8 December 2020

• The US surpasses 15 million cases of coronavirus, as both hospitalization and death rates continue to break records. Source
• The UK begins to roll-out Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine at hospitals in England, Wales and Scotland. As it secures the cold chain to ensure proper storage of the vaccine, It will be opening temporary clinics in parking lots, libraries, a sports stadium, a racecourse and other places across the country and has enlisted tens of thousands of first aid workers and retired healthcare professionals to administer vaccines as it increases security in the face of warnings from Interpol, who deemed the vaccine as “liquid gold.” Source
• FDA releases a briefing document on Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine candidate, confirming its safety and efficacy. Source
• Lancet publishes an interim analysis of data from AstraZeneca’s coronavirus trials in Brazil, South Africa and the UK, confirming safety and efficacy (70% overall, 90% for the mixed-dose regimen, and 62% for the high-dose strategy0; an accompanying editorial calls for more data in older people, noting that the mixed-dose regimen was not given to anyone over age 55 years, and that less than 4 percent of study particpants were over age 70. Sources 1,2
• Morocco’s King, Mohammed VI, has ordered free coronavirus vaccines for all Moroccans; it plans to administer Sinopharm’s vaccine after phase III trials are complete, has also ordered vaccines from AstraZeneca and is looking into additional vaccines from other developers. Source
• President Trump holds a coronavirus vaccine summit to claim credit for coronavirus vaccines. Members of the incoming Biden administration are excluded. Vaccine producers Pfizer and Moderna declined invitations to attend and other actors involved in the vaccine’s distribution, such as CVS, FedEx, McKesson, UPS, Walgreen’s, may choose not to send their CEOs. Source
• The Guardian reports on a pre-print article about proteomic analysis of plasma samples from 139 people hospitalized with COVID-19 to predict disease course including time to recovery, need for oxygen or ventilation and survival -weeks before these outcomes occur. Testing done in an additional 24 people, all severely ill, predicted survival of 18/19 people, and death among 4 of 5 people. However, samples were taken early in the pandemic, before the advent of dexamethasone; further testing in people who are treated with this and other therapies as they are discovered, will be needed. Sources 1,2
• Four lions at Barcelona’s zoo test positive for coronavirus. Source

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