• Although the UK has become home to the highest rate of coronavirus cases in Europe, its Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is set against imposing restrictions, including masking, over Christmas, saying “I see no evidence whatever to think that any kind of lockdown on the cards…The best thing everybody can do is get that booster jab as soon as you’re offered it.” Source
• In Brazil,the pandemic has dramatically increased homelessness. The country faces double-digit inflation, and emergency aid to the nation’s poor will expire at the end of the month. “Money doesn’t last anywhere,” said Andreina Santos da Silva, 21, who was checking into a Rio homeless shelter. Source
• WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addresses the G-20, noting that “vaccine equity is not charity; it’s in every country’s best interests,“ and listing actions to address the vaccine crisis and end the pandemic. Source
• Moderna issues a press release to announce that the US FDA requires more time to review the company’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) request for a 100 µg dose of its coronavirus vaccine in adolescents (ages 12-17 years). The Agency will evaluate recent international analyses of the risk of post-vaccination myocarditis, and may not be completed before January 2022. Moderna will delay requesting EUA for the 50 µg dose of its coronavirus in younger children (ages 6-11 years) while the FDA completes its review of the adolescent EUA. Source
• President Xi Jinping of China and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, who chose to attend the G20 summit virtually, called for “mutual recognition” of COVID-19 vaccines by global health authorities by video. Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine has not been authorized by the EMA or WHO.
Mr. Putin called on WHO to expedite the vaccine registration process, and on the G20 “address the problem of mutual recognition of vaccine certificates.”
Mr. Xi, who noted that China has supplied over 1.6 billion shots to the world, and is working with 16 countries on manufacturing vaccines. He announced his support for a proposal to waive intellectual property rights rights for coronavirus vaccines and called for vaccine manufacturers to transfer their technology to developing countries. Source