Coronavirus BRIEFING
Supported by Essilor

How Some COVID Vaccines Could Cause Rare Blood Clots

By Staff
Thursday, April 15, 2021 4:30 AM A CDC advisory committee is debating the safety of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine today after the CDC and FDA recommended that states hold off on using it after six women developed a rare but serious blood clot after getting the single-dose vaccine. The clot occurred in the vessels that drain blood from the brain and the six patients also had a a large drop in platelets, which increases the risk of bleeding.

Zeiss UVClean Earns Two Red Dot Awards

By Staff
Thursday, April 15, 2021 12:24 AM SAN DIEGO, Calif.—Zeiss Vision Care US announced that their Zeiss UVClean technology, an optometry-specific UV-C disinfecting device designed primarily for eyecare professionals, has earned two coveted Red Dot Awards: one for Industrial Design and the second for Innovative Product.

Watch Out for Post-Vaccine Scams

By Staff
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 1:02 PM Many recently vaccinated people might find that with the vaccine comes a feeling of being more carefree than most of us have been in a while. However, in addition to potential side effects, there's one more thing you may need to keep an eye out for once you've been vaccinated against COVID-19: scams. Recently, Mental Floss reports, the The FBI regional office in Omaha, Nebraska, issued a warning about people being contacted via email or text message, and asked to conduct a post-vaccine survey. Many of these messages offer prizes for completing the survey, such as an iPad or a gift card. In actuality, there is no vaccine survey, and you should always be careful about giving out your personal information. COVID-19 vaccines are free to all, and you also should not have to pay money to "secure" your slot. Head over to Mental Floss for more information about these scams, and what to do if you witness one.

National Optical Sales Show Little Change for Week of April 5 to 11, Jobson Practice Performance Tracker Says

By Staff
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 12:30 AM NEW YORK—National optical sales changed little over the course of last week, April 5-11. All product/service categories were down by 1 index point, except gross revenue, which was flat when comparing overall optical sales last week with those of the previous week (March 29-April 4), according to the latest Jobson Practice Performance Tracker. These U.S. optical retail sales trends occurred as the country experienced its fourth consecutive week of increasing nationwide coronavirus cases, according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review

Click here to view the complete Jobson COVID-19 Performance Tracker

Vision Benefits of America and Shamir Fund Pandemic Relief for Independent Optometric Practices in Pennsylvania

By Staff
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 12:24 AM SAN DIEGO, Calif.—Shamir has formed a partnership with Vision Benefits of America, Inc. (VBA), a commercial group benefits organization, to create the VBA/Shamir Pandemic Assistance Program. The program is designed to assist in-network eyecare professionals who have “endured more complicated operations over the past year.”

Designed to Explore the Future of Retail’: Dick’s Sporting Goods Debuts House of Sport Concept

By Staff
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 12:01 AM We think that the future of retail will have a big experience component, especially when you are talking about sports. People want to swing a bat, try a golf club, touch a fabric, try on a shoe. They can do all of that at House of Sport, plus be able to use the experiences in the store.

Third VM ‘Micro Chat’ Explores Access to Care and Social Determinants of Health

By Andrew Karp
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 12:27 AM NEW YORK—With millions of Americans facing job losses and other economic hardships resulting from the pandemic, providing access to healthcare for those in need has taken on new urgency. The crisis is prompting healthcare policy makers and researchers to sharpen their focus on the underlying causes that prevent many people from getting the healthcare services they need. In a new video, “Access to Care: The Social Determinants of Health,” VM editorial director Marge Axelrad and lens and technology editor Andrew Karp discuss this timely topic and how it impacts vision care. The video, the third in a series of “Micro Chats on Macro Topics,” can be viewed here.

Just Issued Jobson Research Report, 20 Waves of Coronavirus Surveys, Portrays a Year of the Pandemic's Impact on ECPs

By Staff
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 12:24 AM NEW YORK—Ever since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, Jobson Research has been polling ECPs and optical retailers about their experiences, the impacts on their practices and their assessment of PPP, PPE, gradual reopenings and more. A new compilation of Jobson's market research, examines 20 Waves of those ECP Coronavirus Studies, a compendium of some 128 questions that evolved during the initiative. The report, "20 Waves of Coronavirus Surveys," examining the evolving results from March 2020 through March 2021, has just been issued.

