16 September 2020

• South Africa announces that it will open its borders on October 1; travelers will need to produce a negative coronavirus test result within 3 days of their departure, and visitors from countries with high infection rates may face additional restrictions. The country is moving to its lowest alert level, loosening restrictions on the size of masks must still be worn in public. Source
• The NIH has concerns about the safety of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine; it hopes the company will provide blood and tissue samples from a UK study participant who developed transverse myelitis after receiving the vaccine, to determine whether the vaccine generated antibodies that could attack brain or spinal cord tissue. Source
• India reports its highest daily increase in coronavirus cases: 97,804. Source
• CDC head Dr. Robert Redfield tells the US senate that a vaccine will not be widely available in the US until Q2 or Q3 of 2021; he states that masks may be even more important than a vaccine, and if worn universally, could control the US epidemic in 6-12 weeks. Source
• US President Trump directly contradicts CDC head Dr Robert Redfield, while promising that a vaccine could be available within weeks and downplaying the importance of masks. Source
• Interim results are released from an ongoing, placebo-controlled, 452-person clinical trial of Eli Lilly’s LY-CoV555, a monoclonal antibody copied from someone who recovered from COVID-19. A single infusion reduced the risk for hospitalization among people with mild-to-moderate symptoms who had recently tested positive for coronavirus – although a larger study is needed to assess the benefit of this therapy, particularly because effects were not dose-dependent. The trial will continue enrolling. Sources 1,2

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