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Worth Reading

Good News on Vaccines. Bad News About Future Disruptions.

“Incoming!” -Covid Vaccines

COVAX, the WHO’s global vaccine-sharing effort for less affluent countries, delivered its first batch of vaccines this week. According to Reuters, a flight carrying 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India landed in Ghana’s capital Accra on Tuesday. Ghana’s vaccination drive will prioritize frontline health workers and others at high risk.

Pfizer and Moderna expect to double vaccine shipments to the U.S. government by spring. Pfizer will go from delivering 4-5 million vaccines a week in February to 13 million by mid-March, and Moderna is hoping to deliver 40 million doses per month with another 100 million shipped by the end of May. And Johnson & Johnson, pending emergency use authorization from the FDA, expected shortly, says it can make 20 million doses of its vaccine available by the end of March. (Axios)

We’re Not Ready for Disruptions in Climate, Supply Chains, or Computer Infrastructure  

The lights and water are back on for many Texans, but at the NYT reports, “signs of the risks posed by increasingly extreme weather to America’s aging infrastructure are cropping up across the country.” Blackouts, collapsing roads, and overflowing sewer systems are just a few of the many treats we can expect as extreme weather, brought on by climate change, batters our crumbling national infrastructure. This is especially frustrating when you hear that by investing in modernization and clean tech we could both hit net zero by 2050 AND add $1 trillion to the U.S. economy. (Fast Company)

Our tech supply chain is also showing vulnerabilities. But President Biden plans to sign an executive order to lessen our dependence on China for essentials like chips, semiconductors, electric-vehicle batteries, rare-earth metals. and medical products. (Nikkei)

And Senate hearings this week show we still have no understanding of the “scale and scope” of the Russian “Solar Winds” hack of US companies and government agencies. Said Microsoft’s president Brad Smith, “Right now, the attacker is the only one who knows the entirety of what they did.” Described as “one of the biggest failures of American intelligence since Pearl Harbor and the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks,” the cyberattack could be ongoing – as in happening right now. (NYT) Oh, and apparently hackers tied to Russia’s GRU have been targeting the US grid for years. (WIRED)

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