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KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: What We’ve Learned




The KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor is an ongoing research project tracking the public’s attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations. Using a combination of surveys and qualitative research, this project tracks the dynamic nature of public opinion as vaccine development and distribution unfold, including vaccine confidence and acceptance, information needs, trusted messengers and messages, as well as the public’s experiences with vaccination.

KFF launched the COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor in December 2020 to track the dynamic nature of the U.S. public’s attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccination as distribution efforts unfold across the country. As many states have opened up eligibility to everyone ages 16 and over and the remainder of states are poised to do so soon, this brief summarizes some of the key findings and themes from this research based on interviews with more than 11,000 adults across the nation to date.

Key takeaways

  • Broadly, the COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor has found that vaccine confidence in the U.S. has increased as more and more people have seen their friends and family members get vaccinated, and now a majority of the public has either already gotten vaccinated or is ready to get the vaccine as soon as they can. Yet with a small but persistent group opposed to getting the vaccine and many others still on the fence, the U.S. may soon hit a point where vaccine supply exceeds demand, a situation that is already the case in certain communities.
  • While some media narratives have focused on which groups are most “vaccine hesitant,” our research finds that no group is monolithic in their vaccine attitudes, and in every demographic segment there are large shares of people who are ready to get the vaccine, others who are in “wait and see” mode, and some who are more resistant. Even though certain demographics (for example, Republicans) have a higher share than other groups saying they don’t intend to get vaccinated and others (for example, Black adults) have a higher share saying they want to “wait and see,” we’ve found that majorities across all demographic groups are at least somewhat open to getting the vaccine.
  • Those who are not ready to get vaccinated for COVID-19 right away have a range of questions and concerns about the vaccine that require different strategies to address. The top concern across groups has been the potential side effects of the vaccine, including a substantial share who are worried about missing work due to side effects. Other concerns reflect a lack of access to accurate information; for example, many are concerned that they might get COVID-19 from the vaccine (which is not possible) or that they will have to pay out-of-pocket costs to get vaccinated (when in fact, vaccination is free). And other concerns reflect issues with vaccine access, including needing to take time off work to get vaccinated, issues with transportation, or concern about not being able to get the vaccine from a trusted place. Rather than a single messaging strategy, these concerns point to the need for a combination of information, outreach, and policies to both bolster confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and make vaccination accessible across communities.
  • Individual health care providers are the most trusted messengers when it comes to information about the COVID-19 vaccines. With trust in national public health messengers eroding and becoming increasingly partisan over the past year, local doctors, nurses, health care providers, and other trusted community figures have an important role to play in supplementing any national campaigns to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and uptake.
  • It is too early to know what effect the recent announcement about the pause in distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will have on COVID-19 vaccine confidence. Prior to this announcement, our research found that the one-shot vaccine was an appealing option for a large share of those in the “wait and see” group. However, the potential side effects of the vaccine are a top concern for those who have not yet been vaccinated, so if the public perceives blood clots as a potential side effect (regardless of whether a link is proven), this news does have the potential to increase concerns about getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. In the meantime, messages about the effectiveness of the existing vaccine options at preventing serious illness and death from COVID-19 are likely to be the most effective at bolstering confidence among those who are on the fence about getting the vaccine.

