Science publishes an analysis of the origins of SARS-CoV-2 from evolutionary biologist Michael Worobey, which drew from hospital data and media reports to conclude that there is “…strong evidence of a live-animal market origin of the pandemic.” He noted that many of the over 100 COVID-18 in December 2019 that lacked an epidemiologic link to Huanan Market lived “…in its direct vicinity…and provides compelling evidence that community transmission started at the market.” Source

• AstraZeneca issues a press release to announce new data from a six-month assessment of its phase III trials of AZD7442, a long-acting monoclonal antibody studied for prevention and early treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID 19 in outpatients at risk for severe illness. In the 5,197 person PROVENT trial, none of the recipients of a 300mg injection of AZD442 developed severe COVID-19 or died; there were five cases, and two deaths in the placebo group. In the 903-person TACKLE trial, a single 600mg injection of AZD7442 reduced the risk of developing severe COVID-19 or death (from any cause) by 88% among patients who had symptoms for three days or less when they were treated. Source

• Billionaire Bill Gates says that COVID-19’s “…death rate and the disease rate ought to be coming down pretty dramatically,” by mid-2022, assuming new dangerous SARS-CoV-2 variants don’t emerge in the meantime. He added that vaccine supply shortages “…will be largely solved as we get out in the middle of next year, and so we’ll be limited by the logistics and the demand.” Source

• Massachusetts and Utah join a growing list of states which have expanded eligibility for COVID-19 booster s before FDA authorization. Source

• India’s decision to limit syringe exports until the end of 2021 could lead to a global shortfall of two to four billion needles lasting until the end of 2022 – with the biggest impact on African countries. Prashant Yadav — a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, a Washington research organization, and an expert on health care supply chains — said it would be truly disappointing… “that after having waited for over a year to get a reasonable quantity of vaccines, when they do obtain the vaccines, they don’t have syringes to administer them.” Source

• The EMA issues advice on the use of molnupiravir for the treatment of COVID-19. Although it is not currently authorized in the EU, it can be used to treat adults with COVID-19 who do not require supplemental oxygen and who are at increased risk of developing severe COVID-19. The advice is intended to support national authorities who may decide on possible early use of the medicine prior to its marketing authorization, such as in emergency use settings. Source

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