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Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend was somehow relaxing and refreshing, given the events occurring outside your window. Now, though, the time has come to resume the usual routine of Zoom meetings, Skype calls, and deadlines. After all, the world keeps spinning. So why not give it a push with help from a cup of stimulation? Our choice today is blueberry mountain. Feel free to join us. Meanwhile, here are a few items of interest to get you going. Hope you have a swell day, and stay safe — wear a mask. …

South Africa is halting its rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca (AZN) and the University of Oxford, following a new analysis that suggests the shot “provides minimal protection” against mild disease caused by the new coronavirus variant circulating in that country, STAT writes. Two top virologists advising the government said the pause is necessary and a new process will study vaccines to try and determine that each vaccine reduces Covid hospitalizations in South Africa despite the widespread new variant there.


Pfizer (PFE) expects to nearly cut in half the amount of time it takes to produce a batch of Covid-19 vaccine from 110 days to an average of 60 as it makes the process more efficient and production is built out, USA Today tells us. Making the DNA that starts the vaccine process first took 16 days, but soon will take nine or 10. While quality control and testing has accelerated, Pfizer says regulations and best manufacturing practices are still being met. Along with improving speed, Pfizer also is increasing output by adding manufacturing lines in its three plants.

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