Vaccination intentions: trends and demographics

  • The share of the public that is eager to get the COVID-19 vaccine has been increasing over time, including across subgroups by race/ethnicity, partisanship, and urbanicity. As of March, six in ten adults said they had already gotten at least one dose of the vaccine (32%) or would get it as soon as it was available to them (30%), a share that has increased steadily since December, when 34% said they would get the vaccine as soon as possible. The share saying they want to “wait a while and see how it’s working for others” before getting vaccinated themselves declined steadily from 39% in December to 17% in March. Where we have not yet seen much movement is in the shares saying they definitely won’t get the vaccine (13% in March) or will do so only if required for work, school, or other activities (7%).
  • People at higher risk for serious complications and death from COVID-19 tend to be more enthusiastic about getting the vaccine. For example, in March, 82% of adults ages 65 and older and 70% of individuals with a serious health condition say they’ve already been vaccinated or will get the vaccine as soon as they can, compared to smaller shares of younger adults and those without serious health conditions. This at least partially reflects early access these groups had to the vaccine compared to others, but also the fact that larger shares of younger and healthier adults say they want to wait and see, will get the vaccine only if required, or will definitely not get vaccinated.
  • While enthusiasm for getting the vaccine increased dramatically among Black adults between February and March (from 41% to 55% saying they’d already gotten vaccinated or intended to do so as soon as possible), Black adults remain somewhat more likely than White adults to say they want to “wait and see” (24% vs. 16%). In earlier months, Hispanic adults were also somewhat more likely to say they wanted to “wait and see,” but by March the share among Hispanic adults decreased to 18%.
  • Education is also a dividing factor in vaccination intentions, with college-educated adults more likely than those without college degrees to say they’ve already gotten vaccinated or will do so as soon as they can (73% vs. 56% in March).
  • Vaccination intentions have also divided along party lines since December, reflecting the broader partisan dialogue about the pandemic over the past year. About eight in ten Democrats (79%) are eager to get the vaccine or say they have done so already, compared to nearly six in ten independents (57%) and just under half of Republicans (46%). About three in ten Republicans (29%) say they will “definitely not” get vaccinated, a share that has not changed substantially over time.
  • In addition, 28% of White Evangelical Christians say they will definitely not get the vaccine, reflecting the fact that two-thirds (66%) of this group either identifies as Republican or leans towards the Republican party. One in five rural residents also say they will definitely not get vaccinated, about twice the share as in urban areas, a gap largely explained by the concentration of Republicans and White Evangelical Christians who live there.

Challenges and opportunities that cross demographic groups

Concerns and messages

  • The potential side effects and the newness of the vaccine seem to be driving a lot of the concern among people who have not yet been vaccinated. Among the 37% of adults in March who were not yet convinced to get the vaccine as soon as possible, seven in ten said they were concerned they might experience serious side effects from the vaccine, and over six in ten were concerned the effects of the vaccine might be worse than getting COVID-19. In addition, when those who say they will definitely not get the vaccine are asked to state their main reason in their own words, the most common response is that the vaccine is too new and/or that not enough is known about the long-term effects.
  • Different groups respond to messaging and information at different levels, but of the messages we’ve tested, emphasizing the effectiveness of the vaccine at preventing serious illness and death is the most effective across groups (two-thirds of those in the “wait and see” group and four in ten in the “only if required” group say they’d be more likely to get vaccinated after hearing the vaccines are nearly 100% effective at preventing hospitalizations and death from COVID-19).
  • The “wait and see” group is an important target for outreach and messaging, since they express some concerns about getting vaccinated, but will likely be much easier to convert from vaccine-hesitant to vaccine-acceptant than those who say they will “definitely not” get the vaccine or will get it “only if required” to do so. Other messages/information that are effective at persuading many in the “wait and see group” include that scientists have been working on the technology used in the new COVID-19 vaccines for 20 years; that more than 100,000 people from diverse backgrounds took part in the vaccine trials; that the vast majority of doctors who have been offered the vaccine have taken it; and that there is no cost to get the vaccine.
  • Separate from concerns about the effects of the vaccine itself, about six in ten of those who are not yet convinced to get the vaccine right away are concerned that they might be required to get the vaccine even if they don’t want to.

