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The health ministry of Israel believes that the rollout of extra Covid-19 vaccine boosters will help curb the spread of the new Omicron wave.

James Picerno

James Picerno, a financial journalist and editor at the US Business Cycle Report, shared an article on the Pandemic Treatment Staff of Israel having recommended a quick rollout of extra coronavirus vaccine boosters, and a fourth Covid-19 shot for people aged above 60 years, typically at-risk groups, the immunocompromised, and healthcare workers. The government agency suggested that the groups could be administered the fourth dose after at least four months since their third dose.

Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett adhered to the recommendation and has ordered officials for holding Covid-19 vaccination campaigns, indicating that Israel will be the first country in the world to rollout a fourth dose for targeted age groups. Unconfirmed sources claim that the vaccinations could start as early as 26 December 2021.

Frederik Ducrozet

Frederik Ducrozet, an economist and global macro strategist at Pictet, retweeted an article shared by an ECB correspondent Francesco Canepa, on Italy facing debt doubts again as the European Central Bank (ECB) dials back its emergency support that helped most indebted eurozone economies tackle the Covid-19 crisis.

Experts state that fighting the economic and Covid-19 crisis has been expensive, with governments trying to support households and businesses over more than a year now. Italy’s public debt, as a result, has risen from 134.8% of the GDP in 2019 to a targeted 153.5% in 2021.

The ECB’s purchase since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak of $283.5bn of Italian debt under its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) has kept a lid on borrowing costs, with Italy’s ten-year bond yield lower now than before the pandemic at 0.9%. However, the prospect of PEPP ending in March has now revived worries for Italy, which has been witnessing chronic growth problems. Experts fear debt service costs to rise again if the ECB stopped purchasing Italian bonds, thereby triggering the doom loop.

Dylan Matthews

Dylan Matthews, journalist and currently serving as a senior correspondent for Vox, an online media venture, shared an article on the institutional failures at the US Food and Drug and Administration (FDA) documented in an excerpt that reveals that a scientist, Irene Bosch, had developed an inexpensive rapid test just weeks into the Covid-19 pandemic in the US and had also set up a factory, but she was hindered by an FDA process experts say that made no sense.

The Harvard-trained scientist had recently developed inexpensive tests for several tropical diseases, including plans to create tests for dengue fever at E25Bio, the biotech company she had founded two years earlier. She claims that within a few weeks, she and her colleagues had developed a test that could detect the SARS-Cov2 virus in 15 minutes, and her factory could have been revamped to produce about 100,000 Covid-19 tests per week, and at a price of less than $10 or cheaper.

Bosch’s tests, however, missed the FDA bar in March 2020, on the grounds that it was not nearly as sensitive as the lab tests used to determine an infected individual. Much later, in the spring of 2021, other companies developed similar tests that the agency accepted for emergence use authorisation.

Experts believe that many companies were stymied by an FDA review process for at-home tests when they were required the most and urgently at the time of the Covid-19 outbreak in the US. Although not a cure-all, many studies have suggested that rapid tests can curb the spread of the Covid-19 disease when used repeatedly and if infected individuals isolated themselves on time.