Moderna Inc. said on Thursday it was developing a single-dose vaccine that combines a booster dose against COVID-19 and a booster against flu.
“Our number-one priority as a company right now is to bring to market a pan-respiratory annual booster vaccine, which we plan to always customize and upgrade,” chief executive officer Stéphane Bancel said.
The company said the benefits of a pan-respiratory vaccine would be immense, pointing to Centers for Disease Control data that indicates there were over 400,000 hospitalizations due to influenza in the U.S. in the last pre-pandemic year, with the seasonal flu representing an average economic burden of $11 billion US annually.
The drugmaker already had several influenza vaccine candidates in development. The new vaccine combines the experimental flu shot that is furthest along with its COVID-19 vaccine.
Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine received its emergency authorization for people aged 18 and older in Canada and the United States in December 2020. The vaccine was approved by Health Canada for those 12 to 17 in late August, and the company is in an ongoing mid-stage trial testing its authorized COVID-19 vaccine in children aged six months to less than 12 years.
The Massachusetts-based drugmaker signed a memorandum of understanding with the federal government in Ottawa in early August to build an mRNA vaccine manufacturing plant in Canada.
WATCH | Canada will purchase different Moderna vaccines ‘for a number of years to come’:
Novavax Inc. said on Wednesday it had initiated an early stage study to test its combined flu and COVID-19 vaccine.
Its trial, to be conducted in Australia, will enrol 640 healthy adults between the ages of 50 and 70 and who have either been previously infected with the coronavirus or given an authorized COVID-19 vaccine at least eight weeks prior to the study.
Participants will receive a combination of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373, and its influenza shot NanoFlu, along with an adjuvant or vaccine booster.
“Combination of these two vaccines … may lead to greater efficiencies for the health-care system and achieve high levels of protection against COVID-19 and influenza with a single regimen,” Gregory Glenn, president of research and development at Novavax, said in a statement.
Novavax trial results expected in first half of 2022
Novavax had said in May it expects seasonal influenza and COVID-19 combination vaccines to likely be critical in combating emerging COVID-19 variants. Its vaccine NanoFlu/NVX-CoV2373 had elicited robust responses to both influenza A and B and protected against the coronavirus in pre-clinical studies.
The company, based in Maryland, expects the trial results in the first half of 2022.
Novavax has yet to file for emergency use authorization of its two-dose COVID-19 vaccine in North America or Europe.
The company signed a deal with the European Union this month to supply up to 200 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine. Novavax said in its most recent earnings announcement that it planned to submit its data to the EU “within weeks” of its filing to British regulators, setting the likely timeline between late September and early October, a spokesperson said.
GM extends EV Bolt production halt to mid-October
WASHINGTON (Reuters) –General Motors Co said on Thursday it will extend a shutdown of a Michigan assembly plant to mid-October following a new recall of its Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles over battery issues after 12 reported fires.
The largest U.S. automaker said the extension of the production halt at its Orion Assembly plant will go through at least Oct. 15. GM also said it was cutting production at six other North American assembly plants because of the ongoing semiconductor chips shortage.
GM said it will not resume Bolt production or sales until it is satisfied that the recall remedy will address the fire risk issue. It said Thursday it had reports of 12 fires and three injuries.
GM shares were largely unchanged in late trading.
GM in August widened its recall of the Bolt to more than 140,000 vehicles to replace battery modules, at a cost now estimated at $1.8 billion. The automaker said it would seek reimbursement from battery supplier LG.
It is not clear how long it will take GM to obtain replacement battery modules for recalled vehicles and whether it will have diagnostic software that will allow it to certify some modules do not need replacing.
GM said the additional three-week production halt at its Bolt plant comes as it continues “to work with our supplier to update manufacturing processes.”
Earlier this month GM was forced to halt production at most North American assembly plants temporarily because of the chips shortage.
The new production cuts include a Lansing, Michigan, plant that builds the Chevrolet Traverse and the Buick Enclave.
GM is also cutting production of SUVs like the Chevrolet Equinox, Blazer and GMC Terrain at plants in Mexico and Canada. It will also make further production cuts at Michigan and Kansas plants that make Chevrolet Camaro and Malibu cars.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday it plans a Sept. 23 White House meeting with automakers and others “to discuss the ongoing global chip shortage, the impact the Delta variant has had on global semiconductor supply chains and the industry’s progress toward improving transparency.”
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Dan Grebler)
Present Yourself as a ‘No Brainer’ to Hire
A few jobs back, HR had scheduled four interviews, throughout my day, for a position I had open. The first interview went “okay.” The second candidate, however, impressed me so much I hired him on the spot. I instructed HR to cancel the remaining two interviews.
The second candidate did something I rarely see—they presented themselves as a ‘no brainer’ to hire.
- Their resume was result-oriented (Not a list of opinions — “I’m a team player,” “detail-oriented,” “hard-working,” etc.).
- They dressed as if they were already employed with my company. (In this case, a global multi-brand tour operator.)
- They clearly articulated their value.
- They told me several STAR (Situation. Task. Action. Results.) stories I could envision and relate to.
If your resume (skills and experience) impressed the employer, and after reading your LinkedIn profile to determine if you’re interview-worthy, you’ll be invited to an interview—the first most likely being via Zoom or Skype.
Impressing someone on paper and via your LinkedIn profile has its challenges, especially since you’re competing against many other candidates just as qualified as you. However, where the rubber meets the road is when you’re sitting face-to-face with the hiring manager.
