5 February 2021

• Globally, more than 119 million vaccine doses have been given. Source
• In a pre-print article, researchers report high rates of coronaviruses recombination – meaning that large chunks of viral genomes can get mixed together when it makes copies of itself. Different variants could merge within one person – into a more dangerous version of the virus. Sources 1,2
• WHO will release its recommendation for AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines made by India’s Serum Institute and in South Korea’s SK Bioscience on 15 February.
• Belgium, the country with the world’s highest per capita coronavirus death rate, extends its lockdown until 1 April. Source
• CureVac announced a collaboration with the UK’s vaccine task force, aiming to expedite development and approval of vaccines that are effective against coronavirus variants; the government has secured 50 million doses of successful candidates. Source
• Pfizer is withdrawing the emergency use application for its coronavirus vaccine in India, where local clinical trials are required – and it does not intend to conduct one. Source
• Spain announces that it is limiting use of the AstraZeneca vaccine to people under age 55 years. Source
• The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports on Pfizer’s demands to some Latin American countries, including Argentina and Brazil. They were told that purchasing coronavirus vaccines would require collateral for potential legal cases stemming from vaccine-related adverse events, with sovereign assets, such as their embassy buildings and military bases and cash reserves. Also, the pharmaceutical corporation insisted that governments amend legislation to indemnify it against future legal claims, including those for the company’s acts of negligence or malice. Source

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