Please find this week’s edition of Weekly Digest attached.
AstraZeneca has published the interim data for its COVID-19 vaccine. One regimen gave half a dose to patients then a full dose a month later, with up to 90% efficacy. The other regimen gave two full doses a month apart, and showed 62% efficacy. The blended efficacy was thus 70%. This vaccine uses a different mechanism than the Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines and is therefore not directly comparable, though it looks as though the first regimen will be the one used, particularly as this would allow more people to be vaccinated.
In terms of infections, the US seven-day numbers continue to deteriorate while Europe is seeing some impact from the recent tightening of controls.
In the UK, although Christmas is likely to be social (to a degree), a tiering system will remain in place. Testing schemes will also be more comprehensive. Germany is considering extending its partial lockdown until 20th December. France is due to unveil changes to its lockdown rules on Tuesday.
This weekend saw further pressure on Donald Trump to concede the election, after a federal judge dismissed his Pennsylvania lawsuit. A few Republicans spoke out following this, urging concession. Trump still appears intent on persuading members of the electoral college to go against the public vote on 14th December. In the UK, press reports suggested that a deal is all but agreed, though it is unlikely to be announced before December.
The Week Ahead
Key data published this week includes the Purchasing Managers Indices for November (preliminary) for the US, UK & EU. On Wednesday, Rishi Sunak is due to deliver an update on UK Public Spending and the minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy meeting will be published. The US Thanksgiving Day holiday takes place on Thursday, followed by Black Friday, the annual shopping event. Companies scheduled to update this week include Compass Group, Deere & Co, Medtronic, Melrose and Aviva.