New global data put the COVID-19 death toll at just under 15 million; the FDA issues a warning limiting use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine; US sees increase in aggressive uterine cancer cases.
Between 2020 and 2021, COVID-19 directly or indirectly caused nearly 15 million deaths new World Health Organization data show, according to NPR. The total now stands at around 2.7 times more than that previously reported through official channels. Indirect deaths were defined as patients who were unable to get treatment or preventive care for other health conditions due to the pandemic, while the numbers also take into account prevented deaths resulting from lower traffic and travel. Some regions, such as India, were found to have drastically higher death counts than those officially reported. Currently, the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker puts the global toll at 6.2 million.
New guidance from the FDA narrows the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine, due to a rare but serious risk of developing thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), Politico reports. The new recommendations state the shot should only be made available to adults unable or unwilling to receive mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna. Although TTS is rare, it can prove fatal and typically develops within 1 to 2 weeks of receiving the vaccination. As of March 18, figures show 60 J&J vaccine recipients developed TTS, 9 of whom died, with rates similar to those seen throughout the vaccine’s rollout.
New research shows an aggressive but rare form of uterine cancer may be behind an increase in US death rates among Black women, The Associated Press reports, while over 8 years, figures show deaths from this type rose by 2.7% annually. Compared with other racial and ethnic groups, Black women made up more than twice the rate of deaths from uterine cancer and of the more aggressive type 2 endometrial cancer. This form is more difficult to treat and accounted for 20% of cases and 45% of deaths throughout the study period. Estimates project 12,550 women will die from uterine cancer this year; however, there is no recommended screening test for the disease.