Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus
Governments across Europe announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns and curbs against the backdrop of fears of a fast-spreading variant first detected in Britain, with vaccinations not expected to help much until the spring. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS * Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.
World Bank chief says vaccine rollout critical for poorer countries
World Bank President David Malpass on Wednesday warned that an accelerated rollout of COVID-19 vaccines would be critical to boosting economic activity in advanced economies and preventing a further drop in expected economic activity in 2021.
The World Bank last week forecast the global economy would expand by 4% this year, less than previously expected, but said rising COVID-19 inflections and delays in vaccine distribution could limit the recovery to just 1.6% this year.
New York pleads for more COVID-19 vaccine as daily U.S. death toll hits record
As the United States recorded its highest single-day death toll since the coronavirus pandemic began nearly a year ago, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday said the city would fall short of its innoculation goals unless it could gain access to more vaccine. The mayor said short supplies were hampering New York City's efforts to ramp up its vaccinating capacity. His appeal comes as the country as a whole struggles to meet an overall goals, with vaccinations now running far behind a targed of 20 million people by now.
Gut bacteria tied to disease severity, immune response; high mental health toll seen in ICUs
The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Gut bacteria tied to COVID-19 severity, immune response
What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now: Millions more under lockdown in China
Soaring COVID-19 cases in Spain prompt more regions to toughen response
The Spanish regions of Galicia, La Rioja and Cantabria became the latest to tighten coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday amid a spiralling national infection rate that officials have blamed on lax adherence to the rules over Christmas. After a lull in contagion in late November, cases skyrocketed through December and into early January, doubling the incidence of the virus as measured over the past 14 days in just three weeks, to 454 cases per 100,000 people.
J&J COVID-19 vaccine could be available in Europe in April: source
Johnson & Johnson could deliver the first doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Europe in April, an EU official told Reuters on Wednesday after a top lawmaker said the U.S. healthcare company was likely to seek EU regulatory approval in February. Clinical data on the vaccine has been assessed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) since Dec. 1 under a rolling review to speed up possible approval.
Second year of pandemic 'could even be tougher': WHO's Ryan
The second year of the COVID-19 pandemic may be tougher than the first given how the new coronavirus is spreading, especially in the northern hemisphere as more infectious variants circulate, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. "We are going into a second year of this, it could even be tougher given the transmission dynamics and some of the issues that we are seeing," Mike Ryan, the WHO's top emergencies official, said during an event on social media.
Bumpy road ahead for global COVID-19 vaccine rollout, experts say
Governments worldwide face a tremendous challenge in building up the logistics needed for mass vaccination against COVID-19 and providing clear messaging to their citizens to boost confidence in the shots, public health experts said on Wednesday. Experts speaking to the Reuters Next conference from the United States, India and Britain said they were hopeful the world would turn a corner against the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 - as long as authorities focus on getting vaccines into arms and persuading pandemic-weary populations to adhere to social distancing measures in the meantime.
J&J COVID-19 vaccine on track for March rollout, still aims for 1 billion doses this year: executive
Johnson & Johnson is on track to roll out its single-shot coronavirus vaccine in March, and plans to have clear data on how effective it is by the end of this month or early February, the U.S. healthcare company's chief scientific officer said. Dr. Paul Stoffels in an interview on Tuesday also said J&J expects to meet its stated target of delivering 1 billion doses of its vaccine by the end of this year as the company ramps up production.