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Iowa Unemployment Continues Downward

Iowa Workforce Development reports that Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.6% in October. There were 58,500 unemployed Iowans in October compared to 78,700 in September, a difference of 20,200. There were 1,574,300 Iowans working in October compared to 1,559,100 in September, a difference of 15,200. The total workforce in October was 1,632,900 compared to 1,612,800 in September.  The labor force participation rate was 65.8%. This is the percent of people over the age of 16 who are working or looking for work. There are 72,000 jobs posted on iowaworks.gov.

FDA Emergency COVID-19 Vaccine Approval 

Here is FDA’s description of the process for giving emergency approval for the COVID-19 vaccines:

“In public health emergencies, such as a pandemic, the development process may be atypical. For example, as demonstrated by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government has coalesced government agencies, international counterparts, academia, nonprofit organizations and pharmaceutical companies to develop a coordinated strategy for prioritizing and speeding development of the most promising vaccines. In addition, the federal government has made investments in the necessary manufacturing capacity at its own risk, giving companies confidence that they can invest aggressively in development and allowing faster distribution of an eventual vaccine. However, efforts to speed vaccine development to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have not sacrificed scientific standards, integrity of the vaccine review process, or safety.”

I was able to find quite a bit of information on Pfizer’s application from its website. Pfizer is one of the companies that has applied for emergency approval of a vaccine. It says that in its tests, the vaccine was 95% effective. It was 94% effective for people over 65 years of age. No serious safety concerns are reported. The vaccine requires 2 doses. It must be stored at -94 degrees Fahrenheit. Pfizer says it can have 50 million doses ready in 2020, and 1.3 billion in 2021, if it gets approval in about 3 weeks which is its goal. Priority will go to healthcare workers, the elderly and people with underlying conditions.

AstraZeneca has also applied for emergency approval for its vaccine. It reports that its vaccine was 90% effective in its tests, when a one half dose was given first, followed by a full dose at least a month later. Oddly, 2 full doses resulted in a lower level of success. The company says the vaccine can be stored and transported at 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit. It hopes for approval by December 31. It says it can have “up to” 3 billion doses in 2021.

Moderna is another company working on emergency approval, both here in the U.S. and in Europe. It reports 94.5% effectiveness in its tests. Its vaccine can be stored at -4 degrees Fahrenheit. It says it can have 20 million doses by the end of the year, enough for 10 million people because of the 2 dose requirement, and 500 million in 2021.

Apparently, some people have mild side effects, mild fever and muscle soreness, with all of the vaccines. This is not uncommon with vaccines.

As always please feel free to contact me with your ideas or concerns.

Author: Julian Garrett