UK doctors demand free meals for kids as COVID fuels hunger

LONDON (AP) — Pediatricians are urging the British government to reverse course and provide free meals for poor children during school holidays as the COVID-19 pandemic pushes more families into poverty.

Some 2,200 members of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health have written an open letter to Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson, saying they were shocked by his “refusal” to back down on the issue. The House of Commons last week rejected legislation that would have provided free meals during all school holidays from October through the Easter break.

The doctors say some 4 million children live in poverty, and a third rely on free school meals. Many parents in Britain have lost their jobs or are working reduced hours during the pandemic, making it imperative to make it possible for poor children over the holidays get at least one nutritious meal a day, the doctors argue.

“Families who were previously managing are now struggling to make ends meet because of the impact of COVID-19,’’ the doctors wrote. “It is not good enough to send them into the holiday period hoping for the best, while knowing that many will simply go hungry.’’

Most schools in England begin a one-week holiday on Monday.


The doctors heaped praise on Marcus Rashford, a 22-year-old star soccer player for Manchester United who has used his celebrity to highlight the issue. Rashford’s campaign helped pressure Johnson’s government into providing free meals during a nationwide coronavirus lockdown earlier this year, and he has gathered more than 800,000 signatures on a petition to extend the program.

Rashford has spoken movingly about depending on free school lunches as a child and was recently honored by the queen for his dedication to the issue of child hunger.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis, who spoke for the government on Britain’s Sunday morning news programs, claimed that lawmakers were taking a broader approach. He said the government has increased welfare benefits nationwide and has provided 63 million pounds ($82 million) to local communities to help people.

“What we are looking to do is ensure that we deal with child poverty at the core, putting the structure in place that means even in school holidays, children can get access to the food that they need,” he told Sky News on Sunday.

The opposition Labour Party has warned it will bring the issue back to the House of Commons if ministers do not change course in time for Christmas.

Advocates for children have been shocked by the political stalemate. The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, said she has been both horrified and disappointed by the debate.

“We’re a wealthy country, it’s 2020,” she told Sky News. “To have a debate about whether we should make sure that hungry and vulnerable children have enough to eat is something that is strikingly similar to something we’d expect to see in chapters of ‘Oliver Twist’ — a novel published in the 19th century.”

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Follow all of AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak

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As COVID-19 cases spike, pneumonia vaccine demand rockets and Europe runs low

By Emilio Parodi, Ludwig Burger and Michael Erman

MILAN/FRANKFURT/NEW YORK (Reuters) – As COVID-19 infections rise, people seeking to avoid one lung disease compounding another are queuing up to get inoculated against bacterial pneumonia, causing shortages of a Merck & Co <MRK.N> vaccine in parts of Europe.

Demand for Merck’s Pneumovax 23, which is used to prevent pneumococcal lung infections, has hit record highs across the world, the company said.

More than 40 companies and researchers are testing vaccines against the novel coronavirus, but none have been approved in the West.

In the meantime, doctors are giving the pneumonia shot to more people than ever as a preventative measure.

Pneumococcal prevention, the largest segment of the vaccine market by value, rang up about $7 billion in sales in 2019, contested by Pfizer <PFE.N>, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline <GSK.L>.

Pfizer’s Prevenar 13, known as Prevnar 13 in North America, is the global market leader, and brought in about $5.8 billion in sales in 2019. It works for both infants and the elderly but it covers fewer bacterial strands than the Merck product.

GSK’s Synflorix is designed for children.

Usage differs by country, but Pneumovax 23, which lasts about five years, is primarily given to the elderly.

“During the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, there has been increased emphasis on adult vaccination, and we have seen an unprecedented surge in demand for Pneumovax 23 around the world,” a Merck spokesman told Reuters in an email.

Pneumovax 23’s international sales more than doubled to $96 million in the second quarter, though U.S. sales fell substantially, according to the quarterly report.

The U.S. drugmaker is working to make as much as possible, but demand is outpacing supplies in some markets, the spokesman added.

And supplies in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Ireland and Austria are running low, according to drug agencies monitoring supplies for those countries.

The news is likely to stoke worries about the availability of medicines as people seek ways to boost their immunity during the cold winter months.

Stocks of seasonal flu vaccine are also low in some European cities amid worries about the risk of a potentially lethal “twindemic”.

Delfino Legnani, professor at Milan University, said he has been recommending the Pneumovax 23 shot to his older patients for years, but some have only been willing to get it for the first time this winter.

“It is practically impossible to find. Now everyone wants it, so there aren’t enough doses,” he said.

Italy’s drug agency listed the drug as being in short supply and has authorised pharmacies to buy supplies from abroad approved under a special marketing authorisation scheme.

There are no signs of supply issues in the United States.

RATIONING

Other countries are feeling the pinch too.

Ireland’s Health Products Regulatory Authority said on its website an unexpected increase in demand had caused a shortage since March and that multiple countries were affected.

Its Belgian equivalent also said that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a global increase in demand for

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Britain authorises temporary use of flu vaccine to help meet demand

By Reuters Staff

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has authorised the temporary use of the Flublok flu vaccine and ordered millions of doses as it seeks to give jabs to more people during the coronavirus pandemic.

A surge in demand for vaccines to ward off winter flu has led to shortages in some European cities, raising the risk of a potentially lethal “twindemic” as COVID-19 cases spike.

Britain is targeting the vaccination of more than 30 million people, nearly half the population, and said it had given authorisation for the supply of Flublok, which has been used in the United States for the last three winters.

“Flublok has been in regular use in the United States – and the evidence shows that it is an excellent product,” deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van Tam said.

“I want to reassure everyone that all vaccines have undergone robust clinical trials and rigorous checks by the regulator to ensure they are safe, effective and of a high quality.”

