The painting, “Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque,” was a gift to Jolie by Brad Pitt and is believed to be Churchill’s only World War II-era landscape.
LONDON — A painting first owned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and now being sold by the actress Angelina Jolie, elevated the art of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to a new price league at auction at Christie’s on Monday.
The work, “Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque” (1943), sold for 8.3 million pounds, or about $11.5 million, with fees — a record for an artwork by Churchill, who was a keen amateur painter.
Churchill gave his Impressionist-style painting of a sunlit Marrakesh with the Atlas Mountains in the background to Roosevelt in 1943, as a birthday gift, after a pivotal World War II meeting in Casablanca to discuss long-term strategy. Churchill persuaded Roosevelt to stay on an extra day in North Africa. Marrakesh was a much-loved subject for paintings by Churchill.
“You cannot come all this way to North Africa without seeing Marrakesh,” Churchill told the president, according to the Christie’s catalog. “I must be with you when you see the sun set on the Atlas Mountains.” Believed to be Churchill’s only landscape painted during the war years, the work records the view the two statesmen enjoyed at the Villa Taylor, on the outskirts of the city.
More recently, in 2011, the painting had been bought by Brad Pitt for $2.95 million from the New Orleans antiques dealer M.S. Rau, and gifted to Jolie. The celebrity couple married in 2014, but began divorce proceedings in 2016. Christie’s catalog listed the work as “property of the Jolie Family Collection.”
The work proved to be the star lot of Christie’s evening auction of Modern British Art in London. Estimated to sell for about $2.09 million to $3.49 million, it was acquired by an undisclosed telephone buyer. The same telephone buyer bought two other Churchill paintings in the sale, including the landscape “Scene at Marrakech,” dating from about 1935, for $2.6 million.
The previous auction high for a painting by Churchill had been $2.75 million in 2014, for “The Goldfish Pool at Chartwell,” dating from 1932, showing the garden of the politician’s country home in Kent.
“Academics have always looked on him as a Sunday painter, but there’s always been a following for him, especially in America,” said Alan Hobart, director of the London-based Pyms Gallery, who mentioned an exhibition devoted to Churchill’s paintings held at the Dallas Museum of Art in 1958. “But this was Roosevelt, Hollywood and Churchill. It had everything going for it.”
Articles by Churchill on “Painting as a Pastime” appeared in the Strand Magazine in 1921 and 1922. According to the International Churchill Society, this journalism netted the politician the “handsome” sum of £1,000, or about $66,700 in today’s money, “considerably more than his paintings would earn him in his lifetime.”
C.D.C. Panel Keeps Pause on Use of J&J Vaccine, Weighing Risks
An advisory committee debated the very few cases of a rare blood disorder and worried about the suspension’s effect on global needs for a one-shot, easy-to-ship vaccine.
Denise Grady and
The pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine may continue for a week to 10 days, after expert advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined on Wednesday that they needed more time to assess a possible link to a rare but serious blood-clotting disorder.
The decision not to reinstate the vaccine has painful consequences, nationally and globally. It may further erode public confidence in vaccination in general and slow the rollout of desperately needed shots to rural and underserved areas and homebound people. The vaccine is considered ideal for hard-to-reach people and places because it requires only one shot and is more easily stored and shipped than the vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, which must be kept at very low temperatures.
“Putting this vaccine on pause, for those of us that are frontline health care workers, has really been devastating,” Dr. Camille Kotton of Harvard Medical School told the panel. She said that losing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine even temporarily represented a big blow to efforts to stop the pandemic, especially in underserved communities.
The pause, first recommended on Tuesday by U.S. health officials, led Johnson & Johnson to delay its rollout of the vaccine in Europe, where several countries were poised to start administering it this week. The continent is reeling from the fallout over rare cases, sometimes fatal, of a similar blood disorder that has prompted several nations to limit or reject the widespread use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine and recommend alternatives.
South Africa, devastated by a worrisome variant of the virus that emerged there, also suspended use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Australia announced it would not purchase any doses. And the European Union indicated that it would consider new deals only with companies that were not using the technology employed by the Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca vaccines.
Noting that many countries follow the United States’ lead when it comes to vaccines, Dr. Grace Lee of Stanford University, an expert on the panel, said that although the committee’s responsibility was to the United States, “I also feel the weight of the burden of a global responsibility that we also have and the impact that our decision-making can potentially worsen inequities.”
The advisory group’s emergency meeting on Wednesday was called to review the reason for the pause: six cases of rare and severe blood clots in the brain in women ages 18 to 48, one of whom died. All of the women had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine before developing the clots, although it is unclear whether the vaccine was responsible. In addition, the panel learned of a seventh woman and a man who experienced the rare condition after receiving the vaccine during its clinical trials.
As of Tuesday, more than seven million people in the United States had received the Johnson & Johnson shot, representing about 5 percent of vaccinations nationwide.
Advisory meetings usually end with a vote on whether or how to use a vaccine. But in this case, the panel members declined to vote after reviewing several options — including whether to limit use of the vaccine to older adults, as many European nations have done — saying that they did not have enough information to assess the potential risks.
Doran Fink, an official of the Food and Drug Administration, proposed a different strategy to the panel, suggesting that the vaccine could go back into use while researchers continued to study the potential risk. Doctors and patients could be provided with information about the findings so that patients could consider whether to accept the vaccine. “Our current thinking is that this risk could be managed by inclusion of warning statements,” Dr. Fink said.
But some experts on the C.D.C. panel leaned in other directions, fearing that more patients could be harmed if vaccinations resumed without a full understanding of the potential risks. One warned that the rare condition could cause long-lasting neurological damage. Others reminded their colleagues of the risk from Covid itself, and the message the panel would send if it prolonged a suspension in the use of a one-and-done vaccine.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, is a panel of independent experts who advise the C.D.C. on its vaccine policies.
The clotting disorder of concern in the vaccine recipients is different — and much rarer — from typical blood clots, which develop in hundreds of thousands of people every year. The seven women experienced not only clotting in the brain but a notably low level of platelets, parts of the blood that help form normal clots in response to an injury.
