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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The United Arab Emirates said Wednesday that the coronavirus vaccine developed by China's state-owned Sinopharm appears to be safe and 86% effective, according to an interim analysis of the company's Phase III trials.

Why it matters: It's the first public release of information about one of the main Chinese-developed COVID-19 vaccines, which was tested in the UAE in a trial involving 31,000 volunteers from 125 countries that began in September.

  • The Emirati statement contained few details, only noting that the announcement is "a significant vote of confidence by the UAE’s health authorities in the safety and efficacy of this vaccine."
  • The vaccine has already been granted an emergency use authorization in the UAE, which has consistently been reporting over 1,000 new cases per day since the start of November. Over 500 deaths have been reported in total.

The big picture: There's a lot at stake for China, which has invested heavily in scientific research and development over the past two decades and is aiming to become a scientific powerhouse on the global stage.

  • The Chinese government was heavily criticized during the start of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan for a lack of health transparency, which can affect the perception of science at home and abroad — including in the vaccine race.
  • Of the more than 200 COVID-19 vaccines in development around the world, 20 involve teams in China, per the Milken Institute.

Go deeper: China's high-stakes vaccine moment

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hold steady at 65,000 per day — CDC declares racism "a serious public health threat" — WHO official: Brazil is dealing with "raging inferno" of a COVID outbreak.
  2. Vaccines: America may be close to hitting a vaccine wall — Pfizer asks FDA to expand COVID vaccine authorization to adolescents — CDC says Johnson & Johnson vaccine supply will drop 80% next week.
  3. Economy: Treasury says over 156 million stimulus payments sent out since March — More government spending expected as IMF projects 6% global GDP growth.
  4. Politics: Supreme Court ends California's coronavirus restrictions on home religious meetings.
  5. World: Iran tightens COVID restrictions amid fourth wave of pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Jan 29, 2021 - World

EU grants conditional approval of AstraZeneca vaccine

Photo: Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The European Commission on Friday granted conditional approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years and older.

Why it matters: This is the third vaccine to receive approval from the commission, coming hours after the Emergency Medicines Agency recommended its authorization.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

WHO says most pregnant women can now receive coronavirus vaccine

A doctor administering Moderna's coronavirus vaccine at a university hospital in Essen, Germany, on Jan. 18. Photo: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has altered its guidance for pregnant women who wish to receive the coronavirus vaccine, saying now that those at high risk of exposure to the COVID-19 or who have comorbidities that increase their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated.

Why it matters: The WHO drew backlash for its previous guidance that did not recommend pregnant women be inoculated with vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, even though data indicated that pregnancy increased the risk of developing severe illness from the virus.

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