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Daily Briefing – 289

Post: Apr. 21, 2021

The U.S. is Approaching the Vaccine Hesitancy “Tipping Point”

The U.S. will probably run out of adults who are enthusiastic about getting vaccinated within the next two to four weeks, according to a KFF analysis published yesterday. Vaccine hesitancy is rapidly approaching as our main impediment to herd immunity.

  • “It appears we are quite close to the tipping point where demand for rather than supply of vaccines is our primary challenge,” the authors write.
  • “Federal, state, and local officials, and the private sector, will face the challenge of having to figure out how to increase willingness to get vaccinated among those still on the fence, and ideally among the one-fifth of adults who have consistently said they would not get vaccinated or would do so only if required.”

Read More at Axios

NYS Vaccine Update

As of 11 am Wednesday 8,495,354 (plus 89,326 from a day earlier) New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose and 5,819,417 are fully vaccinated (Plus 83,278).  In the Hudson Valley 895,656  (plus 12,678) have at least one dose and 580,643 (plus 11,452) are fully vaccinated. 

NYS COVID Update –Positivity Rate Continues to Drops to 

The Governor  also updated COVID data through Tuesday April 20th.  There were 53 COVID related deaths. The governor also announced that the statewide 7-day average COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to 2.14 percent, the lowest since November 12. 

Hospitalization tracking data for the Mid-Hudson region and the rest of the State are below.  


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 3,757
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 382

ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)

  • Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 4,245
  • Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 400

Other Data

  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 2.69%
  • Mid-Hudson Positivity Rate: 3.04%

Useful Websites:

US Vaccine Rollout – 3 Million Doses a Day

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday about 134.4 million people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, including about 87.6 million people who have been fully vaccinated by Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine or the two-dose series made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

The C.D.C. is now reporting people fully vaccinated by county of residence. This data is not available for all states, and is incomplete in others, artificially lowering the published vaccination rates for some counties.

Read more at The New York Times

EU Calls for J&J Covid-19 Vaccine Warning on Blood Clots, but Says Benefits Outweigh Risks

Europe’s health agency said a warning should be added to the product information of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine that unusual blood clots are a very rare possible side effect, but said the benefits of taking the shot outweigh the risks.

The move by European officials comes as use of the shot has been paused in both Europe and the U.S., where an advisory committee to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is scheduled to meet Friday to advise about the next course of action.  It also comes as the number of U.S. cases of blood-clot disorders linked to the shot has risen to nine, up from the six initially reported, according to a senior U.S. health official.

Read more at the WSJ

Ford, UAW to Offer COVID-19 Vaccines at Work

Ford Motor Co (F.N) on Monday said it would provide on-site COVID-19 vaccines to its hourly and salaried employees at manufacturing facilities in three states, stepping up efforts to keep its workers safe from the coronavirus.

Ford Motor Company and the United Auto Workers (UAW) have secured contracts allowing them to provide the vaccines at the company’s manufacturing facilities in Southeast Michigan, Missouri and Ohio, starting Monday, the automaker said.

Read more at Reuters 

Taiwan’s Worst Drought in Decades Deepens Chip Shortage Jitters

Taiwan is home to some of the world’s biggest and most advanced high-tech foundries, a linchpin of a global $450 billion industry that provides the computing power for essential devices, but is extremely water-intensive. The coronavirus pandemic sparked a global run on microchips as consumers snapped up electronics — causing a dearth that Taiwan’s microchip factories were struggling to plug even before the drought hit.

Those foundries are already running at full capacity trying to meet demand. But the sudden lack of rain is making a bad situation worse for a manufacturing process that uses billions of gallons of water a year to stave off contamination of its products.

Read more at IndustryWeek

Weed and the Workplace: A Closer Look

Cannabis, or marijuana, is the most consumed illicit substance. And now, roughly one in three Americans live in a state where cannabis is legal for either medical or adult-use (sometimes called recreational use).

That, combined with outdated policies and testing capabilities, have resulted in a hydra of concerns for companies caught between following the law and ensuring employee safety.

Read a roundup of recent articles on how to navigate these murky waters at EHS

$400 Signing Bonus for Workers? It’s Happening in Florida

Hospitality experts argue the drought in employees can be explained with three theories: fear of returning to closed spaces during a pandemic, ex-employees leaving the restaurant world for good, and the ease of collecting unemployment benefits.

South Florida restaurants are so desperate to fill critical jobs they are taking a page from the playbook of Silicon Valley headhunters: signing bonuses.

Read more at the Sun Sentinel

NY Fed Survey: Benefit Costs Again Top the List of Problems Along With Rising Pressure on Wages

Supplementary questions in the April 2016 Empire State Manufacturing Survey and
Business Leaders Survey focused on the extent to which certain business issues posed problems for firms.

As in previous surveys, the cost of employee benefits was cited most frequently, by far, as a major problem for manufacturers. The second most widespread problem among manufacturers was finding qualified workers, followed by government regulation.  While most of this month’s results closely paralleled those from October 2014, one issue that seems to have grown increasingly problematic—among both manufacturing and service firms—is employee wage costs.  Nearly two thirds of manufacturing expected employee wage costs to grow increasingly problematic. Among manufacturers, weak sales were also more widely cited as a problem than last time.

Read the Supplemental Report at the NY Fed