29 March 2021

• Dr Rochelle Walensky, head of the US CDC, warns of “impending doom” as coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths are rising in the country. Source

• A report from the WHO and China investigating the origins of coronavirus was leaked to the press a day before its official release date. It says that China does not have information about how or when the virus began to spread and does not include new insights – nor does it dismiss concerns among some that the virus may have leaked from a laboratory. The report calls for additional research to answer numerous remaining questions, although it is unclear whether and how much China will cooperate. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that there were “ … “real concerns about the methodology and the process that went into that report, including the fact that the government in Beijing apparently helped to write it.” Source

• After Nepal’s shipment of one million coronavirus vaccine doses from India’s Serum Institute is delayed indefinitely, China donates 800,000 vaccine doses. Source

• COVAX delivers 24,000 of 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to Guyana. Source

• In Africa, where 10 countries have no coronavirus vaccines, a minimum of 750 million people (60 percent of the population) will need to be vaccinated to stem the spread of COVID-19. J & J announces a with the African Union’s African Vaccine Acquisition Trust to supply up to 220 million doses of its single-shot coronavirus vaccine, beginning in Q3 of 2021; the Trust can purchase an additional 180 million doses through 2022. Most of the vaccines will be produced in South Africa by Aspen Pharma. Source

• Humanigen issues a press release with results from a 520-person phase III trial of lenzilumab in people hospitalized with COVID-19 and pneumonia; people who got the monoclonal antibody with dexamethasone (or other steroids) and/or remdesivir had a 54% greater relative likelihood of survival without needing to go on a ventilator, versus people who got placebo (with other treatments). The company plans to share their results in a peer-reviewed publication. Source

• WHO reports falsified Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines – which may still be circulating – at non-authorized vaccine programs in Mexico. Source

• Mexico receives 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine from the US, the first of 2.7 million doses. Source

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