21 February 2021

• India’s Serum Institute, which is producing the AstraZeneca vaccine, announces that foreign governments may experience delayed deliveries of its coronavirus vaccine, because the company was “directed” to prioritize supplying India. Source
• According to a draft publication posted on Twitter, which was not peer-reviewed, the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine was 89 percent effective at preventing new coronavirus infections and 89 percent effective at preventing death from COVID-19 in Israel. But the study- which was based on national testing data- was not designed to look at whether vaccination reduces transmission. The results are questionable, because vaccinated people were less likely to get tested than their unvaccinated counterparts. Source
Cell publishes research based on samples from 502 blood donors the University of Pennsylvania, half of whom who fell ill with COVID-19. Their exposure to seasonal coronaviruses did not protect them from COVID-19; although they had antibodies that recognized the virus, these antibodies could not neutralize it 2 or lessen symptoms. Dr John Moore from Cornell University commented on the findings, saying, “The idea that having the snuffles a while back somehow protects you from SARS-CoV-2 infection has always left me cold, but it’s been a persistent urban legend throughout the pandemic.” Sources 1,2
• Following the death of of Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, the first vice president of Tanzania’s semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar, and after months of downplaying the severity of the epidemic, refusing to institute lockdowns and discouraging masks, Tanzanian President John Magufuli asks residents to wear only domestically produced masks, as he considers imported versions to be unsafe. Source

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