Summary of Wellness Exchange Stories from the John Lothian Newsletter for April 29, 2021
The U.S. State Department told U.S. citizens to get out of India amid the surging COVID-19 pandemic (Bloomberg), while India is a blaming a variant for the out of control surge in infections in the country (NYT). Expect to wait longer to get into Thailand as they increased their visitor quarantine time. (Bloomberg)
There may be a French dark horse vaccine (Bloomberg), and vaccines may be 99.9999% effective (Bloomberg). However, Moderna is ramping up to make 3 billion vaccine units next year (FT). The CEO at BioNTech is confident their Covid jab will work on variant found in India (FT).
The good news around vaccine hesitancy is that it is an old story (NYT)
U.S. Tells Citizens to Leave India as Covid Crisis Deepens
Angus Whitley – Bloomberg
Level 4 advisory is highest issued by U.S. State Department; Global companies also stepping in to rush supplies, funds%
The U.S. told its citizens to get out of India as soon as possible as the country’s Covid-19 crisis worsens at an astonishing pace. In a Level 4 travel advisory — the highest of its kind issued by the State Department — U.S. citizens were told “not to travel to India or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so.” There are 14 direct daily flights between India and the U.S. and other services that connect through Europe, the department said.
The Dark Horse of the Vaccine Race May Be This French Biotech; Valneva shot is Europe’s only inactivated vaccine in trials
Suzi Ring – Bloomberg
As the battle with Covid-19 rages around the world, a small French biotech has a possible solution for the long-term war against the virus and the rapidly spreading mutations.
How Good Are Vaccines? Try 99.9999% Effective; That 95% efficacy number isn’t the whole story.
Cathy O’Neil – Bloomberg
I have a friend who works in the New York City Department of Education’s Covid-19 “situation room” — tracing cases, informing contacts and so on. She’s really good at her job, which is why I was surprised to hear her make a strange statistical assertion: Since the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 95% effective, one in 20 vaccinated people are going to get Covid. That’s wrong, dangerously so. And given that an expert who works in the area every day can make such a mistake, I figure it’s worth some explaining.
Thailand Increases Visitor Quarantine Period as Covid Rages
Randy Thanthong-Knight and Prim Chuwiruch – Bloomberg
All arrivals subject to two-week isolation on variant concerns; Dine-in, large gatherings banned in virus hotspot Bangkok
Thailand will increase a mandatory quarantine period for all arrivals to two weeks in a setback to the country’s previous plans of gradually reopening its borders to foreign visitors. The Southeast Asian nation earlier this month reduced the timeframe to seven days for vaccinated tourists and ten days for most others in a bid to boost its tourism sector. But the latest Covid-19 wave, the country’s worst since the pandemic began, has forced the government to reintroduce the restrictions.
Moderna increases vaccine supply target to 3bn for next year; Chief executive says company will boost manufacturing capacity to tackle variants of Covid-19
Nikou Asgari – FT
Moderna says it will increase its global supply of Covid-19 vaccines to up to 3bn next year as the company expands its manufacturing capacity to tackle new and existing strains of the virus.
BioNTech chief confident Covid jab will work on variant found in India; Biotech has tested vaccine it pioneered with Pfizer against more than 30 strains of the virus
Erika Solomon and Guy Chazan – FT
BioNTech’s chief executive has said he is confident the Covid-19 vaccine his company pioneered with Pfizer will work against a new variant circulating in India, where health officials are recording hundreds of thousands of new coronavirus cases a day.
Moderna to Boost Covid-19 Vaccine Production to Meet Rising Global Demand; Company aims to triple production next year to as much as three billion doses
Peter Loftus – WSJ
Moderna Inc. MRNA -2.58% plans to spend billions of dollars to boost production of Covid-19 vaccines and potentially triple its yearly output of doses in 2022, as the company seeks to meet rising global demand.
Vaccine Hesitancy Is as Old as Vaccines. I Take Comfort in That.
David Motadel – NY Times
Almost 14 months into the coronavirus pandemic, vaccines are, for most of us, the key to getting out of lockdown and returning to lives that we recognize. And with more than a billion doses administered worldwide, there are reasons for hope — even if that hope is not spread evenly.
India Blames a Virus Variant as Its Covid-19 Crisis Deepens; Workers in New Delhi on Tuesday building new platforms for cremating bodies, as the coronavirus takes an increasing toll on the country
Jeffrey Gettleman, Shalini Venugopal and Apoorva Mandavilli – NY Times
At Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, a huge facility in the middle of India’s capital, 37 fully vaccinated doctors came down with Covid-19 earlier this month. The infections left most with mild symptoms, but it added to their growing fears that the virus behind India’s catastrophic second wave is different. They wonder if a more contagious variant that dodges the immune system could be fueling the epidemic inside the world’s hardest-hit nation.