Breakfast Briefing: 5 things for PR pros to know on Monday morning

More hopeful COVID-19 vaccine news from AstraZeneca; How Biden will restore trust in the CDC.

More hopeful COVID-19 vaccine news. AstraZeneca’s experimental coronavirus vaccine has shown an average efficacy of 70% in its large scale trials. The vaccine was developed with the University of Oxford. Earlier this month, Moderna announced that its vaccine was 94.5% effective against the virus and Pfizer said its vaccine was 95% effective.

How President-elect Joe Biden will restore trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The plan includes reviving regular media briefings and giving a central role to long-sidelined career officials such as CDC respiratory disease chief Nancy Messonnier and CDC principal deputy director Anne Schuchat. The aim is to send a tightly coordinated message that the federal government is prioritizing science over politics in driving its pandemic response, Biden’s advisers told Politico.

Facebook plans to repair ties with the incoming Biden administration. The social network is planning a major push to encourage users to take a COVID-19 vaccine and incentivizing people to share content related to the Paris climate agreement, which Biden has promised to rejoin. Facebook hopes its VP of global affairs Nick Clegg will also help mend relations, the Financial Times reported.

FTI Consulting has been dumped by at least three of its clients, following media reports about its alleged controversial work for the oil industry. MSCI, CDP and First Sentier have cut links with FTI. Meanwhile, Morningstar said it is seeking potential replacements for FTI, although the PR agency is able to rebid for the contract, according to the Financial Times.

Seven Letter has launched a public opinion and messaging research operation. It’s called Seven Letter Insight and will be led by veteran researcher and data analyst Matt George. Additionally, the first nationwide Seven Letter Insight Voter Priorities Survey of the 2020 electorate found that, out of the 1,500 people surveyed, 72% of voters believe the President Donald Trump should stop using Twitter to discuss politics, including 63% of Republicans. Asked about the first coronavirus vaccines available, 43% said they would take it, 29% said they would not, with 28% saying they’re not sure. Dr. Anthony Fauci is seen as providing people the most confidence in taking a vaccine. 

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