A Hong Kong scientist has developed a method to use machine learning and artificial intelligence to scan retinas of children as young as six to detect early autism or the risk of autism and hopes to develop a commercial product this year. Retinal eye scanning can help to improve early detection and treatment outcomes for children, said Benny Zee, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

    Malaysian rubber glove group says 2021 supply estimated at 420 billion

    The global supply of rubber gloves available in 2021 is estimated at about 420 billion, Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) said in a briefing on Monday.

    Margma said there will continue to be this year a global glove shortage and a long lead time for manufacturers to deliver products to customers.

    U.S. administers 107.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines: CDC

    The United States has administered 107,060,274 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country and distributed 135,847,835 doses as of Sunday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The tally is for Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson's vaccines as of 6 a.m. ET (1000 GMT) on Sunday, the agency said.

    Netherlands halts use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

    The Netherlands on Sunday joined a fast-growing list of countries suspending use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine after reports of unexpected possible side effects from the injection. The vaccine will not be used until at least March 29 as a precaution, the Dutch government said in a statement.

    French must avoid lockdown as infections hold above 26,000: PM says

    France must do everything to avoid a new coronavirus lockdown as pressure on hospitals grows, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Sunday as the country reported more than 26,000 new cases. The French government has so far resisted pressure from some health experts to impose a new, third lockdown in the face of rising case numbers.

    AstraZeneca finds no evidence of increased blood clot risk from vaccine

    AstraZeneca Plc said on Sunday a review of safety data of people vaccinated with its COVID-19 vaccine has shown no evidence of an increased risk of blood clots. AstraZeneca's review, which covered more than 17 million people vaccinated in the United Kingdom and European Union, comes after health authorities in some countries suspended the use of its vaccine over clotting issues.

    EU's Breton says Pfizer can help offset AstraZeneca vaccine delays

    The European Union will be able to stick to its vaccination targets this quarter despite AstraZeneca delivery delays as Pfizer is producing faster than planned, EU industry commissioner Thierry Breton said on Saturday. AstraZeneca said on Friday it would try to deliver 30 million doses to the EU by the end of March, down from a contractual obligation of 90 million and a previous pledge made last month to deliver 40 million doses.

    Fauci hopes Trump will push his supporters to get COVID-19 vaccine

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said on Sunday he hopes former President Donald Trump will push his supporters to get the COVID-19 vaccine and emphasized that pandemic-related restrictions should not be lifted prematurely. In a PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll released last week, about half of U.S. men who identified themselves as Republicans said they had no plans to get the vaccine.

    Italy's Piedmont region stops use of AstraZeneca vaccine batch

    Italy's northern region of Piedmont said on Sunday it would stop using a batch of AstraZeneca coronavirus shots after a teacher died following his vaccination on Saturday. The region, around the northern city of Turin, had initially suspended all AstraZeneca vaccines in order to identify and isolate the batch from which the jab administered to the teacher, from the town of Biella, came.

    Ireland latest country to suspend AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

    Ireland became the latest country to stop using AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday, temporarily suspending the shot "out of an abundance of caution" after reports from Norway of serious blood clotting in some recipients there. Three health workers in Norway who had recently received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine were being treated in hospital for bleeding, blood clots and a low count of blood platelets, its health authorities said on Saturday.

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