business news in context, analysis with attitude

Random and illustrative stories about the global pandemic and how businesses and various business sectors are trying to recover from it, with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  In the United States, there now have been a total of 31,097,154 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 564,138 deaths and 23,586,796 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 128,899,973 coronavirus cases, with 2,818,341 resultant fatalities, and 104,002,803 reported recoveries.  (Source.)

•  The Washington Post reports that "at least 96 million people have received one or both doses of the vaccine in the U.S.  This includes more than 50.2 million people who have been fully vaccinated … 189.5 million doses have been distributed.

•  The Wall Street Journal this morning is reporting that "the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE safely protects kids 12 years and older, the companies said, results likely to lead to inoculating the children before the next school year.

"The vaccine was 100% effective in protecting against symptomatic disease in a study of more than 2,200 children, the companies said Wednesday … Given the results, Pfizer said it would ask U.S. health regulators in the coming weeks to expand use of the shots to 12- to 15-year-olds.

"The timetable for authorization in the U.S. could mean the children will be able to be vaccinated before the next school year begins in the fall."

•  From the Wall Street Journal:

"Newly reported Covid-19 cases in the U.S. were down from a day earlier, but deaths were up, as the debate over reopening raged on.

"The U.S. reported more than 60,000 new cases for Tuesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and published early Wednesday morning Eastern time. The data might update later in the morning. Tuesday’s figure was down from 69,419 a day earlier but up from 53,578 a week earlier … Deaths, a lagging indicator, had been trending downward since March 2, according to the Journal’s analysis. But on Monday, the seven-day average of 990 exceeded the 14-day average of 983 for the first time since then."

•  The Wall Street Journal writes this morning that "pregnant women who get the coronavirus vaccine pass their antibodies on to their newborns, recent studies suggest, a promising sign that babies can acquire from their mothers some protection against Covid-19."

There is said to be evidence that when pregnant women received vaccines, the antibodies from those inoculations ended up in their umbilical-cord blood and their breast milk.

According to the Journal, "The studies didn’t look specifically at the safety of vaccinations, though in one of them, pregnant women who were vaccinated didn’t report more side effects than those who weren’t pregnant.

"Pregnant women are at higher risk of a severe case of Covid-19 and of preterm delivery if they are infected. The studies’ findings, though preliminary, suggest women could safely protect themselves and their newborns by getting vaccinated."

•  The New York Times reports that scientists in the UK are engaged in studies to see if vaccinations can be offered on a mix-and-match basis - allowing people, say, to get the first AstraZeneca vaccine and then following up with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

"Mixing vaccines might do more than just help overcome supply bottlenecks," the Times writes.  "Some researchers suspect that a pair of different vaccines might work better than two doses of the same one."

•  The Wall Street Journal reports today that "sports leagues playing through the pandemic are settling on a strategy for vaccinating their employees: They won’t mandate shots, but they will promise a much better life for teams on which most people get them.

"Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association are both now offering fully vaccinated players a reprieve from some of their pandemic protocols - and the chance for whole teams to relax once 85% of players, coaches and other team personnel have had their shots.

"All of these rules are designed to incentivize vaccine acceptance in populations that have demonstrated some hesitancy … MLB and the MLB Players Association distributed a joint memo on Monday saying that players and staff 'are strongly encouraged' to receive a vaccine when eligible, and that fully vaccinated individuals will be allowed to gather together in hotel rooms and other indoor spaces without face coverings or social distancing."

•  And, speaking of sports …the Ad Council uses them in a new public service advertisement (PSA) designed to persuade people to get vaccinated for the coronavirus.  Willie Nelson provides the soundtrack: