We now have another weapon in the fight against the coronavirus: the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Over the weekend, the FDA gave its approval for an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It was cleared for use by anyone over 18.
The FDA’s decision came after an outside panel of experts unanimously recommended on Friday that regulators authorize the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The shot was found to reduce cases of moderate to severe Covid infection by 66.1%, starting 28 days after the single shot. In the U.S., the vaccine was 72% protective.
On Sunday, the CDC also signed off on its use. Distribution of the vaccines has begun.
The federal government has purchased 100 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
However, supplies of the new vaccine would be highly uneven for the next month. The company will deliver 3.9 million shots this week. But none the week after.
Johnson & Johnson will deliver another 16 million doses to the federal government by the end of March. But the majority of that will come toward the end of the month.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does offer another advantage. The single-shot vaccine doesn’t have the same cold-chain requirements as the vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech.
This will help in the effort to vaccinate the American public as quickly as possible.
The Big News
Vaccine Hesitancy Falling
Americans are becoming more open to getting vaccinated. This is according to the latest survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation. It found that 55% of adults now say they have either received one dose or will get it as soon as they can. That’s up from 34% in December.
The so-called “wait and see” group is inching down, too, to 22% in February from 31% in January. But about one in five Americans still refuses to get the shot . . . or said they would only do so if compelled by work or school.
Can Covid Spread Through Frozen Meat?
Concern is growing in China that coronavirus could spread through contaminated frozen meat. A WHO fact-finding mission in China found that infected frozen meat from wild animals bred on farms in the country might have led to an early outbreak at a market in Wuhan. However, outside of China, there is little support for this theory. Scientists say it is rare for SARS-CoV-2 to be passed from one person to another through contaminated surfaces.
U.S. Vaccinations Surge
The number of vaccine doses administered to Americans has surged. It was over 2.3 million on both Saturday and Sunday. A reasonable target now is to have at least three million vaccinations a day by the end of March.
Air Travel Still Low
Daily departures from the world’s 50 busiest airports are still 50% below pre-pandemic levels of January 2020. This is according to an analysis from Barclays. Global departures have now recovered by 15% – 20% since December 2020. The gain was driven by an increase in China domestic flight activity.
Covid-19 Will Become Seasonal
The coronavirus is likely to make seasonal appearances within a year or two. That is according to a highly respected Russian epidemiologist, Dr. Natalya Pshenichnaya.
“Covid-19 has already started to show the signs of a seasonal illness. The rise in infections that was recorded in the fall of 2020 could be proof of that,” she said.
The Coronavirus Numbers
Here are the numbers from Monday at 8 a.m. ET from Johns Hopkins University:
- 114,193,914 Infected Worldwide
- 239,950,952 Vaccines Given Globally
- 2,532,756 Deaths
- 28,605,937 Infected in the U.S.
- 75,236,003 US Vaccine Doses Administered
- 513,092 Deaths in the U.S.
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Last week, stocks came under pressure from rising bond yields. The U.S. 10-year rates jumped above 1.6% at one stage. That was the highest in a year, hitting stocks that have been used to ultra-low rates.
However, the world’s central bankers have already begun their counter-offensive against those short sellers in the government bond market.
The Reserve Bank of Australia said it will buy more than $3 billion of longer-dated bonds. This follows the surprise boost to purchases of three-year paper last week.
The shorts got hammered. Yields declined sharply, with the 10-year note falling from almost 1.9% to a low of 1.6% in Australia.
I expect more of the same from other central banks. They will not permit rising rates to occur. The global economic recovery is still fragile. The Fed and others will nurture the recovery, not squash it.
The stock market will rally hard on this news.
Yours in Health & Wealth,