The Leaders' Brief

In today’s episode, we re-examine reports of the AstraZeneca vaccine causing possible blood clots, discuss Britain’s vaccination programme that is likely to see a slowdown in coming weeks and finally talk about Samsung’s warning of a “serious imbalance” in the semiconductor industry due to global chip shortages.

Show Notes

Today on The Leaders' Brief -
  • Several countries that had paused the administration of Astrazeneca COVID doses over concerns of blood clots as a side effect have resumed their immunisation drives following a report by the European Medicines Agency. Last week, Indonesia said that even though vaccination could lead to “adverse events” following immunisation, “the risk of death from COVID-19 is much higher.” Echoing the WHO and AstraZeneca, the EMA report observed that there were no indications of blood clots reported in various parts of Europe resulting from administering Astrazeneca shots. The EMA however did not completely dismiss the possibility of a link between the two. Scientific experts in Sweden, Norway and Denmark continue to express caution in allowing the administration of the shots. 

  • British Prime minister Boris Johnson has suggested that the country would face a slight setback on its vaccine rollout programme partly due to a delay in the arrival of a separate Asrazeneca shipment from its manufacturing facility in India. Additionally, the UK is also testing the stability of 1.7 billion doses. Having administered over 25 million doses till last week, Britain has been leading a swift vaccination drive and aims to immunize 32 million people by 15th April. This would mean the country would need to administer at least another 37 million doses in the next five weeks. 

  • Samsung has warned of a “serious imbalance” in the semiconductor industry if global shortages of chips continue. The remark came from the South Korean chip makers co-chief executive and mobile chief, Koh Dong-jin at a shareholders meeting last week. Earlier this month, media reports had suggested that Samsung, which itself is one of the largest chipmakers in the world, was in a severe shortage of supplies from American firm Qualcomm, and Qualcomm isn’t the only company that is failing to meet up to the increasing demand for chips. According to consulting firm AlixPartners, the shortage will cut $60.6 billion in revenue from the global automotive industry this year.

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The Leaders' Brief by egomonk is a deep dive into the three most significant global developments impacting the world of business, politics, and technology. Available every weekday morning.