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. total of 45,547,920 total cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 739,778 deaths and 35,107,452 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 240,066,102 total cases, with 4,891,970 resultant fatalities and 217,388,255 reported recoveries.   (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 76.7 percent of the US population age 12 and older has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 66.2 percent being fully vaccinated.

The CDC says that 12.3 percent of the US population age 65 and older has received a vaccine booster shot.

The Washington Post this morning reports that "approximately 90,000 covid-19 deaths could have been avoided over four months of this year if more U.S. adults had chosen to be vaccinated, a new study finds, as the disease caused by the coronavirus became the second-leading cause of death in the United States.

"The estimate from the Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Kaiser Family Foundation focused on deaths of U.S. adults from June 2021 — when the report says coronavirus vaccines became widely available to the general public — through September.

"Around half of the deaths it deemed preventable occurred in September, due to the spread of the more contagious delta variant, the easing of social distancing rules and the lower vaccination rate among younger adults, the study says. That month, covid-19 was the leading cause of death for adults between ages 35 and 54, superseding heart disease and cancer."

•  From the Wall Street Journal this morning:

"A booster of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine showed signs of significantly bolstering the immune defenses of study subjects, federal health regulators said Wednesday.

"The regulators cautioned, however, that data was limited and that they had to rely on J&J’s own analysis for some of the study findings, rather than conducting their own.

"The Food and Drug Administration staff gave their assessment of the J&J booster data as part of the agency’s review of the company’s request for authorization of the second dose.

"After authorizing boosters for seniors and certain high-risk people who got the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, the FDA is now considering whether to clear extra doses of the shots from J&J and Moderna Inc. It is also weighing whether doses could be mixed among different vaccines."

•  Bloomberg writes that "Mixing COVID vaccines produces as much or more antibodies as using the same shot as a booster, according to preliminary results of a widely awaited US government-sponsored trial.

"The trial is the first major U.S. study to compare the effects of using different vaccines as boosters from the initial shot or shots. The complicated, 9-arm trial involved over 450 people and measured the effects from giving a booster shot of the Moderna Inc., Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines to those who had originally gotten a different vaccine.

"Overall, the results found that mixing-and-matching resulted in comparable or higher levels of neutralizing antibodies compared to same-vaccine boosting, the researchers said in the preprint posted on Rates of adverse events were similar across all the different booster groups, the study found."