28 May 2021

• The UK approves the J & J coronavirus vaccine. Source

• The EMA  extends its emergency use authorization of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to include children ages 12-15. Source

• Mexico grants emergency use authorization for the J & J coronavirus vaccine. Source

BMJ publishes an editorial calling for the suspension of intellectual property rights on COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines, therapies and devices such as ventilators, saying “As we enter into a new era of global pandemics, we must fundamentally rethink the global intellectual property system. The ability to respond swiftly to global crises cannot be left to a handful of private companies in a few wealthy countries. We need a more cooperative global response to this and future public health emergencies.” Source

• UNICEF purchases 220 million doses of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. Source

• The Wall Street Journal reports that the FDA and J & J are nearing a deal allowing vaccine production to resume at the Emergent Biosolutions plant in Baltimore after it contaminated millions of coronavirus vaccines. Source

Lancet Infectious Diseases publishes the results of a trial in Barcelona, Spain, where 1,047 adults ages 18-59 who had a negative rapid antigen test result were randomized to attend a live, indoor concert (where masks were required except in limited capacity areas for drinking or smoking) or go home; eight days later, all participants were re-tested. None of the  465 concertgoers became infected, while two of the 498 people in the control group tested positive – one of whom had already been diagnosed. Source

• The sister of Thailand’s king, Princess Chulabhorn, approved imports of Sinopharm’s coronavirus vaccine to boost the country’s supply. Source

• Fazze, a fictitious London public relations agency which appears to be Russian-run, promised social media influencers in France and Germany thousands of euros for claiming that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is deadly and that regulators and the mainstream media are covering it up, while asking others to take part in an “information campaign” about deaths caused by the virus. Source

• Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga extended a state of emergency covering Tokyo and other major cities from 31 May to 20 June, hoping to curb the coronavirus epidemic before the Tokyo Olympics begin in July. Source

• CureVac issues a press release announcing that its experimental mRNA coronavirus vaccine, CVnCoV, passed the first interim  safety analysis during an ongoing 40,000-person phase IIb/III trial. Source

• Madrid’s regional government announced that it will administer second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to people under age 60, despite the central government’s recommendation to use the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine instead. Source

• India’s government is negotiating with Pfizer to buy 50 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine, but it is still weighing the company’s demand for indemnity against severe side effects. Source

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