The road from pandemic to hope always ran uphill but it doesn't help when one of the vaccines developed on a breakneck schedule causes potentially lethal side effects.
After all, pausing the primary European shot doesn't do the world any favors. At least 500 million people were depending on AstraZeneca to protect them and now they're back at zero . . . while the virus itself mutates.
Not all shots were created equal. American Century Funds knows how important it is that you and your clients know which vaccines are safe and which ones work against emerging COVID mutations.
They're hosting a free webinar for the entire financial community next week. You can sign up HERE.
Noted molecular biologist Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado (chief scientific officer at the Stowers Institute) will talk about developments in the vaccine space and variant forms of the disease. The timing couldn't be better.
Delays in Europe will literally be fatal. But with around 2 in a million shots associated with dangerous blood clots, the world's governments can't take chances either.
And unless AstraZeneca can restore confidence, the world is going to need to source 2 billion shots from one of the other companies. That's probably going to set global immunity back at least a year.
When The Cure Is Worse
As it stands, barely 3% of the European population has currently gotten any vaccination at all, compared to around 10% in the U.S. They just weren't making progress even before side effects started to show up.
AstraZeneca stands by its clinical data, arguing that blood clots are actually more prevalent in the general population. Unfortunately, a lot of people are already edgy about how safe any of the vaccines really are.
Development was both politically motivated and rushed, compressing what would ordinarily be years of careful observation into weeks. While the disease can be deadly, we still don't really know the long-term repercussions of injecting a rushed preventative into just about everyone on the planet.
Meanwhile, Americans aren't getting a lot of choice unless they fight for a preferred shot or wheedle their way into the right distribution site.
Many prefer the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, even though it doesn't seem quite as effective overall and the first-day ache can get intense.
Pfizer and Moderna are more effective and rarely hurt so much on the first shot . . . but scheduling the second appointment can be onerous. The last number I saw showed that half of the people have yet to go back for that final dose.
Until they do, their immunity is at best imperfect, which isn't good. And throughout the process, people are jumping state lines and ZIP codes to get a better place in line.
Vaccine tourism is real. Your clients may want to take a vacation to a state that doesn't check residence. After all, people all over the world are already coming here for just that reason.
(Apparently the Pfizer dose is most desirable overseas. AstraZeneca's setback will only make that preference stronger.)
Either way, if your clients are nervous or simply looking for more information, you can provide. Sign up HERE for next week's webinar.