1) Pfizer said two doses of Covid-19 vaccine may not be fully effective against omicron
Pfizer said that the preliminary lab studies show two doses of Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine may not provide sufficient protection against the omicron variant while three doses are able to neutralize it. Still, two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine may still offer protection against severe disease caused by the omicron.
“Ensuring as many people as possible are fully vaccinated with the first two dose series and a booster remains the best course of action to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said the company in a statement on Wednesday.
The company also added that the fourth vaccine dose may be needed.
2) Covid-19 cases in South Africa continued to surge amid omicron variant
South Africa is seeing a surge in Covid-19 cases over the last week amid the spread of a highly contagious Covid-19 strain, omicron. As of December 7, 2021, 7-day average Covid-19 cases in South Africa was 11,881, which was a significant surge from around 280 cases in mid November.
3) China’s consumer price rose at the fastest pace since Aug. 2020
China’s consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, rose 2.3% in November YoY, according to the data from the National Bureau of Statistics reported on Thursday. The rise was at the fastest pace since August 2020, but still lower than a 2.5% forecast by economists. Meanwhile, producer prices in November rose 12.9% YoY, compared to an estimate of 12.1%.
4) Oil prices jumped back to $76
Oil prices jumped back above $76 per barrel as investors assessed the impact of the Covid-19 omicron despite the report of surging cases in South Africa. The international benchmark rose 0.36% in the morning session of the Asian market on December 9 to trade at $76.09 a barrel while the West Texas Intermediate rose 0.50% to $72.72 per barrel.