Flublok received authorisation for temporary supply from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The MHRA has the power to take such a step when it is satisfied that a medicine is safe and effective in response to a public health threat.

The regulator has been given extra powers during the course of the pandemic, such as being able also to temporarily authorise any coronavirus vaccine that meets safety and quality standards before it has received a full licence.

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Amid Growing Customer Demand, ADM Invests to Significantly Expand Probiotics Production

State-of-the-art expansion represents five-fold increase in probiotics production capacity

ADM (NYSE: ADM) announced today that it plans to construct a new, state-of-the-art facility in Valencia, Spain, that will expand its capabilities to meet growing demand for microbiome solutions.

“Our new Valencia facility will feature leading-edge technology and dramatically enhance our ability to meet fast-growing demand for products and solutions from nature designed to target the microbiome and help improve metabolic health,” said Ian Pinner, chief strategy and innovation officer, and president of ADM’s Health & Wellness division. “Consumers today are increasingly focusing on the foundational role food plays in supporting health and wellness, and our continued investment in these growth areas ensures that ADM is perfectly positioned to meet their needs.”

The new facility represents a five-fold increase in production capacity through ADM’s Biopolis, a leading provider of microbial technologies based in Spain. The facility will produce a wide array of science-based, innovative probiotics and postbiotics — using ADM’s industry-leading technology — to meet growing demand for new solutions for healthy weight management, skin health, immune health, gut health, oral health, fertility and more. It will be co-located with ADM’s flavor production facility in Valencia, and is expected to be online in 2022.

“Consumers today are thinking about the things they eat and drink in entirely new ways,” Pinner continued. “They expect food and beverages that are not only delicious, but support health and wellness, come from sustainable ingredients, and are produced by companies that share their values. The growth investments ADM has made in recent years put us in an unparalleled position to meet those changing needs. From alternative proteins, to our pantry of sustainable ingredients, flavors and colors, to our unequalled array of pre-, pro- and postbiotics, ADM is enriching lives around the globe.”

ADM is an established market leader for microbiome solutions with an award-winning portfolio of products and ingredients, including NutraIngredients’ 2020 ‘Probiotic Product of the Year’, ADM’s Bio-Kult Migréa®; 2020 Ingredient of the Year in the Weight Management category, ADM’s Bifidobacterium lactis BPL1; and the 2020 Editor’s Award winner for Functional Food Innovation, ADM’s Bacillus subtilis PXN®21®, a live microbial strain shown to reduce the aggregation of α-synuclein, paving the way for future research in Parkinson’s disease.

For more information about ADM’s functional health solutions, visit www.adm.com/functionalhealth.

About ADM

At ADM, we unlock the power of nature to provide access to nutrition worldwide. With industry-advancing innovations, a complete portfolio of ingredients and solutions to meet any taste, and a commitment to sustainability, we give customers an edge in solving the nutritional challenges of today and tomorrow. We’re a global leader in human and animal nutrition and the world’s premier agricultural origination and processing company. Our breadth, depth, insights, facilities and logistical expertise give us unparalleled capabilities to meet needs for food, beverages, health and wellness, and more. From the seed of the idea to the outcome of the solution, we enrich the quality of life the world over. Learn more at www.adm.com.

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Testosterone Replacement Therapy Market | Market to Witness Increased Demand for Injectables Through 2024

The testosterone replacement therapy market size is set to grow by USD 113.54 million during the period spanning over 2020-2024. One of the key factors driving growth is the rising initiatives to increase awareness about the disease. The rising incidence of hypogonadism has led many organizations across the world to introduce awareness campaigns and encourage early diagnosis of the condition. The rise in novel therapeutic approaches is a significant trend that will further stimulate market growth. Vendors in the market are increasing their R&D efforts to develop new and alternative treatment options that are safer for patients.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201019005262/en/

Technavio has announced its latest market research report titled Global Testosterone Replacement Therapy Market 2020-2024 (Graphic: Business Wire)

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Parent Market Analysis

Technavio categorizes the global testosterone replacement therapy market as a part of the pharmaceutical market within the overall healthcare industry. The parent pharmaceuticals market covers products and companies engaged in research and development (R&D) or production of generic drugs, non-generic drugs, and veterinary drugs. Growth in the healthcare market will be driven by the increasing life expectancy of individuals worldwide.

Technavio’s in-depth research has all your needs covered as our research reports include all foreseeable market scenarios, including pre- & post-COVID-19 analysis. Download a Free Sample Report on COVID-19 Impacts

Testosterone Replacement Therapy Market: Geographic Segmentation

The report segments the market by geography: Asia, Europe, North America, and ROW. About 53% of the market’s growth will originate from North America during the forecast period. This is due to the rising prevalence and awareness about the treatment for conditions such as hypogonadism, testosterone deficiency, and erectile dysfunction. The US is the key market for testosterone replacement therapy in North America.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy Market: Segmentation by Product

The injectables segment was leading the market in 2019. The segment is mainly driven by the availability of patient assistance programs and direct administration benefits. Also, the increasing prevalence of conditions such as obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and metabolic syndrome is fueling the growth of the segment. This report provides an accurate prediction of the contribution of all the segments to the growth of the testosterone replacement therapy market size.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy Market: Growth Drivers

The market is driven by the rising initiatives to increase awareness about diseases among the population. The increasing prevalence of conditions such as hypogonadism has led many organizations across the world to undertake initiatives to educate people about available treatment options. For instance, the Endocrine Society undertakes initiatives to increase awareness about hypogonadism among medical professionals by releasing clinical practice guidelines on testosterone therapy. Similarly, organizations such as the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation, Endocrine Awareness Center for health, and the American Urological Association are educating people about the diagnosis and treatment for hypogonadism. This is driving a significant number of people to proactively approach fertility care centers and medical practitioners

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