24 April 2021

• More than one billion doses of coronavirus vaccine, enough to fully vaccinate 6.6 percent of the world’s population, have been administered – but not evenly. High-income countries are vaccinating their residents 25 times faster than low-income countries.  Source

• The New York Times reports that it is likely that COVID-19 deaths in India are being vastly undercounted. Modeling from Bhramar Mukherjee, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan, suggests that the real death toll is two to five times higher. In Bhopal, officials reported 41 deaths over 13 days, but the Times found that more than 1,000 people had died. In Gujarat, 73 to 121 daily COVID-19 deaths were reported, but Sandesh, a leading newspaper, found that over 600 people were dying each day. Source

• The US is facing increasing pressure to lift export restrictions on supplies urgently needed by vaccine producers in India. The restrictions are part of Defense Production Act, which President Biden is using  to increase vaccine production in the United States. When questioned about the export ban, Ned Price, a US State Department spokesperson, said  “…the United States first and foremost is engaged in an ambitious and effective and, so far, successful effort to vaccinate the American people. “It’s of course not only in our interest to see Americans vaccinated, it’s in the interests of the rest of the world to see Americans vaccinated.” Source

• A surge in coronavirus infections has led Cambodia to close all the markets in Phnom Penh, leaving residents who have been in lockdown to beg the government for more food. Source

• Sinopharm launches a phase I/II trial of a protein-based coronavirus vaccine. Source

• India’s Biological E launches a phase III trial of a coronavirus vaccine  licensed from, and initially developed at Baylor College of Medicine nearly two decades ago;  the Biden administration announces that it will provide funding to expand Biological E’s production capability. Biological E plans to have 300 million doses upon approval, with  plans to produce 1.2 billion doses in 2022. Source

Return to the timeline