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Pop business for the intelligent reader. A publication from Medium.

Vaccines

In Marker. More on Medium.

Off Brand

Brands rush in to help end the pandemic with vaccine doughnuts and other marketing stunts

A promotional graphic with a partially eaten Krispy Kreme doughnut above a Covid-19 vaccination card, next to the text “Show your Vaccination Card, get a FREE Original Glaze Doughnut”
A promotional graphic with a partially eaten Krispy Kreme doughnut above a Covid-19 vaccination card, next to the text “Show your Vaccination Card, get a FREE Original Glaze Doughnut”

Skeptical about the Covid-19 vaccine? Or too lazy to get jabbed even though you’re eligible? Well perhaps you can be persuaded by… free doughnuts. This is apparently the thinking behind a new promotion from Krispy Kreme: Present your vaccination card at its U.S. locations, the Wall Street Journal reports, and you’ll get a glazed doughnut on the house.

The Journal suggests this may mark a new phase in brands’ attempts to find the right pandemic-era tone. The time for caution and concern is fading into a mixture of optimism and cajolery — get your shots, consumers, so we can all…


Off Brand

An angsty public is turning the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines into a dangerous brand battleground

A photo illustration featuring a shopping basket filled with vials of Covid-19 vaccines and shots.
A photo illustration featuring a shopping basket filled with vials of Covid-19 vaccines and shots.

Worldwide, there are 11 vaccines available to combat Covid-19. And according to some observers, this has led to a problem: “People are doing what they do with cars and peanut butter and Tinder profiles — comparison shopping,” an On the Media segment this weekend declared. Host Bob Garfield noted that among his friends and family in Serbia, where people apparently have access to options from Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca as well as Chinese and Russian vaccines, some choices have more “status” than others. “It’s conspicuous vaccine consumption,” he said.

Similar thoughts have been burbling around social media, suggesting “people are…


An army of event planners have discovered a newfound sense of purpose — and much-needed work

A line of people snakes through the club lounge at Gillette Stadium, where the New England Patriots play. They’re not here for a game, though; the stadium has been converted into the biggest Covid-19 vaccination center in Massachusetts.

Look more closely and you’ll see logos showing that the site is being operated by a company called CIC, which usually manages co-working spaces. Another company, DMSE Sports, which normally directs running events including the Boston Marathon, is handling the logistics.

DMSE’s involvement makes sense, said founder Dave McGillivray, because the vaccination process “is like a race.” He gestures around the busy…


FedEx trucks lined up on a street
FedEx trucks lined up on a street

FedEx delivery workers have officially reached hero status. They’ve transported essential goods during the pandemic, holiday packages during “shipageddon,” and now the first coronavirus vaccines during the peak of the outbreak. On Sunday, trucks and cargo planes from FedEx and UPS began rolling out across the country packed with the first of nearly three million doses. As David H. Freedman wrote in Marker recently, the pandemic has been a boon for FedEx: “Largely due to the pandemic, in the six months between April and September, the company’s shipping volume was up some 20% over last year’s numbers during the same…


Number of the Day

The chain is scrambling to fill 25,000 open positions as pharmacies prepare to serve as local immunization centers

$30,000–Largest sign-on bonus Walgreens is offering to pharmacists/technicians joining the company during its hiring spree
$30,000–Largest sign-on bonus Walgreens is offering to pharmacists/technicians joining the company during its hiring spree

$30,000: That’s the largest sign-on bonus Walgreens is offering to pharmacists and technicians joining the company during its vaccine hiring spree, according to Bloomberg.

Frontline health care workers were among the first Americans to receive the initial dose of the newly FDA-approved coronavirus vaccine this week — the beginning of an enormous public health partnership between the federal government and pharmaceutical manufacturers, shipping companies, hospitals, and pharmacies. With widespread vaccine distribution expected in the new year, pharmacies are preparing to serve as local immunization centers. …


Number of the Day

By the end of the year, Pfizer will have enough of its Covid-19 vaccine to immunize 25 million people

Marker Number of the Day — 25 million: Roughly how many people Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine can protect by the end of the year
Marker Number of the Day — 25 million: Roughly how many people Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine can protect by the end of the year

25 million: That’s how many people the pharmaceutical company Pfizer says its Covid-19 vaccine can protect by the end of 2020, according to Reuters.

This month, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and, most recently, AstraZeneca-Oxford all published promising results from robust trials of Covid-19 vaccines. Given the indications that these vaccines are effective, the question now turns to when they can be rolled out to the public.

Last week, Pfizer asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve its vaccine for emergency use. The FDA will meet to make that call on December 10. Unlike Moderna, which received $2.5 billion to…


The market is treating it like an impossible-to-predict black swan event—but it’s not

When news broke early this week that Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine trials were showing surprisingly strong results — 90% effectiveness preventing the virus in preliminary findings — some investors evidently saw it as a total game-changer: Markets broadly surged, and the Dow hit its highest level since February.

Set aside whether following the Dow is a useful exercise under any circumstance; the more startling data comes from the intensity of investors making extreme judgment calls on the future of some individual companies. The wider markets suggested general optimism, but individual shares were being brutally sorted into winners and losers: Carnival Cruise…


NUMBER OF THE DAY

The world’s largest vaccine maker and the Gates Foundation bet big on a Covid-19 vaccine that’s still being tested

Number of the Day: $3 Per Dose
Number of the Day: $3 Per Dose

$3 per dose: That’s the maximum price the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest producer of vaccines, announced it will charge India and other low- and middle-income countries for a Covid-19 vaccine.

Backed by a $150 million interest-free, forgivable loan from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Serum Institute committed to produce in 2021 up to 100 million doses of the two Covid-19 vaccine candidates from Novavax, as well as from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, both currently undergoing trials. That extra cash is helping to accelerate production and lower the price from the previously estimated $13

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