21 March 2021

• India’s Serum Institute announces that deliveries of its coronavirus vaccines to Brazil, Morocco and Saudi Arabia will be delayed for an unspecified interval, due to a January 2021 fire in one of its manufacturing facilities, although at the time the company said it would not delay production. Each country had ordered 20 million doses (they have  received four million, seven million and three million doses, respectively). Increasing domestic demand,- amid criticism for exporting vaccines,- has also contributed to the delay. Serum Institute is working to scale-up monthly production from 60-70 million doses to 100 doses per month by Q2 2021. Source
• Guy Brice Parfait Kolelas, the opposition candidate for President of the Republic of Congo, died while on an aircraft transferring him to France for further treatment of COVID-19.  Before leaving the hospital, he  removed his oxygen mask and made a video, stating: “My dear compatriots, I am in trouble. I am fighting death. However, I ask you to stand up and vote for change. I would not have fought for nothing.” Source
• New York joins 16 states- and 25 countries as it confirms a case of the P.1 coronavirus variant, which is more contagious than older versions of the virus and has reinfected people in Brazil. Source
• As cases mount in Germany, 20,000 protesters demonstrate against coronavirus restrictions in the city of Kassel; police used tear gas, batons and water cannons to control them. Source
• South Africa’s Health Minister Zweli Mkhize  announced that the country has sold its one million doses of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine to other African Union member states. Source
• A pre-print article describes cases of myocarditis in cats and dogs who tested positive for the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant weeks after their owners fell ill with COVID-19; these were reported by  The Cardiology Department of The Ralph Veterinary Referral Centre in London; all but one recovered after experiencing severe cardiac abnormalities, lethargy, appetite loss and rapid breathing. Source

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