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Coronavirus developments at a glance: 13-19 February

The latest coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic from Research Professional News


The UK prime minister is calling on world leaders to back plans for a 100-day target to create new Covid-19 vaccines, first proposed by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations earlier this year.

The UK is to become the first country in the world to run a Covid-19 human challenge study, following approval from its Health Research Authority.

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has called on all countries to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines as the UK government met its target of vaccinating 15 million people in less than ten weeks.

The UK government has awarded £3.7 million to a platform for phase 1 clinical trials aimed at fast-tracking Covid-19 treatments.

While millions of people around the world are receiving vaccines against Covid-19, Wayne Channon, the chair of iosBio, sees a future away from inoculation through needles.


The EU has allocated an additional €150 million to Covid-19 R&D, as part of a wider campaign to increase the availability of vaccines against the disease.

The EU will allow approved vaccines to be enhanced to tackle new coronavirus variants without having to go through a full approval process again before they can be used.

European countries are not making enough use of behavioural research in their attempts to control Covid-19, the EU’s public health agency has said.


South Africa’s government needs to learn a lot of lessons from the way it has handled the coronavirus pandemic, academics and other experts have said.

Australia and New Zealand

Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, has suggested that the government may take a hardline approach to further assistance for higher education.

Universities have been scrambling to implement two different levels of controls this week after Auckland was put into Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions and the rest of the country into Level 2.

University teaching in Australia may be permanently changed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the emergence of blended and online teaching models.


Eminent figures in science policy have warned that a poorly informed public reluctant to take vaccines, alongside nationalistic approaches to vaccine delivery, may severely undermine global recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.