Information and misinformation

  • Reaching people with information about how to access vaccines is an ongoing challenge. As of March, many people say they still don’t have enough information about when (46%) and where (33%) they’ll be able to get the vaccine, and three in ten are not sure if they are currently eligible in their state (rising to four in ten among Hispanics, young adults, and those with lower incomes).
  • Many are unaware of some basic facts about the vaccines and how they work. As of January, 34% of all those who had not been vaccinated had heard and believed or were unsure about several common “myths” about the vaccine (that it contains the live virus that causes COVID-19, that it causes infertility, or that one must pay out-of-pocket to get vaccinated), rising to 41% among the “wait and see” group and 53% among those who say they will “definitely not” get vaccinated. Around four in ten of those who are not yet convinced to get the vaccine right away (rising to half among Black and Hispanic adults) are concerned that they might get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
  • Health care providers are the top source people say they will turn to for information when making decisions about whether to get vaccinated (79%, far outranking other sources in January). However, just one-quarter of those who had not yet been vaccinated said they have asked a provider about the vaccine as of February. Regardless of the sources they trust or say they will turn to, the media is a more prominent source where people are actually getting information. Asked where they have gotten information about the vaccine in recent weeks, cable (43%), network (41%), and local TV news (40%) are top sources, along with family and friends (40%). However, social media, most notably Facebook, is among the most prominent sources of information for those who want to “wait and see” about the vaccine (37%) as well as those who say they “definitely won’t” get vaccinated (40%).

Vaccine access and experiences

  • While most of those who were vaccinated as of February say they were able to find or schedule a vaccine appointment on their own, about four in ten say someone else helped them, including larger shares of those with lower incomes and without college degrees. Among those who believe they are eligible but had not yet been vaccinated as of March, about a third have tried to schedule a vaccination appointment including 16% who did so successfully and 17% who say they tried but were unable to make an appointment.
  • Making access to vaccines more convenient may improve uptake among some groups. Among the “wait and see” group, half say they’d be more likely to get vaccinated if their doctor offered it during a routine appointment, and four in ten of those with jobs say they’d be more likely to get it if their employer arranged for them to get vaccinated at work. Employer incentives could also play a role (38% of the employed “wait and see” say they’ be more likely to get vaccinated if their employer paid them $200), as could airline travel requirements (almost half in both the “wait and see” and “only if required” groups say they’d be more likely to get vaccinated if it was required to fly).

Challenges and opportunities for key subgroups

Despite the demographic differences in vaccination intentions noted above, no group is monolithic in their attitudes towards the COVID-19 vaccines. In each demographic group, there are many who are eager to get the vaccine right away and some who say they won’t get it under any circumstances. Importantly, across all the groups we’ve analyzed, a large majority is at least somewhat open to getting the vaccine and no more than one-third say they will “definitely not” get it. Still, our in-depth survey work has revealed some insights that may be helpful for those looking to understand vaccine attitudes and increase confidence in specific populations, and those are outlined in the sections below.

Black and Hispanic adults

  • Concern about getting sick with COVID-19 is high among Black and Hispanic adults who want to wait and see before getting vaccinated, but concern about experiencing serious side effects of the vaccine is also high. Given this, messages focused on protecting individuals and families from illness, while also acknowledging and/or addressing concerns about serious side effects may be most successful.
  • People express a range of other concerns about the vaccine that can be addressed with better access to information and policies that make it easier for people to get the vaccine from trusted places, and many of these concerns are expressed at higher rates among people of color. In particular, among those who are not convinced to get the vaccine as soon as possible, at least half of Black and Hispanic adults are concerned that they might get COVID from the vaccine or that they might have to miss work if they have side effects. Addressing these misperceptions in conversations and outreach may be helpful.
  • For Black adults in particular, reluctance to get vaccinated may be related to mistrust of the health care system that reflects both historical mistreatment and personal experiences with racism and discrimination. In fact, 38% of Black adults and 27% of Hispanic adults who are not yet convinced to get the vaccine are worried they won’t be able to get it from a place they trust.
  • Black and Hispanic adults say they will turn to a wide range of information sources when making vaccine-related decisions, including individual health care providers, pharmacists, friends and family, and government health agencies. While religious leaders rank lower on the list of overall sources of information, among those who want to “wait and see,” Black adults (35%) and Hispanic adults (28%) are more likely than white adults (14%) to say they’ll turn to them for information, indicating a possible effective messenger to reach some the Black and Hispanic communities.