None of the women had recently given birth, which can increase the risk of more common blood clots, and only one was known to be taking hormonal treatment. So far, there is no evidence that birth control pills, which can also raise the risk of blood clots, were involved.
Three of the women had large, dangerous clots in other parts of their body, not just in the brain.
The rare combination of severe clots and low platelets stood out to experts as a safety signal. Why it develops is not known, and so far there is no way to predict whether an individual is susceptible.
The condition is very similar to one linked to the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, also affecting some relatively young women in Europe, where that vaccine was in wide use. Researchers in Germany and Norway found that patients there had developed antibodies that activated their platelets — an aberrant response to the vaccine — setting off a cascade of clotting and bleeding. Specialized blood tests can detect the antibodies to confirm the diagnosis, and some of the U.S. patients tested positive. Not all were tested.
Both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson use adenoviruses to ferry DNA into human cells to create immunity against the coronavirus. Researchers suspect that some aspect of that technology plays a role in the blood disorder. But they also emphasize that because the condition is so very rare, some quirk of biology very likely predisposes certain people to have a bad reaction to the vaccine. If the vaccine alone were responsible, there would be many more cases, some researchers say.
The vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech employ genetic material called mRNA and do not use viruses.
Much of the world had been counting on the AstraZeneca vaccine to fight the pandemic, but many countries have now restricted its use to adults older than 30 or 50, and some have stopped using it altogether. Some people who are still eligible for it are declining it out of fear. AstraZeneca’s vaccine has not been authorized in the United States, although the company is expected to apply for permission to distribute it here.
Use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States began on March 2, and the first case of blood clots in the brain was reported on March 19. About 1.4 million women ages 20 to 50 — the age range of those who had the clots — have received the vaccine.
The panel of experts discussed the known background rates of low platelets and of the clots in the brain — known as central venous sinus thrombosis — in the general population and in younger women like those who had the clots, but noted that there was not enough data to precisely estimate how often the two conditions occurred at the same time.
But based on rough estimates, the clotting disorder in women ages 20 to 50 who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine occurred at least three times more often than would be expected, according to Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, a safety expert from the C.D.C.
In the coming weeks, he said, the rate would become clearer as more reports arrived. “We’ll get a better picture of what’s going on.”
“Right now, we believe these events to be extremely rare, but we are also not yet certain we have heard about all possible cases, as this syndrome may not be easily recognized as one associated with the vaccine,” Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the C.D.C. director, said at a White House news conference on the pandemic on Wednesday.
During the panel discussion, experts noted that the “risk window” for the condition among vaccine recipients was still open and that new cases might emerge, because nearly 3.8 million people had received the shot within the last two weeks. In the six women, the severe clotting developed within about two weeks of the shot.
Other experts encouraged dissemination of health information on diagnosis and treatment of the condition so that awareness would spread among doctors, emergency rooms and people who had received the vaccine. A key point is that the blood-thinner heparin, a common treatment for clots, can harm these patients and should not be used.
Officials also noted that people with the condition needed to be treated as soon as possible because the clots were so serious. Some patients needed invasive procedures to remove large clots from blood vessels in their brains.
Several panel members reiterated that two other vaccines — from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech — are available, neither associated with the clotting problem, so continuing the pause would not stop most people in the United States from being vaccinated.
At the news conference, Jeffrey D. Zients, the White House’s pandemic coordinator, said that the pause would not generally interrupt the momentum of the country’s vaccination campaign.
“In the very short term, we do expect some impact on daily averages as sites and appointments transition from Johnson & Johnson to Moderna and Pfizer vaccines,” he said. “We have more than enough Pfizer and Moderna vaccine supply to continue or even accelerate the current pace of vaccinations.”
Public health experts have repeatedly emphasized that the clotting disorder is rare and that the benefits of the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines far outweigh their risks. But when an adverse effect has the potential to be devastating or fatal — like blood clots in the brain — some regulators and segments of the public consider the risk unacceptable, even if it is extremely rare.
The safety bar for vaccines is set high because they are given to healthy people. The seemingly greater vulnerability of younger people to the clotting disorder is of particular concern, because their risk of severe illness from Covid itself is lower than that in older people. Those differences suggest that over all, compared to older people, younger people may have less to gain and more to lose from the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines.
Reporting was contributed by Noah Weiland, Madeleine Ngo and Virginia Hughes.
Bernie Madoff, Architect of Largest Ponzi Scheme in History, Dead at 82
His enormous fraud left behind a devastating human toll and paper losses totaling $64.8 billion.
Bernard L. Madoff, the one-time senior statesman of Wall Street who in 2008 became the human face of an era of financial misdeeds and missteps for running the largest and possibly most devastating Ponzi scheme in financial history, died on Wednesday at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C. He was 82.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed the death.
Mr. Madoff, who was serving a 150-year prison sentence, had asked for early release in February 2020, saying in a court filing that he had less than 18 months to live after entering the final stages of kidney disease and that he had been admitted to palliative care.
In phone interviews with The Washington Post at the time, Mr. Madoff expressed remorse for his misdeeds, saying he had “made a terrible mistake.”
“I’m terminally ill,” he said. “There’s no cure for my type of disease. So, you know, I’ve served. I’ve served 11 years already, and, quite frankly, I’ve suffered through it.”
Mr. Madoff’s enormous fraud began among friends, relatives and country club acquaintances in Manhattan and Long Island — a population that shared his professed interest in Jewish philanthropy — but ultimately grew to encompass major charities like Hadassah, universities like Brandeis and Yeshiva, institutional investors, and wealthy families in Europe, Latin America and Asia.
Buttressed by elaborate account statements and a deep reservoir of trust from his investors and regulators, Mr. Madoff steered his fraud scheme safely through a severe recession in the early 1990s, a global financial crisis in 1998 and the anxious aftermath of the terrorist attacks in September 2001. But the financial meltdown that began in the mortgage market in mid-2007 and reached a climax with the failure of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 was his undoing.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors, pressured by demands from their own clients, began to take hundreds of millions of dollars from their Madoff accounts. By December 2008, more than $12 billion had been withdrawn and little fresh cash was coming in to cover redemptions.
Faced with ruin, Mr. Madoff confessed to his two sons that his supposedly profitable money-management operation was actually “one big lie.” They reported his confession to law enforcement and the next day, Dec. 11, 2008, he was arrested at his Manhattan penthouse.
