• WHO announces that it has issued emergency use listing for Covaxin, Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine, which was found to be 78 percent effective for preventing COVID-19 of any severity at two weeks after the second dose. WHO noted that clinical trial data on safety and efficacy during pregnancy are insufficient, although over 120 000 pregnant people in India have received it without short-term adverse effects and further studies in pregnant people are planned. Source

• Despite China’s drastic measures, over 600 cases of the Delta variant have been found in 19 of the country’s 31 provinces, and it is coming faster and spreading further. Officials there remain committed to the “Zero COVID strategy”, although other countries are abandoning it. Source

• In the Philippines, Health Secretary Francisco Duque announced that over 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccines are sitting in warehouses, on their way to remote islands, or waiting to be used by local health departments. The vaccination campaign has also been delayed by infected healthcare workers, sluggish responses from local governments and vaccine hesitancy among nearly a quarter of the country’s population. Source

• The EMA – which had questions about quality – ends its rolling review of bamlanivimab and etesevimab for COVID-19, following withdrawal by Eli Lilly, which said it was “…not in a position to generate the additional data required by the CHMP to progress to a formal marketing authorization application.” Nonetheless, COVID-19 patients in the EU will be able to access the monoclonal antibody combination according to national arrangements. Source

• UNAIDS reports that pandemic-related disruptions to HIV prevention, testing and treatment services led to 1.5 million new infections in 2020; 200,000 of them were reported in West and Central Africa, where only 35 percent of children living with HIV are accessing antiretroviral treatment. Winnie Byanyima, the Executive Director of UNAIDs, said “What we need to do to end AIDS is also what we need to do to enable Africa to rise. Governments, international organizations, scientists, researchers, community-led organizations and civil society actors cannot be successful alone, but together they can create an unbeatable partnership and an unstoppable force to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.” Source

BMJ publishes research on the pandemic’s impact on life expectancy during 2020 in 37 high- and upper middle-income countries, where over 28 million years of life were lost.

With the exception of Norway, New Zealand and Taiwan, where life expectancy increased, and Denmark, Iceland and South Korea, where it was unchanged, life expectancy was reduced in the other 31 countries, with the largest decrease in Russia. Source

• In Latin America and the Caribbean, a region plagued by shortages of coronavirus vaccines, 46 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated. WHO is pressing countries to vaccinate the most vulnerable before administering boosters and vaccinating children. Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, assistant director of the Pan American Health Organization, said countries are being urged to “…prioritize the elderly, frontline workers and people with pre-existing conditions – to protect them, but also to prevent the health system from becoming overburdened with severe cases.” Source

• After a record-breaking high of 6,700 daily coronavirus cases, Greece announces new restrictions for the unvaccinated, who now must must undergo two weekly tests for SARS-CoV-2 and produce a negative test result to access public services, banks, shops, cafes, restaurants and hair salons. Source

• Two weeks after protests by vaccine skeptics and dock workers in Trieste Italy, an outbreak of COVID-19 has been linked directly to those protests. The region’s President, Massimiliano Fedriga, said “It is the moment to say with clarity: Enough idiocy.” Source

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