4 February 2021

• COVAX releases a country-by-country vaccine distribution plan for 240 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine (which will be produced by India’s Serum Institute) and 96 million additional doses of the vaccine produced by AstraZeneca for Q1 and Q2 2021, and 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for Q1 2021. Source
• A pre-print publication from Oxford University researchers reports similar efficacy of its coronavirus vaccine against the B.1.1.7 variant to other versions of the virus, and that vaccination reduces viral load and duration of viral shedding, which may lower transmission. Source
• The USFDA updates its authorization for convalescent plasma, limiting use to high-titer convalescent plasma only for people who are hospitalized with early-stage COVID-19 or for hospitalized people who have impaired immunity who cannot mount a sufficient antibody response to COVID-19. Low-titer convalescent plasma is no longer recommended. Source
• Singapore authorizes Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine; its first delivery is expected in March. Source
• The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies announced a new 100 million Swiss franc ($110 million) plan to support vaccinating 500 million people against the coronavirus; it released an analysis of vaccination rates that the world’s 50 richest countries have administered 70 percent of all coronavirus vaccines to date, in contrast to only 0.1% of the world’s 50 poorest countries, saying the disparity could have “deadly and devastating consequences…it could prolong or worsen the pandemic.”
• J & J applies to FDA for emergency use authorization of its single-dose coronavirus vaccine.
• The US FDA schedules a meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) for February 26 to discuss J & J’s application for emergency use authorization of its single-dose coronavirus vaccine.
• Novavax announces that rolling review processes for its coronavirus vaccine are underway with the US FDA, the EMA, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency and Health Canada.
• The US FDA announces that it will use the same process for authorizing any changes to coronavirus vaccines as it does for updating flu vaccines.
• Italy recommends the AstraZeneca/Oxford coronavirus vaccine for people under age 55 years; older people in the country will get vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna.
• Denmark and Norway announce that they will not administer the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine to people over age 65 years.
• Denmark and Sweden announce plans to issue digital coronavirus vaccination passports.
• In Italy, regulators approve monoclonal antibodies from Eli Lilly and Regeneron to treat coronavirus.
• In Japan, over 8,000 people who have tested positive for coronavirus are waiting to be admitted to a hospital or isolation facility. Source
• The US CDC announces that LGBTQ people may be both more vulnerable to COVID-19, and more likely to become severely ill from it due to a high prevalence of underlying health conditions known to worsen outcomes. Source

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