The victims of his fraud, some of whom went overnight from comfortable wealth to frantic desperation, numbered in the thousands and were scattered from Palm Beach, Fla., to the Persian Gulf. The paper losses totaled $64.8 billion, including the fictional profits he had credited to customer accounts over at least two decades.
More than money was lost. At least two people, in despair over their losses, committed suicide. A major Madoff investor suffered a fatal heart attack after months of contentious litigation over his role in the scheme. Some investors lost their homes. Others lost the trust and friendship of relatives and friends they had inadvertently steered into harm’s way.
Mr. Madoff was not spared in these tragic aftershocks. His older son, Mark, committed suicide in his Manhattan apartment early on the morning of Dec. 11, 2010, the second anniversary of his father’s arrest. He was characterized by his lawyer, Martin Flumenbaum, as “an innocent victim of his father’s monstrous crime who succumbed to two years of unrelenting pressure from false accusations and innuendo.” One of Mark Madoff’s last messages before his death was to Mr. Flumenbaum: “Nobody wants to believe the truth. Please take care of my family.”
In June 2012, Bernard Madoff’s brother, Peter, a lawyer by training, pleaded guilty to federal tax and securities fraud charges related to his role as the chief compliance officer at his older brother’s firm, but he was not accused of knowingly participating in the Ponzi scheme. In December 2012, he forfeited all his personal property to the government to compensate his brother’s victims and was sentenced to a 10-year prison term. And on Sept. 3, 2014, Mr. Madoff’s younger son, Andrew, died of cancer at the age of 48. He had blamed the stress of the scandal for the return of the cancer he had fought off in 2003.
Besides the human toll, professional reputations were destroyed. More than a dozen prominent hedge funds and money managers, including J. Ezra Merkin and the Fairfield Greenwich Group, had to admit that they had forwarded their clients’ money to Mr. Madoff and lost it all. Swiss private bankers, global commercial banks and major accounting firms were dragged into court by clients who had relied on them to monitor their Madoff investments.
The Securities Investor Protection Corporation, the industry-financed organization set up in 1970 to provide limited protection to brokerage customers, spent more on the Madoff bankruptcy than on all its earlier liquidations combined — and was fiercely attacked by victims who felt they had been wrongly denied compensation.
And for the Securities and Exchange Commission, which unsuccessfully investigated more than a half-dozen credible tips about Mr. Madoff’s fraud scheme since at least 1992, it was the most humiliating failure in its 75-year history.
Bernard Lawrence Madoff was born in Brooklyn on April 29, 1938, to Ralph and Sylvia (Muntner) Madoff, both the children of working-class immigrants from Eastern Europe.
He grew up in Laurelton, at the southern edge of Queens near what is now Kennedy Airport. It was in Laurelton that he met and, in 1959 married, Ruth Alpern, whose father had a small but thriving accounting practice in Manhattan.
Before graduating from Hofstra University in 1960, he had already registered his own brokerage firm with the S.E.C., Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, which he founded partly with money saved from summer lifeguard duty and a lawn-sprinkler installation business he had run in school.
After an uninspired year in law school, he devoted himself full-time to the business of trading over-the-counter stocks — an enormous market in an era when only the most seasoned American companies could win listings on the New York Stock Exchange and the smaller American Stock Exchange.
His business prospered in the boom years of the 1960s and weathered the downturns of the 1970s by catering to the expanding world of institutional investors, who were rapidly replacing retail investors as the dominant players on Wall Street.
After his brother, Peter, joined the Madoff firm in 1970, it began to build a reputation for harnessing cutting-edge computer technology to the traditional business of trading securities. It was one of the early participants in the fledgling electronic market that ultimately became the modern Nasdaq, and was involved as an investor in several other platforms for computerized trading
Mr. Madoff’s market leadership and his firm’s willingness to challenge Wall Street traditions made him a trusted adviser as federal regulators struggled to modernize the nation’s marketplace without jeopardizing its international stature. By age 70, he had become an influential spokesman for the traders who were the hidden gears of the marketplace.
But it later became clear that he had started engaging in questionable practices soon after he arrived on Wall Street.
By the early 1960s, he had started accepting money raised for him by his father-in-law, Saul Alpern, and two young accountants who worked in the Alpern firm. At some point, the two accountants began to sustain this flow of Madoff-bound cash through the issuance of notes that they failed to register with the S.E.C., as required by law. The commission shut down that hidden money-management business in 1992, after Mr. Madoff had received almost $500 million from the accountants’ clients, who believed he was investing it for them.
Regulators filed civil charges against the two accountants, forcing them to shut down their note-sale operation, but failed to follow the money beyond Mr. Madoff’s doorstep. And on the S.E.C.’s order, all of the money was returned to customers — with cash Mr. Madoff took from one of his largest investor’s accounts, according to testimony in federal court cases related to the fraud. But the regulators later found that most of the money was almost immediately returned to Mr. Madoff by customers who had become accustomed to a steady, reliable rate of return on their supposedly conservative Madoff accounts.
By then, hedge funds, pension plans and university endowments were entrusting hundreds of millions of dollars to Mr. Madoff — despite a business operation that was cloaked in secrecy, account statements that were suspiciously antiquated and independent audits that were signed by a one-man firm in a suburban storefront office.
Financial scholars later theorized that Mr. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme lasted so long because it appealed more to his clients’ fear than to their greed: He promised them consistency in an increasingly volatile market, not eye-popping returns. And he always delivered, never failing to honor a redemption request, and never falling short of the profits he had forecast.
By the 1990s, a cottage industry of hedge funds and private partnerships had grown up to serve as supposedly exclusive portals through which investors could benefit from Mr. Madoff’s investment genius. These funds collected billions of dollars that he used to pay promised profits to his early clients and cover withdrawals when necessary.
Meanwhile, the profits of his legitimate business — which at one time was one of the largest participants in the Nasdaq market — were being squeezed by the same technological advances he had helped bring about. By 2005, prosecutors later said, he was subsidizing his Wall Street firm with money siphoned from his fraud victims.