  • While about a third of Republicans say they will “definitely not” get the vaccine or will get it “only if required,” another 19% are in “wait and see” mode and may be receptive to messages and information aimed at increasing vaccine uptake. However, even within the “wait and see” group, partisan differences emerge that suggest different messaging strategies will be required. For example, two-thirds (67%) of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in the “wait and see” group view vaccination as a personal choice, and half (51%) believe the seriousness of COVID-19 is being exaggerated in the news, according to the January Monitor. This suggests that messages focused on helping people make the right choice to protect their own health are more likely to resonate with Republican audiences than those that emphasize the seriousness of the pandemic or the need to get vaccinated for the collective good.
  • Government sources of information (including the CDC and state and local health departments) are less trusted by Republicans than by Democrats in the “wait and see” group, so individual health care providers, pharmacists, and friends and family are a better conduit for messaging/information to Republicans.
  • Republicans – who tend to be particularly concerned about personal liberty – are more likely to be concerned about being required to get vaccinated against their will. Among those who are not convinced to get vaccinated right away, a larger share of Republicans (71%) compared to independents (57%) and Democrats (53%) say they are concerned that they might be required to get the vaccine even if they don’t want to.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of White Evangelical Protestants identify as Republicans or independents who lean toward the Republican Party, so there is a lot of overlap between their attitudes toward the COVID-19 vaccine and the attitudes of Republicans in general.

Rural residents

  • In a large survey of over 1,000 adults living in rural areas, we found signs of strong early uptake and access to vaccines in rural areas. A slightly larger share of adults in rural areas compared to urban and suburban areas reported having received at least one dose of the vaccine (39% vs. 31%), and an additional 16% of rural residents want to get the vaccine as soon as they can. In addition, most adults living in rural areas feel their community has enough vaccination locations and vaccine supply to serve local residents. However, Black adults living in rural areas are less likely than White or Hispanic adults to say their community has adequate supply of these things.
  • While one in five rural residents say they will “definitely not” get vaccinated, this is largely due to the disproportionate share of Republicans and White Evangelical Christians living in these areas. The concerns that rural residents have about the vaccine and the messages that resonate most to convince them to get vaccinated mirror the concerns and effective messages for the public at large.

The “definitely nots”

  • Those who say they will “definitely not” get the vaccine (13% of the overall public) have a very different view of the overall pandemic compared to the rest of the population. For example, 75% of this group believes the seriousness of coronavirus has been exaggerated by the media (compared to 32% of the public overall), and 82% are not worried about themselves or a family member getting sick from COVID-19 (compared to 50% of the public overall).
  • This group not only views the vaccine differently, but they also hold different views on other protective measures. For example, 96% of those in the “definitely not” group say getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is a personal choice rather than part of everyone’s responsibility to protect others (compared to 46% of the public overall who say this), and 65% believe that wearing a mask does not prevent the spread of coronavirus (compared with 20% of the public overall).
  • This group is highly distrustful of government sources of information; 83% say they trust the U.S. government “not too much” or “not at all” to look out for the interests of people like them, and 71% say they do not trust the CDC for reliable information about COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Of the messages and incentives we’ve tested to see what might make people more likely to get the vaccine, none are effective at moving more than a very small share of the “definitely not” group. For example, fewer than one in ten among this group say they’d be more likely to get vaccinated after hearing the vaccines are nearly 100% effective at preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19 or that scientists have been working on the technology used in the vaccines for 20 years. A similarly small share say they’d be more likely to get vaccinated if airlines required it or if it was offered to them during a routine medical visit.

Frontline health care workers

  • A KFF/Washington Post survey of frontline health care workers, including those who work in various functions such as treating patients, performing administrative duties, or assisting with patient’s daily activities and housekeeping, found that half (52%) of all frontline health workers reported receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of early March and another one in five (19%) had scheduled or were planning to receive the vaccine. Another nearly one in five (18%) said they did not plan to get vaccinated and 12% had not made up their mind.
  • As among the general public, COVID-19 vaccination intention among health care workers divides by race/ethnicity and education, as well as by work location and type of job duties. For example, while the large majority of those working in hospitals have been gotten the vaccine or intend to do so, almost half of those working in patients’ homes say they won’t get vaccinated or are undecided. And among physicians (and nurses with graduate degrees), nearly nine in ten report either already being vaccinated or plan to get a vaccine.
  • Health care employers have a role to play in making sure their employees can get vaccinated. The share of health care workers who were offered a COVID-19 vaccine from their employer was much lower among those working in patients’ homes compared to those working hospitals and other settings.
  • The potential side effects of the vaccine – a top concern among the public – are also a top concern for health care workers who have not yet been vaccinated; 82% say worry about possible side effects is a major factor in their decision about whether to get vaccinated.

