22 May 2021

• The supply of coronavirus vaccines has surpassed demand in the EU’s east; vaccine hesitancy fueled by concerns about abnormal blood clotting and other side effects, distrust of the government, fake news and a lack of education on how dangerous COVID-19 is – and the benefits of vaccination. Eurofound surveys report that 60 percent of  respondents in Bulgaria, 48 percent of those queried in Latvia, 43 percent of respondents in Croatia, 42 percent in Slovenia, 38 percent in Poland, 35 percent in Austria and Slovakia, 33 percent in Estonia and 30 percent in Romania were unwilling to be vaccinated. Notably, 39 percent of respondents in France and 30 percent in Germany were also unwilling. Source

• Viet Nam has agreed to buy 30 million doses of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine, and has signed a deal for 31 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in addition to what it will obtain from COVAX. It is also negotiating with Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology for a technology transfer that will enable it to produce the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. Source

• In the US, vaccination rates in correctional facilities – where the risk of infection is three times greater, and at least 2,700 people have died from COVID-19 – are lagging. While 61 percent of people aged 18 or older have gotten at least one vaccine dose, only 40 percent of inmates in federal prisons, 50 percent of those in state prisons and 20 percent of people detained in immigration facilities have gotten their first shot.  Source 

• The US CDC is looking into cases of myocarditis (an inflammation of the heart muscle) among young people who developed it four days after getting the second dose of an mRNA vaccine. The agency has said that there were “relatively few” cases, mostly mild – and that they may not be related to vaccination. Source

• In Pakistan, although shortages of coronavirus vaccines are limiting access for everyone, wealthy people are purchasing the Sputnik V vaccine through the private system when they can, while the public system provides Sinopharm’s coronavirus vaccine at no charge. Source

• Moderna announces a fill/finish agreement with Samsung Biologics for its coronavirus vaccine covering hundreds of millions of doses to supply ex-US markets. Source

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