But there was no sign of distress in the Madoff family lifestyle. While not conspicuously ostentatious by Wall Street standards, the Madoffs lived well. Besides a duplex penthouse, they owned a handsome beach house on Long Island, a vintage mansion in Palm Beach and an apartment near the Mediterranean in the south of France; several large powerboats; and a share in a corporate jet.
They were respected philanthropists as well, contributing to cancer research and making major gifts to Yeshiva University, where Mr. Madoff was a trustee and the chairman of the Sy Syms School of Business. He had also served on the boards of several Wall Street organizations, including the National Association of Securities Dealers, now known as Finra.
Never an effusive man, Mr. Madoff became even more impassive as he and his family were caught up in the media storm that followed his arrest. One tabloid labeled him the most hated man in the city. On at least one excursion to the courthouse before his guilty plea, a security consultant insisted that he wear a bulletproof vest.
Before being sentenced on June 29, 2009, in a courtroom packed with spectators and victims, he read from a statement he had prepared with his defense lawyer, Ira Lee Sorkin.
“I am responsible for a great deal of suffering and pain, I understand that,” he told the court. “I live in a tormented state now, knowing of all the pain and suffering that I have created. I have left a legacy of shame, as some of my victims have pointed out, to my family and my grandchildren.”
Mr. Madoff is survived by his wife, Ruth; his brother, Peter; his sister, Sondra M. Wiener; and several grandchildren.
Mr. Madoff leaves nothing of his former wealth behind. As part of its criminal case, the government sought more than $170 billion in forfeited assets, a figure that apparently includes all the money that moved through Madoff bank accounts — for whatever purpose — during the years of the fraud.
Both Mr. Madoff’s lawyers and the court-appointed trustee liquidating his firm said that the forfeiture amount included money flowing into the legitimate business operations of the firm and the billions paid out to investors as part of the Ponzi scheme. The actual cash losses from his fraud, not counting fictional profits, were most recently estimated at between $17 billion and $20 billion — one of the largest financial frauds on record, and certainly the largest Ponzi scheme ever.
Through the bankruptcy process, some victims were able to recover all or part of the cash principal they invested with Mr. Madoff. Irving Picard, the court appointed trustee who has spent the past decade trying to recoup most of the money for Mr. Madoff’s investors, has to date recovered $14.4 billion from lawsuits and settlements — roughly covering all the money investors gave to the swindler. The recovered sums, of course, do not make up for the billions investors thought they had made over the years investing with Mr. Madoff.
On July 14, 2009, Mr. Madoff began serving his 150-year sentence in a medium-security facility at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex, about 45 minutes northwest of Raleigh, N.C.
The victims who attended his sentencing in New York had insisted that he should pay for the devastation he inflicted on those who had trusted him by spending the rest of his life behind bars — and he did.
Maria Cramer and Matthew Goldstein contributed reporting.
Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, raises $1 billion in a funding round.
Epic Games, the video game developer that produced the hit game Fortnite, said Tuesday that it had raised $1 billion in funding, valuing the company at $28.7 billion.
Sony, the creator of the PlayStation game console, invested $200 million, Epic said, and Appaloosa Management, Baillie Gifford and Fidelity Management were also among the investors.
Epic’s most recent funding round came last summer, when it raised $1.78 billion to value the company at $17.3 billion. Sony invested $250 million at the time.
Epic, based in Cary, N.C., was founded in 1991 by Tim Sweeney, the company’s chief executive. It found success with Unreal Engine, a platform other developers could use to create games, and with the Gears of War video game franchise in the mid-2000s. Tencent, the Chinese internet giant, owns a 40 percent stake in the company.
Epic’s breakthrough came in 2017, when it released Fortnite. The animated, battle royale-style title has become one of the most popular video games, and spawned a new generation of livestreaming. It made gamers who broadcast their play of Fortnite, like Tyler Blevins — known as Ninja — into wealthy celebrities.
Evan Van Zelfden, the managing director for Games One, an advisory firm, said Epic’s latest funding round was another indicator of the success the gaming industry had seen since the pandemic forced people indoors and glued them to their screens.
He speculated that the eventual next stage for Epic could be an initial public offering, a move that would “break the market.”
Epic’s funding round comes as the company prepares to take Apple to court next month in a dispute over the App Store commission that Apple collects from app developers, including on purchases made within Fortnite when users are playing on their iPhones.
Last August, Epic encouraged Fortnite players to pay the company directly rather than go through Apple or Google, prompting the two companies to boot Fortnite from their respective app stores. Epic responded with lawsuits.
Disney and ad-tech firms agree to privacy changes for children’s apps.
In legal settlements that could reshape the children’s app market, Disney, Viacom and 10 advertising technology firms have agreed to remove certain advertising software from children’s apps to address accusations that they violated the privacy of millions of youngsters.
The agreements resolve three related class-action cases involving some of the largest ad-tech companies — including Twitter’s MoPub — and some of the most popular children’s apps — including “Subway Surfers,” an animated game from Denmark that users worldwide have installed more than 1.5 billion times, according to Sensor Tower, an app research firm.
The lawsuits accused the companies of placing tracking software in popular children’s gaming apps without parents’ knowledge or consent, in violation of state privacy and fair business practice laws. Such trackers can be used to profile children across apps and devices, target them with ads and push them to make in-app purchases, according to legal filings in the case.
Now, under the settlements approved on Monday by a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the companies have agreed to remove or disable tracking software that could be used to target children with ads. Developers will still be able to show contextual ads based on an app’s content.
“This is going to be the biggest change to the children’s app market that we’ve seen that gets at the business models,” said Josh Golin, the executive director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, a nonprofit in Boston. “On thousands of apps, children will no longer be targeted with the most insidious and manipulative forms of marketing.”
The companies in the class-action cases did not admit any wrongdoing.
The settlements come as the Federal Trade Commission has been pursuing children’s privacy cases against individual developers and ad-tech firms. But children’s advocates said the class-action cases, which involved a much larger swath of the app and ad tech marketplace, could prompt industrywide changes for apps and ads aimed at young people.
Viacom, whose settlement covers one of its children’s apps, called “Llama Spit Spit,” and Twitter declined to comment. Disney, whose settlement agreement covers its children’s apps in the United States, and Kiloo, a Danish company that co-developed “Subway Surfers,” did not immediately response to emails seeking comment.