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New Approaches to Covid-19 Treatment Enter the Picture




The Covid-19 treatment response process includes a number of different major players, including Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE), BioNTech SE – ADR (NASDAQ: BNTX), Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA), AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ: AZN), Novavax Inc (NASDAQ: NVAX), Halberd Corp (OTC US: HALB), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ).

The pandemic is under control. Or is it? In much of the developing world, this is far from the case. Only about 12% of people in the world have had access to vaccines. And new mutated variants are popping up all around the world every day.

Sooner or later, those mutated variants will start to fall outside the efficacy boundaries of our current vaccine solutions, and we will have to start working on vaccine 2.0. Then vaccine 3.0. On and on it will go.

Suffice it to say, the effort needs to be comprehensive and multifaceted if we are to be successful over the long term in this battle. And that process may need to include some different approaches.

With that in mind, we take a look a few of the more interesting stocks in the Covid-19 space.

Novavax Inc (NASDAQ: NVAX) bills itself as a clinical-stage biotechnology company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of recombinant nanoparticle vaccines and adjuvants.

Its lead adjuvant is Matrix-M that is used to enable a vaccine to enhance the amplitude of the immune response and qualitatively change it, enhance its specificity to provide protection against related microorganisms, as well as allows immunization with much lower doses of antigen.

Novavax Inc (NASDAQ: NVAX) most recently announced that it has finalized an advance purchase agreement (APA) with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) for supply of its recombinant protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate to the COVAX Facility. Under the APA, Novavax is expected to manufacture and distribute 350 million doses of NVX-CoV2373 to countries participating under the COVAX Facility, which was established to allocate and distribute vaccines equitably to participating countries and economies. Under a separate purchase agreement with Gavi, the Serum Institute of India (Serum Institute) is expected to manufacture and deliver the balance of the 1.1 billion doses of Novavax’ vaccine.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to partner with global organizations focused on accelerating equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, particularly in countries where vaccination rates are currently low,” said Stanley C. Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer, Novavax. “This arrangement is the culmination of a collaboration among CEPI, Gavi, Serum Institute and Novavax, who are partnering in our urgent mission to deliver significant amounts of vaccines to all countries, regardless of income level. Novavax thanks CEPI for its longstanding support and tireless work with Gavi as the curators of the COVAX Facility.”

Even in light of this news, NVAX has had a rough past week of trading action, with shares sinking something like -26% in that time. That said, chart support is nearby and we may be in the process of constructing a nice setup for some movement back the other way. NVAX shares have been relatively flat over the past month of action, with very little net movement during that period.

Novavax Inc (NASDAQ: NVAX) managed to rope in revenues totaling $279.7M in overall sales during the company’s most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top line growth of 3072.2%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($804.9M against $579.7M).

Halberd Corp (OTCMKTS: HALB) is another interesting play on the coronavirus theme, albeit with an alternative direction from the vaccine producers. The company recently announced the appointment of Dr. Mitchell S. Felder, previously a consultant to Halberd Corporation, to the position of Chief Technical Officer. Dr. Patricio Reyes, former Chief Technical Officer, has requested reduced duties due to pressing other outside commitments, but will continue to serve as a valuable contributor to the company moving forward, as a consultant.

According to the release, Dr. Felder is a Board-Certified Neurologist and is the author of numerous patents, including critical patents on the development of radio frequency and laser emissive energy in the extracorporeal eradication of disease. Dr. Felder, in his new role, will oversee the coordination of testing in these fields at three university-affiliated organizations.

