• The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) issues a press release to announce that it has signed a voluntary license for Pfizer’s experimental oral antiviral COVID-19 treatment, the ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor PF-07321332. The agreement enables MPP to grant sub-licenses to qualified generics manufacturers, and it covers 95 countries – all of the low- and lower-middle-income countries, as well as countries that HAVW transitioned from lower-middle to upper-middle-income status in the past five years. Pfizer will not receive royalties from sales in low-income countries, and will waive royalties on sales in all countries covered by the agreement while COVID-19 remains classified as a Public Health Emergency. Source

• The Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Access Campaign issues a press release criticizing Pfizer’s license for paxloid, its experimental oral COVID-19 antiviral with the Medicines Patent Pool, noting that “Licensing deals by pharmaceutical corporations that create uncertainties and segmentation for generic production and supply continue to be part of the problem rather than part of a real solution,” and “…many upper middle-income countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, China, Malaysia and Thailand, where established generic production capacity exists, are excluded from the license territory.” MSF urged Pfizer to “…clearly state that they will not stand in the way of open generic production and competition, instead of signing restrictive voluntary licenses, and lift any kind of intellectual property monopoly during this pandemic.” Source

• Moderna issues a press release to announce that the US CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices unanimously recommended a 50 μg booster dose of its coronavirus vaccine for people aged 18 and older under the US FDA Emergency Use Authorization. Source

• The New York Times reports that China, Cuba, Iraq, Libya, Jamaica and Russia will have to buy Pfizer’s experimental oral COVID-19 antiviral pill directly from the company – at prices it sets – because they are not among the 95 countries included in a voluntary licensing agreement between Pfizer and the Medicines Patent Pool.

Pfizer has taken a different strategy for its coronavirus vaccine, by refusing to provide any licensing agreements to enable production and increase the global supply, and it has sent only 167 million of its two billion purchased vaccine doses to developing countries. Source

• The Biden Administration plans to spend over $5 billion on a stockpile of Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 antiviral, enough for about 10 million treatment courses. Source

• Moderna issues a press release announcing that it has reached an agreement that enables EU and EEA countries to donate coronavirus vaccines purchased under the EU Vaccines Strategy. Over 70 million doses of the vaccine will be given to COVAX in 2021. Source

• In China, a video of decontamination workers beating a pet corgi with a metal rod while its owner was quarantined has triggered outrage over the country’s harsh pandemic control measures. Film director Zhang Junyang wrote, “This kind of behavior is really chilling …why can’t we have a little warmth when dealing with domestic pets?” Source

• AstraZeneca issues a press release to announce that, with partners, it has supplied two billion doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to more than 170 countries across every continent on the planet in the last 11 months, with two-thirds of them going to low- and lower-middle income countries. COVAX has delivered 175 million doses of the vaccine to 130 countries. Source

• New York joins four other states in expanding eligibility for coronavirus boosters to people ages 18 and over, who were vaccinated six months ago, although the US FDA has not yet authorized them. Source

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