31 December 2020

• WHO approves the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, which allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval process and enables UNICEF and the Pan-American Health Organization to bring the vaccine to countries that need it. Source
• China’s government announces that it has approved Sinopharm’s coronavirus vaccine, which it said was 79 percent effective in an interim analysis of data from phase III trials, although details such as trial size and side effects are unavailable. Sinopharm announced that the price for both doses should be under $150, although Zeng Yixin, deputy minister of China’s National Health Commission, said the vaccine would be provided to the Chinese public at no charge, reversing previous official statements. Source
• As the country surpasses one million coronavirus cases, South Africa reports a record-breaking daily total of 17,710 new infections. Source
• The New England Journal of Medicine publishes results from the phase II/III study of Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine, which reports that the vaccine was 95% effective across age, race, ethnicity, sex and pre-existing conditions. Source
• Despite rigorous testing, contact tracing, and border-closing measures, Australia reports new coronavirus clusters in Sydney and Melbourne, including Victoria’s first cases in 61 days. Source
• Florida reports a case of the potentially more transmissible coronavirus variant, B.1.1.7, in a man who had not done any recent traveling. Source
• Canada announces that all inbound international passengers over age five years will be required to present a negative PCR test result (taken within 72 hours of boarding their flight) as of 7 January 2021. Source

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