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 Covid-19 coronavirus numbers:  81,350,883 total cases … 996,072 deaths … and 56,822,580 reported recoveries.

The global numbers:  466,685,201 total cases … 6,089,254 fatalities … and 398,386,996 reported recoveries.   (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 76.8 percent of the total US population has received at least one dose of vaccine … 65.3 percent are fully vaccinated … and 44.4 percent have received a vaccine booster dose.

•  From Bloomberg:

"The U.S. could soon see COVID-19 cases rise again and vulnerable people are likely to need a fourth vaccine dose, one of President Joe Biden’s top health advisers warned as the White House calls for more money to fight the pandemic.

"Anthony Fauci, the longtime head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a Biden adviser, said U.K. officials are already warning him of an increase there driven by the BA. 2 sub-variant, easing restrictions and waning protection from vaccines, and that the U.S. tends to be a few weeks behind case curves in the U.K.

"'We have all three of those factors right now in this country,' Fauci said in an interview Thursday. 'I would predict that we are going to see a bit of an increase, or at least a flattening out and plateauing of the diminution of cases. And the question is how do we deal with that'."

•  The New York Times reports that "Moderna said late Thursday that it asked the Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorization of a second booster of its coronavirus vaccine for all adults, a significantly broader request than Pfizer and BioNTech filed for their shot this week.

"The request is likely to intensify the latest round of an ongoing scientific debate over how long protection from the two most-used vaccines in the United States lasts in the face of new variants.

"On Tuesday, Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, asked for emergency authorization for a second booster for those 65 and older. The firm’s request was based heavily on data from Israel, where such shots are authorized for a somewhat broader group.

"Federal health officials have said they are concerned about waning potency of the booster shot that was authorized for both Moderna and Pfizer in the fall. But although there are indications that regulators could move swiftly on Pfizer’s request, it is unclear how favorably they will view Moderna’s more sweeping application."

•  The Seattle Times reports that "fully vaccinated travelers soon will be able to travel to Canada without presenting a negative coronavirus test, the country’s public health agency announced Thursday. The eased policy goes into effect April 1 and applies to visitors who arrive by air, land or sea.

"Until then, travelers who are 5 and older need to take a rapid antigen test within a day of their departure for Canada or a PCR test within 72 hours of their trip. A past positive test that is at least 10 days old can also be used as proof of recovery in lieu of a test.

"Canada requires travelers to upload the details of their trip and proof of vaccination to an online system called ArriveCAN.

"Travelers who are not fully vaccinated will continue to follow those testing protocols after April 1. People who are not fully vaccinated may be denied entry to Canada and have to undergo a 14-day quarantine and additional testing."