Health Highlights: June 8, 2020

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

People Should Wear Masks if Unable to Social Distance: WHO

People who live in areas where the new coronavirus is spreading should wear fabric masks when they're shopping or on public transit and can't social distance, the World Health Organization says in updated recommendations.

People who are older than 60 or have underlying medical conditions also should wear masks in situations where social distancing can't be maintained, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a media briefing, the Associated Press reported.

Previously, the agency recommended that due to a worldwide shortage, medical masks should be worn only by health care workers, people with COVID-19 and their caregivers.

Tedros noted that "masks on their own will not protect you from COVID-19" and stressed the importance of hand-washing, social distancing and other infection prevention measures, the AP reported.


Partnership Would Bypass Drug Industry to Sell Coronavirus Vaccine

A partnership that would bypass the drug industry to sell a potential vaccine against the new coronavirus has been formed by a laboratory at Imperial College London in the U.K.

The move would mean the vaccine could be sold without profits or licensing fees in Britain and in low- and middle-income countries, The New York Times reported.

To be successful, a vaccine against the new coronavirus would have to be available at the lowest possible price and according to need rather than profit, according to experts.

The Imperial College London lab has technology that may enable it to create a vaccine that's cheaper and easier to produce than others, said project lead scientist Robin Shattock, the Times reported.

Clinical trials of the vaccine are scheduled to start this month. If it proves safe and effective, the vaccine could become available early next year.

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