11 January 2021

• US coronavirus cases surpass 22 million. Source
• The international REMAP-CAP trial finds no benefit to convalescent plasma in people with severe COVID-19 who are in intensive care; it will continue to assess the therapy in moderately ill people. Source
• Indonesia’s regulatory agency BPOM grants an emergency use authorization for Sinovac’s coronavirus vaccine, based on interim data from an ongoing phase III trial, in which efficacy among 1,620 people was 65 percent. Source
• Brazilian news website UOL reports that the Sinovac coronavirus vaccine was less effective (50 to 60 percent rather than 78 percent) than the Butantan biomedical centre claimed. Butantan’s Dr Dimas Covas said that ongoing analysis had yielded a new “general efficacy” rate in addition to the “clinical efficacy” announced last week. Source
• Brazilian drug regulator Anvisa is requesting additional data from the Sinovac trial, including whether dosage deviation occurred and its impact, before deciding whether to approve the vaccine for use. Source
• Pfizer/BioNTech announced that they are increasing their production target for coronavirus vaccines from 1.3 billion to 2 billion. Source
• J & J announces that it will seek FDA emergency use authorization for its single-dose coronavirus vaccine in February, based on interim data from an ongoing, multicountry phase III trial. Source
• Israel refuses to vaccinate Palestinians in occupied territories in the West Bank and Gaza. Source
• The Philippines announces that it intends to vaccinate the entire population (over 100 million people) against coronavirus by 2023, starting as early as February 2021. The country’s Vaccine Czar, Carlito Galvez, says deals may be made this week for 60 million doses from AstraZeneca and 25 million doses from Sinovac. The government plans to buy an additional 148 million vaccine doses, including 30 million doses from India’s Serum Institute; it is finalizing agreements with Pfizer/BioNTech, J & J, Moderna and Russia’s Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology. Source
• A team of coronavirus investigators from WHO are expected to arrive in China on Thursday, after delays in visa clearance. Chinese authorities, citing a misunderstanding, have finalized permission for them to visit Wuhan; they plan to work closely with Chinese scientists to discover the animal origin of the coronavirus pandemic, a process which could take years. Source
• SaNOtize, a Canadian pharmaceutical company, announces that it is launching a human trial of its Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray in the UK. The spray, which is intended to provide a barrier against coronavirus – and kill it – in the upper respiratory tract, has performed well in laboratory and rodent studies; a phase II trial is ongoing in Canada. Source
• In California, where coronavirus cases have exceeded two million, the San Diego Zoo reports that several gorillas have tested positive; their symptoms are mild and they are expected to recover fully. Source

Return to the timeline