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 72,958,690 total cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, with 891,595 deaths and 44,828,957 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 356,081,089 total cases, with 5,625,000 fatalities and 282,534,252 reported recoveries.  (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 75.6 percent of the US population has received at least one dose of vaccine … 63.4 percent has been fully vaccinated … and 40.1 percent of the total population has received a vaccine booster dose.

•  Axios reports this morning that "Omicron infections are trending down nationally, but the number of deaths is as high now as it was during the summer's Delta wave."

The story says that "preventing death is the ultimate goal, and thousands of Americans continue to die from this coronavirus every day even though vaccines have been available to the public for roughly a year … More than 2,000 people are dying from COVID every day right now, and that number has been rising for the past week, according to the latest seven-day rolling averages.

"Roughly three out of four deaths are people who are 65 or older, according to the CDC.  Unvaccinated people are 100 times more likely to die from COVID than people who have gotten three doses of an mRNA vaccine."

•  The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that "Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE have started a trial evaluating an adapted version of their Covid-19 vaccine that targets the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

"The drugmakers said Tuesday they began enrolling adults ages 18 to 55 in the U.S. and South Africa to examine the safety, tolerability and immune response generated by the vaccine if it is given either as a primary series or as a booster dose … Initial study results are expected in the first half of the year, Pfizer said. The drugmaker could ask U.S. regulators for authorization and begin distribution in March, should the Omicron-targeted shot prove to work safely, Chief Executive Albert Bourla has said.

"Should the vaccine be needed, Pfizer and BioNTech would still be able to manufacture 4 billion doses of the shot this year, the companies said."