Soon, here in the U.S., we will actually have a vaccine glut.
Tens of millions more doses are promised to the U.S. in the next few months. By the end of July, we will have had enough doses to vaccinate the country’s entire population.
The country will have 70 million doses to spare, indeed a vaccine glut.
The question will be what to do with those extra doses. The smart thing would be to hold on to that surplus for now.
Children will still need to be vaccinated. Although clinical trial results from Moderna for children under age 12 are not expected until next fall.
Another very real possibility is that immunity could eventually wear off. That would require booster shots.
With many poorer countries yet to receive a single dose, we could ship some of the surplus overseas via COVAX. This is the international organization whose goal is to get vaccines to these nations.
However, federal rules prohibit recalling vaccine doses. So, doses meant to be sent overseas would need to be relabeled; vials must be used within four to six months of being bottled.
The Biden administration is likely to do a little of both. The U.S. is not likely to need the AstraZeneca vaccines. These may be shipped to COVAX and foreign countries.
The Big News
Americans’ Mental Health and the Pandemic
The number of American adults reporting recent bouts of anxiety or depression rose a lot between August and February. It rose to more than two in five adults in late January, CDC researchers said on Friday. The number of Americans seeking mental health treatment increased, with 24.8% of adults saying they were receiving treatment in February, up from 22.4% in August. The number of respondents who said they needed counseling and did not receive it also increased, to 11.7% from 9.2%.
Vaccines for Children Needed
Covid variants that are more harmful to children could still emerge. That makes vaccinating children critical to ending the pandemic. The least recognized reason to vaccinate all children quickly is this: the possibility that the virus will continue to spread and mutate into more dangerous variants. This includes variants that could harm both children and adults. The U.S. will need to vaccinate children to reach herd immunity, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Do You Have Your Vaccine Passport?
Japan will issue digital health certificates to citizens who have been inoculated against coronavirus. It joins China, the European Union and other countries that have embraced vaccine passports aimed at opening up overseas travel. The certificate can be managed on a mobile app. It allows the carrier to present the proof of vaccination when boarding a plane or checking in to a hotel. A U.S. version is in the works.
Novavax Vaccine Delay
Novavax is delaying signing a contract to supply its Covid-19 vaccine to the European Union. The reason is that the company is struggling to source some raw materials. Novavax plans to produce key components of its two-dose vaccines for the EU in several of its factories. That includes one in the Czech Republic that makes antigens, the inactivated organisms that trigger an immune response. However, production capacity at the plant, the only one in the EU, is too small the meet the needs of the 27-nation bloc.
Kids’ Vaccine Trial
Pfizer and BioNTech are beginning a study aimed at showing their Covid-19 vaccine can be used in children as young as six months. The study follows the launch of a separate, ongoing trial in children ages 12 to 15, which was fully enrolled in January. That study could lead to results by the end of the first half of the year, depending on the data. An emergency use authorization could follow. The vaccine already has an EUA for people 16 and older.
The Coronavirus Numbers
Here are the numbers from Monday at 8 a.m. ET from Johns Hopkins University:
- 127,275,912 Infected Worldwide
- 552,173,030 Vaccines Given Globally
- 2,785,296 Deaths
- 30,262,694 Infected in the U.S.
- 143,462,691 U.S. Vaccine Doses Administered
- 549,335 Deaths in the U.S.
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Credit Suisse and Nomura Holdings warned this morning that they faced huge losses from a $20 billion fire sale of stocks held by just one investment firm, Archegos Capital Management.
Shares in Credit Suisse were down 14%, while Nomura was down 16%.
It’s the latest sign that some people never learn. Archegos was leveraged to the gills (using swaps) on a few names including CBSViacom and Discovery, as well as some Chinese techs stocks.
Apparently, Archegos was trying to force a short squeeze on those stocks (ala WallStreetBets) all by itself. ViacomCBS was up over 170% year-to-date and Discovery was +150% YTD before Friday’s disaster.
Not surprisingly, many bank stocks are under pressure Monday. And energy stocks are as well. The ship stuck in the Suez Canal was partially refloated.
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