Young women are leaving school and work. Experts say caregiving may be the reason.
A year into the pandemic, there are signs that the American economy is stirring back to life, with a falling unemployment rate and a growing number of people back at work. Even mothers — who left their jobs in droves in the last year in large part because of increased caregiving duties — are slowly re-entering the work force.
But young Americans — particularly women between the ages of 16 and 24 — are living an altogether different reality, with higher rates of unemployment than older adults. And many thousands, possibly even millions, are postponing their education, which can delay their entry into the work force.
New research suggests that the number of “disconnected” young people — defined as those who are in neither school nor the work force — is growing. For young women, experts said, the caregiving crisis may be a major reason many have delayed their education or careers.
Last year, unemployment among young adults jumped to 27.4 percent in April from 7.8 percent in February. The rate was almost double the 14 percent overall unemployment rate in April and was the highest for that age group in the last two decades, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
At its peak in April, the unemployment rate for young women over all hit 30 percent — with a 22 percent rate for white women in that age group, 30 percent for Black women and 31 percent for Latina women.
Those numbers are starting to improve as many female-dominated industries that shed jobs at the start of the pandemic, like leisure, retail and education, are adding them back. But roughly 18 percent of the 1.9 million women who left the work force since last February — or about 360,000 — were 16 to 24, according to an analysis of seasonally unadjusted numbers by the National Women’s Law Center.
At the same time, the number of women who have dropped out of some form of education or plan to is on the rise. During the pandemic, more women than men consistently reported that they had canceled plans to take postsecondary classes or planned to take fewer classes, according to a series of surveys by the U.S. Census Bureau since last April.
“We’ve focused in particular on the digital divide and the impact of that on the learning loss for kids,” said Reshma Saujani, founder of the nonprofit group Girls Who Code. “But we’re not talking about how the caregiving crisis is impacting the learning loss for kids and how it’s disproportionately impacting girls and girls of color.”
All of this can have long-term knock-on effects. Even temporary unemployment or an education setback at a young age can drag down someone’s potential for earnings, job stability and even homeownership years down the line, according to a 2018 study by Measure of America that tracked disconnected youth over the course of 15 years.
The Watch Industry Lacks Transparency. That Is Changing.
Growing pressure for accountability has convinced a few brands that it is time to reveal where they obtain some of their raw materials. Will more follow?
The Swiss have long had a reputation for being discreet when it comes to business. (Think banks). And their watch industry is no different.
But growing pressure for environmental and ethical accountability — from activists, investors and consumers — has convinced a few brands that it is time to reveal where they obtain some of their raw materials.
They are fighting the industry’s deep-rooted tradition of discretion, a practice born of watchmakers’ fear that identifying suppliers will reveal details of their expertise and give rivals an advantage.
Many, however, are secretive for a very different reason: They are reluctant to admit their “Swiss Made” watches contain numerous components manufactured in China. These aren’t legal concerns: Swiss law dictates that at least 60 percent of the manufacturing costs of a product must be incurred in the country for it to qualify for the label.
Rather, it is, at least in part, an issue of branding: “Swiss Made” has long been associated with quality, precision and value, and is integral to most Swiss watchmakers’ marketing strategies. Is that undermined if the products aren’t entirely Swiss in origin?
“The real transparency challenge of the watch industry is beyond those important points, the ethics of the supply chain — it is the integrity of Swiss Made,” Jean-Christophe Babin, chief executive of Bulgari, said on a video call earlier this month. “When you find watches at 500 Swiss francs [$530] that claim to be Swiss made with mechanical movements, you can reasonably believe there’s a miracle behind it. Because I’ve never been able to do that, and I am 20 years in the Swiss watch industry.”
Brands at the prestige end of the watchmaking spectrum, for whom the Swiss Made issue is less problematic because they make their own parts or buy them from Swiss suppliers, face a different challenge: the need to prove their commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing.
They also are being driven by a number of other factors — industry changes brought about by the pandemic and digital growth, a new generation of chief executives, public pressure — to rethink long-established notions about the way they do business, including the value of collaborating with other watchmakers.
For consumers, the industry’s nascent spirit of openness means making previously unattainable information, such as where brands get their gold and how they produce their timepieces, more available. Some watchmakers are even going out of their way to share it.
During the virtual Watches and Wonders fair in Geneva that began April 7, for example, Panerai introduced the Submersible eLAB-ID, a 44-millimeter wristwatch built almost entirely from reused raw materials, including recycled Super-LumiNova on its hands, recycled silicon in its movement escapement and a recycled titanium alloy known as EcoTitanium on its case, sandwich dial and bridges.
In a news release, the brand named the nine companies that worked on the timepiece, which will remain a one-of-a-kind concept watch until 2022, when Panerai plans to release a limited edition of 30 pieces, each tentatively priced at around 60,000 euros ($70,530). “We would love to be copied and improved upon,” Jean-Marc Pontroué, Panerai’s chief executive, said during a video interview last month.
Mr. Pontroué said the value of making a recycled watch was in the ability “to make noise” around the collective effort behind it.
“The watch will be limited to 30 pieces; it will not change the life of Panerai or the watch industry,” he said. “But the idea is to create a new business highlighting these companies that can be approached by any of our competitors.”
Similarly, in November, Ulysse Nardin introduced an upcycled concept watch called the Diver Net, featuring a case and bezel made from recycled fishnets and a strap made of recycled plastic from the sea. In press materials, the company shared the names of its suppliers.
“We didn’t try to pretend we were making it ourselves,” said Patrick Pruniaux, Ulysse Nardin’s chief executive. “You have to do things that inspire others.”
That philosophy also is espoused by its parent company, Kering, the Paris-based luxury group — which also owns Gucci, Boucheron and 10 other high-profile brands — that has earned a reputation for transparency and activism in a sector not known for either quality.
Kering has gone this way, at least in part, because it has an eye on what its buyers — and potential future buyers — want.
“All over the world,” Marie-Claire Daveu, Kering’s chief sustainability officer, said on a video call last month, “you have millennials and Gen Z [customers] asking more questions and wanting more answers with more details.”