Halberd Corp (OTCMKTS: HALB) president and CEO, William A. Hartman, stated, “This move will not only fill the spot vacated by Dr. Reyes, but is intended to maximize the benefits of our R&D tests at Youngstown State University, where we intend to conduct simultaneous experimentations on both radio frequency and laser methods to eradicate E. coli bacteria from water, as a prelude to eradicating disease from bodily fluids. Most of the required equipment and supplies have either been recently secured or are already on hand, and the start of testing is imminent and may have already begun. Tests on other pathogens, including Covid-19 will be conducted after demonstrating success in eliminating E. coli bacteria from distilled water, initially, and subsequently from human bodily fluids. Halberd’s technology is protected via two existing patents on the requisite extra-corporeal (outside the body) process and eight related provisional patent applications filed in the last year.”

Hartman added, “Our scientists believe that the advantage of radio frequency and lasers to eradicate disease antigens is that virtually no disease would be immune from these processes, and there would be virtually none of the side effects associated with the application of conventional internal medications for disease treatment. We are exploring both radio frequency and lasers to eradicate disease so that the most appropriate methodology can be applied to each specific disease. If successful, these processes could revolutionize the worldwide medical industry.”

HALB shares have been rising over the past 8 months, pushing about 500% higher in that time. Over that period, the stock’s upward trend has held firm, and it has seen numerous rallies spurred by successive tests of the trendline. Here we are again, as the stock is testing the trendline support for the umpteenth time since last November. It may represent yet another trend test opportunity for new investors. Keep it on the radar.

Halberd Corp (OTCMKTS: HALB) with vaccine solutions against COVID-19 already receiving some cultural pushback, demand for alternative solution(s) may be a big story in the weeks and months ahead. The company may be one of the few that has the capacity to offer something materially different to the established paradigm.

Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) promulgates itself as a clinical stage biotechnology company that develops therapeutics and vaccines based on messenger RNA for the treatment of infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, and autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases. It has a leading approved COVID-19 vaccine now in distribution around the world.

It has strategic alliances with AstraZeneca, Merck & Co., Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) just reported financial results and provided business updates for the first quarter 2021 and highlighted pipeline progress, including increased 2021 supply forecast to between 800 million and 1 billion doses; making additional investments to increase global supply for COVID-19 Vaccine to up to 3 billion doses in 2022 (depending on the mix); the company recently announced data supporting 3-month refrigerated (2-8°C) stable formulation; and new data shows a single booster dose of 50 µg of mRNA-1273 or mRNA-1273.351 increased neutralizing titers against SARS-CoV-2 and two variants of concern (B.1.351, P.1) in previously vaccinated clinical trial participants.

“In the first quarter, the Moderna team delivered on its supply commitments to many governments and helped protect more than 100 million people. This accomplishment translated into our first profitable quarter in the company’s history, after 10 years of scientific innovation and several billion dollars invested to make our mRNA platform a reality,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna. “Based on these first quarter accomplishments and our current manufacturing scale-up trajectory, we were pleased to again increase our base plan for 2021 to 800 million doses. The Moderna team and our manufacturing partners are working hard to get as close to 1 billion doses in 2021 as we can. The feedback from governments around the world requesting high-efficacy mRNA vaccines and variant boosters is overwhelming. We are now actively engaged in discussions and agreements for 2022 with all of the governments we are currently supplying for 2021. On top of that, new partnerships, like COVAX, for up to 466 million doses in 2022 and discussions with new governments in Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, make us believe that our total advance purchase agreements for 2022 should be higher than those in 2021.”

The stock has suffered a bit of late, with shares of MRNA taking a hit in recent action, down about -9% over the past week.

Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) pulled in sales of $570.7M in its last reported quarterly financials, representing top-line growth of 3960.8%. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($4.6B against $4.4B).

