Image credits: Jesse Paul on Unsplash
/
Weekly Roundups

Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Received Full FDA Approval

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 08/26/2021 - 13:03

Days away from the national return to schools, INEGI found that Mexico had 52.9 percent excess deaths during the first and second COVID-19 waves. As the third wave arises, PAHO recommends schools in Mexico to have a slow and personalized return depending the epidemiological stage of each state.

Here is the Week in Health!

Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Receives Full FDA Approval

The FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for those over 16 years of age, which means that it can now be marketed directly to consumers. The market name of the vaccine is “Comirnaty”.

Vaccines Save Lives

The US CDC reports that only 25 percent of positive COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County were in people fully vaccinated. Moreover, this group reported the low hospitalization rate of 3.2 percent and only 0.05 percent were admitted to an intensive care unit.

INEGI’s Concerning Findings

Between January 2020 and March 2021, during the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 497,476 excess deaths from all causes, which is equivalent to 52.9 percent more deaths than were expected, reported INEGI.

INEGI also found that during July 2021, the urban adult population reported their current life satisfaction to be 8.2, on a scale from 0 to 10. This is one tenth less than the rating reported during the last three quarters of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

During July 2021, on a scale from -10 to + 10, the average mental balance of the population was 6.1, compared to 6.3 registered in July 2019. This decrease was caused by a greater presence of feelings of worry, anxiety and stress.

Oncological Medicine Supply

After several months of medicine shortages, Mexico’s federal government has shared its supply of oncology drugs for cancer patients. These include:

  • L-Asparaginase, Carboxypeptidase and Rasburicase to combat acute non-lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic lymphatic leukemia and multiple myeloma.
  • Melphalan: an alkylating agent is prescribed for patients suffering from myeloma and ovarian cancer.
  • Apalutamine: an androgen receptor inhibitor to treat prostate cancer.
  • Lutetium 177 and Iodine 131: radiopharmaceuticals. The first fights neuroendrocrine tumors, while the second treats thyroid cancer.
  • Dabrafenib and Trametinib: both drugs are kinase inhibitors used in the treatment of melanoma.

Japan Suspends Moderna’s Vaccine Doses

Japan suspends the use of about 1.3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from Moderna after distribution-support company Takeda found inconsistencies with a batch. According to Japan Times, the vaccines seemed to be contaminated by a foreign material. Takeda said it is working with the health ministry to supply replacement vials to minimize the impact on the vaccination rollout.

Back to School Recommendations

Mexico’s return to school is days away. Due to the escalating COVID-19 crisis, PAHO recommended that the reopening of schools in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, including Mexico, be carried out in phases according to the local epidemiological situation. Since the situation can change rapidly, surveillance will be key to make the return safe, warns the organization.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
INEGI, CDC, FDA
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst