1 December 2020

• The EMA announces that it will decide on approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine no later than 29 December; it plans to hold another meeting on 12 January to assess approval of Moderna’s vaccine candidate. Source
• The International Air Transport Federation estimates that it will take two years to transport enough vaccine doses for the world’s population, an airlift that will entail 8,000 loads in a 110-ton capacity Boeing 747 freighter, describing it as “the mission of the century.” Challenges include reductions in air cargo and passenger flights, limited space on these flights due to holiday shopping deliveries, special containers that meet ultra-cool temperature requirements for transporting Pfizer’s vaccine, limits on the amount of dry ice, which is considered a dangerous good) and on-the-ground delivery, especially to places where infrastructure is limited and to remote and rural areas. Source
• Turkey imposes strict measures to curtail a surge in coronavirus cases, including a weekend stay-at-home order. Source
• White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows summons FDA head Stephen Hahn to pressure him about expediting the vaccine approval process; before going to the meeting which he asked to be held virtually, Hahn states: “Let me be clear — our career scientists have to make the decision and they will take the time that’s needed to make the right call on this important decision.” Source
• A CDC advisory committee recommends that the nation’s 24 million nursing home residents and staff and healthcare workers should be prioritized for coronavirus vaccines; the country plans to vaccinate 20 million people in these groups by the end of 2020. Source
• Dr Scott Atlas, a controversial medical advisor to President Trump who advocated for protecting the most vulnerable while allowing coronavirus to go unchecked in the rest of the US population to achieve herd immunity, stated that the science supporting use of masks was unreliable and insisted that children could not spread coronavirus, resigns. Source
• Regeneron announces a partnership with the University of Pennsylvania and Jim Wilson, a gene therapy pioneer; they will be co-developing a nasal formulation of Regeneron’s antibody cocktail using an adenovirus vector to prevent coronavirus infection. Source

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