4 May 2021

• Pfizer announces that its coronavirus vaccine – its largest revenue source – generated $3.5 billion during Q1 of 2021. Although Pfizer did not disclose the profits (or vaccine pricing), a previous estimate from the company, of over 20 percent, translates into $900 million. Most of the vaccines went to high-income countries; less than 2 percent of the 2.5 billion doses that Pfizer will produce this year will go to COVAX.

Although Pfizer did not accept US government funding, its partner, BioNTech, received substantial support from Germany’s government, and the vaccine relied on taxpayer-funded technology patented by the NIH, which has a licensing agreement with BioNTech. Source

• In 2021, Pfizer is anticipating $26 billion in revenue from sales of its coronavirus vaccine – over $10 billion more than its previous predictions, and more money than has ever been earned in a year by a single drug or vaccine. This amount is based on signed contracts, amounting to 1.6 billion doses as of mid-April – and more may be coming. Source

• Pfizer announces plans to apply for full FDA approval of its coronavirus vaccine in the coming weeks, and in September, to apply for emergency use authorization of its coronavirus vaccine in children ages 2-11. It also announced that data  from a trial of the vaccine’s safety in pregnant women will be available in August. Source

• Tanzania’s first female president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, announced that travelers must present a negative coronavirus test result taken within the previous 72 hours, and undergo rapid testing  at their own expense upon landing – an indication that the nation’s approach to tackling the virus may be shifting. Although President Hassan has said that Tanzania cannot ignore the virus, she has not indicated a policy on vaccination or when they will be available, and she has yet to provide data on the country’s epidemic to WHO. Source

• After a diplomatic backlash and complaints of discrimination, Hong Kong suspended a new policy mandating coronavirus vaccines for all foreign domestic workers. Source

• The EMA has initiated a rolling review of Sinovac’s coronavirus vaccine, CoronaVac; it is the first Chinese vaccine being considered for approval in the EU. Source

• WHO is reviewing coronavirus vaccines from Sinovac and Sinopharm. Source

• AbCellera, the company that developed  the monoclonal antibody bamlanivimab, announces that  LY-CoV1404, a new monoclonal antibody that has been effective against all currently known coronavirus variants in laboratory studies, will be entering clinical trials as part of the Blaze-4 trial in people with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. Source

• The Biden administration supports Pfizer in shipping the first US-made doses of coronavirus vaccine overseas to Canada and Mexico. Source

• Over the past few weeks, coronavirus cases have been rising in Southeast Asia and on India’s border – led by Laos (home to a 22,000 percent monthly increase), Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal. These outbreaks are being driven by more contagious variants and worsened by lack of resources. Source

• Thailand launches a two-week campaign in Bangkok’s riverside district, aiming to test 1,000 people per day and vaccinate 70 percent of  Khlong Toei’s 80,000 residents, following 300 cases in the area. Source

• While China’s leadership has offered medical help to India and expressed sympathy, its state-run media posted- and quickly removed – an image contrasting a Chinese rocket entering space with a funeral pyre in India, captioned “ Chinese ignition versus Indian ignition” after a backlash from viewers. Source

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