Related to factors impacting health and healthcare (pandemics, healthcare regulation, new drugs)

FDA limits use of Janssen vaccine
The US health regulator Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has limited the use of Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine for adults. The J&J vaccine can be used in cases where approved Covid-19 vaccines are not accessible or clinically appropriate or if an individual elects to receive the vaccine.
18 provinces in Iraq struck by severe sandstorm
On Thursday morning, a severe sandstorm hit 18 Iraqi provinces, including Baghdad and Al-Anbar. Iraq health ministry spokesman, Seid al-Badr, announced that over 5000 people had since sought medical treatment, with one having died due to the storm.
Colorado inmate working with poultry infected with bird flu
An inmate at a correctional facility in Colorado working with poultry has contracted bird flu. The male, less than 40 years old, is largely asymptomatic and reported fatigue.
Moderna seeks COVID-19 vaccine authorization for kids under 6 yrs
Moderna has submitted an emergency use authorization request to the FDA to fast-track its COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA-1273) for usage on kids aged six months to under two years and for those aged two to six. According to Moderna, clinical study results demonstrated a robust neutralizing antibody response and a favorable safety profile after a two-dose primary series vaccination course of mRNA-1273 in the defined age group.
FDA introduces plan prohibiting menthol cigarettes & flavored cigars
On April 28th, the FDA proposed product standards banning menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes and all characterizing flavors (except tobacco) in cigars. According to the FDA, the proposed plan will reduce youth experimentation and addiction and bolster the number of individuals that will quit smoking.
Extradited Honduran ex-president to face charges in the US
Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez made his first appearance in a US court after being extradited to face drug trafficking charges. Hernandez was extradited on Thursday from Tegucigalpa, Honduras on a US Drug Enforcement Administration plane.
CDC issues health alert for pediatric hepatitis & adenovirus infections
On April 21st, the CDC issued a nationwide health alert notifying health authorities about a cluster of hepatitis and adenovirus infection cases in children. The CDC has advised physicians to be on the lookout for infection symptoms in children and to report any hepatitis cases of unknown origin to their local and state health departments.
Pfizer, BioNTech to request COVID-19 booster authorization for ages 5-11
On Thursday, Pfizer and BioNTech released Phase 2/3 clinical trial data, revealing a high immune response in children aged 5-11 against COVID-19 after receiving a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The clinical trial oversaw the participation of 140 children in the given age group; a 6-fold increase in neutralizing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 wild-type strain was found in the children after they received the booster dose.
World COVID-19 cases reach 500 million
This Tuesday, the number of known COVID-19 cases worldwide hit a total of 500 million as experts called for an increase in testing to track new variants as they arise. Case numbers in the US have fallen since their peak in January; however, with numbers on the rise in certain parts of Europe and Asia, concerns are rising that a similar situation could develop in the US.
Ukraine braces for Russian offensive amid fears of chemical weapons usage
Ukraine has pleaded for more weapons from the West to help them end the prolonged siege of Mariupol and fend off an expected Russian offensive in the east. On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy remarked in a televised address that Russia could resort to the use of chemical weapons as it amassed troops in the eastern Donbas region for a new assault on the port of Mariupol.