Claudio D’Amore, a watch designer based in Lausanne, is one of the few Swiss watch executives to welcome such scrutiny. In 2016, he created a crowdfunded brand called the Goldgena Project, later renamed Code41, whose radical approach to transparency was a response to the industry’s long-simmering debate over the Swiss Made label.
Mr. D’Amore created his own label, called TTO, for Total Transparency on Origin. And Code41 is equally transparent about another sensitive topic: pricing.
On its website, the brand included a table that lists all the components and processes that went into its latest crowdfunded timepiece, the NB24 Chronograph, along with their prices and origins. For instance, the watch’s Swiss-made movement cost the company $1,056 (including taxes), while the titanium case, dial and packaging — manufactured in China — cost $167, $56 and $22. In total, the watch cost $1,474 to produce.
Below the table, the brand explained that it arrived at a retail price of $3,500 by adding what it called a “minimal markup” for profitability.
“In the beginning, some people didn’t like that we were explaining everything,” Mr. D’Amore said on a video call last month. “But we received also a lot of positive comments from people encouraging us: ‘It’s about time someone tells us how it works.’”
The most established brands in the Swiss watch trade are also getting that message.
By July, IWC Schaffhausen has said, visitors to its website will be able to click on an icon or logo on each product page for information about the steps it is taking to ensure that materials have been acquired responsibly.
The information is part of IWC’s most recent sustainability report — what’s new is how easy it will be to access online, a spokeswoman said.
Chopard is another high-profile watchmaker striving to make its business more transparent. In late February, the Geneva-based brand updated its website with more information about its raw materials, including gold from the Barequeros, a community of artisanal miners in the Chocó region on Colombia’s Pacific coast. It also posted its Code of Conduct for Partners for the first time.
And yet Juliane Kippenberg, a Berlin-based expert on mineral supply chains at Human Rights Watch, says these measures still fall short of what other sectors, such as the garment industry, are doing to implement transparency, particularly on the complex topic of gold sourcing.
“Big companies like Adidas and H&M release Excel spreadsheets where they list the names of the garment factories where their products are being made,” Ms. Kippenberg said. “But in this sector, there’s far more reluctance to do that.” (Of course, those companies aren’t immune to controversy, either; H&M for example, is embroiled in one over its cotton sourcing.)
That hesitancy may be because many watchmakers are still wary of transparency’s threatening implications for their intellectual property.
“Part of our know-how is the know and the how — why would you share it?” said Wilhelm Schmid, chief executive of A. Lange & Söhne, a prestige watchmaker based in the German city of Glashütte.
From Ms. Kippenberg’s perspective, however, the information she would like to see has nothing to do with a timepiece’s distinguishing technical or artistic details. “It’s about the conditions in which the material is mined and worked on and the actors in the supply chain,” she said. “There’s also a broader question of accountability. Transparency is the only way to ensure that human rights violations can be prevented or addressed.”
Whether they like it or not, Switzerland’s biggest watchmakers may soon have no choice.
In November, Swiss voters rejected the Responsible Business Initiative, a proposal by a civil society coalition that would have required Swiss companies to conduct due diligence on human rights and environmental risks throughout their supply chains, and publicize their reports. But a counterproposal from the Swiss Parliament that would require companies to ensure the traceability of their supply chains, and make their reports publicly available for 10 years, is expected to become law in 2022.
That means even the notoriously tight-lipped Rolex, the world’s biggest brand by sales — a Morgan Stanley report on Swiss watches published last month found that the company now has an estimated market share of 26.8 percent — will need to make its business more transparent.
“They can’t claim they’re a private company because no one’s asking for their trade secrets,” said Milton Pedraza, chief executive of the New York City-based Luxury Institute. “They will have to answer. There’s no place to hide.”
What Working Too Much Does to Your Body
Excess work isn’t good for anyone, employers included. So why are we still doing it?
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“We want them to be challenged, but also to operate at a pace where they’re going to stay here and learn important skills that are going to stick. This is a marathon, not a sprint.”
That was David Solomon’s response to complaints of grueling working conditions for junior analysts at Goldman Sachs — in 2013. (The bank’s current chief executive was then Goldman’s co-head of investment banking.) Shortly thereafter, the bank announced a “Saturday rule” forbidding most work from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Sunday.
Eight years later, there’s a Groundhog Day quality to the discussions about burnout and long hours, prompted by a group of first-year analysts at Goldman who described “inhumane” labor conditions involving 100-hour workweeks.
Goldman’s “Saturday rule” is technically still on the books, but flouted as much as it is observed. Enforcing it more diligently was one of the actions Mr. Solomon pledged to take last month.
Overwork and burnout aren’t just issues at investment banks. For many, the pandemic has essentially erased the boundaries between work and home: white-collar workers feel stretched to their breaking point. And when offices reopen in earnest, few expect overwork to vanish or burnout to be relegated to the past.
Research suggests all of this excess work isn’t good for anyone, employers included. So why are so many companies still encouraging it? And when companies do claim they are trying to reduce long hours, why do these efforts so often fail to make a difference?
“There is now a mountain of careful research showing that people who experience long hours of work have serious health consequences,” said John Pencavel, professor emeritus of economics at Stanford and author of “Diminishing Returns at Work: The Consequences of Long Working Hours.”
A review of more than 200 studies over two decades on the relationship between long work hours and health found a correlation between extended workweeks and a higher incidence of heart problems and high blood pressure. People who worked longer hours (which in most studies meant 50 to 60 hours a week — practically part-time by some industry standards) were more likely to suffer injuries on the job and poor sleep at home. There was also a strong link between long work hours and behaviors that end up affecting workers’ health, like smoking, alcohol and substance use.
It’s not only employees’ health that suffers when regularly working long hours. It’s also their work. Research has suggested relationships between rest and problem-solving ability, between time away from work and some aspects of job performance, and between sleep deprivation and lower cognitive performance.
An eye-opening study by Mr. Pencavel explored how long hours affect work output by examining detailed data about munitions plant workers during World War I, who, like today’s investment bankers, often worked 70 to 90 hours a week. (The importance of their work, or at least the danger of it, is hard to compare with editing slide decks at an investment bank, but white-collar work is hard to quantify in a similar way.)
