In the U.K., AstraZeneca narrowed losses from its COVID-19 vaccine in the second quarter, but its earnings fell below forecast, the Wall Street Journal reported. That contrasts with rivals like Pfizer, who are making money from their shots.
AstraZeneca pledged last year to distribute the vaccine at no profit during the pandemic. Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said Thursday the company and its manufacturing partners had released a billion doses of the vaccine for use in more than 170 countries.
A growing number of companies are opting to require that their employees get vaccinated before returning to offices as the delta variant spreads. Google /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL +0.29% is postponing a return to the office for most workers until mid-October and rolling out a policy that will eventually require everyone to be vaccinated once it is fully reopened, the Associated Press reported. Facebook /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB +2.12% has announced the same requirement. That comes after a similar move from Apple Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +0.12% .
The U.S. airlines Delta /zigman2/quotes/200327741/composite DAL +0.26% and United /zigman2/quotes/205037281/composite UAL -0.72% are requiring new employees to show proof of vaccination. Goldman Sachs /zigman2/quotes/209237603/composite GS +1.60% and Morgan Stanley /zigman2/quotes/209104354/composite MS +0.32% are requiring their employees to disclose their vaccination status, but are not requiring staffers to be vaccinated.
Less that 10% of employers have said they intend to require all employees to be vaccinated, based on periodic surveys by the research firm Gartner.
The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness moved above 196 million on Thursday, while the death toll climbed above 4.19 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University .
The U.S. leads the world with a total of 34.7 million cases and in deaths with 611,813.
India is second by cases at 31.5 million and third by deaths at 422,662, according to its official numbers, which are expected to be undercounted.
Brazil is second in deaths at 553,179, but is third in cases at 19.8 million. Mexico has fourth highest death toll at 239,616 but has recorded just 2.8 million cases, according to its official numbers.
In Europe, Russia continues to pull ahead of the U.K. by deaths at 154,403, while the U.K. has 129,718, making Russia the country with the fifth highest death toll in the world and highest in Europe.
China, where the virus was first discovered late in 2019, has had 104,854 confirmed cases and 4,848 deaths, according to its official numbers, which are widely held to be massively underreported.