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…

•  The US now has had 92,917,658 total cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 1,054,422 deaths and 87,908,049 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 579,908,225 total cases, with 6,415,101 resultant fatalities and 549,846,909 reported recoveries.  (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 78.8 percent of the total US population now has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 67.2 percent. being fully vaccinated.  The CDC also says that 48.3 percent of the total US population has received a first vaccine booster dose, with 30.9 percent of the 50+  population and 37.8 percent of the 65+ population having received a second vaccine booster shot.

•  From the New York Times this morning:

"The Biden administration now expects to begin a Covid-19 booster campaign with retooled vaccines in September because Pfizer and Moderna have promised that they can deliver doses by then, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

"With updated formulations apparently close at hand, federal officials have decided against expanding eligibility for second boosters of the existing vaccines this summer. The new versions are expected to perform better against the now-dominant Omicron subvariant BA.5, although the data available so far is still preliminary.

"At this point, only Americans over 50 and those over 12 with certain immune deficiencies have been eligible for second booster doses. Although some federal officials pressed to bolster the protection of younger Americans now, officials agreed on the goal of strengthening everyone’s immunity in the fall with what is hoped to be a more effective booster, ahead of a possible winter surge of the virus.

"In internal deliberations, some senior health officials argued that eligibility for a second booster should be broadened before the reformulated version is ready because coronavirus infections are on the rise again. Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser, and Dr. Ashish K. Jha, the White House pandemic response coordinator, both advocated that position … But officials at the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention argued that the government should concentrate instead on the fall campaign with updated doses — if the campaign could begin soon enough. After both Pfizer and Moderna assured the F.D.A. recently that they could deliver millions of doses by mid-September, regulators decided it was better to wait for those shots.

"All adults are expected to be eligible for the updated booster shots. Children could be eligible as well, according to people familiar with the deliberations."