5 April 2021

• For the first time, daily coronavirus cases in India exceed 100,000. Source

• Researchers are developing a low-cost, easily made coronavirus vaccine produced in chicken eggs. The vaccine, called HexaPro, will use six prolines found in the spike protein (current vaccines use two), and  is expected to elicit more potent antibodies than current vaccines. Animal testing of the vaccine was successful; Dr. Peter Palese, who led the research, said “…I can protect every hamster, every mouse in the world against SARS-CoV-2, but the jury’s still out about what it does in humans.”  An intranasal formulation is entering trials in Mexico, and phase I trials of the vaccine have begun in Thailand and Viet Nam and expected to launch in Brazil in the near future. The University of Texas is licensing HexaPro  in 80 low- and middle-income countries so that they can use  the protein in their vaccines without paying royalties. Source

• COVAX delivers 24,000 of 100,800 doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to Timor Leste. Source

• Emergent BioSolutions, the US government contractor that botched millions of doses of the J & J coronavirus vaccine by mixing up ingredients its ingredients with those of the AstraZeneca vaccine, says it is on track, despite an ongoing FDA investigation and the government ordering J & J to supervise production at its Baltimore facility. Source

• China is trying to contain a coronavirus outbreak in a southwestern city near the Myanmar border which has reported 48 cases over the last week. Source

• President Boris Johnson announces that everyone in England will be urged to take twice-weekly coronavirus tests as the country comes out of lockdown; as of 12 April, non-essential stores, hairdressers, nail salons, outdoor attractions, gyms, libraries and public buildings can reopen, and pubs and restaurants can serve customers outside. A “COVID passport” is under development, which could permit people to enter sports stadiums, nightclubs and theatre and social distancing guidelines will be reviewed. Source

• Pakistan begins commercial sales of the Sputnik V vaccine to members of the general public who are not yet eligible for free government-funded vaccines. The price is up to $80 for both doses. Source

• COVAX delivers 700.800 of 3,602, 400 doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to Iran. Source

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