DISCLAIMER:  EDM Media LLC (EDM), is a third-party publisher and news dissemination service provider, which disseminates electronic information through multiple online media channels.  EDM is NOT affiliated in any manner with any company mentioned herein.  EDM and its affiliated companies are a news dissemination solutions provider and are NOT a registered broker/dealer/analyst/adviser, holds no investment licenses and may NOT sell, offer to sell or offer to buy any security.  EDM’s market updates, news alerts and corporate profiles are NOT a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell or hold securities.  The material in this release is intended to be strictly informational and is NEVER to be construed or interpreted as research material.  All readers are strongly urged to perform research and due diligence on their own and consult a licensed financial professional before considering any level of investing in stocks.  All material included herein is republished content and details which were previously disseminated by the companies mentioned in this release.  EDM is not liable for any investment decisions by its readers or subscribers.  Investors are cautioned that they may lose all or a portion of their investment when investing in stocks.  For current services performed EDM has NOT been compensated for news coverage of the current press releases issued by Halberd Corp (OTCMKTS: HALB).


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Brazilian President Allocates More Than $1 Billion To Produce COVID-19 Vaccines




President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro announced Monday that the country is directing more than $1 billion toward the production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Andressa Anholete/Getty Images hide caption

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Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

Brazil, one of the worst-hit countries in the world by the pandemic, is directing more than $1 billion toward the production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, the country’s far-right president announced Monday, Reuters reported.

President Jair Bolsonaro, who has criticized lockdown measures and has told Brazilians to “stop whining” about the deadly virus, said about $1.05 billion will be spent on the inoculation effort.

The announcement comes amid an investigation into Bolsonaro’s role in his government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, which has killed more than 421,000 people to date — the second highest number of fatalities in the world.

During the first day of testimony last week, the country’s former health minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta told the Senate committee investigating Bolsonaro’s actions that the president “went against science-based Ministry of Health guidelines for fighting the coronavirus pandemic,” Folha de S. Paolo reported.

Mandetta was sacked by Bolsonaro in April 2020.

According to the Brazilian newspaper, Mandetta told officials that before getting fired, he wrote a letter to the president saying social distancing could help contain the spread of the virus. “It was very embarrassing for a health minister to explain that the health minister was going one way and the president the other,” he said

Since the start of the pandemic, Bolsonaro has consistently downplayed the global health crisis and contradicted expert advice on how to slow its spread.

“Enough fussing and whining. How much longer will the crying go on?” Bolsonaro told a crowd at an event in March. “How much longer will you stay at home and close everything? No one can stand it anymore. We regret the deaths, again, but we need a solution.”

The president led hundreds of motorcyclists in a rally celebrating Mother’s Day in the capital around Brasilia on Sunday. He took advantage of the demonstration to once again ridicule health officials who advocate for social distancing measures.

“Let all those who want to see the people far from me, or who hope to see me far from the people, give up,” Bolsonaro wrote in a tweet.

As of May 9, more than 46.8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed, the government reported.

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FDA OKs Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine For 12-15 Age Group




A doctor prepares to administer a vaccine injection at New York-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, N.Y., in January. The Food and Drug Administration has approved emergency use authorization of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for patients ages 12 to 15. Kevin Hagen/AP hide caption

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The Food and Drug Administration said Monday that children 12 to 15 years old are now eligible to receive a key COVID-19 vaccine as the agency expanded its emergency use authorization for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting FDA commissioner, said the expansion “brings us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy.”

“Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations,” Woodcock said.

Until now, the Pfizer vaccine had been authorized only for people age 16 and older. Pfizer asked the FDA to broaden its emergency use authorization for the vaccine after announcing in late March that clinical trials found “100% efficacy and robust antibody responses” in study participants who were 12 to 15.

The FDA first granted Pfizer’s request for an emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine in December. It got federal approval to include children as young as 12 in its vaccine trial in October.

All three makers of U.S.-authorized vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — are studying the safety and effectiveness of their vaccines in children, including as young as 6 months.

Johnson & Johnson said last week that its vaccine “will initially be tested in a small number of adolescents, which will be expanded to a larger group in a step-wise approach, if initial data shows an acceptable safety profile.”

Those expanded trials started last month when J&J vaccine shots were given to teens from 16 to 17. If all goes well, the trial will include kids as young as 12, the company said.

Moderna said in mid-April that its vaccine study in adolescents is now fully enrolled, with around 3,000 people ages 12 to 17 slated to receive doses. A second phase of the study will follow, including children who are from 6 months to 11 years old.