For the first 49 hours of the week, there was a direct relationship between time and productivity — the more employees worked, the more they got done. Starting at hour 50, employees still produced more the more they worked, but the output for each additional hour worked started to shrink. And after about 64 hours, productivity collapsed — there was little to show for all that extra time except for a lot of additional on-the-job injuries. Mr. Pencavel also found that workers who worked seven consecutive days without rest produced less than people who worked the same number of hours over six days in a week.
There’s no magic number of hours at which returns diminish that applies to all workers and all industries, he said. But research doesn’t support the idea that extreme work schedules directly translate to extraordinary productivity.
Even in demanding fields, companies have had some success with models that produce high volumes of quality work without decimating employee health and engagement.
Over the past decade, Boston Consulting Group and PricewaterhouseCoopers have both rolled out flexibility policies that allow for greater work-life balance, in large part thanks to demands from younger workers. PwC granted all employees the right to ask for flexible work schedules, and this past week announced it will pay a $250 bonus, up to four times a year, to employees who take a full consecutive week of vacation. Boston Consulting introduced options for employees to take up to two months off or reduce their work schedules while remaining on their career tracks. The gradual return to the office also offers employers an opportunity to experiment with flexible schedules.
Organizations can change. Their people are often better off when they do. But they have to actually want to do so. And when it comes to ultracompetitive firms like Goldman, and the people who choose to work there, the incentive to change may simply not be there.
That’s the conclusion that Alexandra Michel has reached after two decades observing investment bankers, both in the depths of analyst hell and, for those who eventually leave, in their post-banking lives. Ms. Michel, an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, also worked at Goldman for five years: three as an analyst and two in the chief of staff’s office before leaving to get her doctorate at Wharton.
Ms. Michel has been following four cohorts of investment bankers for the past 20 years. She has documented a business model that relies on inexhaustible waves of new talent. Most workers endure grueling working hours, and around the fourth year on the job many analysts start seeing their bodies break down. Yet after countless hours interviewing current and former bankers, she believes that discussions of flexibility and work-life balance are moot in a culture that values the process of competition at least as much as the actual result.
DealBook recently spoke to Ms. Michel by phone. The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
DealBook: As both a former bank analyst and someone who has observed culture at investment banks in depth over the last 20 years, what are your thoughts on this discussion?
Ms. Michel: None of this is new. This situation has been the same for decades since I started as an analyst at Goldman in 1996. Even though the banks are, of course, very sensitive to reputational issues, I don’t think that an analysts’ survey is going to change anything.
When I talk to journalists and to bankers and so on, when they hear that people work 100 hours a week, they don’t ask, “Is that bad for your health?” They ask, “Is that bad for your performance?”
What’s interesting is that for the first four years, it isn’t. People are selected by banks based on their exceptional stamina. These people are extraordinary.
After four years, they get ill. Their hair falls out. They gain weight. But nothing bad happens to performance. After about year seven, something happens to performance that the banks really care about, mainly creativity decline. And at that time, bankers leave because their bodies are depleted.
But banks hire in cohorts and fresh blood is already pumping into the organization. From the perspective of the banks, the fact that people leave after seven years isn’t a problem. When you have a constant supply of top talent streaming into the company, the argument that people are scarce and we’ll lose the investment we made in hiring these people — that doesn’t apply.
What about from the perspective of the people?
It isn’t a problem either. I mean, it would be nice to have better working hours. But in the end, you signed up for these hours because you know that in the long run, this will benefit you, because you will assume leadership positions in other organizations.
But there’s another argument that doesn’t really operate at the rational level, but at the level of the embodied habit. People leave the banks because they don’t want to work these hours anymore, but then they go into their new jobs and reproduce those same working hours. Even people who get their Ph.D.s and work by themselves.
When these sorts of companies enact work-life policies, why don’t they seem to stick?
Look at the reward structure. You have an OK base salary, but then the bonus is allocated based on how you’re stacking up at the end of the year against your peers. It’s like a tournament. It’s like a race. And all you know is that the people next to you, against whom you will be measured, are just as smart as you. They work just as hard. And so the only lever you have is try to outwork them. These reward structures perpetuate this work ethic.
When an organization says “we value work-life balance, we want our people to not work on weekends, we want blah blah blah” — there is still this competitive structure where people have an incentive to work all they can because others are doing the same thing, and only winners get rewarded.
Churning through talent may work for a company. But you found that many employees choose these grueling schedules, even when they come at great personal cost. One associate told you: “I work hard because I want to.”
The people who get hired at banks have been through performance competitions all their lives. When I talk to students at the beginning of their undergraduate career and ask them, “what do you want to be?” very few want to go into banking.
So what happens? When these firms descend onto campus, people start competing because that’s what they have been conditioned to do throughout their lives. They chase after what everyone else chases after, regardless of whether they actually care about the work. Regardless of whether there are consequences or not, these people want to win.
This is maybe the final part that locks people into these intense work schedules. It is the idea that there is a cadre of individuals who are the best and brightest, and if you don’t keep up the pace you’ll end up at some kind of second-tier firm — part of an undefinable “rest.”
What’s so bad about that?
The people in the best and the brightest group, they have opportunities, they earn a lot, they work with other interesting people, they work on global deals. The rest push paper with uninteresting colleagues and over time, you’ll become like them. That’s what people sincerely believe. They believe that if you don’t work for an elite organization, you fall into an abyss of personal social status descent.
In the end, if you ask me, what is the one true fear? That’s it. It’s the loss of social status. It’s not the money. It is that people who formerly looked at you with respect and esteem will all of a sudden ignore you.
What do you think? Should companies encourage workers to take a break? Will they? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
AstraZeneca Vaccine and Blood Clots: What Is Known So Far
In rare cases, an immune reaction has led to antibodies that caused a serious clotting disorder. But public health experts maintain the vaccine’s benefits far outweigh the risks for most people.
Benjamin Mueller and
The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has been deployed against Covid-19 in at least 115 countries, some of them for several months now. But it wasn’t until a few cases of a rare blood-clotting disorder — some fatal — emerged within the past month or so that many European nations began to rethink its use across all age groups.
