2 December 2020

• Regulators in the UK, who has accepted coronavirus vaccine data on a rolling basis, approve Pfizer’s vaccine – before the US FDA (which has scheduled expert advisory panel meetings on 10 December [Pfizer] and 17 December [Moderna]). Source
• The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation issues advice on priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination, recommending that elderly people in residential care homes, frontline health and social care workers (with highest priority given to people at high risk of becoming infected, falling seriously ill and/or transmitting the infection to vulnerable persons and co-workers), persons who are extremely clinically vulnerable, people over age 70 years, followed by people with underlying health conditions who are over age 16 years. Source
• Brazil, which has arranged to have access to 109 million coronavirus vaccine doses, announces that it will prioritize elderly (>age 75 years and nursing home residents) and indigenous people for coronavirus vaccines once they become available, followed by people over age 60 years, will have preferential access to the vaccine include people who are 60 or older, people with certain chronic conditions, teachers, security forces, and people who work or are incarcerated in correctional facilities. Source
• The UK announces plans to begin vaccinating people on Monday 7 December. Source
• WHO publishes an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, stating that remdesivir did not improve survival in the SOLIDARITY Trial, and suggesting that randomized, placebo-controlled trials are needed to determine whether or not remdesivir can “…change the course of hospitalization in some patients,” by addressing questions such as: should remdesivir only be used in certain risk groups; when is the most effective time to use it and whether it should be used with other medicines, as well as assessing the impact of other factors on hospitalization. Source
• Russian President Putin orders initiation of a voluntary mass immunization program, beginning with teachers and doctors, although polls have lack of enthusiasm among Russians: one reported that only 22% were willing to be vaccinated with Sputnik V, while another, among members of Russia’s ruling political party, reported that 73% of respondents do not want to be vaccinated against coronavirus at all. Source
• The daily US death toll reaches a new high, exceeding 3,150 people. Source
• US CDC Director Robert Redfield predicts that the death toll from coronavirus could reach 450,000 by February, as a record-breaking 100,000 people are admitted to hospitals across the nation and the daily death toll reaches a new high of 2,760 people. Source

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