19 July 2021

• Protesters in Thailand criticize the government’s COVID-19 response, asking for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and demanding more funding for fighting the coronavirus and distributing mRNA vaccines since less than five percent of the country’s 70 million people are fully vaccinated. Source

• In Viet Nam, where four million of the country’s 97 million residents have gotten at least one coronavirus vaccine, a two-week lockdown has begun in the country’s southern region as COVID-129 cases rise. Source

• Two-thirds of coronavirus vaccines produced for AstraZeneca by partner Siam Biosciences are designated for export, leaving Thailand short of shots as it faces a record-breaking total of daily COVID-19 cases. Officials are trying to procure vaccines from other companies and considering whether to limit exports. Source 

• The US FDA announces that it will expedite review of the Pfizer/BioNTech application for full approval of the company’s coronavirus vaccine, which could come as soon as September. Source

• A pre-print study of blood samples from people who had recovered from, or been vaccinated against COVID-19  reported that J&J’s single-dose coronavirus vaccine is less effective against the Beta, Delta, Delta Plus and Lambda variants than two-dose mRNA-based vaccines, suggesting that a booster with a different vaccine could enhance antibody responses. Source 

• A pre-print study looked at age-based immune responses to Sinopharm’s coronavirus vaccine, BBIBP-CorV in samples from 450 people. It found that antibody responses to the vaccine were poorer in people age 60 and above and that nearly half of people over age 80 had no detectable neutralizing antibody after vaccination. The authors suggest that real-world responses to the vaccine, especially among elderly people, should be monitored and measures may need to be taken to prevent outbreaks of coronavirus in this vulnerable population. Source 

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