30 March 2021

• Leaders from the WHO, the EU and more than two dozen countries call for an international treaty for global pandemic protection in a widely published article. Source

• WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says that data was withheld from a WHO-led team investigating the origins of coronavirus in Wuhan, China, and that he expected “…future collaborative studies to include more timely and comprehensive data sharing.”

A joint statement was issued by Australia, Britain, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Slovenia and the United States, saying “The international expert study on the source of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was significantly delayed and lacked access to complete, original data and samples.” Source

• BioNTech announces that it is expecting $11.5 billion in revenue during 2021 from the coronavirus vaccine it co-developed with Pfizer (versus $15 billion for Pfizer and $18 billion for Moderna). Source

• The US CDC conducted a study of 3.,950 first responders, healthcare and other essential workers, who were tested every week for COVID-19 after getting at least one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna coronavirus vaccine. It found that being fully vaccinated dramatically reduced the risk of infection from 1.38 infections per 1,000 person-days to .04 infections per 1,000 person-days; infections among people who got one vaccine dose were reduced to 0.19 infections per 1,000 person-days – translating into 80 percent efficacy by 14 days after the first dose, and 90 percent efficacy by 14 days after the second dose. Source

• Although no blood clotting abnormalities have been reported in Canada, the country suspended the use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in people under 55, while local authorities in Germany have stopped giving it to people under age 60 years. Source

• GlaxoSmithKline signs a deal with Novavax for fill-finish capacity for 60 million coronavirus vaccine doses in the UK. Source

• Delayed shipments of coronavirus vaccine from India’s Serum Institute (which is struggling to meet increased domestic demand) has led COVAX to delay or decrease its shipments to several Asian countries: South Korea confirmed that it will receive only 432,000 of the 690,000 it was expecting, and that they will arrive later than expected; Indonesia said that its 10.3 million-dose shipment is likely to be delayed until May, and the Philippines and Viet Nam are asking for help from the private sector to make up for shipment shortfalls and delays. Source

• Coronavirus vaccine uptake is lower among Black and Asian communities in the UK, where official data revealed that on 59% of Black African adults in England over age 70 years have received at least one shot, and less than 75% of older adults in England’s Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, versus 91 percent of White people. Source

• Former US President Trump attacks advisors Fauci and Birx after they criticized his handling of the coronavirus pandemic (including disparaging the use of face masks, encouraging people to inject bleach, and saying the virus was disappearing as more people sickened and died) saying that they are “… “two self-promoters trying to reinvent history to cover for their bad instincts and faulty recommendations, which I fortunately almost always overturned.” Source

• A surge of coronavirus infections in Pakistan has led to lockdowns as hospitals fill to capacity; so far, the President, the Defense Minister and the former Finance Minister have tested positive (in addition to the country’s Prime Minster, Imran Khan). Source

Germany announces that it will not give the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to people under age 60 years, after 31 vaccine recipients– most under age 60 – developed rare blood clots. Source

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