Presenting yourself in a way your interviewer can envision you fitting with the company’s culture and the current team, as well as gives them confidence you’ll hit the ground running, will substantially increase your odds of receiving a nod of approval.
Regardless of whether you’re interviewing via video, sitting in a boardroom, a coffee shop or the interviewer’s office, focus on the following:
- Your attire
- Your body language
- Articulating how you meet the employer’s needs and will solve the problems the position exists to solve
- Being mindful of your interviewer’s time.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous column, being deemed “a fit” supersedes your experience and qualifications. Your image is paramount in giving the impression you’re “one of them.”
Make sure your attire is in line with the company culture. Obviously, this will differ from company to company, as well as between industries. If you’re interviewing for a position in a bank or insurance company, formal attire, even in 2021, is appropriate, such as a business suit, shirt, and tie. On the opposite end of the spectrum, casual clothing, even jeans and sneakers, can be acceptable if you’re interviewing with a design studio or tech start-up. The key is to dress as if you already work for the employer.
- Body language.
Your body language, along with your words, greatly influences the first impressions someone has about you.
If you’re seated, say in the reception area, stand to greet your interviewer. Firmly shake your interviewer’s hand, or each member of your interview panel, while maintaining a broad smile and steady eye contact. Say something along the lines of, “Nice to meet you, Alice.” Remember your interviewer’s name and use it naturally throughout your interview. Maintain eye contact during the interview. This shows your interviewer(s) you’re engaged in the conversation. Speak in a clear and audible voice. Your posture can portray you as arrogant, so be conscious of the way you sit or stand. During the interview, display a natural body language with relaxed shoulders and open arms by your side.
- Articulate how you meet the employer’s needs.
This is where you solidify, you’re a ‘no brainer’ to hire.
If you’re interviewing with the person you’d be reporting to, keep this piece of human psychology in mind: A person is more likely to want to build a relationship with you if you understand their situation, problems, and goals.
Start with the job description. Now that you’ve landed an interview, refer to the job description, paying close attention to job qualifications and duties.
Have STAR stories ready regarding specific situations in which you used each of these skills. Try to keep your STARs short and vivid. The best STAR ever said to me: “I sold Corvettes in Las Vegas.” (Yes, I hired the person.)
- Be mindful of the time.
Always be punctual for your scheduled interview time! Being punctual is a sign of being a professional, as well as respect for the other person. Stick within the time frame your interview was scheduled for. (usually 45 minutes to 1 hour)
In 2021 employers are looking for candidates who’ll mesh with their workplace culture. Showing you belong will go a long way in making yourself a ‘no brainer’ to hire.
Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job. You can send him your questions at email@example.com.
Kansas City Southern terminates deal with CN, opting to merge with CP Rail – Yahoo Canada Finance
Canadian National Railway said Wednesday that Kansas City Southern has terminated its merger agreement, bringing an end to the takeover battle between it and rival Canadian Pacific Railway.
CN (CNR.TO) said in a statement released Wednesday morning that KCS (KSU) will pay the railway a US$700 million termination fee as a result of the failed agreement. KCS will also refund CN the US$700 million break fee it received from the railway after it terminated its agreement with CP. (CP.TO)
CN chief executive J.J. Ruest said in a statement that while the company is disappointed the deal will not come into fruition, the decision to bid for KCS was “a bold and strategic move that still resulted in positive outcomes for CN.”
“We believe that the decision not to pursue our proposed merger with KCS any further is the right decision for CN as responsible fiduciaries of our shareholders’ interests,” Ruest said.
“CN will continue to pursue profitable growth and opportunities for excellence as a leading Class I railroad, and we look forward to outlining more details on our strategic, operational and financial priorities in the near future.”
CN’s bid was dealt a major blow after the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) rejected the use of a voting trust that would allow the company to hold and operate KCS while it waited for additional regulatory approvals. CN’s decision not to raise its offer for the U.S. railway now paves the path for a merger between the KCS and its rival CP, who originally proposed merging with the railway in March.
KCS said Wednesday it has re-entered a merger agreement with CP, which will cover the US$1.4 billion in break frees owed to CN. CP, which has received approval for its voting trust from the STB, has agreed to acquire KCS in a stock-and-cash transaction valued at US$31 billion, including US$3.8 billion in debt. If shareholders approve the transaction, the deal would result in the first railway in North America connecting Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.
“By combining, we will unlock the full potential of our networks and our people while providing industry-best service for our customers,” CP chief executive Keith Creel said in a statement on Wednesday.
“This perfect end-to-end combination creates the first U.S.-Mexico-Canada rail network with new single-line offerings that will deliver dramatically expanded market reach for CP and KCS customers, provide new competitive transportation options, and support North American economic growth.”
CN has come under fire from one of its biggest shareholders over its decisions to bid for KCS. TCI Fund Management, a U.K.-based hedge fund, has called for Ruest to be replaced, as well as several board members. This week, TCI unveiled its proposed replacements, saying that a new board of directors will “help ensure CN is put on the right track.”
“The bid for KCS exposed a basic misunderstanding of the railroad industry and regulatory environment,” TCI founder Christopher Hohn said in a statement.
“The board consistently misjudged the STB and displayed flawed decision making, committing billions of dollars to an ill-conceived pursuit of an unattainable asset. CN should focus on getting better rather than bigger.”
Alicja Siekierska is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @alicjawithaj.
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