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…

•  Here are the US Covid-19 coronavirus numbers:  45,639,012 total cases … 741,893 deaths … and 35,205,258 reported recoveries.

The global numbers:  240,507,418 total cases … 4,899,770 fatalities … and 217,796,994 reported recoveries.  (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 76.8 percent of the US population age 12 and older has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 66.4 percent being fully vaccinated.

The CDC also says that 12.9 percent of the population age 65 and older has received a vaccine booster shot.

•  The Boston Globe reports that "an advisory panel to the US Food and Drug Administration voted Thursday to recommend Moderna’s booster shot for people 65 and older, adults at high risk of severe COVID-19, and adults who have increased COVID risk at their workplace, at least six months after their second dose.

"The recommendation mirrors the criteria and categories used in the authorization of Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots last month, and it puts Moderna one step closer to receiving clearance for its booster from the FDA. Yet some questions remain.

"After the scientific panel’s recommendation, the FDA is expected to announce its decision on the Moderna booster shot by early next week. The FDA isn’t required to follow its panel’s recommendation, but typically does.

"If the FDA follows the panel’s advice, another advisory panel convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, scheduled for later next week, will offer more specifics on who should get a Moderna booster. The CDC will have the final word on that."

•  CNBC reports that when Walgreens Boots Alliance reported higher-than-expected Q4 earnings yesterday, it was at least in part due to "a surge in demand for Covid-19 vaccines amid a growing number of employer mandates … During the fourth quarter, Walgreens administered 13.5 million vaccines — nearly double the approximately 7 million it had expected in the three-month period. It is poised for another wave of vaccinations as people get booster doses and younger children are expected to soon qualify for the shots."