28 August 2021

• In Japan, two men died after receiving a second dose of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine from a batch that had suspended a week earlier, after it was found to be contaminated with metal particles. Fumie Sakamoto, the infection control manager at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo, cautioned, “There may only be a temporal relationship between vaccination and death. There are so many things we still don’t know to make any conclusions on these two cases.” Source                        

Lancet publishes research on COVID-19 outcomes based on data from 43,338 people in England diagnosed with COVID-19 between 29 March and 23 May 2021. The risk for hospital admission and emergency care attendance were compared according to vaccination status and by whether they were infected with the Alpha or Delta variant. Overall, the risk for hospitalization or use of emergency care were higher for Delta than Alpha: of the 8,682 people infected with the Delta variant, 5.7 percent (498) were hospitalized or sought emergency care versus 4.2 percent (1,448) of people with the Alpha variant; most people in both groups were unvaccinated. Source

• After receiving an inconclusive report on the origins of SARS-CoV-2, US President Joe Biden criticized China for its unwillingness to cooperate with US investigation. “The world deserves answers, and I will not rest until we get them,” Biden said, adding “Responsible nations do not shirk these kinds of responsibilities to the rest of the world. Source    

• Despite going into a two-month lockdown, New South Wales reports a record-breaking daily total of 1,035 new COVID-19 cases. Source

• US President Joe Biden suggests that COVID-19 booster shots could be given sooner than eight months after full vaccination just nine days after announcing that people who were vaccinated eight months ago and those with immunocompromising conditions would become eligible for boosters in September, pending US FDA approval. Source 

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