28 October 2020

• Pfizer’s chief executive, Dr Albert Bouria, announces that it will be “nearly impossible” to have results from the trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine before the US election on 3 November, although the study protocol allows for an analysis of initial results by an independent expert group (If more than 26 people in the placebo group become ill with COVID-19, the vaccine would be considered likely to be effective). FDA guidance requires that half of the 22,000 study participants in the vaccine group must receive their second dose and be followed for two months afterwards – which won’t happen until late November. Source
• The US reports a record-breaking weekly total of over 500,000 coronavirus cases, as President Trump claims the epidemic is ending. Source
• Russia imposes a nation-wide mask mandate. Source
• Greece imposes further restrictions, locking down its Kozani and Kastoria regions, and imposing a mask mandate and curfews in other regions. Source
• Doctors across Spain staged a walkout to protest working conditions and hiring policies; they plan to repeat it on the last Tuesday of each month. Source
• The International Council of Nurses reports that 1,500 nurses from 44 countries have died from COVID-19 and suggests that healthcare workers make up 10% of the global death toll. Source
• Three US government intelligence agencies warn of a “credible threat” of Russian cyberattacks on American hospitals; hackers are seeking millions of dollars in ransom. Source

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