A significant delay or disruptions in vaccine distributions is one of the most “substantial” risks to the economic outlook, Kansas City Federal Reserve president Esther George said on Tuesday. Ms George expressed optimism about the continued recovery and said “there is considerable scope for a snapback” once the US is past the pandemic.
Ireland has tightened pandemic travel rules for the second time in six days, requiring people visiting from all countries to present evidence of a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours before arriving. The move on Tuesday by Micheál Martin’s government widens the scope of its decision last week to impose similar restrictions on people arriving from the UK and South Africa.
US crude production will keep falling in 2021, as the fallout from the worst oil price collapse in decades following the Covid-19 crisis continues to punish the country’s once-rampant shale patch, according to new federal forecasts. The US Energy Information Administration said crude supply would drop to 11.1m barrels a day this year, after averaging 11.3m b/d in 2020.
Brazil’s health officials said a Chinese coronavirus vaccine has shown an efficacy rate of just 50 per cent, significantly lower than levels originally indicated. Scientists from a leading biomedical research body released the new figure on Tuesday, , following criticism over a lack of transparency in earlier results from trials of the CoronaVac jab in the country.
A masked shopper browses inside a Vons supermarket in San Diego
US supermarket chain Albertsons boosted its full-year outlook and reported better than expected third-quarter results as people continued to dine at home and shop online amid a coronavirus resurgence. The company, which also owns Safeway and Vons, said revenues rose 9 per cent from a year ago to $15.4bn in the quarter ending December 5, just ahead of analysts expectations.
India has procured 16.5m vaccine doses days ahead of the start of its nationwide inoculation campaign, officials said on Tuesday. Health ministry officials said 11m doses of Covishield, the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, were bought for Rs200 ($2.70) each, and 5.5m of Covaxin, the shot developed by Bharat Biotech, for Rs206 a dose.
Valneva is in advanced talks with the EU about supplying up to 60m doses of its Covid-19 vaccine, as the bloc seeks to bat off criticism that its immunisation programme has been slow to begin and get into gear. The French biotech company said on Tuesday that it was in advanced discussions with the commission, indicating that a deal was close to being signed.
Zoom, the video communications company that has prospered during the pandemic, is to raise $1.5bn in a share issue. The company, whose products have been used for everything from business meetings to online quizzes over the past year, said on Monday that the fundraising could also be expanded by $225m. Zoom’s shares have risen by 356 per cent over the past year.