7 January 2021

• Brazil’s coronavirus death toll surpasses 200,000. Source
• Spain surpasses two million coronavirus cases. Source
• Colombia reports a record-breaking 17,576 daily cases as Bogota and Medellin institute a four-day lockdown. Source
• A mutation in the coronavirus, called E484K, has been observed in variants from Brazil and South Africa, and described in pre-print articles; scientists are concerned that it may make the current coronavirus vaccines less effective, calling it “the site of most concern for viral mutations.” Sources 1,2,3
• In Brazil, where the government plans to buy 100 million doses of Sinovac’s coronaviorus vaccine, Dr Dimas Covas, Director of the Butantan biomedical center, reports that it was 78% effective. There were 218 cases of COVID (160 in people given placebo) in the 13,000-perosn trial; no severe cases occurred among people who received the vaccine. No additional details were provided; Dr Covas said they would be published in a scientific journal but did not give a timeline. Source
• Kenya’s Health Minister, Mutahi Kagwe, announces that the country has ordered 24 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine through an African Union initiative to ensure that the continent is not left behind; it expects deliveries by February 2021. Source
• Israel reaches an agreement with Pfizer to purchase enough coronavirus vaccine doses to cover its adult population. Source
• Australia announces that it will begin coronavirus vaccinations in February; the country expects to have 4 million people vaccinated by March. Source
• A coalition of US Democratic Governors urge federal officials to release additional coronavirus vaccine doses to states where they are urgently needed. Source
• A survey among 2,400 adults in the Philippines found that only a third of respondents were willing to be vaccinated against corona virus, with many citing concerns about safety. Source
• The UK bans travelers from Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, the Seychelles, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Source

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