23 March 2021

• The National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases issues a statement urging AstraZeneca to work with its Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) “…to review the efficacy data and ensure the most accurate, up-to-date efficacy data be made public as quickly as possible,” after receiving a letter with concerns that the company had used outdated information that may have provided “ …an incomplete view of its efficacy” in a press release. Source
• Regeneron issues a press release with results from its 4,567-person phase III trial of  two doses of its monoclonal antibody combination, casirivimab with imdevimab; both doses (1,200 mg and 2,400 mg) reduced hospitalization or death among high-risk outpatients with COVID-19 by 70 percent and 71 percent, respectively- and duration of symptoms by four days.  Source
• Germany announces a five-day lockdown over Easter, and that it will extend existing restrictions until mid-April to curb coronavirus cases. Source
• CureVac issues a press release to announce that it is making changes to the ongoing phase IIb/III clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine in Europe and Latin America to look at efficacy against some coronavirus variants as part of the interim analysis, and to  look at efficacy against variants in an ongoing phase IIa trial in Peru and Panama which includes 270 adults over age 60 years. Source
• Regeneron announces that it will seek to add the 1,200 mg dose to its EUA for its mAb cocktail of casirivimab and imdevimab. Source
• The International Journal of Audiology publishes a systematic review  on the prevalence of hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo and other ear-related symptoms among people with COVID-19 in studies; it reports a 14.8 percent prevalence of intermittent or continuous tinnitus, a 7.2 percent prevalence of vertigo. Source
• WHO reports that global coronavirus cases continue to rise for the fourth week in a row, with the most new cases in the South East Asia (298,000 new cases; a 49 percent increase over the previous week) Western Pacific ( 64,000 new cases, a  29% increase over the previous week); European (1.4 million new cases, a 13 percent increase over the previous week)  and Eastern Mediterranean (264,000 new cases, an 8 percent increase over the week before) regions. Source
• Pfizer launches a phase I trial of an oral coronavirus protease inhibitor, PF-07321332, to be used when people develop COVID-19 symptoms ( it is also developing an intravenously administered coronavirus protease inhibitor, in people hospitalized with COVID-19).  Source
• Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology publishes a study following neurologic manifestations and quality of life among 100 people  with long COVID (half of whom did not test positive for the virus) who were not hospitalized. Overall, 70 percent were female, and the average age was 43.2 ±11.3 years. Overall, 85 percent of the group reported at least four symptoms, with 81 percent experiencing “brain fog”, 68 percent had headaches, 60 percent felt numbness and tingling; 59% had an altered sense of taste and 55 percent reported diminished or lost sense of smell; 55 percent reported muscle aches, 47 percent experienced dizziness, 43 percent reported pain; 30 percent had blurred vision and 29 percent experienced tinnitus. Overall, 53 percent had an abnormal neurological exam. The authors suggested that autoimmunity may contribute to long COVID, as well as other causes including infected or inflamed endothelial cells in brain vessels. Source
• Russian President Putin gets his first dose of a domestically produced ccoronavirus vaccine (it was not specified whether he got Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona or CoviVac) – although his inoculation was not shown on television. Source

Return to the timeline