Pfizer said it won’t be ready to ask the FDA for new emergency use authorization expansions for kids younger than 12 until September. One such request would cover children from 2 to 5 years old; a second would apply to ages 5 to 11. A third request, aimed at protecting infants and toddlers, isn’t expected until the fourth quarter of this year.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they have the capacity to manufacture up to 2.5 billion vaccine doses in 2021, and to produce at least 3 billion doses in 2022.

In another move that could boost COVID-19 vaccine availability, Pfizer recently asked the FDA to approve a change that would allow its vaccine to be stored at common refrigerator temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (roughly 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to four weeks. The company said it submitted data about the vaccine’s stability at those temperatures on April 30.

In general, Pfizer’s vaccine must be stored at ultra-cold temperatures of around -70 degrees Celsius (-94 degrees Fahrenheit). The company loosened that requirement a bit in February, however, saying the shots, which use messenger RNA, could safely be kept at typical home freezer temperatures, -25 to -15 degrees Celsius (-13 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit), for up to two weeks.

The COVID-19 vaccine’s success has brought billions of dollars to Pfizer. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, the vaccine added $3.5 billion in global revenue, Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla told investors in a conference call last week. Over the entire year, Pfizer could bring in around $26 billion based on the vaccine, Bourla said.

The company and BioNTech, its development and revenue-sharing partner, have shipped some 430 million doses to 91 countries and territories, Bourla said last week.

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China To Set Up ‘Line Of Separation’ On Mount Everest, Citing Nepal COVID-19 Outbreak




China will set up a “line of separation” at Mount Everest’s summit, as Nepal struggles to control a COVID-19 outbreak. In this photograph, on May 2, 2021 mountaineers trek along the Khumbu glacier near Everest base camp in the Mount Everest region of Solukhumbu district, some 140 km northeast of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu. Prakash Mathema/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Prakash Mathema/AFP via Getty Images

China will set up a “line of separation” on one side of Mount Everest’s peak, saying the measure is needed to keep Nepal’s COVID-19 outbreak from crossing the border, according to state media.

The plan is part of China’s “zero contact strategy” to keep climbers from the Chinese and Nepalese sides of Everest from mixing if they reach the summit on the same day, said Nyima Tsering, head of the Tibetan Sports Bureau, according to the state-run Xinhua news outlet.

Everest straddles the border between Nepal and the Tibetan region of China — where the world’s highest mountain is known as Mount Qomolangma. The separation line will be erected by guides who are climbing alongside rope-fixing teams who are readying paths for the looming season.

Officials say the line will cordon off the northern side of the peak, starting from one of the highest Tibetan camps at 8,300 meters (about 27,230 feet), from which mountaineers leave to reach the summit.

China has barred foreigners from visiting Everest since last year, due to the pandemic. But for the 2021 mountaineering season, Chinese nationals have been granted 21 expedition permits for the north side of the mountain, Xinhua reports.

News of China’s plan comes after a coronavirus outbreak made headlines at Nepal’s Everest Base Camp, which is situated at 17,598 feet. Some climbers were evacuated to the capital, Kathmandu, for further tests and treatment for COVID-19. Last week, Nepalese officials reportedly confirmed around 17 cases, but anecdotal reports have put the number much higher, with more than 30 mountaineers said to be infected.

In addition to the separation line at the summit, the China Tibet Mountaineering Association has set up a checkpoint 300 meters from the base camp where climbers adjust to the high altitude’s low oxygen levels, Xinhua said.

Nepal’s health ministry has reported more than 403,000 COVID-19 cases, including more than 9,100 new infections on Monday. Nearly 3,900 Nepalese have died from the disease. There are currently more than 93,000 actives cases in Nepal, whose population tops 28 million people.

The rush of new COVID-19 cases has put Nepal’s public health system on the brink of disaster, according to Human Rights Watch.

“Large volumes of oxygen equipment and other medical supplies are urgently needed to avert a Covid-19 catastrophe in the country,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, HRW’s South Asia director.

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