Global Markets: Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine 94 per cent effective

WINNIPEG, Feb. 25 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– The first large independent real-world study of the Pfizer/BioNTech two-dose COVID-19 vaccine has revealed on Wednesday that the shot is almost completely effective against the virus. The study, which was conducted in Israel on 1.2 million people with data published and peer-reviewed by the New England Journal of Medicine, determined that the vaccine reduced symptomatic cases by 94 per cent across all age groups. The vaccine was also 57 per cent effective with one dose after two weeks, as well as effective against the variant of concern originating in the United Kingdom. Half of all Israelis have received at least one dose of the vaccine since last December.

– Jobless claims in the United States have fallen, according to the U.S. Labor Department. In total, 730,000 Americans applied for unemployment benefits for the week ending Feb. 20, a decline from 841,000 the week before. However, the number of claims may increase again after a brutal cold snap left millions of people in Texas without power or water.

– A shortage of semiconductors, used in computer microchips, has caused delays in producing both electronic devices and vehicles. The shortage was caused by increased demand for home electronics during COVID-19 lockdowns and reduced demand for vehicles, which had caused chip makers to scale down production. Data firm IHS Markit predicts the shortage to continue into next month.

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