20/20 Magazine and Vision Monday Will Showcase Readers’ Choices for 'Ultimate Partners' Program—Nominate a Supportive Business Partner Now

By Staff
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 12:18 AM NEW YORK—The readers of Vision Monday and 20/20 Magazine are being asked to share their choices for great business support partners in a challenging business year, via the new Ultimate Partners program. Nominations are currently open and are scheduled to close on April 23. Readers are being asked to recall the time when they were facing a critical challenge, in 2020 and into this year, and to salute the business partner who showed up at the right moment to reshape that problem into an opportunity or name which supplier (or representative) came to the rescue with valuable new solutions.

As Variants Surge, Efforts in a Patchwork of Surveillance Have Ramped Up to Detect Them

By Staff
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 12:01 AM What we know from the experience of half a dozen countries—the first wave of countries that were really hit by the British variant—is that when the variant passed 50 percent of the variants being sampled, it really took off.

After Pandemic, Shrinking Need for Office Space Could Crush Landlords

By Staff
Monday, April 12, 2021 12:01 AM The pandemic has proven that work from home is viable. It’s not going away; businesses are going to adjust, and office real estate is going to take it on the chin during that adjustment period.

Forecast for Direct-to-Consumer Commerce Model Shows ‘Steady’ Growth Through 2023

By Staff
Friday, April 9, 2021 4:35 PM NEW YORK—The direct-to-consumer (D2C) model—which counts Warby Parker as one of its pioneering brands—was a hot topic in 2020 and became more attractive as brands and retailers faced disrupted supply chains, delayed orders and store closures. As a result, D2C e-commerce sales—including both digitally native and established brands—increased 45.5 percent in 2020. And this sales growth generated about $111.5 billion, according to a recent analysis by eMarketer.

Overall, D2C sales made up 14 percent of total retail e-commerce sales, according to eMarketer’s estimates. “We expect relatively steady growth each year through 2023, with D2C ecommerce sales reaching $174.98 billion at that time,” the research firm noted in its report.

The success of the D2C model is attributable, in part, to two key factors: data and feedback.

“The D2C model gives brands the opportunity to collect first-party data on their customers," Cindy Liu, eMarketer’s director of forecasting at Insider Intelligence, explained. "And with this data, the possibilities are endless—brands can customize products and create new products, all with the customer in mind.”

Data and analytics are crucial for all brands to not only better personalize shopping experiences, but also get a fuller picture of who their customers are. As brands vet their collected data, they can also make more informed decisions, especially in regard to next steps in expanding or improving operations.

Mask Innovation Could Earn You Some Serious Cash

By Staff
Friday, April 9, 2021 12:58 PM Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the optical indstury has offered a helping hand through the form of creating and donating PPE. Now, creating an innovative face mask design could earn you some serious cash. The Biden administration and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority have announced the Mask Innovation Challenge: Building Tomorrow’s Mask, a challenge open to all Americans to design an innovative new face mask to keep us safe. Ideas are due on April 21, 2021, at 5 p.m. Eastern, and winners will receive $100,000. Head over to the BARDA's blog to learn more. 

The Vision Council's March 2021 Eyecare Provider Insight Survey Reflects Slight Improvements in Exams and Capture Rates Over February

By Staff
Friday, April 9, 2021 12:15 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Vision Council has released the results of the March 2021 Eyecare Provider Insights Survey. The Vision Council fielded the survey to the organization’s panel of more than 1,700 eyecare providers during the last week of March.

Biden Administration Launches $500,000 Contest for Face Mask Innovation

By Staff
Friday, April 9, 2021 12:01 AM With this mask challenge, we want to get people across the country involved in developing new masks that are both effective and comfortable. This will help us control COVID-19 and be better prepared for future public health emergencies.