(Reuters) – Moderna Inc said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine generated a strong immune response in children aged six to 11 years and that it plans to submit the data to global regulators soon.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* The European Union’s drug regulator said it has concluded in its review that Moderna’s COVID-19 booster vaccine may be given to people aged 18 years and above, at least six months after the second dose.
** Russia reported a record high number of daily COVID-19 cases and some central European countries imposed fresh restrictions on Monday, as a new wave of the pandemic gathered pace.
* Spain reached the grim milestone of 5 million COVID-19 cases during the pandemic.
* The Dutch government may impose new coronavirus restrictions to reduce pressure on hospitals struggling to deal with a swelling number of COVID-19 patients.
* U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday signed an order imposing new vaccine requirements for most foreign national air travelers and lifting severe travel restrictions on China, India and much of Europe effective Nov. 8.
* The Biden administration said it will invest $70 million to boost the availability and lower costs of rapid, over-the-counter COVID-19 tests in the United States.
* Venezuela reopened public schools and universities which serve more than 11 million students, though some schools remained closed for repairs or because of lack of staff.
* China’s latest COVID-19 outbreak is increasingly likely to spread further, a health official said on Sunday, as authorities urged all regions to step up monitoring and called for a reduction in travel across provinces.
* Competitors in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will be subject to daily tests for COVID-19 and will be required to remain in a closed loop that includes transport between the various games venues.
* Indonesia is “finalising” a deal with Merck & Co to procure its experimental antiviral pills to treat COVID-19 ailments.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare is aiming to ramp up its COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity to 1.3 billion doses a year by February 2024, up from a current annual output of around 250 million doses, the company’s CEO told Reuters.
* Namibia will suspend its rollout of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, days after the drugs regulator in neighbouring South Africa flagged concerns about its safety for people at risk of HIV.
* Scientists at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the likely benefits of giving the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to 5 to 11 year olds clearly outweigh the risks of rare cases of heart inflammation.
* COVID-19 patients who require surgery appear to face fewer complications if they have previously been vaccinated against the flu, new data suggest.
* U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co Inc said the European Union’s drug regulator has initiated a real-time review of its experimental COVID-19 antiviral drug for adults.
* Global equity markets rose, while U.S. Treasury yields dipped as investors were buoyed by a better-than-expected U.S. corporate earnings season that kicks into gear this week. [MKTS/GLOB]
* The European Union disbursed 600 million euros ($698 million) to Ukraine, the second tranche of an aid programme to help its eastern European neighbour through the economic shock of the pandemic.
(Compiled by Aditya Soni and Uttaresh. V; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Arun Koyyur)