Vaccine booster shots increasingly likely. Iceland highlights reopening risks

Weekend covid news

The market brushed aside a momentary covid panic last week but the episode put the pandemic back on the radar.

The New York Times reports today that Biden officials now expect vulnerable people to need booster shots due to waning efficacy over time. So far they believe it will be limited to those 65 and older or those with compromised immune systems.
A study from Israel last week made waves as it highlighted rising risk of infections six months after vaccination.

The good news is that even after a longer time period the vaccine remains highly effective against preventing severe disease. The bad news is that if developed countries begin gobbling up more MRNA doses for a third round, it will delay global efforts to get everyone vaccinated and that will be a drag on growth.

Another worrisome data point comes from Iceland. The island nation opened on June 26 with extremely high rates of vaccination.

iceland vaccinations

Despite that, cases immediately began a sharp climb.

Iceland covid cases

The good news is that there have been only 3 hospital admissions so far but the bad news is that curbs are already back in place. Pre-arrival testing requirements are required again along with mask mandates and capacity limits.

Iceland largely used the Johnson & Johnson vaccine along with Pfizer.

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