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 US, there now have been a total of 44,518,437 Covid-19 coronavirus cases, resulting in 719,933 deaths and 33,938,147 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 235,779,925 total coronavirus cases, with 4,817,459 resultant fatalities and 212,644,501 reported recoveries.  (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 75.8 percent of the US population age 12 and older has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 65.4 percent being fully vaccinated.

In addition, the CDC says that 7.4 percent of the US population age  65 and older has received a booster vaccine.

•  From the New York Times:

"The Food and Drug Administration on Friday scheduled three days of public meetings with its panel of independent vaccine experts for later this month, as the agency prepares to make high-profile decisions on whether to authorize emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 and booster shots for adult recipients of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

"The F.D.A. typically issues its decisions within a few days of advisory committee meetings, during which members discuss safety and efficacy data. The timing of the upcoming meetings indicates that the agency intends to move quickly to decide whether to authorize both the booster and children’s shots.

The Times also reports that "Johnson & Johnson is planning to ask federal regulators early this week to authorize a booster shot of its coronavirus vaccine, according to officials familiar with the company’s plans. The firm is the last of the three federally authorized vaccine providers to call for extra injections, amid mounting evidence that at least the elderly and other high-risk groups need more protection.

"Federal officials have become increasingly worried that the more than 15 million Americans who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine face too much risk of severe Covid-19. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday scheduled a meeting on Oct. 15 of its expert advisory committee to discuss whether to grant emergency use authorization of a booster shot of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine."

•  The Wall Street Journal reports that the state of California will require all eligible students to be vaccinated against Covid-19, making it the first state in the union to impose such a mandate.

"The new mandate will take effect once the Food and Drug Administration grants full approval for the Covid-19 vaccine for people aged 12 and older," the Journal writes.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said that the mandate will kick in for the first academic term after the FDA's approval, like to be either January 2022 or July 2022.  "The mandate will be phased in across grade levels, with students in grades 7 through 12 among the first to be required to be vaccinated," the story says.  "Mr. Newsom said waiting for full FDA approval will allow officials to build more trust and confidence with parents and educators before the requirement takes effect."

•  The New York Times reports that American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue have all decided to impose a vaccine mandate for em ploys.

In all three cases, the companies used the federal vaccine mandate for government contractors as cover for making their decision.  Timetables for the three companies were not announced.

United Airlines announced a vaccine mandate in August, and recently said that only a few hundred employees out of 67,000 have not been vaccinated to this point.