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Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

The Delta variant and hospital labor shortages didn't crush sales of medical devices, earnings reports from Johnson & Johnson and Intuitive Surgical show.

Why it matters: The resurgent coronavirus forced some hospitals and patients to delay care, like spine and knee procedures. But deferred care across the world was nothing like it was at this time last year.

By the numbers: U.S. sales of Johnson & Johnson's orthopedic implants fell 4.5% in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, due to the country's surging virus spread, but globally all device sales for J&J were up 8%.

  • Similarly, Intuitive Surgical said the number of worldwide procedures performed with its da Vinci surgical robots increased 20% in the third quarter, which raised revenue by 30%.

1 vaccine stat: J&J's COVID-19 vaccine is still expected to bring in $2.5 billion of sales this year, but that would represent less than 3% of J&J's total revenue.

  • The bulk of J&J's money is made in other drugs and medical devices.

Go deeper

Nov 27, 2021 - World

South Africa says it's being "punished" for detecting new COVID variant

South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor addresses the 76th session of the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 22 in New York City. Photo: Eduardo Munoz - Pool/Getty Images

South Africa said Saturday it's being "punished" for detecting the new Omicron coronavirus variant as more countries rush to enact travel bans and restrictions.

Driving the news: The U.S. imposed air travel restrictions from eight countries Friday in response to the Omicron variant. Countries in Europe and Asia have also implemented their own travel restrictions in response to Omicron.

Updated Nov 27, 2021 - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Storms pummel flood-hit Pacific Northwest as border river overflows

An image of the water-logged Sumas Prairie area taken last Friday. Photo: B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Twitter.

The latest ferocious storm system to hit the Pacific Northwest triggered fresh evacuation orders and at least one mudslide in flood-ravaged British Columbia, Canada, late Sunday.

Threat level: Flood sirens sounded in Washington state as the Nooksack River overflowed. Henry Braun, mayor of Abbotsford, B.C., told reporters the water flow was headed toward the Canadian border city later Sunday. "There's nothing to stop it," he said.