Several of those countries, well stocked with alternate vaccines, have now limited use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford shot to older people, and a few have stopped using it altogether. While the incidence of these clotting disorders is extremely low, regulators and researchers are trying to raise public awareness of certain symptoms — including headaches, leg swelling and abdominal pain — especially in younger people who have been vaccinated.
Public health experts, however, have expressed concern that publicity surrounding the rare vaccine-related reactions will fuel hesitancy, a particular problem in Europe. They continue to emphasize that the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine’s benefits far outweigh the risks. In many nations, it is the only vaccine available.
Below are some frequently asked questions.
A blood clot is a thickened, gelatinous blob of blood that can block circulation. Clots form in response to injuries and can also be caused by many illnesses, including cancer and genetic disorders, certain drugs and prolonged sitting or bed rest. Covid itself can trigger serious clotting problems. Clots that form in the legs sometimes break off and travel to the lungs or, rarely, to the brain, where they can be deadly.
The clots in recipients of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine have drawn heightened concern because of their unusual constellation of symptoms: blockages in major veins, often those that drain blood from the brain, combined with low platelet counts. Platelets are a blood component involved in clotting.
Researchers in Germany and Norway found that vaccine recipients who developed the clotting disorder had produced antibodies that activated their platelets and led to the clots. The scientists suggested naming the unusual reaction “vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia,” or VITT.
So far, researchers in Europe have not identified any underlying medical condition among the vaccine recipients who developed severe clotting issues that would help explain their susceptibility.
Some health officials have said that younger people appear to be at slightly higher risk from the clots. Because those people are also less likely to develop severe Covid, regulators said, any vaccine being given in that age group has to clear a higher safety bar.
As of April 4, European regulators had received reports of 222 cases of the rare blood-clotting problem in Britain and the 30-nation European Economic Area (the European Union plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein). They said that about 34 million people had received the AstraZeneca vaccine in those countries, and that the clotting problems were appearing at a rate of about one in 100,000 recipients.
European regulators said that as of March 22, they had carried out detailed reviews of 86 cases, 18 of which had been fatal.
British health officials have described a somewhat lower incidence of cases, perhaps as a result of having begun their rollout of the vaccine in older people, who they say appear to be less susceptible.
But they offered evidence this week that the risk of being admitted to intensive care with Covid exceeded the dangers of the blood clots in almost every scenario. The only group for whom they said the risk of the clotting problems outstripped that of coronavirus-related intensive care admissions was people under 30 living in a place with low rates of Covid cases.
People of all ages with a medium or high risk of exposure to Covid were more likely to suffer serious health problems from catching the virus than from being given the vaccine, they said.
An adenovirus helps prime the immune system to fight the coronavirus.
Germany, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Portugal and Spain have recommended that the AstraZeneca vaccine be given only to people over 60. Canada and France have limited it to those over 55; Australia, over 50; and Belgium, over 56. Britain, where the AstraZeneca vaccine was developed, has been its staunchest defender, but announced on Wednesday that it would begin offering alternative shots to people under 30.
Denmark and Norway have stopped using the vaccine, and the Democratic Republic of Congo delayed the start of its inoculation program.
Full vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine requires two doses, but regulators in France have recommended that people under 55 who have had one dose get a different vaccine for their second shot. German health officials have recommended the same for people under 60.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is not authorized for use in the United States, but the company has said it would seek Food and Drug Administration review.
On Wednesday, the European Medicines Agency said that the vaccine’s labeling should be revised to include the clotting disorder as a “very rare” side effect of the vaccine.
In the United States, 300,000 to 600,000 people a year develop blood clots in their lungs or in veins in the legs or other parts of the body, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Based on that data, about 1,000 to 2,000 blood clots occur in the U.S. population every day. With several million people a day now being vaccinated, some of those clots will occur in those receiving the shots just as part of the normal background rates, unrelated to the vaccine.
In Britain, regulators have said, roughly one in 1,000 people are affected by a blood clot in a vein every year.
But medical experts said it was harder to discern the typical background rate of the more unusual clotting cases being observed in small numbers of recipients of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine. Cerebral venous thrombosis, or clotting in the brain, has not always been well diagnosed, researchers have said.
Still, German researchers have said those clots were appearing more frequently in recipients of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine than would be expected in people who had never received the shot.
European regulators had recommended that recipients of the vaccine seek medical assistance for a number of possible symptoms, including swelling in the leg, persistent abdominal pain, severe and persistent headaches or blurred vision, and tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the area where the injection was given.
But that set of symptoms was so vague that almost immediately, British emergency rooms experienced a surge in patients who were worried that they fit the description. As a result, some emergency room doctors have asked for more central guidance about how to handle what they described as largely unnecessary hospital visits.
German researchers have described specialized blood tests that can be used to diagnose the disorder, and suggested treatment with a blood product called intravenous immune globulin, which is used to treat various immune disorders.
Drugs called anti-coagulants, or blood thinners, can also be administered, but not a commonly used one — heparin — because the vaccine-related condition is very similar to one that occurs, rarely, in people given heparin.
Other vaccines, particularly the one given to children for measles, mumps and rubella, have been linked to temporarily lowered levels of platelets, a blood component essential for clotting.
Lowered platelet levels have been reported in small numbers of patients receiving the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines. One recipient, a physician in Florida, died from a brain hemorrhage when his platelet levels could not be restored, and others have been hospitalized. U.S. health officials have said that the cases are being investigated, but they have not reported the findings of those reviews and have yet to indicate that there is any link to the vaccines.
Shortly after the safety concerns emerged last month, surveys began to show that in Germany, France and Spain, a majority of people doubted the safety of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine.
Use of the shot has suffered: Across Europe, 64 percent of delivered doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine have been injected into people’s arms, markedly lower than the rates for other shots.
But European countries have been able to withstand restricting use of the vaccine because they have purchased shots from other makers, too. The European Union is expecting the arrival of 360 million doses of coronavirus vaccines in the second quarter of this year, much of that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is becoming a bigger part of the continent’s rollout.
And in many cases, people on the continent still eligible to receive the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine were eager to get it. Germany, for instance, where the vaccine is recommended only for people over 60, has administered shots at a fast clip since the new restrictions were put in place.
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