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 Washington Post reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has "cleared the way for people who are at least 65 or immune-compromised to receive a second updated booster shot for the coronavirus, an option intended to bolster protection for the most vulnerable Americans even as the pandemic recedes.

"The action appears likely to provide a measure of reassurance to people whose age or medical issues put them at risk of serious illness if they are infected. Some got updated boosters last fall, soon after the omicron-targeting shots were authorized, but patients and physicians recognize the mRNA vaccines have a history of waning protection within months of administration.

"People who are eligible for the extra boosters might be able to get them as soon as this week. Vaccine advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss the second booster, and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is expected to sign off quickly. Federal health officials will not formally urge that people get a second booster. Instead, the 'permissive' policy says they may get one if they want."

The Post notes that "the FDA is planning this fall to move to a once-a-year coronavirus shot for most Americans – a timetable announced in January that is intended to coincide with annual flu inoculations. The FDA hopes the simplified schedule will encourage more people to get vaccinated. Officials will select a reformulated dose this summer after meeting with outside experts in June. The decision will be based on which coronavirus strain scientists think is most likely to be circulating in fall and winter."

Me, I'm going to check with my doctor and if she thinks it makes sense to get an updated booster now, I'll get one.  If she thinks I ought to wait until autumn, I'll do that.   For me the bottom line is that I'll do whatever seems smart and timely to prevent serious illness.

•  The US now has had 106,481,967 total cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 1,158,347 deaths and 104,347,586  reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 685,885,403 total cases, with 6,844,023 resultant fatalities and 658,589,057 reported recoveries.  (Source.)  

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 81.4 percent of the total US population now has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 69.4 percent. being fully vaccinated and 16.7 percent having received an updated booster dose.