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Coronavirus developments at a glance: 5-11 December

This week’s coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic from Research Professional News

A year of Covid-19

The pandemic wasn’t the only thing that happened in 2020, but it infected almost everything.

Research Europe’s review of the year


Hackers have accessed documents related to the European Medicines Agency’s regulatory assessment of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech, the latter company has announced.

Student trips planned under the EU’s Erasmus+ mobility programme have plummeted in 2020, preliminary figures from the European Commission indicate, with the Covid-19 pandemic grounding flights, closing borders and preventing travel.

French prime minister Jean Castex has indicated that the government is willing to reverse a decision to keep university doors closed until February, after a meeting with university heads.

The UK’s most senior scientist has welcomed the first person in the UK receiving an approved Covid-19 jab as the start of a mass programme of vaccination that may eventually lead the nation “back to normality”.

The chief executive of the UK’s medical regulator has defended the country’s rapid approval of a Pfizer vaccine for Covid-19, and praised the researchers working for her.

Cancer Research UK says it has been forced to slash half of its research budget as a result of Covid-19, leaving dozens of projects and hundreds of scientists unfunded.

UK Research and Innovation has warned that any further financial support for PhD students whose work has been negatively affected by the pandemic could constrain its ability to fund new projects.