24 May 2021

• India surpasses 300,000 COVID-19 deaths. – and 26.8 million cases. Source

• In Britain, the B.1.617 variant is spreading faster than other versions of coronavirus; researchers believe it is probably more contagious than B.1.1.7. Source

Nature publishes research on durability of immune responses to SARS-CoV-2. Blood samples were collected from 77 people a month after the onset of their COVID-19 symptoms and every three months thereafter for nine months; 18 people contributed bone marrow samples seven to eight months after they were infected, and  five of them gave another bone marrow sample at 11 months post-infection. Although antibodies waned quickly after infection, the researchers reported finding stable and persistent responses that are supported by bone marrow plasma cells. The authors cautioned that most people had mild infections and that people who experienced severe COVID-19 might have different outcomes. Source

• After the US CDC discovered that more than 10 percent of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts were caused by the P.1 variant, shipments of Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody combination, bamlanivimab and etesevimab were halted, since it is ineffective against the variant. Source

• The EMA recommends approval of VIR-7831, a monoclonal antibody co-developed by GSK and Vir Biotechnology used to prevent progression to severe COVID-19 in adults and adolescents over age 12. Source

• After going months without a single case of coronavirus, Melbourne reports four new cases, possibly linked to a traveler from Adelaide. Source

• Singapore approves an easy-to-use breath test for COVID-19  that delivers results in less than a minute. Source

• South Korean President Moon Jae-in announces a deal with Novavax to broaden access to its experimental coronavirus vaccine, NVX-CoV2373; the company has also agreed to explore development of vaccines for COVID-19 and influenza with SK Bioscience and South Korea’s Ministry of Health. Source

• Pfizer launches a 600-person trial in adults age 65 and over to test co-administration of its coronavirus booster shot with the company’s 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Source

• India’s Bharat Biotech has applied for WHO Emergency Use Listing for its coronavirus vaccine, with 90 percent of the required documents submitted; WHO has  has asked for more information. A pre-submission meeting will occur in late May or early June. Source

Return to the timeline