Moderna Vs Pfizer: Which vaccine is India friendly?
US biotech company Moderna has reported positive results for its Covid-19 vaccine. Moderna said the trial has met all the statistical criteria and the vaccine has demonstrated 94.5% efficacy. This is a second positive development in as many weeks regarding the vaccine. Last week US-based Pfizer had also announced positive developments around its vaccine.
Looking at first glance, Moderna vaccine scores over the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Moderna claims that its vaccine will remain stable for 30 days and requires refrigeration between 2 degrees to 8 degrees Celsius. In contrast, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine needs to be stored at about minus 70 degrees Celsius, requiring ultra-cold storage.
India lacks ‘state of the art’ cold storage facilities. Hence, portability will be a major deciding factor for India while deciding which vaccine to opt for. Based on these facts, we understand that the Moderna vaccine provides a more viable and cost-effective solution to India.
Pfizer's vaccine, on the other hand, requires an ultra-high cold storage chain which is a challenging task even for a lot of developed countries.
Maharashtra reopens cinemas but exhibitors are not happy:
As part of unlocking, the Maharashtra government has joined the other states to allow cinema operators to open to the public. Theatres across states, including in Maharashtra, are leaving alternate seats vacant in cinema halls and seats are sanitized after every show.
However, while every state has also allowed selling packaged food and beverages (F&B) inside movie halls, Maharashtra has chosen to be different by not allowing packaged F&B inside the auditoriums.
We understand that theatre owners can't be entirely happy with this development. For exhibitors like PVR and Inox, F&B contributes close to 30% to the revenue with about 70% of the profit margins. In a way, selling popcorn and other high margin food items makes up a huge chunk of profits for cinema companies. Movies are only an added incentive to bring people to pay for these items.
Considering that Maharashtra is the biggest market for cinema exhibitors, the government’s decision to not allow food & beverages will bring no immediate cheer to the exhibitors.
RBI should widen the scope for more banking licenses: Sanjiv Bajaj
Sanjiv Bajaj, Chairman, Bajaj Finance believes that RBI should be open to issuing new banking licenses to well-run NBFCs. Talking about RBI's apprehensions on issuing fresh licenses to business families, he said that they have a proven track record of running NBFCs. Their superior risk management during the crisis should encourage the regulator to grant them the banking license.
Currently, NBFCs enjoy a certain lee-way in terms of regulations in comparison to banks. We think by bringing NBFCs under banking purview will force them to follow stringent banking norms. It, in effect, will lead NBFCs to follow superior underwriting and risk management norms.