6 February 2021

• The Financial Times publishes a report from a 2000-person trial of the AstraZeneca/Oxford coronavirus vaccine in South Africa which found that the vaccine did not prevent mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 from the B.1.351 variant, but researchers say it might protect against serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Source
• China grants conditional approval to Sinovac’s coronavirus vaccine, CoronaVac, which has already been sold to low- and middle-income countries, including Brazil, Chile, Indonesia and Turkey, although the company stated that it has not yet gotten final data from phase III trials, and that “…effectiveness and safety results have yet to be further confirmed. Source
• Cuba (the first country in Latin America to develop coronavirus vaccines, including Sovereign II, which will enter phase III in March; mass production of 100 million doses will begin in April; with plans to send them to Bolivia, Iran, India, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Venezuela, and Vietnam) – imposes a curfew in Havana from 9pm to 5am to stop a rise in infections. Sources 1,2
• AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines arrive in the EU. Source
Nature publishes a case study on an immunocompromised person with chronic COVID-19; he was ill for 102 days before dying. After convalescent plasma treatments, significant shifts in the virus occurred; these compromised immune responses. The authors suggest that treating COVID-19 with convalescent plasma in immunocompromised persons should be done in the context of clinical trials – or undertaken with strict infection control measures and frequent viral sequencing. Source

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