Global health news round-up: NZ and Australia prioritise vaccines for border staff, Norway studies child growth

We’re back with our global health news round-up, to take a look at what’s been happening in the health and care sectors across the world recently.

Find out what’s been hitting the headlines beyond the UK, across the last seven days, from 12 to 19 February.

First to New Zealand, where the Ministry of Health reported that a small group of 25 vaccinators received their own first COVID-19 vaccinations before the start of the nation’s roll-out of the immunisation programme on 20 February. The first people to receive jabs after the vaccinators, will be border and quarantine staff, who they believe are most at-risk of coming into contact with the virus. (NZ Ministry of Health)

Over in Australia, it’s a similar story. The Department of Health has said it’s also on track to roll out its COVID-19 vaccination programme, from 22 February. It will also focus on delivering its first doses to quarantine and border workers, as well as frontline healthcare workers and aged care and disability care residents and workers. (Australian Government Department of Health)

Meanwhile, in Denmark, med tech company sani nudge is collaborating with the hygiene company Ecolab. The duo will launch a new complete hand hygiene system to help boost hygiene levels in health and care settings across Europe. Its ultimate goal is to increase safety for one billion patients by 2030 by reducing infections via a system that automates some manual processes and combines data with standardisation, monitoring, expertise and effective products. (Healthcare Denmark)

In Norway, the Norwegian institute of Public Health announced that a new version of its Smittestopp app [for tracking COVID cases] has been released. The latest edition will now enable users to know if they have been in close contact with someone with the disease outside of Norway, across the EU and the EEA – no matter which app they are using. Other countries linked to the pan-European server that exchanges data are Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Latvia, Poland, Cyprus, Croatia, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Elsewhere in Norway, a study of 81,461 children in the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), by the Centre for Fertility and Health, shows that assisted reproduction only affects children’s growth in the first few years of life. The research suggests children born after assisted reproduction are often smaller at birth but grow quicker during their early years to mostly level up by the age of 17. (Norwegian Institute of Public Health)